book Review 202 // Sigismund: The Eternal Crusader: The Horus Heresy Characters Series by John French

As a fan of the Executioner's Chapter, it is always enjoyable to read an Imperial Fist novel, even when it is about the forebearer of Black Templars. I am reading Sigismund: The Eternal Crusader for this week's review. Sigismund has appeared in a few of my reviews here and has only played side characters so far. I am thrilled to have a book solely focused on him.

Title: Sigismund: The Eternal Crusader

Author: John French

Format: Kindle 192 pages

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Blurb: A Horus Heresy Character Series novel

Sigismund, First Captain... Emperor's Champion. The Eternal Crusader! The founder of the Black Templars was many things, and this novel brings him to life as never before.

Get a rare glimpse into the mortal life of one of the greatest champions of the Space Marines before they were recruited. Sigismund's beliefs would light a fire that still rages 10,000 years later.

The Great Crusade is ending. The Emperor has returned to Terra, while Horus remains among the stars to complete the Unification of humanity.

As the Imperial armies fight the final battles of the age, Remembrancer Solomon Voss seeks the answer to one question: why does Sigismund, First Captain of the Imperial Fists and greatest champion of the Legions, believe that war will not end?

Granted a rare audience with the master of the Templars, the answer takes Voss on a revelatory journey to a time before Sigismund became a Space Marine, through his first battles and oaths, to the bitterest duels between Legions.


I really enjoyed this story. I enjoyed it more than I expected too! I say it a lot, but John French novels are growing on me.

John French brought back Solomon Voss from his earlier title, the Last Remembrancer, and through him, we get to experience Sigismund's story as Voss asks him a series of questions. The book begins with Sigismund as a pre-space marine human. Surviving in the hell hole of ruined Europe, just after Unification. Here he aids a group of other refugees to survive the murder gangs that still roam the lands. During this adventure, we witness firsthand Sigismund's selflessness and strong ideals of what is right. During a rather tense and goosebumps-inducing fight, Sigismund is saved by the Space Marines and begins his induction into the Imperial Fists.

The following section has us travelling through Sigismund's life. We watch him advance in rank and position within the Fists until he is granted the Templar rank. We get to witness him challenging the champions of the other legions, most notably the Night Lords and World Eaters. We also see how their fighting styles change him and, ultimately, the traditions of the Templar (i.e. weapons chained to arms is a World Eaters custom). This is all some profound lore, and I love it.

The ending is sad and apocryphal with the classic thought that Space Marines will always be needed because the wars will never end. Hinting at the idea that man can never find peace.

The character of Sigismund is very likable. He is possibly the most human of all the characters I have read. He openly states that if he had known what he was to become, he would have tried harder to avoid that fate! What a thing for a heroic Marine to say. This, combined with his calm temperament, gives us a likable and realistic character.

Overall a fantastic novella. We get some great insight into early Earth, enjoy a couple of trips to other legions and genuinely discover a character worth loving. Highly recommend this title to anyone who wants a Space Marine tale.

As always, I appreciate you stopping by and reading. Cheers!

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