Vulkan Lives (The Horus Heresy) Paperback – 22 May 2014
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About the Author
Nick Kyme is the author of the Tome of Fire trilogy featuring the Salamanders Space Marines. He has also written for the Space Marine Battles and Time of Legends series with the novels The Fall of Damnos and The Great Betrayal. In addition, he has penned a host of short stories and several novellas, including 'Feat of Iron' which was a New York Times Bestseller in the Horus Heresy collection The Primarchs. He lives and works in Nottingham.
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Top Customer Reviews
One is that this book is very much about Vulkan, Primarch of the Salamanders, and one of the only ones that had not yet taken centre stage in one of the series' volumes. The other one is the Khân, but from what I understand, he and his Legion will be covered in another volume to be published in 2014.
Another original feature is the use of the first person for many of the scenes with Vulkan, and all of the scenes when he is a prisoner. At least part of the interest in having Vulkan tell the story in the first person is that it allows Nick Kyme to present us with the Primarch's inner thoughts, and his personality more generally. It also helps in presenting the essential ambivalence that lies at the heart of even "good Primarchs". While they may be human, and even at times almost compassionate as is the case here for Vulkan (and was the case for Sanguinius in a previous volume in the HH series), they are also generals and can become, at least at times, ruthless killers.
Then there is the opposition that runs across the whole book between the "good" Primarch - Vulkan - and the "bad" one - Konrad Curze, who is full of self-loathing and hate, and has become sadistic and rather insane. The contrasts, but also the similarities, between the two characters are quite fascinating and well done. The opposition between the two, however, dragged on for much too long. By the time it ended, I had become almost bored. A couple of interesting features were the introduction of both Mannus Ferrus and Corax into the dialogues and oppositions between Vulkan and Curze.Read more ›
So it was, groaning with turkey fatigue and with time on my hands, I finally plucked up the courage and energy to read it, and am happy to report I enjoyed it. More so than any other HH book since probably Prospero Burns.
I found it to be well written, with a driving, punchy, pace and plot. I tore through it in short order (finishing it in a couple of days - which is fast for me), and was gripped throughout. The story focuses upon the captivity of Vulkan, after Isstvan V, and his torment by his captor and brother Primarch Curze, and a secondary plot revolving around a battered band of loyalist 'errant' marines, survivors of Isstvan taking a guerilla fight against a force of Word Bearers on a world about to be cast into Chaos, during which the errants cross the path of the mysterious 'Perpetual' John Grammaticus. We also get several flashback sections, detailing memories of both a clash between Vulkan and Curze during the Great Crusade, and the Salamander's experience of Isstvan V.
I do agree with JPS that the Isstvan sequences are somewhat done to death now, and would hope these are the last we have to read - but having said that, they are suitably teeth clenching, brutal and unpleasant.
There is a new revelation about Vulkan himself in this book, which I do think is important to the wider HH story. But I don't want to spoil so will say no more about that here.Read more ›
The early books were much more enjoyable and better paced but now its all a bit bogged down.
That said, Kyme is a decent writer and he moves the story along at a decent pace. Not great not awful just average overall.
That is not intended as a casual boot-licking comment. Not at all. This book concerns a tale that handled poorly, could have ended up a real dog's breakfast. And as it's quite important to the entire Heresy story arc, that would have made a bobbins of quite a key part of the jigsaw. (For those interested, what is begun in this novel is continued with great aplomb in Dan Abnett's HH continuation novel, Unremembered Empire).
As it is, Kyme kicks off a compelling yarn - the strange tale of Vulkan; primarch of the Salamanders who, as it turns out, is possessed of a unique characteristic and whose very existence could change the course of the great war.
Of other deserved mention is the superb cover art by Neil Roberts, whose keen eye for good composition throughout the series has lifted the whole saga (in my humble opinion anyway).
So, to the story, Vulkan was left behind in the chaotic retreat, amid the dust and blood of Istvaan V.
However, having disappeared on the battlefield he's turned up in the not-so-gentle embrace of his dear brother, the lunatic grin-bearing Konrad Curze, primarch of the Night Haunters traitor legion. He, who takes great glee, and many pages, imposing the cruelest methods of psychological torture he can inflict on his dearest brother Vulkan.
Curze is to HH, what Heath Ledger's Joker was to the Batman trilogy, and his gleeful highs and tombstone lows are a joy to read. Kyme handles nutcase Curze well, charting the manic roller-coaster of his thoughts as he torments his captive brother to the brink of madness. Vulkan's descent into his very own variety of howling bedlam is also written compellingly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Overall good read with one hell of a cliff hanger at the end, can't wait for the next installment.Published 9 months ago by dylan
just love the carnage in the heresy books, another for the collection.Published 9 months ago by william edward
Been waiting to get chance to read this one for a while now, after finally getting round to it I can say I'm not disappointed. Loved the portrayal of Vulkan and Cruze. Read morePublished 11 months ago by beard
I was very disappointed in this book. It was a real grind from start to finish. In some places it was such a slog to get through, with only a few good parts throughout the whole... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Alex M
I have beem an avid fan of the Horus Heresy series since the first book, but was beginning to become jaded as it seemed the writers were not trying and the last few books were a... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Daniel