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Title: Know No Fear discussion
Description: Teasers and SPOILERS


Apologist - January 31, 2012 09:24 AM (GMT)
First off – *enthuse*

Downloaded this at midnight, and find myself halfway through; having managed to put it down at 2. What a book!

Teasers
The book fits in well with the material we've already seen on the Word Bearers and Ultramarines, and expands on these two Legions in an organic, natural way. There's a surprising amount of logistical detail in the first half of the book, and I for one will be digesting and compiling info for quite some time. That said, this information is written naturally; and the tone and content of the text suggests the organisation and discipline of the Ultramarines in particular, without becoming jarring.

Dan has totally 'got' the Ultramarines. They've got a great balance of being focussed, military and yet interesting; and there's loads of info on the personnel: just check out the extensive Dramatis Personae section. The contrast between the clean operation of preparing to fight the Orks and the betrayal is startling, and the book sets a real pace, which prevents the information becoming a morass. In fact, the book is more immediately violent – and for a more sustained time – than I can remember in another Heresy novel. Abnett gives real 'shock and awe' with a short-burning fuse, and that perfectly captures the point of the teaser Black Library gave us (the death of Honorius Luciel at the hands of Sorot Tchure) – Tchure's words about betrayal creating that infinitesimal advantage are writ large across the events of the first half of the book.

If I breathed a sigh of relief as the character of the legion was revealed, it was doubly true of Guilliman. In my view, Dan was always going to be a safe pair of hands for any Primarch – his Horus was with invested with majesty, humanity and charisma, his Alpharius was suitably evasive and yet inspiring; and his Guilliman is portrayed in a fantastic light: you get a sense of veneration from his men then edges towards majesty rather than pomposity (except in Lorgar's view, of course!). He's not as immediately charming as Abnett's Horus: instead, you instinctively feel he is trustworthy.

Best of all? You get the feeling that the modus operandi Guilliman espouses – and the Ultramarines practise – would work; there's a sense of professionalism and adaptive self-reliance.

The book is very interestingly written: like Eisenhorn, the text is mainly written in the present tense, which gives a fantastic urgency to the tone and helps create an atmosphere that supports the surprise and shock of the events. Unlike Eisenhorn, it's third person. That's a very different beast, and it definitely helps to construct the scale and breadth of the campaign.

I found 'my' reference in there – the very first Ultramarine you meet is:
QUOTE
Tall as one big man on another big man’s shoulders, broad as any three muscle-heavy athletes, his bulk augmented by the massive ceramite plate of gleaming Praetor-pattern armour, Luciel opens the airgate hatch.

Squee! :) I don't really have anything to say about that beyond it put the biggest grin on my face. It's a throwaway line, in many ways; but it's lovely to think that the enthusiasm of the fanbase feeds back into the growing shared world of the Horus Heresy. Hugs for everyone :D

The Word Bearers come across suitably bad-ass as well – Lorgar has grown some nuts: for very good reason. There's a sense of having left his self-doubt behind; which expands beautifully on Dembski-Bowden's groundwork and character development. Of course, that hasn't come with complete balance, and while he's not a frothing caricature of himself, he's a perfect contrast to Guilliman's deep-seated balance.*

The subtle changes in the Word Bearers are good: I loved the mention that they're using daemoncraft in lieu of a voxnet, and the basic plan of attack is one that seems eminently sensible and achievable – one worthy of a Primarch and Astartes. They aren't berserkers: they're coldly clinical murderers coming at a hated enemy, and that sense of purpose and ambition comes across even where it isn't explicitly mentioned. Masterful handling of a well-loved Legion. I imagine Dembski-Bowden is very happy with how the Word Bearers are portrayed, as it feels like an organic development of his groundwork in The First Heretic.

I think the cultists have been well thought-out – rather than faceless screaming nutjobs that get mention elsewhere in the 40k background, you get an explanation as to why they're okay with dieing (well, if you believe the promises...), and they're a believable enemy for the Imperial Army. I was hoping for good things from Abnett on this, as he realised the Blood pact and Sons of Sek so well. He doesn't disappoint.

