Saturday, November 03, 2012
Fear to Tread • Horus Heresy novel review
So I've started to read the Blood Angels novel by James Swallow. So far so good for the most part but a lot of epic sheet has already been foreshadowed... And to be honest it's not looking too rosy. Maybe that is the price we Blood Angel fans must pay... A tragically flawed Legion. Knowing what I know I am drawn to read the rest and see how this dark tale plays out.
Most (if not all) of the Blood Angel novels written by James Swallow were poorly received by many Blood Angel fans. I remember all the hate over on the Bolter and Chainsword Blood Angels forum each time a new Blood Angels novel was released by the Black Library. Stop to think about it - it's possible no other Legion has so many successor chapters played in the game - Blood Knights, Blood Saints, Flesh Tearers, Lamenters, the Angels Sanguine... Just to name a few and it's a very long list indeed.
I've read every one of James Swallow's Blood Angels novels... The one where the Fabius Bile's monstrosities drank Sanguinius' blood from the holy chalice made me laugh out loud... It was so bad it was funny in a very bad way. It just seems like everything Swallow writes about Blood Angels is centered on the Legion's flaws. I know you can't make everyone happy but it really takes quite an effort to piss off so many fans. I'd love to read just one novel that focuses on the many strengths of Legion. Their background according to Swallow leaves me wondering if it's not the Blood Angels who are the Legion closest to turning to Chaos. Sure it's the same kind of thing with the Dark Angels and Gav Thorpe but I don't think that really surprises anyone whose been in the hobby long enough to know about what happened on Caliban when the Lion finally returned. We also have Adam Dembroski (sp? Sorry) who always seems to feature his naughty Night Lords wrecking face on the Blood Angels every chance he gets... I remember his much loved character Talos chopping up a Blood Angels Venerable dreadnaught with only a power sword the slimy git had stolen from none other than another Blood Angel hero - pathetic.
Still I have a bit of hope this novel will be better than Swallow's previous works. If nothing else hopefully I can learn more about the Blood Angels' history and I have always been fascinated with Sanguinius. There is some secret background regarding Sanguinius and the battle versus Horus at the end of the Heresy. Supposedly it was Sanguinius who actually killed Horus succumbing to the utter madness of the Black Rage... It's kind of creepy but makes a lot of sense to me and is fitting in my mind. That's all I know... Maybe it was the Emperor who had to finally put down the Angel.
It's very sad in that the Emperor met his demise at the hands of his two most loved sons but then again he did it to himself. There is also some secret background that Rogal Dorn slaved the Emperor to the Golden Throne in a fit of jealousy. Dorn is also one of my very favorite Primarchs.
I'll weigh in again on this novel as I read more. I've written more articles here on Blood Angels than any other subject - they are very dear to me.