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Master of Sanctity


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26 replies to this topic

#1
Phoebus

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I'm four chapters into the novel so far, and it's looking good.

There are new revelations in the background of the Dark Angels, especially as relates to their rituals and secrets. There's even an unexpected twist in regards to membership in the Inner Circle - or, at any rate, I thought it was a twist.

Asmodai's talk with Sapphon in the opening chapters was... great! It was everything I expected from the former (who is not exactly my favorite character), but it was tempered by everything I hoped for the latter. Thus far, I'm impressed by Gav's take on Sapphon.

More to follow!

#2
Terrahawk

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I must admit I have equal amounts of excitiment and dread over this book. But glad to hear it's shaping out to be a solid book. smile.png Please keep us posted and maybe even share a spoiler or two!



#3
Varizel

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It was pretty good so far... i'm halfway through the book. First chapter i already saw errors though

Spoiler

 

But the big one is I have some rant about the book about my particular company.

 

Spoiler

/end of rant

 

I'd prob finish the book tomorrow, but so far it was quite interesting. There are some parts that i don't like,

Spoiler

 

Sapphon however is pretty cool, at least up to half way the book. 

 

Edit: Finished the book..... i thought Ravenwing was better. But the ending... omg the ending.

Spoiler

Edited by Varizel, 06 June 2014 - 09:46 PM.

I am Wrath. I am Steel. I am the mercy of angels.


#4
Hexagon Sun

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I must admit I have equal amounts of excitiment and dread over this book. But glad to hear it's shaping out to be a solid book.

 

Very much this. I must resist the spoilers for another couple of weeks...



#5
Tanyr

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Finished it as well, overall, i don't wish i had the time spent reading the book refunded, so it was a worthy addition to the list of novels about the Unforgiven.

 

Spoiler


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#6
Azoriel

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My own thoughts:

Spoiler



#7
Tanyr

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Spoiler


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#8
Lucien Eilam

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But the big one is I have some rant about the book about my particular company.

 

The codex states that the majority of Company Masters are not members of the Inner Circle:

 

Members of the Inner Circle include the Chapter’s Librarians, the Interrogator-Chaplains, and a small number of Company Masters, including the leaders of the 1st and 2nd Companies.

 

Table-top rules are rarely the complete picture. Codex Dark Angels is themed entirely around the hunt for the Fallen, so it makes sense that the Company Master it presents is one who is a member of the Inner Circle.


When I hear the phrase “progress the storyline”, I reach for my bolt pistol.

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#9
Brother-Sergeant Bohemond

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Its daft to not have Company Master's as members of the Inner Circle...who better to take the appropriate course of action? 

 

For those who have the book, are then any added names, for example the Master of the Third?



#10
Azoriel

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Sorry, forgot the spoiler tags (though I doubt much of anything is being spoiled from these quotes):

Spoiler

 

Conversely, however, Gav Thorpe has historically viewed the term Inner Circle as being more inclusive than Deathwing; though the current codex says every member of the Deathwing is in the Inner Circle, it was previously established that the Inner Circle was only those in the higher most tiers of leadership.  It could be that Mr. Thorpe is using the term Inner Circle in the latter sense.  Elsewise, we've got a lot of VERY exceptional Company Masters who completely bypass membership in the 1st Company prior to making master. 

Spoiler
wacko.png


Edited by Azoriel, 07 June 2014 - 10:45 PM.


#11
Azoriel

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In regards to the ships involved in the latter portions of the book, it would seem I need to read more carefully:

 

Spoiler



#12
Brother-Sergeant Bohemond

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I think we can reconcile the CM dilemma through accepting that, based on most fluff sources, they were, once DW and presumably are members of the Inner Circle. However, not all will be included in the inner, inner circle where the big leagues move.

 

Although for practical reasons, it makes sense that all CM's know, and it sounds like Gav just wanted to create pointless tension within the Chapter again



#13
Phoebus

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So I got done reading Master of Sanctity a few hours ago.  It took me a little longer than I would have liked to finish it, but two boys (one 13 months old, the other less than a month!) will make that a difficult prospect.

 

Personally, I thought this novel was a good, fun read overall.  I thought it was chock-full with the sort of detail that fans of the Dark Angels will enjoy (more on that later).  I thought it was better than Ravenwing, and miles and miles above The Purging of Kadillus.  In fact, I'd say the only thing Angels of Darkness has on it is the sheer shock factor that came with Astelan's accusations.