Spoilers

+++Edit+++
[spoiler] tags don't work, so I've used strikethrough text to make things harder to skim read. I hope that works for people.

Either way, be warned – beyond this point be spoilers :ph43r:


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==
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Setpieces galore – a sky massacre that ends with spaceships crashing to earth; super-heavy tanks raining from the sky. Lots of short-term foreshadowing of the perfect defences being breached.

I continued reading on the way to work and startled some poor sod when I realised I was reading about the Catheric Oll – Ollanius freaking Pius! – stepping on to Horus' throne. What a startling piece of foreshadowing, and beautifully executed. It's great to see Horus back in Abnett's hands – despite him being a tiny cameo, you got this dripping sense of power; of betrayal... Abnett is truly a first-class writer, and this book cements his reputation in my mind.

*That said, the scene where Guilliman loses his rag on the flagship as Lorgar taunts him is perfectly pitched: you get Guilliman revealing his passion without losing complete control, and there's a reserve even here that contrasts brilliantly with the teaser scene where Lorgar rages at Guilliman's 'confrontation', as he sees it.

Spoilerish queries
The Raptorus Rex is mentioned. This is the Fire Hawks' cruiser, right? Coincidence?

Apologist - February 1, 2012 09:35 AM (GMT)
Spoilers for the Spoiler God

The list of daemons near the end (Chap 2 [mark: 12.53.09]) is fascinating; 'Tarik reborn, he-who-is-now-Torgmageddon' is especially interesting. The implication seems to be that the Word Bearers have harvested the geneseed from Isstvan III and V – both loyalist and traitor – and sacrificed it upon a world-altar.

Am I right in thinking that it is this that gives the Calth weapons grid the ability to murder the sun; or was the main purpose of the ritual to summon the powerful daemons – Epidemius, N'kari etc. into reality?

It seems too much like coincidence that 'Tarik reborn, he-who-is-now-Torgmageddon' is nothing to do with Tarik Torgaddon – particularly since Erebus strokes one of the stasis-tanks earlier in the novel and says' Tarik...'; so are the daemons possessees of the harvested geneseed?

All fascinating stuff :)

BigWill - February 1, 2012 07:59 PM (GMT)
Not reading the spoliers,i too downloaded yesterday and an half through.
HOLY FETH how the hell does Abnett keep topping his prievious book,each and every time.
There are so many easter eggs I keep expecting to see the Easter Bunny.
At this rate when he writes the final book,thats right I am calling it right here,they will Have Dan write the last one.
I love all the BL authors but Dan just added about 3 feet to the high bar he is at a different level than the rest.
And as herectical as this statement will be I think Dan writes better Ultramarines than Graham.

Azkaellon - February 1, 2012 09:33 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
BigWill Posted on Feb 1 2012, 08:59 PM
And as herectical as this statement will be I think Dan writes better Ultramarines than Graham.


I like that Dan seems to present them Ultramarines when they had the primarch leading them rather than Graham's which show an evolution of the Astartes 10000yrs without the great generals and guidance of their fathers.


BigWill - February 1, 2012 10:39 PM (GMT)
I thunk you just hit the nail on the head.
These are the Ultramarines BEFORE they stick the big stick up thier ass.
Thats why I like em so much ;)

ShroudFilm - February 1, 2012 11:51 PM (GMT)
Glad you're all enjoying it. There's more great stuff still to come, you 'mark' my words... ;) (major geek reference there, for people who have read the book already!)

Apo - The reference to the 'Raptorus Rex' is actually old canon, since the Fire Hawks are no longer canonically associated with the LOTD. Have you read Rob Sanders eponymous novel?

Either way, the original name for the Word Bearers ship was the 'Raptorus Rex', regardless of the similarity. We double-checked that!

BigWill - February 2, 2012 12:25 AM (GMT)
I read the Legion of the Damned book.
There is one line,when the guy is looking at the drop pod/coffin that had a flaming hawk of a sort.
Nothing that blatant but enough to keep that crack a tiny bit open IMO.
Unless you know something we don't ;)
I know in the last Ultra book Graham kind of alludes to the fact that they are the ghosts of Space Marine Heros.

