Monday, May 7, 2018

New Book Review - Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero

Book - Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero
Writer - Graham McNeill
Series - Horus Heresy: Primarchs #3
Published By - Games Workshop / Black Library

Actually, this is the first Primarchs book that I read. I was always curious about knowing more about Magnus and when I finally got the chance I couldn't pass it up. He always seemed one of the most interesting Primarch to me and this book added to the mythos in quite a predictable and enjoyable way. While being a bit slow reading for my taste I really enjoyed the theme of two soon to be doomed legions trying to save a doomed world. The details into these characters and their interactions does paint a vivid picture of the early days of 'The Great Crusade' while giving a sense of impending failure of this immense task.

Unlike many 40k books, instead of being too much battle oriented, this one takes rather a philosophical route. We get two legions, 'Thousand Sons' & 'Iron Warriors' in their early days in 'The Great Crusade', still having their idealistic world-views and trying to save a doomed world. Through their struggle to achieve the impossible and daunting task we get a premonition of their own impending fall into chaos as the face an unorthodox moral dilemma.

In between are interspersed some truly remarkable bits of action sequences, showcasing the psychic mastery of the 'Thousand Sons' as well as the brutal arrogance of the 'Iron Warriors'. We even get a glimpse of how powerful Magnus actually is. The overall sense of despair is rather fleshed out nicely through the prose and execution, and trough the sparsity of the presence of real and palpable action.

The two Primarchs present here really are doing quite right and we get a never before seen approach of their minds in times when all the legions were together. The other side-characters were also quite well fleshed out and I specially enjoyed viewing a naive and young 'Ahriman' at work here.

Yet the sense of too much doom is also a negative factor in the book at times. As a reader I knew 'Morningstar' was not gonna survive this experience just after a few chapters in and that rather took the enjoyment out at times, as I kept thinking all this effort will be in vain in the end. I also would have loved a bit more information regarding 'Magnus', specially addressing some things for newer readers.

In the end, I will give this one 3.5 out of 5 stars.

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