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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche.

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Présentation de l'éditeur

The latest instalment in the Horus Heresy series by star author Graham McNeill.

Censured at the Council of Nikea for his flagrant use of sorcery, Magnus the Red and his Thousand Sons Legion retreat to their homeworld pf Prospero to continue their use of the arcane arts in secret. But when the ill-fated primarch forsees the treachery of  Warmaster Horus and warns the Emperor with the very powers he was forbidden to use, the Master of Mankind dispatches fellow primarch Leman Russ to attack Prospero itself. But Magnus has seen more than the betrayl of Horus and the witnessed

revelations will change the fate of his fallen Legion, anmd its primarch, forever. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .

Biographie de l'auteur

Hailing from Scotland, Graham McNeill narrowly escaped a career in Surveyinh to join Games Workshop, where he worked for six years as a games developer. In addition to many novels, including False Gods, Fulgrim and Mechanicum for the prestigious Hoeus Hersey series, Graham has written a host of sf and fantasy short stories. He lives in Nottingham, UK. Visit his website at

www.graham-mcneill.com --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Poche .



Détails sur le produit

  • CD
  • Editeur : The Black Library; Édition : Unabridged (2 avril 2012)
  • Collection : The Horus Heresy
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 1849702217
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849702218
  • Dimensions du produit: 13,4 x 3,5 x 13,1 cm
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1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par M. Benjamin le 17 juin 2010
Format: Broché
Livre en mauvais état: rayer, couverture abimé, malgrès la commande de cette article en "neuf". Cependant c'est très largement contre-balancé par la très grande qualité de l'ouvrage. Une merveille.
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34 internautes sur 37 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Thousand Sons - The Heresy Gets a Bit Murky 22 mai 2010
Par Sean Dooley - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
It's been quite some time since we last saw a `proper' Horus Heresy book. While Tales of Heresy provides small vignettes regarding the battles raging across the 30k galaxy, and Fallen Angels has a somewhat detached connection to the Horus saga, with A Thousand Sons Graham McNeill offers the first half of what will amount to a two-part story (coupled with dismayingly delayed--get better soon, Dan--Prospero Burns) and a robust return to the epic struggle that has become the Horus Heresy.

As with many of the Horus Heresy novels, the timeline of when A Thousand Sons occurs is a bit behind where we presently seem to be in the tale of Horus' fall from grace--a bit after the Istvaan III massacre is where the present timeline has brought us--and begins a number of months before the conclusion of the Ullanor Campaign with the Thousand Sons probing the hidden knowledge of new Imperial world Aghoru.
Additionally, the novel is broken up into three books. The first third of the book finds the Sons on Aghoru, exploring a civilization that clearly has a hidden history. It is here we meet the main crux of the characters and McNeill weaves a rich and complicated history and structure for the Thousand Sons. The second third of the novel focuses on three things: the Thousands Sons' summons to aid Leman Russ and his Space Wolves in a campaign for a world dubbed Shrike, the meeting of the chapters to celebrate the victory at Ullanor, and finally the Council at Nikaea. The final third of the novel is where the tension comes to a head, where Magnus seeks to alert the Emperor of Horus' impending betrayal, and where the Wolves of Russ lay siege to Prospero.

