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Carrion Throne review and opinions


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#101
cheywood

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Good interview, nice info on Carrion Throne and Emperor's Legion as well.
So Chris confirms the Jagathai Khan Primarchs novel, but no word on HH novel from him.
He didn't want to say what he was writing right now but referred to it as back to 40k.


Sounded like he was referring obliquely to the Space Wolves, but maybe that's just me projecting my desire to see the Blood of Asaheim trilogy finished.
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#102
b1soul

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Would be very sad if Chris doesn't do WS at the Siege

Also, I hope Restorer is not the last we see of Shiban
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#103
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Would be very sad if Chris doesn't do WS at the Siege

Also, I hope Restorer is not the last we see of Shiban

No insider teasing here but I'm expecting more from Wraight at the final stages. I also expect them to tap other writers like Haley to deliver. :cuss, I think Josh Reynolds would even surprise us with a nice different viewpoint on the Heresy.


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#104
HeritorA

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Chris's interview is up! 

http://traffic.libsy...__NOVA_open.mp3

 

 
Robert regales us with his time at Nova Open and all the news that came out of the event. Next, Chris Wraight from Black Library returns to chat about his new Inquisition book, Carrion Throne, and what we can look forward to from him coming down the pipeline.
 
time stamp
00:00 - 01:13 intro, Nova Open news & coverage

01:13 - 01:47 Chris Wraight interview, The Carrion Throne & more!

 
@wraightc
www.blacklibrary.com

 

 

Amazing intervie. Ty

More spoilers ahead is always welcome. You are too restricted with old stuff msn-wink.gif



#105
b1soul

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@veterannoob

I believe Chris said he wasn't sure whether he'd be handling the Vth Legion at the Siege...I'm keeping my fingers crossed
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#106
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@veterannoob

I believe Chris said he wasn't sure whether he'd be handling the Vth Legion at the Siege...I'm keeping my fingers crossed

We both are. He need to be the one doing Scars counterattack at Lions spaceport



#107
klisof

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Special Edition of The Emperors Legion pre-ordered wub.gif , now to avoid spoilers from all the people who prefer ebooks 


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#108
Olis

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My impressions from the book certainly paint it in a similar vein to Abnett's older Eisenhorn and Ravenor series - it would be difficult to talk of Carrion Throne without acknowledging the clear influence that these antecedents had. Of course, in the foreword, Wraight himself mentions Abnett's work, as well as Ian Watson's, using terminology such as "seminal" and "compelling".

 

These books, these stories, explore the seedier, less well travelled side of 40k. The interesting side, in my humble opinion. The universe in which space marines and the chaos gods and guardsmen and battleships and all other manner of things that inhabit 40k exist (mostly on the tabletop or in a codex). It's here we see the human side of things. The world in which people must live. Wraight does a good job of painting that picture, elucidating us on the pilgrims and the Sanguinala, along with the entorpic city-scape that much of Terra has become. A lot of what we see are through the eyes of Spinoza, sometimes through the eyes of Crowl, and much of it is couched in the terms of an off-worlder. In this regard, Wraight does well in conveying the disconnected nature of Spinoza who is new to the Throneworld. Everything is not quite as she had thought it would be.

 

The introduction to other, allied figures in the story feels to me a little unsubtle. Whether or not this is because I am fully familiar with the tropes and the methods used to introduce these characters, I don't know. And, furthermore, I don't know if my experience reading influential sources such as Watson and Abnett's works feed into this. I believe these figures felt natural, interesting and individual - their interactions and interests not at all forced. Therefore, once all allegiances were revealed - pretty much only when the climax occurred - it did not break my immersion, though I was entirely unsurprised. 

 

This, I feel, is probably the main critique of the book for me. The world building, the pace, the prose and the depth to the characters work well, in fact the ride is enjoyable. However, it does verge on a 'by-the-numbers' feel, when you can accurately predict, even from the first scene, whether or not a character is going to be a problem later on. Again, I must say that this is not intrinsically bad writing. I think it was done well. But... it is not a master piece. Good? Yes, very good. Great? That is down to you. 


