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on 26 October 2010
Straight up let me say this book is long (over 700 pages) because it includes 3 novels in 1. What ultimately starts out as a promising page turning thriller set in the warhammer 40,000 universe ends up as a rambling introspective and inconclusive tale, dampened by an anticlimactic ending. I will echo a lot of the other reviews found here that the first novel "Drago" is by far the best. The two others were unnecessary because they become marred by a lack of focus, a bloated narrative and a directionless plot. From a lore perspective, you will experience everything from the emperor's throne to the eye of terror, from genestalers to Eldar Harlequins, from titans to land raiders. All the content is there, but it isn't woven together that well, and the initial plot that threatens humanity is later discarded. If it wasn't for the chemistry between several of the main characters the last two novels would appear nihilistic. Plot strands are left unfinished, characters vanish suddenly, others are forgotten altogether, and the plot that drives the first book really loses its energy quickly. What's more, the saga ends abruptly, almost as if the author was wrenched away half-way through a sentence, not even leaving much yearning because by that time the story has delved into irrelevance anyway. Unless you're a hardcore fanatic that has to get his hands on every piece of lore around, you'd do well do avoid this book.
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During the 40k War a large number of novels have appeared to present the reader with more than enough information to develop the worlds beyond imagination, but few of the more recent converts to the emperors cause will have had a chance to read one of the pioneering series in the universes history which inspired a number of successors.
Ian Watson's trilogy adds so much more to the readers repertoire and did (and still does) set a high standard for his successors to aim for, and perhaps that it is because of this that Black Librarys releases have been of such a high standard. But why should you buy this novel?
This series (published for the first time in a single volume) has characters who set the benchmark for the heroes who followed in thier footprints and also includes a couple of short linking stories which ties the whole set up nicely. As such demonstrates clearly the dangers to which the universe of the future faces and provides not only moral dilemas but also shows that characters are shades of grey rather than wholly good or evil. Some people have said that the novelist has over complicated the world in which the characters live but when you look into our own timelines is anything ever simple, as such it clearly shows that there are two sides to every tale and this author offers something to all, whether you like behind the scenes politics or whether your a fan of all out combat this series contains it all.
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on 21 June 2005
Inquisitor (the original name of the book 'Draco') is easily the best piece of 40k fluff I've ever read. The story is epic, taking our rogue inquisitor from the depths of the horrific eye of terror, all the way to the very heart of His citadel on Earth, the emporer's throne room. Ian Watson prefectly creates and implements his characters, keeps you on the edge of your seat until the very last word. . .
How shocked and disappointed I was then upon reading and finishing the latter 2 books of the trilogy. His finesse for description and character implementation is still there, but all the wonder, all the things that kept your attention so sustained throughout the first book is completely discarded. Aspects that formed the main storyline in the first book become secondary, merely a theme to the books. The finale to the trilogy is completely inconclusive, a huge non-ending, almost making the latter two books unnecessary.
I guarantee anyone interested in the 40k universe will adore inquisitor, and will want to know what the conclusion to the story is, but if you can belay your yearning to know, do so, because you will most likely be disappointed. My recommendation is for people to buy Inquisitor (Draco) and take it for what it is: A great story never concluded, rather than read the trilogy and think of it as a mediocre saga never concluded.
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on 12 August 2011
First let me make it clear - I have not read this version of the books.

If you can, I advise anyone interested in these books to track down the original versions, the first of which is called Inquisitor, not Draco. These were written before Games Workshop decided to remove all mention of the Squats from their work in some sort of 1984-ish rewriting of history (because they couldn't come up with decent rules for the race they dropped them from their range).

From what I have seen of other reviews, the rewriting of these novels has made a mess of what are, or were, some of the finest 40K stories ever written, mainly due to Ian Watsons quirky style, but also because nof his innate grasp of the 40K universe as it stood back then (see also his classic Space Marine).

Yes, the trilogy does lose it's way a bit after Harlequin, but the books are still up there with the best of them, even if they are no longer considered canon in the 40K universe.
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on 19 March 2011
The Inquisition War trilogy by Ian Watson is in my opinion one of the best collection of books to come out of the 40k universe.

Watson's darkly eschewed writing style lends it's self perfectly to the 40k universe as it was back when the trilogy was written. He captures the mind set of people from an age where science, knowledge and free thinking are obscured by blind faith, superstition and fear. Watson manages to capture the fact that the people of the 40k universe are not like us, they do not think or rationalize in the same way, they are not simple "us" in the future. Their thoughts would seem psychotic by today's standards, and this basic point is missing in most other 40k novels.

