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Ciaphas Cain, Hero of the Imperium Paperback – 8 May 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library (8 May 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781844164660
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844164660
  • ASIN: 1844164667
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 4.8 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Sandy Mitchell is a pseudonym for British author Alex Stewart. He has written science fiction and fantasy, television scripts, comics, and gaming material. His television credits include the BBC's high tech espionage series Bugs.

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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Philip Cook on 29 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
The Warhammer 40k universe has always been a bleak and chaotic one yet is still shot through with humour, in this series we deal with a member of the Commissariat, the hard-nosed, hard-faithed disciplinarians of the Imperial Guard; Commissar Ciaphas Cain is a man with a mission - find the safest place in the galaxy and wait there until the shooting stops.

Sadly the universe seems to have other plans and, despite his own priorities of self-preservation, Cain not only manages to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, but always manages to come through in victory. Sure the reputation of a hero comes in handy at times, but with every successful mission the higher-ups keep finding more dangerous missions in what Cain perceives as yet another way of trying to kill him; and he in turn can find less and less excuses to get out of the firing line without damaging his credibility.

And so he and his faithful aide Jurgen lurch from one battle to another with Cain trying to put as many people and as much distance as possible between himself and the enemy.

This omnibus collects the first three novels - For The Emperor, Caves of Ice, and The Traitor's Hand with three interspersed short stories Fight or Flight, Echoes of the Tomb, and The Beguiling. All are told in the first person from Cain's perspective with pertinent introductions and footnotes from an Inquisitor compiling these stories for the Inquisition library.

Written in a style similar to the Flashman series, this series provides a slightly more light-hearted and humourous look at the 40k universe and is well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CJ Warsama on 4 Mar. 2010
Format: Paperback
Readers familiar to the 40k universe will be well aquainted with the arrogance and undying courage of the usual protagonists. Characters that are full of the 'death or glory' outlook of life, who would not think a bad word against the emperor of mankind. Whilst i have grown to love and respect books of this genere, can anyone believe that in a universe of countless billions every hero of man kind is a pristine poster boy of the imperium? Certainly not Sandy Mitchell. Ciaphus Cain is an apple thats fallen far from the tree, a black sheep stood in a crowd of white.

Ciaphus is cowardly, funny and self indulgent. The most important thing in his universe? Him. Of course, he did not rise through the schola to the rank of commissar and later to hero of the imperium, by thinking this unusual reluctance to sacrifice oneself for the emperor would be best shared with his peers. Hence follows Ciaphus' intelligent and at times hilarious story of blundering through one near-death experience at time in the mission for self-preservation. Unfortunately, his knack of preserving his hide and lying as to his intent, only seeks to raise his stature among his colleagues and his superiors, resulting in what? more oportunites to sacrifice ones eternal soul for the glory of the golden throne.

Although this, on face value, may not appeal to the straight laced 40k fans out there, i assure you that there is action aplenty and the hunmourous side of the character merely serves to add a fresh outlook on the bloody 40k universe. As well as Cain, there are plenty of other characters the author warms you too throughout the omnibus as well as exposing the reader to a variety of alien adversaries including orks, tyranids and tau to name a few.

All in all, i really cant imagine many 40k readers being disappointed with this ombinbus. I cant praise it enough for injecting something new into the genre. Definately a book i will be picking up again in the near future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. C. Danby on 14 July 2010
Format: Paperback
This was my first foray into the world of Ciaphas Cain and I've got to say I wasn't sure what I was letting myself in for, I'm an avid reader of all things 40K but so far i've contained myself to the world of the Space Marines and the Inquisitors + Background books like Liber Chaotica and The Uplifting Primer, and of course a Space Marines particular view on the Imperial Guard and their "Insanely over zealous Commissars" hadn't left me with a favourable impression on buying any Guard related books.

I'm delighted to say I was totally wrong, Ciaphas Cain is an absolute rogue of a Commissar and through his uncanny ability to put himself in the most dangerous situations purely through trying to save his own skin is a source of massive delight throughout his adventures. His character and any of his supporting cast such as Jurgen his somewhat dishevelled aide are superbly written and you find yourself almost liking the fellow when he's not considering sacrificing a few troopers to save his own hide (which out of deference to his noble side, happens only several times)

The Guard themselves acquit themselves well throughout the novel, completely destroying my previous Space Marine like opinion that they are all cowardly useless cannon fodder, and they make a suprisingly good account of themselves against the many foes they inevitably end up facing. Sandy Mitchell is definitely an author I will be reading more of, and I'm anticipating the new hardcover and defender of the imperium omnibus with little patience for the release dates.

If your looking for an easy way into the Guard mentality (I'll be buying the Gaunts Ghosts novels next) then I can't recommend anything better, even if your prior background knowledge is woefully inadequate, this novel will ease you in with direct storylines, well developed explanations to anything even remotely out of context and some excellent narrative by Cains Inquisitor Colleague.
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