Azkaellon - February 2, 2012 04:36 AM (GMT)
Awesome book, just finished it will have to start the audiobook on friday to make sure its all gone in :rolleyes:

BigWill - February 2, 2012 01:57 PM (GMT)
Just finished the book with the sadness in my heart that it will be a while before my next fix.
IMO possiblby the best book so far.
This was how I think Istivan 5 should of been handled,a whole book dedicated to the battle.
Cannot wait for the next books,especially after Shrouds tease.

The reincarnated Tormagoddon makes sense out of that wierd picture of him in the Collected Vissions.
If you are nerdy you can even figure out the date Choclis gets the ole Exterminatus.

Pacific - February 2, 2012 06:00 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (BigWill @ Feb 2 2012, 01:57 PM)

The reincarnated Tormagoddon makes sense out of that wierd picture of him in the Collected Vissions.
If you are nerdy you can even figure out the date Choclis gets the ole Exterminatus.

Was that the chap that got beheaded?

ShroudFilm - February 2, 2012 06:51 PM (GMT)
Tarik Torgaddon, aye.

Dargor - February 2, 2012 08:29 PM (GMT)
Daaaaaammmmnnnnnn yyyouuuuuuuu!!!!!!!

Tarik Torgaddon was my favourite character from the first trilogy.Well, him and Tarvitz. :(

BigWill - February 2, 2012 11:02 PM (GMT)
Am I reading this wrong or has Oll been around since Jason and the Augnaughts?

Dargor - February 2, 2012 11:08 PM (GMT)
Apparently he has and he's also taken part in the battle of Austerlitz and the siege of Verdun!

Azkaellon - February 3, 2012 12:05 AM (GMT)
I liked that character and the reintroduction of JG. Who the hell are they?!

BigWill - February 3, 2012 01:04 AM (GMT)
Well by nerd math Choclis is destroyed 25 years after the beginning of the Mark of Calth

mark 219,479.25.03
219,479 is the hours divide by 24 = 9144.9 days
9144 days divide by 365 = 25.5 years

Guess we will have to chaulk that up to warp travel then because he calls himself an old man and can barely remember fighting underground.

If they made that last mark at 2 million rather than 2 hundred thousand it would be at least 250 years.

Azkaellon - February 3, 2012 03:53 AM (GMT)
why is there no chapter 8 in part 4 target//engagement? there is a chapter 7 and then chapter 9 and 10 but weirdly no 8? octed code anyone?? :huh:

Dargor - February 3, 2012 10:11 AM (GMT)
SPOILER!!!!!!!














Did anyone find it interesting that the Dark Git Khor Phaeron sliced Guilliman's throat with a freaking Athame?The same thing that laid Horus low? I remember daemon Fulgrim being responsible for G-man's mortal injury, do you think that the good chaps at BL are going to change that?

Ilmarinen - February 3, 2012 10:26 AM (GMT)
SPOILER!!!!!!!!!!












Just finished reading KNF - freaking amazing!!!

So Kor Phaeron could have easily killed a Primarch, but did something stupid instead! What a dongle!

The fact that Guilliman doesn't succumb to the anathame kinda suggests that Horus always had that flaw in his character. Bit unlucky for Guilliman that he keeps getting his throat cut! (I wonder if it will happen again, before Fulgrim does it!!!)

@BigWill - my reading of the epilogue was that Ventanus can barely remember the Underground War because so much had happened, with so many unbelievable events, that the fighting on Calth had been totally overshadowed.

So, Oll is not exactly the 'simple guardsman' he was originally ...but I'll echo the previous comments of WHAT THE FREAKING HELL IS HE?!?


Dargor - February 3, 2012 10:28 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (Ilmarinen @ Feb 3 2012, 10:26 AM)
WHAT THE FREAKING HELL IS HE?!?

Pretty Awesome. ;)


Ps: I was totally yelling "A FIRE BREATHING HORSE!" when Aethon counter-attacked.