The arc of the primary character, Jaq Draco, is perfect. Starting out as a zealous, loyal Imperial Inquisitor Draco's free thinking and questioning of events soon leads him further and further from the arms of the Imperium and down the path of the Radical Inquisitor. By the end of the trilogy Draco is more in line with Sorcerer or Magus than an Imperial Inquisitor, employing superstitious rituals and Xenos lore, as well as losing sight of his goal due to his obsession with a dead comrade and former lover. Draco's character arc is without doubt the best example of its kind found anywhere in 40k fiction, it shows that although Draco stays loyal to the Emperor of mankind throughout and that even with the best intentions, once you begin to question the dogma and doctrine of the Imperium it does not take long to stray from the path. Draco's story validates the totalitarian Imperial regime that rightly or wrongly is there for a reason.
Watson's attention to detail on equipment and weapons within the 40k gaming system is second to none, especially if the reader has had any contact with early editions of the 40k gaming system. If not, then a plethora of Sci-fi technology awaits.

Although the plot does seem to stagnate towards the end, seemingly turning further and further away from Draco's original goal (due to the change in Draco's character) the rich detail of the 40k universe that Watson provides more than makes up for it. Insights into alien races, chaos renegades and Imperial organizations are accurately illuminated and will please 40k fans and sci-fi readers alike.

All in all, the Inquisition War trilogy provides a view of the 40k universe which has since been mimicked but never achieved. A damned good read.
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on 18 July 2010
By far the best part of this trilogy is the first book, named Draco. It's story was engaging and interesting and kept me turning the pages to find out more. The topics such as the nature of the callidus temple of assassins, the emperor and the future of the imperium are as a whole one's which (I think) are the most interesting and also the least explored in the warhammer 40k universe, and which are only to this day being looked into to some degree in the Horus Heresy series.

However while the story does continue from Draco, it becomes somewhat diluted, uninteresting and hard to follow too the point where it becomes a struggle to turn the page and keep on reading. Not only does it lose it's appeal but the main characters become to a person some of the most loathsome, evil protagonists I have ever encountetered in a series-when at the start they were likeable, understandable and human, by the end I only wished that they die and fail horribly.

Ian Watson also has a odd writing style which left me puzzled at certain bits and which I had re-read to make sense of, while this is somewhat refreshing and made a change to the standard level of 40k writing. By the end of the third book you will most likely be pretty fed up and probably too uninterested to care.

The dated nature of the trilogy also becomes somewhat of a problem with many issues in conflict with the canon of the 40k universe. While this is hardly a fault with the orginal work by the author (given it's year of publication). The Black Library should not have republished this so recently without 'ammendments' or at least a revision. Because of this I would never recommend this to new 40k readers because of the confusion it could create. Likewise to seasoned 40k readers, this issue is easy to overlook in beginning but by the 2nd half it becomes an annoyance.

I would recommend reading the first book Draco, but save yourself the time, money and headache of reading the other two unless you really want to know what happens afterwards and ultimately want to be dissapointed.
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on 30 May 2010
Having never read any previous Ian Watson material I had no idea what I was getting myself into with this trilogy. This is an example of some of the earlier Black Library literature that I am aware of and having read dozens of their books I wanted to see how earlier 40K writings compared to some of the newer stuff I have read. This item receives four stars because it is gripping from the beginning until the end, and the story flows from one scene to the next. However, it flows faster than water spraying from a broken pipe and I became immersed in that water very quickly. I felt as if I was tearing through the book at break-neck pace and not because I was reading fast but because the book seems to be a frenzy of action and intrigue on a vast scale, but with a plot that is all over the place. This books reminds me of American Psycho in that it is a mad jumble of characters and concepts, and has no satisfactory conclusion in the traditional sense. Nevertheless this book is a good read if you can wrap your head around it and I would recommend it to any Black Library fan, or indeed to any sci-fi fan with a taste for something completely different.
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on 1 April 2015
Great! Love the book
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on 4 July 2015
Posted as good condition. It was in good condition, there signs of usage, like a couple of earmarks, and a bigger break on the cover, but no pages missing/ruined, so the book itself is enjoyable :)
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on 25 December 2009
Reading these three books really makes me so grateful for how far the 40k universe has come on. I guess this book has to be taken in the context of being the start of what would eventually evolve into the huge epic collection of 40k books and lore that now exists. But the problem is that reading it now it just doesn't stand up to the current quality whilst the story makes you wince it's so far away from current lore. Unless you're really desperate to read everything published by Blacklibrary I'd push this far back on your buy list, there's simply so many better books in the 40k space to read.
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