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Things You Like About... Path of Heaven


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#1
bluntblade

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Yeah, we're going for a really easy one this time. I'll lead with something that's only emerged quite recently in my rereadings - Wraight really leans into the cinematic with his scene transitions. There are some really effective loud-to-quiet "cuts", and even one that sort-of qualifies as a match cut (do you call it that when you cut from one explosion to another?)


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#2
helterskelter

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The Entire book, except the top name scars deaths. Would have liked to have seen either Qin Xa or Yesugei make it to terra but I understand what their deaths were there for
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#3
Kelborn

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I'll gonna answer by asking a question:

 

What is there to dislike? ;)


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#4
JH79

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Quite literally everything. It's a hard call but i do find it slightly better than Scars... though i put this down to character familiarity and the awesome innings that the Emperors Children get.

 

My only one criticism would be the lack of Novella or short story collection of some sort to help bridge the 5 year or so gap between this and Scars... i know that we don't technically need to see that period of time, but my god i wanted to see the Khan and co butcher the Traitor Legions, especially the Sons of Horus... but almost more importantly, the day their tactics failed for the first time. It's a minor nitpick happy.png


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#5
bluntblade

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I rather wanted Malevolence to give me that, rather than a retcon of Chondax.
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#6
fire golem

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Other than the easy answer of everything, I really like how the Emperors Children were portrayed. It was the first time in the whole series that I saw Eidolon as an actual credible threat, and not just an inept arrogant annoyance.
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#7
SkimaskMohawk

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Gotta chime in for the EC. Eidolon is properly threatening both strategically and in person, as well as showing some reasons to have uncorrupted, traitor EC in the palatine blade character
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#8
SpAcEGhOsT095

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"Hail, Lord of Death!"


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#9
bluntblade

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Gotta chime in for the EC. Eidolon is properly threatening both strategically and in person, as well as showing some reasons to have uncorrupted, traitor EC in the palatine blade character


I think Wraight also nailed the power and horror of the sonic weapons.

#10
Tymell

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There's a ton to love about the book, but I'll throw out two bits that always come to mind with this one for me: Jaghatai Khan vs. Manushya-Rakshsasi and Yesugei's sacrifice.

 

For me, Yesugei's fate represents exactly what the Heresy series should aspire to. Sure, we know how it ends and we know the final fate of some characters. But there's plenty of room to introduce new faces, to build up our connection to them, and to make us so very invested in what happens to them. His end was just as tragic as I could hope for from the Heresy, and one of those rare moments when I'm reading a book and have to stop myself from murmuring, "No, no, no..." out loud because I'm so into it. Beautiful part.

 

And the Khan taking on Rakshsasi was one of the coolest, most badass moments of the entire series.

 

Jaghatai Khan not only triumphs in battle against a Keeper of Secrets, but finishes by warning it, not just that they will keep fighting, they will win, etc - but that the daemons made a terrible mistake revealing themselves. Because now the Scars know them, and they will hunt them down. THEY are the ones that should be afraid.

 

Then he caps it by tearing the daemon's heart out of its chest. I was walking down a road when I first read that part, and I literally had to stop, pop in my earphones and start listening to some Slayer because the scene was THAT METAL.


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#11
Angel_of_Blood

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 High up in the terraces overlooking the command throne, one hundred and thirty-two power weapons kindled, flooding the heights with a wave of neon-blue. One hundred and thirty-two storm shields slammed into place, and one hundred and thirty-two throats opened in battle-challenge.

 

‘Khagan!’ they roared, in perfect unison.

 

The sagyar mazan launched themselves over the edge, dropping down to the deck like falling angels. Bolter-fire roared out, flying across the gulf, punching into the metal columns and smashing through stone, and then they landed, blades whirling.

 

At their head was a lone khan, wielding a Terran longblade two-handed. With him came the others, whooping the war-cries of their bestial home world.

 

They were hopelessly overmatched, but their charge never faltered. The Deathshroud sliced them apart, their scythes throwing blood across the deck, but they refused to fall back.

Mortarion himself came among the desperate attackers, sweeping three aside in a single blow and hurling their mangled corpses back into the pits. He blasted the chest of a fourth open, then strode towards the leader, the one who held them together. As he approached, the White Scars legionary dispatched his opponent and swung around to face the primarch.