On Aghoru, and in these early stages of the novel, McNeill establishes each characters' own unique personalities and, for the Thousands Sons more importantly, their abilities. While we have a number of auxiliary characters, the novel focuses on three: Magnus the Red, Crimson King and Primarch of the Thousand Sons; Azhek Ahriman, chief Librarian of the Thousand Sons and close confidant of Magnus; and, though to a lesser extent, Lemuel Gaumon a remembrances assigned to the Thousand Sons.
While each character has their own purpose in the prose--and McNeill does a really nice job expanding upon the three `levels' in which these characters exists (Primarch, Astartes, Human)--the star of the novel is quite clearly Ahriman. Ahriman plays many roles in the novel--teacher, confidant, leader--but none is more important than that of devoted son, both to Magnus and the Emperor. McNeill establishes this right away and drives home its importance as Ahriman constantly refers to Magnus as "Father," and Magnus to his Astartes as "Son." It is a wonderful addition to A Thousand Sons and really separates Magnus and his Astartes from other chapters; while we see bonds of brotherhood within the other chapters, the familial sense the bind the Thousand Sons seems much more concrete than we've yet to see in others (though I suspect we will in Prospero Burns). Also, Ahriman is one of the fullest and most interesting characters yet in the Horus Heresy series. There is no doubt that Garviel Loken and Nathaniel Garro are huge, deep characters, but Ahriman is at least on that level, and is developed over the course of one novel. He is a truly sympathetic character that we only grow in affection for as his chapter and his brothers fall into ruin throughout the novel.

While Ahriman is the star, Magnus is given near as much face time and character. Apart from Horus, and perhaps Fulgrim, Magnus is the most fully realized Primarch we've yet to see in the Horus Heresy novels. Much of this has to do with the familial ties already mentioned, but it is also in part to his conviction of purpose and determination, all which ironically mark his greatest flaws. Magnus is affection towards his kin, all while being a devoted son of the Emperor, resulting in another character that is entirely likeable and easy to relate to. This likeable nature--and he is certainly more likable than any Primarch we've seen focused on--makes his eventual failures harder to bear as a reader.

This is important to note, as the Thousand Sons are the absolute antithesis of a traitor chapter. While the Luna Wolves/Sons of Horus lust for power and the Word Bearers crave a being to devote their zealotry to, McNeill presents the Thousand Sons as a chapter most noticeably defined by their restraint, not their hubris, essentially the polar opposite of how Russ' Space Wolves are presented. Make no mistake: McNeill gives us a Thousand Sons chapter that we like very much, which makes their inevitable destruction painful to experience.

The destruction brought to bear on Prospero and the Thousand Sons is nothing short of tragic. The battles that mark the siege of Prospero are brutal; as the previous Horus Heresy canon states, the Emperor's Wolves are literally unleashed. Russ and his compatriots are brutal, and that brutality takes form in the prose through the battle on Prospero. In addition, the Thousand Sons finally unleash the enormity of their powers in defense of their home world. The sheer diversity in the psyker powers employed by the Thousand Sons is staggering, and differs per each of the Fellowships of the Thousand Sons.
While everything about the prose and the revelations of the narrative is strong, one of the major issues comes with these Fellowships. There is nothing wrong with the nature of them; quite contrarily, the diversity of the Fellowships provides huge depth to the Thousand Sons canon and history. However, it also can be a source of huge confusion. As previously mentioned, we are introduced to the entirety of the cast within the first few chapters of the novel, and the sheer number of terms McNeill throws at the reader can leave you lost. Additionally, while we are given the names of various Fellowships early (the Corvidae, Pyrae, Pavoni), we aren't given any explanation of them until much later. It is a small critique, but it can make the beginning of the novel tough to read; I found myself looking at the handy list of characters quite often.

Also, McNeill's pacing is a bit off sometimes. That's not say it's bad, or even slow, it just feels a bit uneven at times. There is a lot of time devoted to the Thousand Sons time at Aghoru, but both Ullanor and Nikaea are examined with brevity. Magnus makes a single speech, albeit a moving one, at Nikaea, and that's it. While it is in character that he believe the justice of his purpose would prevail and that was all that needed to be said, I wanted more from that scene. This is much the same for the siege of Prospero. It's fantastic and tense, but it seems a bit short and there seem to be gaps in the narrative that you want filled in. I'm not judging too harshly, as I expect we'll see lots of fill in within Prospero Burns; it just leaves the reader wanting more right away.