 

Probably the strongest point of the novel is the interactions between the characters.  We don't get enough of Belial's point of view, which is a shame, but Gav did a very good job with Sapphon and Asmodai.  I was a huge critic of Asmodai's Index Astartes article, as well as the way he's shown in the Codex.  While Gav didn't shy away from making Asmodai seem every bit as fanatical in this story, he just did a fine job of showing his rage in context and voicing his beliefs and why he is the way he is.  I tip my hat to Gav for that.

 

Is Master of Sanctity perfect?  No.  I think it starts off very strong, gets lost a bit near the middle (though in a very fun way!), feels a little forced near the end, but recovers with a pretty shocking cliffhanger (those of you who have clicked on earlier spoilers know what I mean).  But here's the thing.  Remember how Ferocious Beast spoke earlier about Gav-bashing?  While I'm sure folks with a keen eye for all things Dark Angels and Warhammer 40k will spot a few things they won't like, I don't think anyone can walk away from this novel worrying about Gav Thorpe not being the right man to write about the Unforgiven.

 

A quick side-note:

 

One of the things a reader has to be prepared for when reading Master of Sanctity is that Gav paints a different picture of 40k.  Some people refer to Abnett's take on 40k as "The Abnettverse", or "The Danverse".  Those who read Ravenwing should probably know by now that Gav has a different take on Warhammer 40k.  He is more of the Old School.  His Space Marines are not familiar with the Traitor Legions, with Chaos, with Daemons, with the Warp, etc.  It's kind of a hurdle to get over.

 

Moving on.

 

I don't really want to spoil any of the storyline.  There are a couple of things I want to share regarding the plot in subsequent posts, just to see if others felt the same way.  Those will be specially marked.  The spoilers in this post, however, are simply things that I think people on this forum might appreciate - in terms of Warhammer 40k and Dark Angels-related background.

 

Regarding knowledge of the Fallen:

 

Spoiler

 

Regarding Dark Angels indoctrination...  Oh, man, did this one raise my eyebrows!  Gav really went grimdark with this, in my opinion!

 

Spoiler

 

I'm really curious to hear what you all have to say about that!

 

Regarding the Inner Circle:

 

Spoiler
 
I'll offer some more stuff tomorrow.  Before I log off, though, I wanted to share a couple of interesting things about modeling possibilities.  A few times, topics have raised the complaint that certain characters who are members of the Inner Circle don't wear Tactical Dreadnought Armour.  Guess who shows up in Terminator armour in this novel?

Asmodai.  He fights with a combi-plasma to back up his crozius.
 
And Sapphon.  No weapon is mentioned other than his crozius.
 
No Terminator love for Ezekiel... but he was not involved in any battles to begin with.  And it should be noted that both Asmodai and Sapphon wear power armour at other parts of the novel.
 
Oh, and something else.  Clearly, the Dark Angels didn't get the memo about pulling lances off of their strike cruisers.  Yes!

Edited by Phoebus, 08 June 2014 - 07:27 AM.


#14
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Awesome. Any spoilers on the story line? Thanks.


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#15
Phoebus

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Master of Sanctity picks up directly after the ending of Ravenwing.  If you haven't read that novel, STOP HERE

 

Ravenwing ended with the capture of Methelas, who, along with Anovel, was a companion of Astelan's - from Angels of Darkness.  The Inner Circle hopes to break Methelas and gain the knowledge they need to capture Cypher.  At its heart, Master of Sanctity is about that effort, and the two Dark Angels leading it:  Sapphon and Asmodai.  It's also about the conflict between those two men; they both desire the same thing, but their very different mindsets and methods put them constantly at odds.

 

Asmodai is a zealot and a fanatic, an individual who knows no doubt whatsoever about his calling and his duty.  His hatred of the Fallen is absolute.  He is quite incapable with identifying with other points of view.  Empathy is an alien concept to him.  Sapphon, on the other hand, was chosen specifically because he's a bit of a "rebel" - an unconventional thinker, if you will.

