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Gav Thorpe - the Luther novel

Blacklibrary Dark Angels The Fallen Unforgiven Horus Heresy

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#126
mc warhammer

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hmmm i had zero interest in reading this...but this thread has changed my mind.
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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#127
KhorneFlakes

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just finished the audiobook on this - great story. wasn't that fussed until reading some of the comments on here, but glad i got it. very good filler on Luther, making him more human and not  moustache twirling villain 

 

some dodgy gender accents aside, was a good listen as well.  would definitely recommend it. 


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#128
DarkChaplain

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I honestly never got the impression in any work featuring him that Luther was ever a mustache twirling villain. His inner conflict was always part of what made him a character in the lore, and even in the Heresy novels, he was never "evil", no matter what Dark Angels propaganda may claim. He was never an Erebus-type character getting high on Chaos or the likes.

 

...that's why I always liked him, actually.


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#129
Knockagh

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I had hoped that George Mann’s book on Astor Sabbathiel would push the current DA storyline a little further giving more details on Luther. She’s got history with the chapter and is very suspicious of their inner workings. The books never appeared and it might not have anything to do with the DA but I can’t believe they would free Luther and make the fallen so central to the recent big lore change only to drop them. I’m imagining he may also make an appearance in the indomitis series too.

#130
malika666

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Perhaps a build up to the tenth edition in which they revive the Lion?

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#131
KhorneFlakes

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I honestly never got the impression in any work featuring him that Luther was ever a mustache twirling villain. His inner conflict was always part of what made him a character in the lore, and even in the Heresy novels, he was never "evil", no matter what Dark Angels propaganda may claim. He was never an Erebus-type character getting high on Chaos or the likes.

 

...that's why I always liked him, actually.

 

aye, i was typing in haste and didn't really get across what i was trying to get at...

 

was more from the fact that characters appear different dependent on what author is writing them: Perturabo is a prime example - different aspects depending on the author)

 

i was half expecting a 'new' interpretation of Luther in which he was the surprise architect behind a lot of the events in the heresy, but was impressed with how he was conveyed

 

did like Luther's interactions with Typhon, Erebus and Corswain in particular

 

The Corswain exchange was very interesting in showing how Luther was seen outside of Caiban



#132
Roomsky

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Luther: First of the Fallen – Gav Thorpe

 

Okay, yes, it was better than I expected - so sue me. That Thorpe managed to write this and Indomitus is more than a little baffling.

 

This novel is basically the Curze novel, except it has a reason to exist. Luther is such a blank slate despite his number of appearances, and the Dark Angels lore is such a mess, that a book like this is actually somewhat justified.

 

So, Thorpe. His writing remains nothing special. BUT, like Haley with Flesh and Steel, the first-person perspective helps a lot. Shortcomings in description suddenly become full of character in narration. It’s an easy trick that I wish more writers would branch into – it’s worked wonders for two I’m not huge fan of. That’s said I wouldn’t call it a home run.

 

Thorpe is quite good at conversations. Like Lucas, he’s big on ideas and poor on execution, so the most enjoyable parts of the work are characters working out their perspectives and goals between themselves. The verbal sparring isn’t amazing, but it’s by far the best part of the book. Every extended conversation in this was a joy to read.

 

By contrast, Luther’s tales floundered a bit for me when dialogue took a back seat. I care quite a bit about Luther when he’s sweating bullets chatting with Corswain: what does he say? How does he say it? What topics should he broach? I care significantly less when he’s droning on about how they killed a giant evil water buffalo, especially when Luther’s various retinues get one line of description before dying. Unfortunately there’s a couple of tales like this and they aren’t short – I was desperately hoping with each turn of the page it would wrap up and we’d get back to Luther being interrogated or something.

 

The format itself is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it ties together a lot of Dark Angels weirdness quite well. It rewards the reader for slogging through Descent of and Fallen Angels, for keeping track of Thramas and Imperium Secundus and everything in between. On the other hand, you need to have read a bunch of mediocrity for this novel to really hit. On top of that, it doesn’t really work as a story IMO. Like the Curze novel, it’s more preoccupied with being clever than, well, telling a story. It’s Luther sitting in a room recounting e-shorts until the book just ends. I don’t need continuity bibles BL. Just give me a good book.

 

But Roomsky, you ask, you strange yet beautiful individual, it’s a character study of Luther! And to that I say: Kind of? Luther is the only character in the book, and while he’s no longer merely a plot device I can’t say he’s that interesting on his own. Because all these books later, in his own devoted work, Luther is still being exposited about instead of demonstrating his virtues. Everyone says his the bestest knight and so very smart and charismatic but he very rarely demonstrates this. There’s a scene towards the end of the book where he comes up with a decent enough plan, then gets so excited about it he almost immediately blabbers potentially compromising information. This book makes me empathize with him, it makes him a more compelling human being, but I don't see for one moment why he's so great.

