This is a book about journeys reaching crucial moments, not necessarily endings but tests, revelations and turning points for the characters and for the series as a whole There s an awful lot for it to cover, and while it might not be to everyone s taste it manages to combine a lot of threads including a few really big ones into a narrative that s entertaining, intriguing and complex In an ideal world then perhaps the two arcs would have been told in separate books, but then Swallow s Garro stories have always been about gradually digging into his motivations and the lengths he s prepared to go so it makes sense to bring his story almost to a close alongside a fascinating character study of his estranged Primarch After this, all that s left is to watch as the Siege unfolds.
Read the full review at A fitting end to the series , well thought out strong character development so many lose ends tied up and any opened , the siege has begun Very much the novel I hoped Swallow had in him He does a masterful job of tying all the loose threads regarding Mortarion, Typhus and Garro and besides Oh And those fellas that become the first Grey Knights Specifically the one among their number whobut that would be telling.
The beginning of the end.
It all comes down to this Fathers and sons thoughts and deads betrayal from many quarters In the distance at last the light of the Sol system.
a fitting end.
All the pieces are now in place The four Ruinous Powers have their respective Princes as of this book I have mixed feelings about James Swallow s writing His Blood Angel books, including Fear to Tread are just suboptimal His first two Rafen books are just plain bad However, I ve gobbled up his Nathaniel Garro books as if they were ice cream, and since The Buried Dagger is a Death Guard novel, it has a lot of Garro.
This was a wild ride, with plotlines for Garro, Loken, Malcador, and Mortarion of course One thing is clear while we know how this saga ends, we sure as heck have a lot stories within it to read.
Only one gripe the novel directly contradicts two short stories, The Last Council and Grandfather s Gift , giving alternate versions of the events in those shorts.
I m going to try and keep this spoiler free, but I will make reference to the Dramatis Personae and blurb.
This book represents the mono style books that everyone was after in the early days of the series It has Mortarion s origin story and the climax of the Death Guard Nurgle story It also has an original series of events happening on Terra which is overlaid with a climax event for one set of characters and an origin story for another set of characters if you have seen the Dramatis Personae you will know what I mean.
I can t know how you will feel about the main blurb story if you have no idea of where this leads, but if you have any knowledge and or love of Mortarion and the Death Guard in 40k, as I do, I would strongly suggest that you skip this book If you can imagine the most pedestrian take on the origin story and the Nurgle Death guard climax, then this is it You will imagine a better narrative by not reading this book or that is, at least, how I feel.
The story on Terra is generally a bore It is a tying up of loose ends from earlier stories and, whilst some of the easter eggs, and specific scenes, are fun, the overall novel just does not hit the mark It felt like it was tidying things up ready for the next series.
The characters are also deficient They don t come over as individuals save the 4 biggest players Malcador in particular feels too flippant, opaque and reckless and Mortarion feels too much like a naive child.
Excellent finish for the lead up to the Solar War the story of Mortarion s early years is an amazing story, the author managed to make him seem human and almost a sympathetic figure While at the same time revealing Malcador the Sigillite as a far powerful figure, something that has been hinted at previously, but here he puts all of his power on display.
Good enough Slow start, meh middle, good last few chapters read if you re a 40k geek, or fans of Grey kniggets or Death Guard emos, or the Horus Heresy story.
But it has its good moments Mortarion s war on Barbarus is interesting, with the character getting a lot depth than he probably would have if it was just about the fall to Chaos That story is also fine, but as I said there aren t any real twists that those who know the story of the Death Guard didn t know about And it s not as fleshed out as I would expect from something about the Death Guard and Nurgle we don t really see the horror that unfolds as much as I would have liked I don t usually do gore it s not something I seek out as entertainment but I ve seen other stories do this better.
Tying in the origin of the Grey Knights was an odd choice as well Sure Garro plays a role in that but beyond the story of a chaos incursion on Terra before Horus arrives for the final battle it doesn t have much to do with the Death Guard It all feels like tying up loose ends before the battle, something which could have been left to other stories.
But as I say it s fine There are bits which stick like Mortarion s past, the somewhat brief description of the destroyer plague and where Mortarion finally falls to Chaos But if I was suggesting a compelling story about a once proud legion falling to the darkness, I d recommend plenty of Horus Heresy books other than this one.
It s nice to have some loose ends addressed mind, but if this came out a few years before I may have been singing its praises At the least I appreciate that this event has been accounted for So now all that s left is the Siege of Terra, so that should be good.
For Long Years, The Horus Heresy Has Ground On Now, The Death Guard Have Been Sent To Begin The Final Battle But Mortarion And His Sons Must Face Their Gravest Challenge First For Nurgle Has Claimed Them As His Own, And He Will Not Be Denied The Skies Darken Over Terra As The Final Battle For The Throne Looms Ever Closer As The Traitor Primarchs Muster To The Warmaster S Banner, It Is Mortarion Who Is Sent Ahead As The Vanguard Of The Traitor Forces But As He And His Warriors Make Way, They Become Lost In The Warp And Stricken By A Terrible Plague Once Thought Of As Unbreakable, The Legendary Death Guard Are Brought To Their Knees To Save His Legion, Mortarion Must Strike A Most Terrible Bargain That Will Damn His Sons For Eternity Meanwhile, In The Cloisters Of Holy Terra, A Plot Is Afoot To Create Sedition And Carnage In Advance Of The Horus S Armies Taking Matters Into His Own Hands, Malcador The Sigillite Seeks To Put A Stop To Any Insurrection But Discovers A Plot That He Will Need All Of His Cunning And Battle Craft To Overcome