 

‘Hail, Lord of Death!’ he cried, sounding almost ecstatic, angling his longsword to strike. ‘Torghun Khan greets you!’

 

‘Why do this?’ asked Mortarion, holding Silence back, just for a moment. ‘Why waste yourselves?’

 

But it was not waste, and he knew that. Every passing second brought the flagship’s doom closer. Every passing second gave time for the rest of the fleet to slip away. The ire of the XIV had been concentrated on this point to the exclusion of all others, and even now the lances were firing again, striking the shields that trapped their master on the rapidly decaying void hulk.

 

‘Why, my lord?’ the khan laughed, poised for the coming strike. ‘Atonement. At last.’

 

Mortarion readied his scythe. ‘No such thing exists.’"

 

 

I love all the book, but this is still my favourite part. The suicidal last stand alone is amazing, but I also love that they all get this last chast at redemption or atonement as Torghun puts it. And you know damn well that every single one of them would have been fully honoured and commited to doing it. None of them would have been bitter at being left behind to die.

 

But most of all it's Torghun finally, finally realising what it truly is to be a White Scar. He spent so much of his time conflicted, bitter or resentful that he wasn't a Luna Wolf, couldn't get to grips with the Chogorian philosophy, serious and soooo...Terran. But here we have him at last, laughing, as all White Scars should be, even in death. It's just tragic that he only got there at his end and couldn't live to continue that way.


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#12
bluntblade

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And Horus in all his terrible majesty. Again, Path of Heaven manages to be cinematic here in a way that lots of books pay lip service to, but don't quite manage. You can practically see the camera panning over the Talon, but not quite showing the face until he looms over Mortarion.


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#13
b1soul

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It's no secret I'm a fan of Wraight and his Scars, so let me emphasise

I hate the flamboyant pansies that are the Emperor's Children, but Wraight gave us a credible and interesting and (almost) sympathetic/tragic Cario along with a deadly, credible-threat Eidolon who blows up battle tanks with his scream.

#14
mc warhammer

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a lot to like, i find myself agreeing with everything in this thread (even if wraight doesn't "do it" for me as much as some). some of these scenes have stayed with me long after the book. i ended up enjoying torghun's arc more than shiban's, which i wouldn't have picked at the beginning.

 

but...

 

I hate the flamboyant pansies

 

 

really dude? it's 2019.


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#15
Roomsky

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One of the Heresy's finest, to be sure, can't wait to reach it on my re-read. I'll admit it didn't capture me in quite the same way Scars did, in that that book came completely out of left field, but man does it execute everything fantastically. Really, everything Wraight touches is rehabilitated. The Scars are even deeper now, and for the first time you really feel what a war of this length and intensity would do to a legion. Mortarion is is menacing but human. The Emperor's Children go from (in my opinion) good antagonists to great ones, more threatening and unique than ever before. And, of course, we have meaningful sacrifice and death, and few are the characters with significant plot armour. Honestly, the Scars duology is a near-perfect microcosm of the Heresy era. If only those two were released covering 30k, I wouldn't even be that mad because of just how much they cover, and the sheer quality of it.

 

 

really dude? it's 2019.

 

As a proud flamboyant pansy, I was not offended.


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#16
mc warhammer

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One of the Heresy's finest, to be sure, can't wait to reach it on my re-read. I'll admit it didn't capture me in quite the same way Scars did, in that that book came completely out of left field, but man does it execute everything fantastically. Really, everything Wraight touches is rehabilitated. The Scars are even deeper now, and for the first time you really feel what a war of this length and intensity would do to a legion. Mortarion is is menacing but human. The Emperor's Children go from (in my opinion) good antagonists to great ones, more threatening and unique than ever before. And, of course, we have meaningful sacrifice and death, and few are the characters with significant plot armour. Honestly, the Scars duology is a near-perfect microcosm of the Heresy era. If only those two were released covering 30k, I wouldn't even be that mad because of just how much they cover, and the sheer quality of it.

 

 

really dude? it's 2019.

 

As a proud flamboyant pansy, I was not offended.

