Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book: Warhammer 40k - The Horus Heresy Part 7

Another 2 books from the Horus Heresy. This time I pick 2 books that compliment each other. Its not like the sixth and eleventh book which revolves around the same Legion, the Dark Angels. But it more about the enmity between the 2 infamous Legions, the Space Wolves and the Thousand Sons. One of the famous event that happened during the Horus Heresy, the Burning of Prospero. Its the story between the 2 loyal Legions, but locked in battle because of their long animosity that later used by the traitors.

Ok, so I don't know which one started first, but I'm pretty much sure that the timeline here is parallel. So lets go to the twelfth book in the Horus Heresy series, A Thousand Sons. This book explain much of inside of the Thousand Sons Legion, and it illuminate much of the cause the Legion downfall. Now, how do I even begin..

First, the story in the novel took place on a planet called Aghoru. The Thousand Sons stopped there to inspect a mountain, too monumental to be a natural formation. The fact that the people living on the planet was a bit primitive, the mountain looks like man-made but not by the natives. It prompt the Thousand Sons Legion to anchor there as they also felt the presence of unworldly energy there. It was also personally inspected by the Thousand Sons primach, Magnus the Red. Magnus then discovered something that would help the Imperium warp travel greatly there. Then, the Thousand Sons were interrupted by a call for assistance by the Space Wolves Legion.

The Space Wolves Legion disfavour the Thousand Sons conduct of war. They tend to, 'secure' depositories of knowledge of whatever planet they fall upon instead of focusing on the conflict at hand. At the planet Shrike, they went straight to the Avenians libraries instead of fighting the enemies and this angered the Great Wolf, Leman Rus, greatly. Both of the primarches almost come to blows but was immediately stopped by Lorgar, primarch of the Word Bearer Legion. They then parted with much disdain.. The thing is that, the Thousand Sons indeed practice sorceries. They have this practice called Enumeration, some kind of litany to boost their power. And they use Tutelary, some kind warp denizens to channel their psychic power.  

Then the event of the Emperor retiring from the Crusade at the planet Ullanor took place, and the Thousand Sons heard words that psykers are about to be censured completely by the Imperium. Magnus pays no heed, instead went on to meet the Emperor to share his discovery on planet Aghoru. To his suprise, the Emperor casually told him that he already knew about it, the Eldar Webway. And the Emperor already started the work on the secrets of the Eldar Webway decades before the discoveries made by Magnus.

Right after that, the event of Council Nikea took place, where the Emperor decreed the censure againt sorcery, or usage of psykers. This hurts Magnus pride as his Legion are compromised almost all by psykers. He however accept the censure with bitter taste.. One thing leads to another,  and Magnus was tempted to prove his worth, his Legion's worth by showing that sorcery could benefit the humanity. He however made a mistake by barging into the Emperor's lab by means of magick, and causes untold damage.. especially on the Golden Throne  project.

Apparently, the Golden Throne was meant for Magnus and his Legion. Some sort of Akashic Reader and psychic amplifier, the device would help Magnus to amplify his power and allow him to tap into the Immaterium, allowing him access to whatever lore or knowledge that he ever wanted. But now, it was all in ruins and Magnus was made clear of his error.. It was after this even that the Space Wolves Legion was dispatched to apprehend Magnus, but Leman Rus was misdirected by the now traitor Horus, not to apprehend but destroy Magnus and his Legion. All of this later leads to the Burning of Prospero.

Then, we shifted to the story from the side of the Wolf King, the Great Wolf Leman Russ. Honestly, I think the fifteenth novel from the Horus Heresy, Prospero Burns, is a bit disappointment. Because although the book cover shows the picture of Leman Russ with his Space Wolves Legion on planet Prospero doing 'murder-make', there are little story about the carnage during the battle. 

The novel begins with a story of a remembrancer, Kasper Hawser. He went to Fenris, homeworld of the Space Wolves Legion, and was shot down.. by accident. Apparently the Space Wolves doesn't take kindly with strangers. He was then was nursed back to health.. with his left eye removed. This is the part where some of the characteristic of the Space Wolves Legion differ from the 41st century Chapter. It seems that the Space Wolves Legion do not keep recording devices around their Legion proximity. Instead, they use skajld, a story reteller whom they pick with the best memory and ability to recount back all the stories that have been told. Skaljd still exist during the 41st century but they already incorporated recording device whether using bionic eyes or brain implant.

The novel also heavily based on the point of view of Kasper Hawser, instead of Leman Russ or any other person in the Space Wolves Legion. So.. There is not much to anyway. Almost half of the book told the story of Kasper Hawser, his encounter with the Space Wolves Legion and their primarch.. and basically is all that. Kasper Hawser was present when the Burning of Prospero happened. And perhaps he was the only with the exception of Bjorn the Fell-Handed that still the saga of the Burning of Prospero. Because in the end. Kasper Hawser was put into long sleeps.. dreaming the same dream in the dark.

And that is all about this 2 books. Too bad the book on the Space Wolves wasn't centred around Leman Russ because I would love to read a story where the author could expand his personality. But in the end.. most of the Loyalist primarches character remained shrouded.


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