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#109
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My impressions from the book certainly paint it in a similar vein to Abnett's older Eisenhorn and Ravenor series - it would be difficult to talk of Carrion Throne without acknowledging the clear influence that these antecedents had. Of course, in the foreword, Wraight himself mentions Abnett's work, as well as Ian Watson's, using terminology such as "seminal" and "compelling".

 

These books, these stories, explore the seedier, less well travelled side of 40k. The interesting side, in my humble opinion. The universe in which space marines and the chaos gods and guardsmen and battleships and all other manner of things that inhabit 40k exist (mostly on the tabletop or in a codex). It's here we see the human side of things. The world in which people must live. Wraight does a good job of painting that picture, elucidating us on the pilgrims and the Sanguinala, along with the entorpic city-scape that much of Terra has become. A lot of what we see are through the eyes of Spinoza, sometimes through the eyes of Crowl, and much of it is couched in the terms of an off-worlder. In this regard, Wraight does well in conveying the disconnected nature of Spinoza who is new to the Throneworld. Everything is not quite as she had thought it would be.

 

The introduction to other, allied figures in the story feels to me a little unsubtle. Whether or not this is because I am fully familiar with the tropes and the methods used to introduce these characters, I don't know. And, furthermore, I don't know if my experience reading influential sources such as Watson and Abnett's works feed into this. I believe these figures felt natural, interesting and individual - their interactions and interests not at all forced. Therefore, once all allegiances were revealed - pretty much only when the climax occurred - it did not break my immersion, though I was entirely unsurprised. 

 

This, I feel, is probably the main critique of the book for me. The world building, the pace, the prose and the depth to the characters work well, in fact the ride is enjoyable. However, it does verge on a 'by-the-numbers' feel, when you can accurately predict, even from the first scene, whether or not a character is going to be a problem later on. Again, I must say that this is not intrinsically bad writing. I think it was done well. But... it is not a master piece. Good? Yes, very good. Great? That is down to you. 

 

Point is the novel (same with the Watchers of the Throne) - it gives you the main heroes of the novels - Throneworld and Imperium. The style which Wraight used for that truly gives life to the both of them. Is the plotline good - actually it's quite meh for both Carrion Throne and Watchers. But plotline was never the point to the both of them.

In the case of the first book Wraight did justice by Inqusition and Terra in W41K.

In Watchers he did the same for the Custodes and Sisters of Silence and Imperium at large



#110
b1soul

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I agree with the "very good" assessment.

Whether something is an incredible masterpiece is quite subjective, depending on what you're comparing it to
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#111
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I agree with the "very good" assessment.

Whether something is an incredible masterpiece is quite subjective, depending on what you're comparing it to

Well - in 'descriptiveness and glory' Carrion Throne > than 'Watchers'. In action (scenes) Watchers > than 'CT'. Watchers are very good. Carrion Throne is amazing.



#112
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HeritorA = Heretic

#113
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HeritorA = Heretic

 

HeritorA = Heritor Asphodel = great Magister of Chaos (definitely not killed by some imperial propaganda hero Commissar Gaunt at Vervunhive during the 'Necropolis' events) yes.gif

 

As for the Carrion Throne - guys let will be honest. Carrion Throne/Watchers of the Throne with the exception of BL is actually the best what happened to Black Library readers since the end of 2016/beginning of 2017.



#114
Phoebus

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I'm always a few months behind the release schedule, so while this isn't outright thread-o-mancy, I nonetheless apologize for bumping this topic up from its long sleep.

When we talk about tie-in fiction, we often give what might come across as a back-handed compliment: "this is a very good Warhammer 40k novel," or something to that effect. The Carrion Throne, in my opinion, is a very good novel, period, and at times approaches excellence. Someone who had never previously so much as perused a book about this setting could immerse themselves in The Carrion Throne, losing themselves in what struck me as a masterful depiction of a futuristic dystopia.