Markus Krell - February 3, 2012 10:58 AM (GMT)
I always took it that Horus' injury was made worse by Nurgle; this then gave Erebus the opportunity to let the Davinites cure him.

Apologist - February 3, 2012 11:58 AM (GMT)
No spoiler warnings – if you're reading this thread, you deserve spoilers ;)

Coo, this book really does reward re-reading – Abnett's thrown in loads of mini references to his other novels..

Tormaggedon
I wonder what connection, if any, this daemon has to the daemonship Tormageddon Monstrum Rex from Salvation's Reach?

Ollanius
Despite this book being about my favourite legion, Oll is perhaps the most intriguing part for me – not least for the triumphant scene on Horus' throneroom. The concept of the 'Perpetuals' is a fascinating one, and well worth its own discussion. As well as sounding like an awesome action movie title, the Perpetuals strike me as an updated version of the Sensei (the Emperor's genetic children) concept – who were also immortal Badass Normals who occasionally had a superpowers. I'm not suggesting that's what they are, but it's a great 40k-style update to a rather shonky old idea.

It's an interesting pseudonym, too... Oll Persson. That's a pretty heavy-handed hint at his everyman status, I think – 'All Person'? :D What a great touch to tie it in with the old Ollanius Pius colour text.
If his name is significant – and it's a common theme to the rest of the series – I wonder at the implications for the other Perpetuals. Is 'John Grammaticus' significant? I can't spot anything myself (I thought there might be a link to Tetragammaton, but I think I'm reaching too far there), but would be interested in others' thoughts.

The fact that there are 'only three perpetuals in the whole of the Five Hundred Worlds[/i] was interesting to me; as was Grammaticus' statement 'you're still a true Perpetual' – he notes that he's not for some reason connected to the Cabal (presumably his resurrection?). That there are more Perpetuals builds on the Emperor's statement to Grammaticus that 'we should 'consider the options available to beings like us'. Does that statement imply a link to the Emperor ('beings like us'), or is this simply a reference to immortality in general?


Guilliman's throat
QUOTE (Dargor)
Did anyone find it interesting that the Dark Git Khor Phaeron sliced Guilliman's throat with a freaking Athame?The same thing that laid Horus low?

Not quite: Kor Phaeron slits Guilliman's throat with an Atheme; not with an (the?) Anatheme. An Atheme is a ritual knife (hence why all of the Knife Brothers have them); while the Anatheme is a xenos device (admittedly, also a ritual knife!) that seems very different. It's also a pun on 'anathema'; which literally means 'off-limits/forbidden', and has ritual meaning, but is commonly used to mean 'repellent'. Abnett's a very keen wordsmith, and I think this subtlety is worth looking at.

Since Abnett's clearly drawing a connection between the two (hence the similarity of the words), and both the Anatheme and atheme are chaos-tainted knives; there's a correlation. The Anatheme seems to be something beyond the relatively crude atheme the Knife Brothers and Word Bearers have: perhaps owing to its Kinebrach origin. There's clearly something sinister about both – the Kinebrach have 'failed' in some way during their evolution. Is this due to their use/creation of warp-influenced artefacts? The Ultramarines note that the daemons are affected more by blades and fire than other weaponry – with an aside about the ritual function of blades and fire – so this primal nature of the atheme is important.

Anyway, my point is that I think Abnett intended the unique/rare Anatheme to be different to the common Atheme.

QUOTE
I remember daemon Fulgrim being responsible for G-man's mortal injury, do you think that the good chaps at BL are going to change that?

I imagine this is simply foreshadowing – it's a dramatic act that plays on and develops the similarities and differences that are continually referenced in the text between Guilliman and Horus.

Guilliman seems to be up and about fairly quickly after the Kor Phaeron incident; but given how much this book is drawing on other books in the series, and how much is seems to be setting up (there seem a lot of potential short story hooks!) for later events (see Oll again, for the ur-example), I'd be startled if the throat-slitting wasn't related in some way to Fulgrim's defeat of Guilliman afterwards.