 

That all probably sounds backhanded at best so I do want to reiterate that I liked this. The good tales are really quite good, and everything in between is bearable at least. Luther finally gets to be a human being, and it does make continuity much more cohesive, much as I don’t really care. It’s also a Heresy story from a (kind of) human perspective that keeps the series’ big players at a distance, which I have no shortage of love for. For all I think continuity bibles like this are excessive in principle, much of this is admirably restrained.

 

6.5/10

Hard To Taste


Edited by Roomsky, 14 April 2021 - 01:34 AM.

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#133
RedFurioso

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Best Thorpe's book, in my opinion. If you want to know more about medieval Caliban and Great Beasts (not to mention person of Luther himself), this book is for you. It fleshes out some iconic Warhammer moments in the same fashion like Wraight did with Dulan in the Leman Russ: The Great Wolf.

 

10/10, must-read.


Edited by RedFurioso, 13 April 2021 - 09:32 AM.

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#134
b1soul

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Damn...I am absolutely not a fan of Thorpe's style but this has me intrigued
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#135
Lord Lorne Walkier

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Loved this book.  For me, it moved the ball down the field. 

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#136
DarkChaplain

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I'm not sure we can talk about Cypher much, frankly.

 

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40k Cypher's identity could change at the drop of a hat. We're still missing the vital piece: Caliban


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#137
Darkwrath121

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I'm not sure we can talk about Cypher much, frankly.

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It's even less clear than that,
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Edited by Darkwrath121, 06 May 2021 - 07:06 PM.


#138
A Melancholic Sanguinity

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Almost through this one.

 

Thus far, I'd say this one ranks among the top of Gav Thorpe's works for me, predominantly because I typically find his prose to be unbearably dull. I've said before, I think Thorpe frequently has nifty ideas: high-level summations, stuff that works great as an evocative world-builder along the lines of a paragraph blurb in a codex.

 

It's in the actual execution of long-form prose and novel format that things fall apart. I think his books fall into the "tell, not show" trap way too often, with ham-fisted exposition and characterization. Ideas that work as a paragraph don't work so well when he tries to draw them out into novel-length arcs and structures.

 

And so, the very format of Luther manages to play into his strengths and ameliorate his weaknesses. The composition of a series of vignettes all tied together by a bat:cuss crazy dude who is unmoored in time and space and can barely string coherent thoughts together means no single plot thread must be sustained for too long. Luther's tales being narrated from the first person, in the form of a story directly being told to the current Dark Angels Supreme Grand Master, fits Thorpe's exposition-heavy prose style.


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#139
mc warhammer

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Luther: First of the Fallen – Gav Thorpe

 

Okay, yes, it was better than I expected - so sue me. That Thorpe managed to write this and Indomitus is more than a little baffling.

 

This novel is basically the Curze novel, except it has a reason to exist. Luther is such a blank slate despite his number of appearances, and the Dark Angels lore is such a mess, that a book like this is actually somewhat justified.

 

So, Thorpe. His writing remains nothing special. BUT, like Haley with Flesh and Steel, the first-person perspective helps a lot. Shortcomings in description suddenly become full of character in narration. It’s an easy trick that I wish more writers would branch into – it’s worked wonders for two I’m not huge fan of. That’s said I wouldn’t call it a home run.

 

Thorpe is quite good at conversations. Like Lucas, he’s big on ideas and poor on execution, so the most enjoyable parts of the work are characters working out their perspectives and goals between themselves. The verbal sparring isn’t amazing, but it’s by far the best part of the book. Every extended conversation in this was a joy to read.

 

By contrast, Luther’s tales floundered a bit for me when dialogue took a back seat. I care quite a bit about Luther when he’s sweating bullets chatting with Corswain: what does he say? How does he say it? What topics should he broach? I care significantly less when he’s droning on about how they killed a giant evil water buffalo, especially when Luther’s various retinues get one line of description before dying. Unfortunately there’s a couple of tales like this and they aren’t short – I was desperately hoping with each turn of the page it would wrap up and we’d get back to Luther being interrogated or something.

 

The format itself is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it ties together a lot of Dark Angels weirdness quite well. It rewards the reader for slogging through Descent of and Fallen Angels, for keeping track of Thramas and Imperium Secundus and everything in between. On the other hand, you need to have read a bunch of mediocrity for this novel to really hit. On top of that, it doesn’t really work as a story IMO. Like the Curze novel, it’s more preoccupied with being clever than, well, telling a story. It’s Luther sitting in a room recounting e-shorts until the book just ends. I don’t need continuity bibles BL. Just give me a good book.