Having only gotten the eBook version of The Carrion Throne, I didn't get a chance to read the foreword. The influence Abnett and Watson had on this work, mentioned elsewhere in this topic, is palpable - but that's not a bad thing. One of my complaints about Warhammer 40k fiction is that its authors often sacrifice the dark, positively tragic elements that inform the setting for, well, kind of bland tales set in undistinguishable places. Wraight does well to reach back to some of the original works of 40k: the Inquisition War trilogy by Ian Watson, and the Eisenhorn and Ravenor works of Dan Abnett. To his credit, it never feels like he's aping either predecessor, but rather uses them as a frame of reference to craft his own distinct work. In some ways, it improves on the original.

At its best, The Carrion Throne succeeds in making the Terra of the 41st Millennium feel real, and that is a triumph in and of itself. Wraight masterfully makes you feel both the crushing oppression of day-to-day life on the Throneworld and the raw fanaticism felt by the stinking, dying, brainwashed masses of humanity. Wraight's vision of the colossal, decrepit planetary city-scape in which Crowl and Spinoza fight and toil is - to me - what Ridley Scott's vision of 21st century Los Angeles in Bladerunner was for cinema; it is a John Blanche painting, in the proverbial thousand words. When Crowl is brought within the Imperial Palace, I didn't just get a sense of the scale, but how it would have felt to be there - not just in terms of how big everything is, but what it would all mean to someone for whom the Imperial Creed is everything.

If you ask me, The Carrion Throne has two weaknesses:

1. As rich and powerful as the writing is throughout, once Wraight gets into the closing battles things get fast, loose, and generic. Most of the action leading to - and including - Spinoza's infiltration of the Angels' Tears sanctuary is well thought-out and reads right. The timing of the storm troopers' assaults, for instance, feels spot-on. The more pieces Wraight introduces, though, the more he relies on the standard tropes of Warhammer 40k fiction: vague descriptions of things and people doing bad things to one another.

2. The ending is just a big letdown. The Big Reveal doesn't happen until the tale is almost done and, unlike everything else shown up that point, feels poorly thought-out and... well... highly unlikely. It's understood that it represents monumental labor on the part of the villains; despite their plot being tied to perhaps the biggest problem of the Imperium, circa 999.M41, though, there is virtually no follow-up. There is no closure. There isn't even a proper "Some people are too powerful to go down, Crowl," moment.

All that having been said, I would recommend The Carrion Throne to anyone, unconditionally. It's not just one of the best Black Library novels I've read in a long time, but - to reemphasize my earlier point - one of the better novels I've read in a while, period.

Edited by Phoebus, 12 October 2017 - 12:24 AM.

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#115
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Phoebus other people have said this elsewhere, but, your reviews/considerations are really well done.  Point 2 is exactly what I felt but in no way could I articulate it in such a manner.

 

I don't think I can overstate how awesome the world created by Wraight is in this book.  I'd go so far to say it is a definitive entry work for the 40k grimdark setting?


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#116
Urriak Urruk

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So coincidentally, this thread was revived the same day I finally finish this book.

 

Just wanted to add that I probably enjoyed the "twist ending" more than most people who read this book, because I'm pretty sure the entire story was devised to explain away one obscure line from the Adeptus Mechanicus 7th Edition Codex.

 

"A malfunction is found in the Golden Throne by the Adeptus Mechanicus which they are unable to repair. Faced with this cataclysmic scenario, the Tech-Priests become desperate and ally with a faction of Xanthite Inquisitors. Launching an expedition into the Webway, the Tech-Priest and Inquisition forces battle through Harlequins and Daemons alike before reaching Commorragh. There, a dark bargain is struck."

 

It was a weird piece of lore that was never really addressed, and I didn't even understand what was going on until everything was on the table. But when I finally got it, and remembered the above, I totally loved it.

