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Shadows of Treachery (The Horus Heresy) Paperback – 1 Oct 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: The Black Library (Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849703469
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849703468
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 93,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Christian Dunn - After cutting his teeth on Inferno! and Warhammer Monthly (the only comic book ever to win an Eagle Award and be canceled in the same week), Christian Dunn spent many years as the Commissioning Editor of both Black Flame and Solaris. He is now safely ensconced back in the bosom of Black Library as their Range Development Editor where runs the e-book, Print on Demand and audio ranges, as well as being responsible for unearthing new writing talent.
He lives in Nottingham, England and always keeps a freshly greased chainsaw under his pillow in anticipation of the inevitable zombie apocalypse.
Nick Kyme hails from Grimsby, a small town on the North East coast of England known for its fish (a food, which ironically he dislikes profusely).
Nick moved to Nottingham in 2003 to work on White Dwarf magazine as a Layout Designer, before moving on to become a Journalist, and has had three short stories published in Inferno in that time. Nick now works for the Black Library as an Editor and has written several series including the best-selling Salamanders novels --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will review and grade each story in order but I believe as a whole the book is 3 stars but leave open to question whether it should be deducted 1 star for repeating already released material without no prior warning to a customer. Although it is my personal preference to have the text version of what were previously audio book versions it is nonetheless shady marketing practice by Black Library to include 3 of them here. The other over-arching criticism is that the Horus Heresy series (exacerbated by this book) keeps jumping about in the chronology of the Heresy itself. The stories here are all pre-Heresy or set at the outset of the declaration of the Heresy and it would have made more sense to have released this anthology much earlier.

The first story, 'Crimson Fist' is my second favourite in this anthology. It starts with a memorable back story for the main Imperial Fists character and then leads into a Retribution Fleet being sent by Dorn that is trapped in the Phall System. It is a flaw though that the story does slow in pace whilst the reader waits for the inevitable trap to be fully sprung. Although readers of 'Fear To Tread' will be familiar with a beleaguered Space Marine force beset by warp storms and ill-equipped to deal with psyker threats in this pre-Chaos awareness phase, the story is nonetheless well told and involves an engaging mass-scale space combat. There also cut-backs to Terra where we see Sigismund and Dorn and a good surprise that shows the events that are the genesis of the Black Templars. However I did feel that these cut-backs, interlinking as they do with the events in 'The Lightning Tower,' slightly took the edge off the novelty of their telling in the latter story. I rate this as 4 stars.
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I would rather wait longer between Horus Heresy novels than have these filler collections released. I understand it must be difficult for Black Library/GW to turn down guaranteed profit, but they really need to do better than this.

For me, the short story is not a format that works well within the context of the Horus Heresy. The best books of the series (e.g. Fulgrim) are those that have time to really explore and develop a character. Generally I think the light touch required by a short story is pointless.

On the positive side, there are compelling descriptions of Corax and Conrad Curze/Night Haunter. I haven't come across these primarchs described in any detail before, so they were interesting. The Mechanicum story is also reasonable, although the concept of the Kaban Machine is a bit too far-fetched even for the 40K universe.

The other stories I would rate as pretty poor. The 'Death of a Silversmith' one is basically unreadable, I gave up on it after too many pages of rambling.

Overall I will continue to get the Horus Heresy novels, I am hooked now. But I don't expect anything brilliant from them any more, which is a shame. Maybe the next full-length instalment will get things back on track.
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By JPS TOP 100 REVIEWER on 29 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Unlike previous reviewers, I found that this book was a good collection of seven short stories and I have therefore rated it four stars. I find that it is rather harsh, and somewhat unfair, to downgrade a book just because it contains stories that have already been released in other formats, whether audiobooks or any other format for that matter. This is also somewhat misleading for potential readers to some extent because it does not mean that the stories are not good, even in cases when they might have been released for the first time several years ago. Having stating this, it is also true that Black Library could have mentioned at the very least the titles of the stories included in the volume and did not do so.

A second area of disagreement with some previous reviewers may be partly about personal opinions but also in part about consistency. A number of reviewers, including myself, have been complaining that the Horus Heresy series of books had, after a Thousand Sons (book 12 of the series) got to a point where the story did not seem to progress over the next half a dozen volumes. The same story was sometimes told, but from a different perspective, or the implications of the same event (the Istvan V treason and slaughter) were spinned volume after volume. More recent volumes have addressed this concern to some extent, but the suspicion that Black Library authors may be delaying the final assault on Terra that all of their readers are impatiently wanting for lingers. This is probably another reason for the rather lukewarm reviews and ratings that this book has attracted, although I also found that these were rather unfair, or even unjustified.
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To say that a couple of the stories in this collection are weak is an understatement.

But don't worry about them because the real gem is Prince of Crows and that story takes up a third of the book and more than makes up for some of the weaker contributions.

If you're a fan, as I am, of the Aaron Dembski-Bowden Night Lords novels this latest addition to the Night Lords canon will delight. The author has also given flesh and character to Sevatar, First Captain of the Night Lords well beyond the one dimensional honour or evil of loyal or traitor space marines sometimes found elsewhere. Some other reviewers have criticised the Sevatar characterisation, but it is in keeping with previous portrayals of the Night Lords. They are monsters, they are dark and cruel and most definitely villains, but they have that hint of nobility and a twisted honor and above all a dark sense of humour that makes them more realistic and more fun.

Dembski-Bowdens' Sevatar is a great creation and I hope we see more of him in future Night Lord novels.

If you are deliberating whether to buy this book please also ignore the carping from some reviewers about some things being physically impossible. The Warhammer universes are fantasy and when we are talking about starships kilometres long; daemons that transform planets; terminators teleporting from one star ship to another; and Primarchs that are near indestructible we are well beyond the normal laws of physics as we currently know them. It's all fantasy and its daft to let slavish adherence to physics ruin the fun of a good story.

Prince of Crows takes up a third of the book so it really is worth accepting a couple of weak short stories to acquire this gem. You won't be disappointed by Prince of Crows or Sevatar and this is another Aaron Dembski-Bowden/Night Lords triumph that leaves you wanting more.
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