Audio Review 67 // The Devine Adoratrice by Graham McNeill

Back on the audible train again. Following the death of my work PC, my listening time faded away, but a new PC means a unique opportunity to start listening again. I had fallen behind on my Black Library, Horus Heresy list, so I thought it was time to fix that. War without end is book number 33 in the series and contains 18 short stories. Some of these will want their own reviews, while others need to be bundled together. The opening tale is over 1 hour long and rightly deserves its own post. Without further waffle, let's dive into the book's opening by Graham McNeill.

Title: The Devine Adoratrice (The Horus Heresy #Short Story)

Author: Graham McNeill

Buy it: Amazon.ca (Audible: War Without End)

Fluff: Decades before Horus's civil war sunders the Imperium, Raeven Devine, ruler-in-waiting of the world of Molech, prepares for his Becoming, the rite that will elevate him to the rank of Knight and bond him with the mighty war machine that will be his steed for years to come. But traitors within the Sacristans have other ideas, and a shocking act of betrayal sets the stage for one of the bloodiest battles of the Horus Heresy…

This story is a prequel to Graham McNeill's epic Horus Heresy novel Vengeful Spirit, and first, it appears in The Imperial Truth.

Review

First off, I must point out that it is disappointing to get a prequel to a book already read. If I had read this, then Vengeful Spirit, this would have all hit home a lot harder. But I guess that is the joy of short stories released at events/xmas whenever.

The short story focuses on Raeven Devine and his rise to power within his knight household. We discover through this tale that he is the "disappointment son" of the household. Born to Cyprian Devine, he is the second son, with his half-brother set to inherit everything. The only problem is Raeven is very ambitious and feels held back by his father and brother. His sole goal is to rule, and it would seem no one will stop these goals. As the focal point character, Graham McNeill does a fantastic job bringing him to life, with lots of flaws, quirks and character traits that just bring him to life. He reminds me of the villains you always end up like in a story; springing to mind straight away is the marvel version of Loki, always on the outside looking in and just can't stop being a bad guy/

For a short story, we get to explore a lot of the Molech Nobility. The household of Devine is living in a self-built fantasy world. They believe themselves noble and lordly when they are no better than Raeven. The only difference is the fact that he has embraced it. By the end of the book, the plot twist writes this out plain for us all to understand, and the ending alone is worth the read. This is a great listen full of action, character development, knightly betrayal, and romance.

I just genuinely wish I had got to it before Vengeful Spirit, as this would have added to the experience of that tale. Go get it already and enjoy!

What are your thoughts on this opening story? Drop me a comment and let me know.

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