 

There is also a sub-plot that continues from Ravenwing.  Methelas's capture led to the promotion of Telemenus, Menthius, and Daellon to the Deathwing, and of Annael and Sabrael to the Black Knights of the Ravenwing.  We see their adventure continue, as well.

 

Warning.  The spoiler below is fairly comprehensive.  Read at your own peril - there won't be any surprises about the plot after you go through this.  I don't touch on the cool conversations, arguments, or most of the action... but it really does take a lot from the enjoyment of the book.  If you don't want the main plotline spoiled, by all means:  ask me specific questions instead, and I'll answer them here.  smile.png

 

Spoiler


Edited by Phoebus, 08 June 2014 - 09:15 PM.


#16
Augustus

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It was better than Ravenwing. Sapphon has some cool lined and juxtaposes nicely with Asmodai. But I can't shake the feeling that Gav portrays the DA as little better than Keystone Cops

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#17
FerociousBeast

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Just finished the book yesterday afternoon (when I was supposed to be working, don't tell my boss!) and have a few thoughts. I'll start with what I didn't like, because I'm a negative nancy, but overall I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it. It's much better than Gav's other Dark Angel novels, and I include Angels of Darkness in that summation. I agree with Phoebus that with this novel, we can finally hope for an end to all the Gav-bashing.

 

My biggest problem with the book is that there's just way too much introspection and navel gazing. Sapphon, Annael, and Telemenus come across as insecure, unsure, and a little sad. Not traits I normally associate with genetically modified, hypnodoctrinated, psychopathic killing machines whose idea of worship is blasting apart xenos, heretics, and traitors.

 

However, that's actually my beef with all of the Black Library writers, and to be fair I imagine it would be very challenging to write a novel from the perspective of a Space Marine. Speaking as a writer myself, it's hard not to write yourself into each of your characters, and if you don't happen to be a genetically modified, hypnodoctrinated, psychopathic killing machine, I can imagine it's a challenge to get inside one's head.

 

So that's my biggest issue, but I'm willing to overlook it because ALL BL writers do it. Other than that, my other main qualms are:

1) The prose is just okay, there are better writers in the BL stable

2) The narrative is uneven in that Gav lingers on certain scenes and does them justice while other scenes really needed more exposition

3) Relatedly, the book needs to be longer to do justice to some of the scenes

4) It's pretty predictable in that

Spoiler

 

So those are my issues. I wrote a lot there, big block of text, but the novel's really not too bad in the balance! I'll write up what I like about the book in a separate post as this one is dragging on.


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#18
Chaplain Lucifer

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My biggest problem with the book is that there's just way too much introspection and navel gazing. Sapphon, Annael, and Telemenus come across as insecure, unsure, and a little sad. Not traits I normally associate with genetically modified, hypnodoctrinated, psychopathic killing machines whose idea of worship is blasting apart xenos, heretics, and traitors.

 

Some authors tend to use this kind of gimmicks as to convey more personality and humanity to  SM characters.. I think it's an attempt to stray away from the previsible hero that is super in every aspect. But the problem is that this should be used in moderation, like salt.. too much and it will ruin a nice dish.


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#19
Phoebus

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I agree that Sapphon seemed a bit too much harried for a Space Marine, but I was able to overcome that given the situation he was in:

Spoiler

 

And that's valid, I think.

 

Where Telemenus is concerned....  Well, I'm going to be honest.  I didn't care so much about his demeanor as I did about him and ...

 

Spoiler

 

There's just no indication that they were THAT needed by Belial.

 

My biggest "real" complaint, however, is just the fact that the third part of the book feels forced.  Ferocious Beast's item #4 is a large part of that.  I don't think that Sapphon every truly ...

 

Spoiler



#20
Prot

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I'm four chapters into the novel so far, and it's looking good.

There are new revelations in the background of the Dark Angels, especially as relates to their rituals and secrets. There's even an unexpected twist in regards to membership in the Inner Circle - or, at any rate, I thought it was a twist.

Asmodai's talk with Sapphon in the opening chapters was... great! It was everything I expected from the former (who is not exactly my favorite character), but it was tempered by everything I hoped for the latter. Thus far, I'm impressed by Gav's take on Sapphon.

More to follow!

 

So this is worth buying then?

 

I never finished Ravenwing... kinda got bored, but if this is the second part, I'll chug through it and give this a try.


