Books of 2020 #6 – Eye of Terra

A couple of months back I finished the 35th volume of the Horus Heresy – Eye of Terra.

It can be purchased at Amazon here:

Or directly from the Black Library here:

This volume is another anthology of shorter works. I was excited to read it, because as far as my memory serves me it is the first good look at the Emperor actively making war during the Great Crusade.

Some of these short story anthologies have been pretty good – others have been kind of bleh. This was one of the better ones. If I were to offer any constructive criticism – it would be to put the first 4 stories at the end. They are the best and would have been better served as a climax.

As usual – while avoiding much in the way of spoilers – I’ll give my thoughts on each story:

  1. The Wolf of Ash and Fire by Graham McNeill

    This story is what is featured on the cover. It’s the Emperor, Horus, and the Luna Wolves at war with an ork empire. Read it. It’s also good McNeill.
  2. Aurelian by Aaron Dembski Bowden

    This is a must read – fills in the gaps around Lorgar from the First Heretic story line. He also has an epic moment with Fulgrim.

3. The Long Night by Aaron Dembski Bowden

This picks up with the Night Lords after the Thramas Crusade. It’s ADB, so it’s awesome. Thumbs up.

4. Massacre by Aaron Dembski Bowden

More Night Lords from ADB – First Claw from his amazing Night Lords Series is featured in this story. Read it!

5. Brotherhood of the Moon by Chris Wraight

This picks up with the White Scars after their Civil War. It also sets up some events in Path of Heaven. It’s on the upper end of the Chris Wraight spectrum.

6. Inheritor by Gav Thorpe

World Eaters being World Eaters. Word Bearers building monuments of worship. Double crosses and dead bodies lying around. The story isn’t bad per se – it’s just been done to death at this point.

7. Vorax by Matthew Farrer

TBH – I can’t remember this story at all. If it was great or important to the wider narrative I’m sure I would have remembered it. If it was terrible I would have also remembered it. I think that is critique enough.

8. Ironfire by Rob Sanders

If you like crazies who don’t care about killing their own troops and love artillery this is the story for you – I guess. It also features the Iron Warriors – specifically the fellow who got clowned by Dantioch at the Schraedenhold. The giant railroad artillery guns used by the Germans in WWII kept coming to mind as I read it.

9. Red- Marked by Nick Kyme.

I like Aeonid Thiel – and this story was another feature piece for the character. For that reason alone I enjoyed this one. This was higher on the Kyme quality specturm too.

10. Master of the First by Gav Thorpe

It’s Luther and company doing what they do back on Caliban. It moves the Dark Angel plot line forward. Unfortunately, at this point in the series, I’m pretty over the Dark Angels. Bleh

11. Stratagem by Nick Kyme

Another Thiel feature – with perhaps the beginning of the Codex Astartes? Worth reading for that alone

12. Sins of the Father by Andy Smillie

I did not like this story at all. It’s supposed to be a contrast piece showing how Amit and Azkaellon differ and learn from each other. The whole thing is just goofy and awkward. The Blood Angels need the Dan Abnett treatment so bad it isn’t funny.

13. Herald of Sanguinius by Andy Smillie

More mediocrity featuring the Blood Angels – Next…

14. The Eagle’s Talon by John French

Imperial Fists v Iron Warriors in the background of the Tallarn conflict. It’s a self contained story that does not seem to be part of the wider narrative. It reads fast and you can appreciate sacrifices the characters make. It’s good.

15. Iron Corpses by David Annandale

After the Damnation of Pythos – I was pretty done with David Annandale. This story surprised me because it didn’t suck. Annandale should be writing horror – he just ratchets up misery and tension through out everything of his that I have read so far. It can be really good – so long as it doesn’t suck the create a joyless misery soup for the reader.

16. The Final Compliance of Sixty Three Fourteen by Guy Haley

I have grown to appreciate Guy Haley as I read more of his work. This story did not change that.

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