 

can't speak for everyone obviously of course , but i've watched too many mates and good people in my life fight against this stuff to not say something.

 

and yes to everything else. i'd happily have wraight go back and rewrite every EC book in the HH. throw in a partnership with reynolds and i'd give BL my bank account log in.


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#17
b1soul

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I generally don't like flamboyant (and arrogant) pansies who wear purple power armour in the grim darkness of the far future, but I do like a few of them, like Cario, Tarvitz.
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#18
Roomsky

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If anything, another HUGE point to Wraight in his work with the III Legion is that he doesn't reduce them to effeminate stereotypes like Mcneill does. While those are certainly huge traits of the legion, I'll admit that I often got the unfortunate feeling that Mcneill wrote them as degenerate because they enjoyed art and beauty, while the big manly Iron Hands are free of such corruption. I never once got that impression from Wraight, he really drives home that it's the self-obsession and at times completely naive drive for greatness that shoved them directly into Slaanesh's embrace. 

 

So in a way I've got to agree with b1soul, the EC should absolutely be much more than evil dandies.


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#19
b1soul

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Yes, the EC should be more than a gang of evil Beau Brummels with a juvenile superiority complex.

Based on his work with Cario, I quiver to think how Wraight would've moulded the legion. McNeill strays into the realm of caricature too often for my taste (though I do like his take on the TSons).
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#20
b1soul

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@ bluntblade

"I rather wanted Malevolence to give me that, rather than a retcon of Chondax."

I do like the idea of Alpha Legion conducting numerous small-scale ambushes against the WS, and that jives with Wraight's Scars.
But I think the final Battle of Phemus involving the Khan versus the Alpha Legion is retcon of Wraight's work. IIRC, after the AL fleet show up at Chondax, the WS fleet simply punch through and make a straight line to Prospero. The WS don't make a stop at Phemus to engage the AL on the ground there. So that struck me as off.

Post-2nd Battle of Prospero, the four-year harrying campaign the WS wage upon Traitor supply lines while slowly being whittled down and constricted would've made a great Black Book (or a great section of a Black Book). The campaign could be punctuated by the Battle of the Kalium Gate (where Qin Xa is slain) and the Battle of the Catullus Rift (where Yesugai sacrifices himself).
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#21
mc warhammer

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If anything, another HUGE point to Wraight in his work with the III Legion is that he doesn't reduce them to effeminate stereotypes like Mcneill does. While those are certainly huge traits of the legion, I'll admit that I often got the unfortunate feeling that Mcneill wrote them as degenerate because they enjoyed art and beauty, while the big manly Iron Hands are free of such corruption. I never once got that impression from Wraight, he really drives home that it's the self-obsession and at times completely naive drive for greatness that shoved them directly into Slaanesh's embrace.

So in a way I've got to agree with b1soul, the EC should absolutely be much more than evil dandies.

sure, if the point is that they shouldn't be vilified for being "effeminate" and that it isn't an undesirable trait in and of itself, i'm down with that. if the point is that they should be fleshed out beyond that stereotype, i'm down with that. maybe i misunderstood.

it's just that "pansies" isn't generally a positive or even neutral term for effeminate or homosexual. it's loaded with distaste. and that, i ain't down for.

mcneill seems to be the only one with this one dimensional approach. neither abnett before (despite his eidolon) or wraight and reynolds after subscribed to it. the philosophy of purity in perfection from horus rising is still something i'd like to see explored further (“path of” being the closest so far) he made the point that there was almost a split personality within the legion, exemplified by tarvitz on the one hand and lucius on the other. we just got served a heap of the other.

Edited by mc warhammer, 10 July 2019 - 05:40 AM.

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#22
Apothecary Vaddon

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guess you hate every 70s-90s action movie, eh?



#23
mc warhammer

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weird flex, but ok
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#24
bluntblade

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I'd actually avoid any of the PoH battles, and use Malevolence to bridge the gap whilst showing how the Traitors are changing. Plus, how do the Scars fight daemon engines?
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#25
Angel_of_Blood

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Really? Pansie to me is just more often than not what I hear northerners call southerners. To me it doesn't have any bearing on sexuality. A pansie is just a bit of a loser, a wet blanket, a tit. 


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