Saturday, August 20, 2011

Just finished Fulgrim

Over last weekend I finished Fulgrim and just have to write about it. The book is the 5th book in the Horus Heresy series and is written by the Scottish wonder Graham McNeil. It contains many different plots that tackle the evolution (or devolution) of The III Legion into Chaos Marines in the service of Slaanesh. There is the slow (very slow at times) twisting of the ideals of The Emperor's Children Legion (III) from seeking perfection to excess. Lucius's arrogance and price turns him in a corrupted reflection of himself. Fabius Bile begins modifying Space Marine's biological implants to make them more perfect. There is also the corruption of the Legion played out in the Remembrancers art work which culminates in Bequa Kynska's (with the light blue hair) Maraviglia performance.

Fulgrim and Ferrus in their final battle.
I liked the book but then again Graham could write the phone book and I would be enraptured. There were times when him A and C plots would go faster than his B plot and things would appear to stall out. For example, he frequently revisits the Remembrancers and their interactions with the Marines of the Legion. There were parts when the narrative flashes to one of the artists and they register horror at the excess that the Legions seems to be slipping into. then 50 pages later, he does it again. I get what he was trying to do but it moved a little slow at times.

One of my favorite parts was the brotherhood that Fulgrim had with Ferrus Manus his brother Primarch. It was just as touching to see the depth of their friendship as it was heartbreaking to see Fulgrim's betrayal.I would have liked to see more of this and earlier on in the book. Perhaps Ferrus and Fulgrim fighting a common foe in the first few chapters.

I really enjoyed seeing the events of Isstvan III from a slightly different perspective. In one of the other books (It might have been Galaxy in Flames), you saw the battle and betrayal from the perspective of the Death Guard Legion. In Fulgrim, you see it from the side of the betrayed Emperor's Children. Lucius' betrayal was also really well done and worthy of a movie. Visceral.

I would have liked to see more from the destruction of the Salamanders, Raven Guard and Iron hands on Isstvan V, but I don't know how that could have been possible without getting boring. I want to see and feel more of the horror and betrayal when the Traitor Legions turn on their brothers. I am sure that this pivotal moment in the Heresy will be revisited in the future.

Next up is Descent of Angels in the Horus Heresy series and, judging by the title, we are going to see some action from the two-faced Dark Angels. I can't wait to start it but I promised myself that I would intersperse 40k reading with other reading. I have picked out Death from the Skies by the Bad Astronomer Phil Plait. It should be light and fun reading and I should be off the 40k reading wagon in a few weeks.

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