Themes
I interpreted the throat-slitting as a fairly clear metaphor for the 'sacrifice of the innocent': a theme that runs through the novel. Examples:

Honorius – Even his name is symbolic; and the fact he's the first to die is important. Combine this with suitable paraphenalia (the goblet of wine is pretty common symbol of blood used in ritual) and the build-up by Sorot Tchure on the nature of using treachery as a weapon, and you have a pretty convincing example.

QUOTE
Selaton, still confied by the ethical parameters of the universe he used to understand[...]


In fact, there are too many examples.

BigWill - February 3, 2012 12:00 PM (GMT)
Sensei but it seems they are reconning it.
Abnett kind of brushes on it,when they were talking about the Cognitae.
He was looking for the Illuminated but they were a myth but the Cognitae were real.
Oll has been around since Jason and the Fugging Augnaughts and two other famous battles I never heard of but you guys have(must be a Europe thing :) )
Sounds like an Immortal to me.
The Illuminati is the cabal now,the Sensei thier agents.
Instead of being the Emps kids they are now Immortal by Xenos means.



ShroudFilm - February 3, 2012 12:36 PM (GMT)
No, we haven't forgotten that Guilliman gets his throat cut by Fulgrim at the battle of Thessala in 121.M31 ;)

The athame daggers are not 'anathames', by the way...

Plus, KP only draws a line of blood. Although if I were Guilliman, I'd be secretly terrified after that! :D Maybe "a daemon made him do it" when he wrote the Codex Astartes...? Time will tell!

Apologist - February 3, 2012 12:47 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
No, we haven't forgotten that Guilliman gets his throat cut by Fulgrim at the battle of Thessala in 121.M31

Which begs the question – will post-enthronement stories be covered? If so, will they be part of the Horus Heresy series?

QUOTE
The athame daggers are not 'anathames', by the way...

*Phew* I'd have looked pretty daft after that diatribe otherwise!

QUOTE
Plus, KP only draws a line of blood. Although if I were Guilliman, I'd be secretly terrified after that!

Would Guilliman be aware of how Horus turned after the Anatheme? :unsure:

QUOTE
Maybe "a daemon made him do it" when he wrote the Codex Astartes...? Time will tell!

It'd include more lolcats.

BigWill - February 3, 2012 01:59 PM (GMT)
Could tie into how Guilliman was kind of looking into building the second Imperium.
Might of shown him the same bleak future as Horus.
But Guilliman is a tactical genius,why go for the Emperor and become excommunicae when his Brother Horus is already doing this.
Let Horus have his run then if your father loses swoop in and take out Horus.
He was already working out how to run the Imperium Secundus.

The Heresy turned out how it did and it is funny how the Ultras are now calling the shots.
Dorn and quite a few others did not agree.
That is why they almost came to full outright war,until Dorn relented.

He probally had his fill of killing people who were once his closest allies so for the first time Dorn backs down.
I think the Iron Cage was always intended to be Dorns last Stand,it was not a way to cleane the Legion by fire.
The only reason the Fists are alive is because they Ultras interviened.
Guilliman would not let Dorn go out in a blaze of glory.

10k years later and the Space Marines are mostly all made Guillimans image


I think there will always be a HH type series for BL.
It will switch from Horus Heresy to Scouring at some point then a few years later switch again,perhaps the Apostasy.

I think there will now always be a BL series that goes back and investigates the past 40k in through detail.
And for more than just one battle,thats what SMB series is for.

Azkaellon - February 3, 2012 02:29 PM (GMT)
shroud any answer to the missing chapter 8?

Pacific - February 3, 2012 06:39 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (ShroudFilm @ Feb 2 2012, 06:51 PM)
Tarik Torgaddon, aye.

In one of the 'Loken lives' threads that sprung up all over the place some time ago, I was lamenting the fact that he couldn't have had a glorious end on Istvaan, rather than having it Hollywood/Marvel Comic-ised.

At the time I joked that it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried to bring Torgaddon back as well, perhaps with his head mounted on the top of a rhino.

Well, I was half right (but disappointed they didn't go with the rhino idea).


malika - February 7, 2012 11:11 AM (GMT)
One thing I didn't fully get. I haven't finished the book yet, so correct me if I'm wrong here.

