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Dante (Blood Angels) Paperback – 20 Mar 2018
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About the Author
Guy Haley is the author of the Horus Heresy novel Pharos, the Primarchs novel Perturabo, and two volumes in The Beast Arises series: Throneworld and The Beheading. He has also written many Warhammer 40,000 novels, including the Blood Angels novels The Devastation of Baal and Dante, the eldar novel Valedor, and the Imperial Battle Tanks novels Baneblade and Shadowsword. His enthusiasm for goblins and all things greenskin led him to pen the eponymous Warhammer fantasy novel Skarsnik, as well as the End Times novel The Rise of the Horned Rat. He has also written a number of novellas and short stories set in Warhammer's new Age of Sigmar setting. He lives in Yorkshire, England with his wife and son.
Top customer reviews
One interesting feature is the book’s structure which alternates past and present, from the humble young desert urchin called Luis Dante who struggles to survive on his desolate planet and achieve his dream of serving as a Blood Angels, to the ageing, tired, powerful and duty driven Chapter Master who feels the Empire’s decay and that the end is near.
The contrast allows for some remarkable descriptions of the ravaged planets of Baal Primus and Secundus, of the Blood Angels recruiting and of their home monastery-fortress. The planets are irradiated and contaminated following a terrible war that took place twelve thousand years ago and during which the two moons destroyed each other and all of their cities. Most of the few survivors have become nomads that are chronically under nourished and diseased and which barely manage to scrape a living. Their life expectancy hardly exceeds the age of thirty and most can expect to die of various types of purulent cancers. This is the harsh, bleak and cruel environment from which Luis Dante originates from and it is from this and as a result of his trek and successes in the various tests that he will join the Blood Angels, become one of them and arise through the ranks to become Dante, the Blood Angels’ Chapter Master for a thousand years.
Chapter Master Dante is old – about 1500 years old – and has spent his whole adult life fighting for and defending the Imperium, waging endless war against all of its enemies and keeping at bay through endless efforts the curse of the Blood Angels inherited by their Primarch and which still threatens to – and will one day - engulf him. Now comes, at the very end of the 40th millennium (in 41998, to be precise), the worst of all the struggles and enemies that he has had to fight. The Tyranid Leviathan comes from the galactic East and threatens to utterly destroy Baal and the Blood Angels’ home world while Abbadon, his Black Legion and his fleet burst out of the Eye of Terror and attack once again Cadia.
While the book gives the impression of being somewhat unfinished, with the reader not knowing if and whether these two death threatening menaces will be vanquished, yet alone contained, the author manages to distillate an atmosphere of growing despair and tiredness. He shows the profound ambivalence of the super-human Blood Angel Chapter Master – at times compassionate and at times monstrous when his weakness and genetic flaw gets the better of him. Also interesting are the various and mysterious apparitions of the Sanguinor, of which I will say no more to avoid any major spoilers.
This one is worth four very strong stars and I hope that this somewhat unfinished story will be continued shortly, preferably by the same author.
Assuming this will be expanded upon in the future given the somewhat abrupt (and slightly unfulfilling) ending. Dante starts with promise but doesn't really deliver on its early highs and runs out of steam about halfway through, descending into the more typical (and mundane) GW 'boltgun kill-fest' literature we often see.
Ultimately not a BAD book per se, just not particularly brilliant either.