Despite those two minor--and I stress minor--criticisms, A Thousand Sons is a phenomenal book. Graham McNeill is at the very top of his game here, weaving the tragic tale of a loyal chapter of Space Marines and their fall from grace. It is fully of rich history, dynamic characters, and plot revelations that will suck in even the most casual of Horus Heresy fans and, I suspect, will attract new legions to the brotherhood of the Thousand Sons. Graham McNeill reignites the Horus Heresy with intrigue and wonder with a novel that should not be missed. It ranks with the best the Black Library has to offer, and leaves me yearning for Prospero Burns even more that I already was.
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Horus Heresy book chronology 19 octobre 2012
Par Thomas Lau - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This list has been updated up to Betrayer (due to book sizes I only buy paperbacks).

Instead of giving you another needless review about how good or bad the Horus Heresy book is, instead I wanted to give my fellow readers the option to see what the books really do offer. This list contains the most current books `Shadows of Treachery'. I will try to keep it up to date (I will try to read the newest book as soon as I can) and update it within a short period of time.

Now to the fun part. Due to the Horus Heresy not having overly clear timelines or precise timelines (pick whichever you prefer to call it) I had to create a semi-timeline. The actual timeline is not to scale and only contains major events that have occurred in the book series.

Guide:
Each Legion has its own section that shows which book has been attributed to it. The problem with this is that I focused primarily on the main Legion. So I apologize if other Legions were present but not really shown in this chronology. If you see a book title with parenthesis it means the book title and the short story name. The numbers relate to the chronology of the series as well as to the image showing where each book fits.
Furthermore, as a visual help / fun sheet please feel free to look at the picture attached to this review.

Here are the events that I noticed and thought would be important to mention:
First Founding
Beginning of the Great Crusade
Censoring of Lorgar
Counsel of Nikea
Ullanor Crusade
Davin Incidence
Isstvan III massacre
Isstvan V massacre
Calth
Siege of Terra
Death of Horus

Legion I - Dark Angels - Lion El'Johnson
(1) Descent of Angels - Crusade
(2) Fallen Angels - around Isstvan III
(3) Tales of Heresy (Call of the Lion) - before Isstvan III
(4) Age of Darkness (Savage Weapons) - after Isstvan V
(5) The Primarchs (The Lion) - after Savage Weapons

Legion III - Emperor's Children - Fulgrim
(1) Fulgrim - From Counsel of Nikea to Isstvan V
(2) The Primarchs (The Reflection Crack'd) - after Fulgrim
(3) Angel Exterminatus - After Isstvan V

Legion IV - Iron Warriors - Perturabo
(1) Age of Darkness (The Iron Within) - after Isstvan V
(2) Angel Exterminatus - After Isstvan V and Age of Darkness

Legion V - White Scars - Jaghatai Khan

Legion VI - Space Wolves - Leman Russ
(1) Tales of Heresy (Wolf at the Door) - before Prosporo Burns
(2) Prospero Burns - Council of Nikea to after Davin Incident

Legion VII - Imperial Fists - Rogal Dorn
(1) Shadows of Treachery (The Crimson King) - just before Isstvan III
(2) Shadows of Treachery (The Lightning Tower) - during The Crimson King
(3) Age of Darkness (The Last Remembrancer) - after Isstvan V

Legion VIII - Night Lords - Konrad Curze
(1) Shadows of Treachery (The Dark King) - before Isstvan III
(2) Age of Darkness (Savage Weapons) - after Isstvan V
(3) Shadows of Treachery (Prince of Crows) - after Savage Weapons

Legion IX - Blood Angels - Sanguinius
(1) Fear to Tread - prior to Isstvan III

Legion X - Iron Hands - Ferrus Manus
(1) The Primarchs (Feat of Iron) - during Crusade
(2) Angel Exterminatus - after Isstvan V

Legion XII - World Eaters - Angron
(1) Tales of Heresy (After Desh'ea) - during Great Crusade
(2) Age of Darkness (Rebirth) - after Prospero Burns
(3) Age of Darkness (The Face of Treachery) - after Isstvan V & Prospero Burns
(4) Betrayer - After Calth and Battle for the Abyss