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#21
FerociousBeast

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OK, I meant to get to this a long time ago, but haven't, and the story is rapidly draining from my all too porous memory, so I'm going to briefly recap what (I remember of what) I like about this story. There are a couple very minor spoilers, but they don't give anything away of the plot. I've spoiler tagged it, but I'm not giving away anything terribly surprising, except I guess maybe the last one. Which is separately spoilered.

 

In no particular order.

 

Spoiler

 

That's all I can think of at the moment. Overall a really solid entry in BL's 40k lineup, and one of if not the the best Dark Angel novels I've read.


Dark Angel Codex Project:
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FB's Greatest Hits:
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Fear and the Fearless: Just what do the Dark Angels and their primarch fear?
The Role of Terminator Squads in Codex: Space Marines: An analysis

#22
Lucien Eilam

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this is the first time that fighting in Terminator armor has been so fully fleshed out

 

It's good, but I wouldn't say it's the first time. Death of Integrity had a lot more of this stuff.


When I hear the phrase “progress the storyline”, I reach for my bolt pistol.

“In general, we have found that the more scenery you can place on the battlefield, the better the game will be.”

Lightbringers Space Marines


#23
Cpt_Reaper

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So I finally got my hands on Master of Sanctity. I haven't finished it yet but I feel uber compelled to give a review so far, and why this book strengthened my love of the First Legion.

 

As many of you are aware, MoS drops right into the action, picking up where Ravenwing left off. The surviving main characters have been promoted and are training in their new roles. That, however, is not the focal point of my little write up. I shall just summarize as otherwise I'd write too much. I will focus on the two Chaplains of the story.

 

- Asmodai: Ok...the codex showed him to be a bit of a jerk. He does all the Chaplain-y things like monitor for corruption and stuff, but forgets to be the "big brother" role. Fraternity is in his eyes, a waste of effort. This is overlooked because he puts the Interrogator back into Interrogator-Chaplain...and we see why. He literally blacks out while he is...um...interrogating. For 5 hours. I'm not even sure he wants them to give in, he just goes to town. As far as genetically-enhanced man-children go, Asmodai scares the hell out of me.

 

- Sapphon: The Grand Master of Chaplains is what Asmodai isn't. He cares for his brethren, thinks highly of fraternity and is more of a calm leader but at the same time isn't "the best" interrogator because he prefers a more subtle approach to Asmodai's "punch it until it dies or talks."

 

Where the two truly differ is not the means to their end goals but the end goals when dealing with Fallen. Asmodai would rather kill a Fallen outright than try to extract information which in his mind can only be lies and nothing else. Sapphon on the other hand would rather try to coerce his captive into giving up the other Fallen so as to save time and make use of all resources. The way the two characters work, being the exact opposite to each other is just beautiful.

Did I mention Asmodai scares me...more than anything I have read about Dark Eldar.



#24
Cyfax

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Well I just finished Master of Sanctity and I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it, and can definitely recommend it to others considering getting/reading it.

 

Development of the characters from the previous book was good but mainly getting a more in depth look into the unknown Sapphon and giving Asmodai some more depth was great. I know I'll be converting a Sapphon in the near future biggrin.png (and here's to hoping that this novel also offers the possibility of a dataslate for him in the future, instead of the character being forgotten).

 

I also really enjoy the 'deeper' themes of the novels so far (incl. Angels of Darkness) and I'm interested to see where the 'Fallen Storyline' will go. As in, will the Hunt never end or will we get a glimpse of what happens to the DA after the Hunt? (which I felt is one of these 'deeper' themes)

 

All in all a very enjoyable read as DA fan


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#25
Tanyr

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I hope the Hunt never ends. As much as it seems to shoehorn us into  certain stories, the fact that it allows us to have those stories in the first place makes it worth keeping. Other chapters have trivia, snippets, articles, etc...we have history. The Hunt has given the Unforgiven a depth that the overwhelming majority of the other chapters lack. While we don't always have the authors commonly deemed "the best" to do our novels, I've not read any that pushed me further from the Dark Angels, only dragged me further in. 

 

The world of 40k is grimdark. Nothing new there, but our hunt lets us seamlessly mesh with that universe. Take it away, and while we might become more acceptable to fans who want "heroes", we would risk losing what it is we already have. 


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