Ok, so we have John Grammaticus making a come back in this book. But in Legion it was hinted at that he killed himself. I assumed this would have been his final death. If that were the case, how come could he contact Oll on Calth, which is several years after the events of Legion?

Or is it that the death of a Perpetual is kind of like how a Timelord from Doctor Who dies (the body dies, but regenerates into a different actor)?

BigWill - February 7, 2012 11:59 AM (GMT)
They don't get into it,but I would highly think so.
I do not think you get to leave the Cabal,he died once in Anatoly hive and was brought back what is stopping them from doing it again.

ShroudFilm - February 7, 2012 12:47 PM (GMT)
I thought Grammaticus and the rest of the Perpetuals had been covered quite clearly:

'I just want to live my life.’
‘Don’t be greedy. You’ve lived several.'

'I’m only what I am now thanks to xenos intervention. You, you’re still a true Perpetual. You’re still like him.’

'There are only three like us in the whole Five Hundred Worlds right now, and only one of them on Calth. Ground zero.'



QUOTE (Azkaellon @ Feb 3 2012, 02:29 PM)
shroud any answer to the missing chapter 8?

Yeah - a pesky OCTED data daemon got into the cogitators at this end! :lol:

It was in Dan's original manuscript. I can but ask.

QUOTE (Pacific @ Feb 3 2012, 06:39 PM)
At the time I joked that it wouldn't surprise me if someone tried to bring Torgaddon back as well, perhaps with his head mounted on the top of a rhino.

I told you all years ago that Dan planned to bring Torgaddon back. He said so at a GenCon Q&A.

Once again, no one listened! :rolleyes:

malika - February 7, 2012 12:57 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
'I’m only what I am now thanks to xenos intervention. You, you’re still a true Perpetual. You’re still like him.’


but the Cabal intervened on Terra already, that was mentioned in Legion. At the end of that same book it was hinted that Grammaticus commited suicide for real this time. So what explains his return on Calth?

BigWill - February 7, 2012 01:05 PM (GMT)
I remeber them all Shroud.
You forget that was on the old boards.
Still waiting for the storyline with elements in common with the Star Wars cartoon.
Could explain why a certain Angel rocks two hairstyles.

ShroudFilm - February 7, 2012 01:24 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (malika @ Feb 7 2012, 12:57 PM)
At the end of that same book it was hinted that Grammaticus commited suicide for real this time. So what explains his return on Calth?

Key word: hinted.

He is back, and he's no longer alone.

Dargor - February 7, 2012 01:38 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (ShroudFilm @ Feb 7 2012, 01:24 PM)
He is back, and he's no longer alone.

Oh, hells yeah!

user posted image


:D

ShroudFilm - February 7, 2012 01:45 PM (GMT)
user posted image

BigWill - February 7, 2012 06:15 PM (GMT)
yes well pointed out some of the perpetuals were probally women

malika - February 7, 2012 08:32 PM (GMT)
But they seem to have "previous" incarnations. Does this mean they are Timelords? :lol:

IngoPech - March 9, 2012 06:44 PM (GMT)
"Oh, Roboute, I can always rely on you to sound like a giant pompous arsehole..."

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


Worth reading this book just for that bit.

That said, the book is really amazing :D Can't wait for his next one!!

Magos Explorator - March 10, 2012 02:55 PM (GMT)
Just wanted to pop in and say I got the book last week, read it, enjoyed it immensely. I agree with Apologist's comments/ideas. Really good job, so I hope Dan Abnett knows how great we think it is. :) Shroud, please pass that on!

As well as the Astartes stuff, the nature of some interpersonal relationships within the Mechanicum was a nice addition.

What I took from the 'Perpetuals' comments was some form of reincarnation. Perhaps they're the souls of shamans, and the Emperor is the most powerful as he was (in the old fluff, at least) a merging of the souls of (some/all remaining?) shamans.

Interesting also that Oll worships a deity--I wonder which one? The name 'Pius' is a nice link to that.




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