Legion XIII - Ultramarines - Roboute Guilliman
(1) Age of Darkness (Rules of Engagement) - after Isstvan V
(2) Age of Darkness (Forgotten Sons) - after Isstvan V & before Know no Fear
(3) Know no Fear - Calth
(4) Betrayer - after Calth

Legion XIV - Death Guard - Mortarion
(1) The Flight of the Eisenstein - Isstvan III

Legion XV - Thousand Sons - Magnus
(1) A Thousand Sons - from Ulannor Crusade to after Davin Incident
(2) Age of Darkness (Rebirth) - after Isstvan V & Prospero Burns

Legion XVI - Luna Wolves - Horus
(1) Horus Rising - Counsel of Nikea
(2) False Gods - Davin Incidence
(3) Galaxy in Flames - Isstvan III
(4) Age of Darkness (Little Horus) - after Isstvan V

Legion XVII - Word Bearers - Lorgar
(1) The First Heretic - Lorgar's turning
(2) Tales of Heresy (Scion of the Storm) - during First Heretic
(3) Battle for the Abyss - before Calth
(4) Know No Fear - Calth incident
(5) Betrayer - After Calth

Legion XVIII - Salamanders - Vulkan
(1) Age of Darkness (Forgotten Sons) - after Isstvan V & before Know no Fear

Legion XIX - Raven Guard - Corax
(1) Deliverance Lost - Isstvan V
(2) Age of Darkness (The Face of Treachery) - early part of Deliverance
(3) Shadows of Treachery (Raven's Flight) - early part of Deliverance

Legion XX - Alpha Legion - Alpharius & Omegon
(1) Legion - pre-Davin Incidence
(2) The Primarchs (The Serpent Beneath) - after Deliverance

Miscellaneous
(1) Tales of Heresy (The Last Church) - Emperor - pre Great Crusade
(2) Tales of Heresy (The Voice) - Sisters of Silence - pre Davin Incident
(3) Shadows of Treachery (Death of a Silversmith) - Remembrancer - Either during Horus Rising or False Gods
(4) Mechanicum - Mechanicum - after Isstvan III
(5) The Kaban Project - Mechanicum - shortly before Mechanicum
(6) Tales of Heresy (Blood Games) - Custodes - after Isstvan III or even Isstvan V
(7) Age of Darkness (Liar's Due) - Heretic - after Isstvan V
(8) Nemesis - Imperial Assassins - after Isstvan V
(9) Outcast Dead - Loyalist / traitors on Terra - during Isstvan V
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Interesting and not exactly what you might expect 11 janvier 2011
Par Richard Staats - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
This was a very good book from a master of the craft, Graham McNeill.

This book traces the history of the Thousand Sons, the psychic legion.

All of the legions inherited some aspect of the Emperor's power. The Thousand Sons gained a measure of his psychic abilities.

This book, like the other great ones in the Horus Heresy (HH) series, revealed some new aspects of the WH40K universe.

Some of the WH40K fans' recurring questions have been what exactly is the Golden Throne, where did it come from, and what was the Emperor's grand plan with it?

This book answers these questions.

Graham McNeill does a good job with character description and development. He creates a cadre of characters that you want to succeed. Of course, the reader knows how the story ends ... the Thousand Sons are marked as heretics and destroyed.

Mr. McNeill does a good job providing a way out for the beloved characters, and, in the end, the Thousand Sons are not truly destroyed, but the details are left as an exercise for the reader.

Graham McNeill also tightly ties the WH40K mythos to the grand master himself, H.P. Lovecraft. Very nicely done! The flesh change is nothing short of a wonderful trip back to the Dunwich Horror.

Some of the other reviewers were unhappy that the Emperor decided to sanction the Thousand Sons, but the book explains that Magnus made a bargain with a powerful warp creature, read that as Tz. himself. So, by the time that Magnus went to see "Dad," he was already corrupted; Magnus just did not realize that he was already forfeit at that point.