 

But Roomsky, you ask, you strange yet beautiful individual, it’s a character study of Luther! And to that I say: Kind of? Luther is the only character in the book, and while he’s no longer merely a plot device I can’t say he’s that interesting on his own. Because all these books later, in his own devoted work, Luther is still being exposited about instead of demonstrating his virtues. Everyone says his the bestest knight and so very smart and charismatic but he very rarely demonstrates this. There’s a scene towards the end of the book where he comes up with a decent enough plan, then gets so excited about it he almost immediately blabbers potentially compromising information. This book makes me empathize with him, it makes him a more compelling human being, but I don't see for one moment why he's so great.

 

That all probably sounds backhanded at best so I do want to reiterate that I liked this. The good tales are really quite good, and everything in between is bearable at least. Luther finally gets to be a human being, and it does make continuity much more cohesive, much as I don’t really care. It’s also a Heresy story from a (kind of) human perspective that keeps the series’ big players at a distance, which I have no shortage of love for. For all I think continuity bibles like this are excessive in principle, much of this is admirably restrained.

 

6.5/10

Hard To Taste

 

this was pretty much my read

 

i skipped over huge chunks of caliban tales, wanting to get to the point. and when the point was made...it never really seemed to have deserved the sheer word count to make it (and the discovery of the lion was just...trite). 

 

i did enjoy most of the "flash forwards"  or "present time" scenes and can't help but wish the ratio had been weighted towards those.


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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#140
DarkChaplain

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I actually rather liked the way that Lion discovery was handled. In our minds, those moments are often much more glorious, more impressive, more significant to the characters and us as the audience.

 

But with the Lion, it was anything but. It was chance, rather than fate, and there was no auspicious star shining over El'Jonson's location. It was a conflicting discovery, filled with apprehension and doubt. Is this even a human child? Is it maybe just a ploy by darker powers? Who's to say, but while for us, hindsight indicates that the Lion would be a great figure of import and glory, for Luther, hindsight would make him balance various types of regret instead. For Luther, who was the rising star, it sealed his fate. He had people around him, shouting warnings, advising caution, but in the end, he made the choice to risk it for whatever reason.

Luther may be downplaying that moment, of course, but I liked how it wasn't a moment of joy celebrated by all the world, like many of the Loyalist Primarchs had in a sense. He didn't, or at least pretends so in his retelling, recognize the Lion as a big messiah figure, and he wonders if he would have acted differently had he known the full extent of what it would mean for Caliban. In that, his tale is inherently biased, too.


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#141
mc warhammer

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definitely wasn't looking for anything glorious or celebrated joy and i hope i didn't imply that...if anything i agree with you: i like that the lion's discovery was somewhat mundane in circumstance. by "trite" i didn't mean the event lacked grandeur, i meant that it was banal in terms of exploration of themes and examination of character.

 

" you will know nothing of a situation if you dismiss/destroy it first" is a fine point to make, i just don't feel that chapter made it well. or, to be more accurate, made it in an interesting way.


Edited by mc warhammer, 09 May 2021 - 02:53 PM.

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It always amused me that the GW Mail Order ‘Trolls’ as we (starting with me) had always styled ourselves insisted as being rebranded ‘Space Marines’. Why anyone would want to be associated with semi-lobotomized, hypnotically indoctrinated slave-soldiers in thrall to an uncaring (and possibly non-existent) god I couldn’t imagine. - Rick Priestley

 2019

#142
jaxom

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I'm not sure we can talk about Cypher much, frankly.

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It's even less clear than that,
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#143
Apothecary Vaddon

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dang thats actually a good theory



#144
Cactus

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Yes, I really like jaxom's idea. Part of Cypher's persona in 40k was always The Man With No Name from Clint Eastwood's spaghetti westerns. With jaxom's characterisation when Cypher appears you don't know if you're in The Good, The Bad And The Ugly and he'll free you from oppression, or Pale Rider and he'll redeem your town in fire and blood.

#145
Knockagh

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White Dwarf has Index Hereticus for the Fallen this month. Not sure if it will merely be what we know repackaged but even if it is it will be useful to have it all put together into some order and in one place, I’m certainly looking forward to the article when it arrives.
Sadly as a subscriber I get the alternative cover which looks utter rubbish, looks to be some AoS ghosts again. So I miss out on the stunning DA on the front of the regular issue. The variant covers haven’t been that great of recent, I subscribed because of the covers but if they keep up the recent trend I will go back to the shop shelf
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