 

If I was reading the book and didn't know that line (like I assume most people) it would have felt rushed and out of place. But for me it resolved a weird fluff bit in a really enjoyable way.


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#117
Phoebus

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Speaking for myself, I'm familiar with the bit of lore you're referencing. My issue isn't that Wraight incorporated it; rather, it's that it doesn't feature until the very end, and even then it only receives the briefest of summaries from the antagonists. Also, in my humble opinion, the way it's played out feels poorly thought-out and... well... highly unlikely.

 

Spoiler

 

Don't get me wrong, I understand that it can be challenging to balance a novel with insight on what the antagonists are up to, especially when you don't want to give away what they're up to until the end. The bigger the conspiracy, though, the tougher it is to get away with a brief reveal and wrap-up. I mean, can you imagine reading Dune without any segues to what Yueh, the Harkonnens, and the Padishah Emperor are up to?


Edited by Phoebus, 09 October 2017 - 09:47 PM.

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#118
Urriak Urruk

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Speaking for myself, I'm familiar with the bit of lore you're referencing. My issue isn't that Wraight incorporated it; rather, it's that it doesn't feature until the very end, and even then it only receives the briefest of summaries from the antagonists. Also, in my humble opinion, the way it's played out feels poorly thought-out and... well... highly unlikely.

 

Spoiler

 

Don't get me wrong, I understand that it can be challenging to balance a novel with insight on what the antagonists are up to, especially when you don't want to give away what they're up to until the end. The bigger the conspiracy, though, the tougher it is to get away with a brief reveal and wrap-up. I mean, can you imagine reading Dune without any segues to what Yueh, the Harkonnens, and the Padishah Emperor are up to?

 

Oh no I totally get that thought. It was just to me, as soon as I realized what was going on I understood it was referring to that lore piece. And I thought the book did a pretty good job resolving that conflicting piece of fluff.

 

Spoiler


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#119
b1soul

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@Urriak Urruk

Great catch...I did not know that piece of codex lore.

Also, yes...it would have been nice to have more insight into the radical Inquisitors' and council members' thought processes.

Still, one of the best BL novels in a long time
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#120
Xisor

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For my part, I *really* liked that it didn't cut away to explanatory glimpses. It made the story more suspenseful, more mysterious, and more weird. More than all of that: it made it more claustrophobic and horrifyingly intimate.

I really like that, and often find the asides/cut-to-villains really disruptive and (in my esteem, for my tastes) weaker storytelling.

----

That said, I can sympathise with the feeling it's a mere unforeshadowed twist. Especially in a crime/procedural/whodunit sort of story; which in genre terms is a weakness, but as I'm not beholden to those conventions, I was really chuffed with the book.
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#121
mhacdebhandia

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It's also very possible that any future stories about Crowl and Spinoza will continue on with an investigation of the conspirators. After all, if the Eisenhorn and Ravenor books are inspirational, consider how each book in those trilogies and in the series as a whole turn out to be largely concerned with the same antagonists:

 

Spoiler


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#122
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If there is something I love about Carrion Throne, and warhammer novels that study the inside workings of the Imperium, is what I call the "mundane dystopia".

 

In my opinion this novel works because Wraight describes the simple day to day misery and fanatiscism that infects every moment of everyone's life. It reminds me of novels like The Outcast Dead and Path of Heaven, where people get small glimpses of the 41th millenium Imperium and are mentally destroyed, not only because of the horror of the dystopia, but also because nobody seems to realize they are living in one. In Carrion Throne, everyone goes through life without questonning for an instant that the way things work is perfectly normal, and the only character who actually dares to question a sliver of the misery inflicted on terrans end up paying for it.

 

This is to me what makes W41 work, and Wraight does it perfectly. Everything is just so matter of factly accepted and endured, that it makes the imperium even more alien that if people reacted against the dystopia.


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