OK, I loved a lot of the book. Why the four stars? There are a few difficulties for me in this book. They really have nothing to do with Graham McNeill's craft; he is the master. Rather, there are some glaring inconsistencies in the WH40K mythology that even Graham McNeill could not over-come.

There is a powerful saying in the writing world, "impossible always, improbable never." So, Superman can fly and wade through a storm of bullets. Impossible. Fine. I just push the "I believe" button and move on. Clark Kent cheats on Lois Lane, and she is fine with it. BZZZZZT! If you have ever been in a relationship with a woman then this is a non-starter. Improbable. Not OK!

We found out in previous books by Graham McNeill that the Emperor is immortal and tens of thousands of years old. He has seen the future and the narrow chance for humankind to survive and prosper. The Emperor manipulated whole civilizations and imprisoned an incredibly powerful alien to seed technological ideas in the minds of the early Martian colonists. The Emperor is a stud-muffin's stud-muffin (technical term).

OK, so all of that is so super-human and beyond the pale of imagination as to be impossible. Therefore, it is fine. I just go "wow!" and move on.

So, this paragon of humanity somehow does not see that all of his sons are ignoring the Emperor's wishes. All of them! What?!

The Emperor does not figure out that there was a problem when the Geller field protecting his off-spring exploded? What?!?

He does not see the pride and machinations of his sons after declaring war on the two, initial fallen legions? What?!?!

The Great Old Ones (oops! Slipped there for a second!) the Unborn Gods of the Immaterium are able to help Magnus destroy the works of the Emperor completely and utterly, but they could not just reach down a tentacle and wipe out the Earth? What?!?!?!?!?!?

So, the Emperor eventually fights Horus, gets wounded through all of the Chaos mojo invested in Horus and ends up in an odd suspended animation.

Either the Emperor has to come back in WH42K (<--- see there is a "2" there) through some sneaky prior-foreseen loop-hole in the space-time continuum, or there are just too many improbable events to tie together in a convincing way.

All that said, Graham McNeill has delivered an excellent addition to the HH series.

Bravo Sir!

In service,

Rich
the Original Dr. Games since 1993
11 internautes sur 16 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A below-average novel 12 mars 2010
Par Anonymous 384 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I am a big fan of the WH40K (Warhammer 40K) universe; I find it absolutely fascinating and very entertaining. Naturally, I'm always looking to learn more about it. I spend quite a bit of time browsing though the WH40K wiki, and I'm a big fan of the computer games. I'm also a big fan of the novels in general, as I feel that they're the best route via which one can immerse oneself in the setting of WH40K. I have been especially fond of the Horus Heresy novels; whereas the background to the tabletop game only gave a summary of the Horus Heresy---the main happening that leads up to the 'present day' atmosphere and setting in the WH40K universe---the Horus Heresy novels delve deep into the story of that event. They are rich in details and explore at length the specific events of the Horus Heresy, and I've gobbled them up rapidly as they've come out. Naturally, I was excited to learn more of the story in this, the newest book in the series.

Unfortunately, the book proved to be a difficult read for me. Graham McNeill clearly put a lot of effort into the novel, but his writing and his overall storytelling had some serious issues. The result is a book that is confusing, difficult to read, and ultimately unrewarding.

To start off, a major issue with this book is that McNeill simply does a very poor job of keeping the plot flowing and, more, of keeping the reader properly engaged in the plot. To be frank, McNeill just plain rambles on at many points in the book. Many situations McNeill has written into the book are unnecessary to the story and/or just plain boring. The net sum is that the story does not flow well. The pure volume of material in the book makes it difficult for the reader to relate all of it to the central plot, and it also succeeds in confusing the reader as to what, in fact, the main plot is; the author does not do well in indicating why each scene is important in the overall scheme of the story, resulting in the reader simply ingesting information without context. Further, McNeill is often extremely, unnecessarily verbose in his writing on even the book's important events. This results in many sections that would otherwise be interesting become boring; it also often requires the reader to journey through pages of unnecessary dialogue, description and action in order to get to the root of why that scene is important to the story. Having read the forewords of some of his WH40K novels, I'm aware that he is very enthusiastic about the source material. I can certainly appreciate this; a writer often writes best on matters he or she is excited about. However, I get the feeling that McNeill's enthusiasm did his efforts harm in A Thousand Sons. While I realize he most likely wished to provide readers with a universe as rich and deep in detail as possible, there is a point at which such efforts can create somewhat of a black hole in writing, and such certainly happened in this novel.

Another key issue in this novel is that the author does a poor job of creating characters that the reader will be enthusiastic about, whether these characters are protagonists or antagonists. In fact, the story seems to lack any major protagonists or antagonists at all. For the first section of the novel, the main characters are pitted against what is essentially a miscellaneous, nondescript, purposeless evil; why the characters are combating this evil is not explored, nor is it really indicated that said evil has any purpose at all. This minor antagonist completely disappears in the second section of the book; this section is dedicated to an exploration of relations between some important figures in the WH40K universe. However, while some of these characters exhibit behavior that may be construed as 'unfair' to the main characters in the novel, the novel clarifies that the former are still part of "the good guys". As such, the tension in this section of the story is non-existent. In the final section of the book, the main characters are pitted against some comrades from earlier on. While this scene is full of action, the reader has no reason to cheer for either faction. The result is that the story flies by without the reader having any sort of emotional stake in what happens. Throughout the story, there are no characters that the reader learns to love or to hate, and so the plot flies by without the reader having been emotionally invested in the least. This makes for a very bland and unrewarding experience.

A final problem was the author's shockingly poor use of English. Naturally, this would not be a big deal to me if it did not significantly detract from the overall experience of reading the book; unfortunately, the issue in question did cause some very practical problems. I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never before read a professional novel so ubiquitously infested with horrible grammar and syntax. Throughout A Thousand Sons, it is not unusual to see McNeill mangle numerous sentences on the same page or make several grammatical errors in a single short paragraph. In general, he seems to lack a basic understanding of the mechanics of the English language, and this can make the novel a difficult read at points. In addition to causing the standard frustration over seeing the written language handled so badly in what was no doubt intended to be a high-quality novel, McNeill's bad grammar also hurts the novel in the sense of often making sentences difficult to interpret. He regularly makes very confusing assignations of actions and descriptions to characters, his odd sentence forms making it difficult to immediately discern to whom he is referring; he chronically uses extremely long, baffling run-on sentences; he repeatedly switches focus and narration from character to character at unfitting points---sometimes doing so several times in short order during an action sequence---making it very difficult to remember who is doing what; and he often has so many characters doing so many things in the same scene that, likewise, it's difficult to keep track of everything that's going on. In general, this all led me to a frequent and repeated need to go back and re-read passages in order to stay abreast of the story. The net result was a disjointed, confusing reading experience. I could really go on for awhile about McNeill's lack of control of grammar and syntax, but I think I've described it enough. The whole thing makes me wonder, though, whether this book was sent for review by a copy editor before it was released to print. Any editor could easily have spotted the thousands of errors (this is no exaggeration) that McNeill made in this book, and almost certainly any editor would also have seen the problems such could cause for the reader.

I can't fault McNeill on effort. He certainly put his all into this book, and the enthusiasm he holds for the source material is tangible in his writing. In order to write an quality yarm, enthusiasm is a must; however, it is but one of many elements vital to the creation of an engaging story. A clear, strong and easy-to-follow plot, likable protagonists and viable foils, an easy-to-read writing style, emotionally-involving storytelling---these are but a few of the parts necessary for the construction of a engaging and entertaining novel, and A Thousand Sons has none of the above. This book will likely also not prove rewarding to fans of the Horus Heresy series or WH40K in general; in contrast to the rest of the novels in the series, all of which added previously-unknown background, or rewarding insight on characters and the actions they took, or simply a related story that hadn't been told before, A Thousand Sons adds nothing. It re-tells a story that anyone familiar with the franchise will already know, and it does so in a bland and long-winded fashion. If you were looking for a story alike to the rest of the novels in the series---one that would give new and exciting substance to the saga of the Horus Heresy---you'll come away disappointed.

You should consider obtaining this novel only if you're a hardcore fan of the series and possess substantial amounts of both patience and free time for reading. If you don't fit that description, then you'll likely not find this novel a worthwhile read.
A necessary chapter in the series 3 novembre 2010
Par A. Martin - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I have to say I'm glad to see that there are some constructively critical reviews attached to this book. It's just as unfair to a prospective buyer to laud McNeil's latest contribution with gushing praise as it is to cast it into the proverbial bonfire. I am a fan of the Horus Heresy series. I have read and lovingly own a copy of all the books. I started reading Warhammer 40K novels two years ago, and caught up with the series. This newest installment I purchased days after it came onto the shelves. Admittedly, not all of them are stellar, but it is to be expected. Several chapters in the Horus Heresy, such as Horus Rising, Flight of the Eisenstein, Fulgrim (another of McNeill's), and Legion (my personal favorite) are definitely worth slogging through a mediocre one once in awhile so as to advance and flesh out this epic saga. I must say McNeill performed beautifully with Fulgrim, and False Gods was also good as far as I remember. Tragically, 'A Thousand Sons' is not his best work to date. Here are examples, without giving too much plot away:

For starters, I had to ignore certain things in this book that you wouldn't normally expect from a professionally published work. I don't remember the last time I saw so many grammatical and spelling errors slip by the editing staff and end up in the finished product. I found myself catching at least one or two per chapter, if not many more. I don't care to go back and find them all. Some of the other Horus Heresy contributors appear to be better at proofreading their own works, which is clearly a boon for an author writing for a publisher that will overlook so many before it goes to print. That said, I am quite willing to write this off as a minor flaw in exchange for a cleverly written story. It pains me to say it, but 'A Thousand Sons' falls short of that expectation.

Magnus, the despotic leader of the Thousand Sons and a major character in the plot, is supposed to be a demigod gifted with a portion of the vast wisdom, psychic power, and knowledge of his father (The god-like Emperor). However, I found that Magnus' actions and dialogue didn't seem to fit with that persona. The fate of the Thousand Sons legion is already known, and I accept that they are doomed to said fate, but Magnus seems to blunder toward his end in a manner more befitting the vain and impulsive Fulgrim or the reckless Angron. That aside, Ahriman (Magnus' favored captain) is a well conceived character, and it is obvious that McNeill spent the bulk of his efforts crafting his role in the story.

There is a side plot about a trio of mortals (remembrancers) who follow the Thousand Sons and observe their epic actions in the Emperor's Great Crusade, just as in the other novels. Sometimes the humans play a part in the events that shape the fates of the Crusade and its' aftermath. Or at the very least, the human perspective can be an intriguing plot device. Other times it is almost forced. This is an example of the latter. The remembrancers in the Thousand Sons legion seem to contribute little more than a side plot and casual dialogue for the sake of having it. These three psychic mortals have almost no hand in the epic events that shape the major plot. Worse still, they are little more than flies on the wall. I felt almost no emotional connection to their fates. And as if to prove that their part in the story was purely fluff, McNeill simply discards their plot a few chapters before the end with little more than a vague allusion to their fates. If this confusion is to be cleared up in Dan Abnett's 'Prospero Burns', the next in the series, it certainly wasn't promised in 'A Thousand Sons'.

It is unfortunate that 'A Thousand Sons' fails to contribute much flair to the pivotal events and characters surrounding the Council of Nikaea, but I cannot end this review without noting that I was impressed with McNeill's use of language as well as his ability to give life to the settings in which the story took place. Furthermore, the concluding chapters(26-31), some 450 pages into the book, were profoundly more readable than the rest of the book. In summary, this novel is a must for anyone who wants to know all the details of the saga that shaped the Warhammer 40K universe as we know it, if you can be patient enough to slog through the slow parts!
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