Mortarion: The Pale King (Volume 15) (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs) [Hardcover] Annandale, David

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Mortarion: The Pale King (Volume 15) (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs) [Hardcover] Annandale, David

Mortarion: The Pale King (Volume 15) (The Horus Heresy: Primarchs) [Hardcover] Annandale, David

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Most of the book follows the Death Guard as they fight through the hallways and wider rooms of the arcology that contains the seat of power in the Galaspar system. As it currently sits, I can’t recommend taking a trip aboard The Fourth Horseman with the Primarch of the fourteenth legion.

It does not wallow in endless repetitions of combat yet nor does it strand in long high minded dialogues. Why does a primarch so vehemently opposed to oppressors side with a chaos god who is not only brutal in his efficiency (you might say he’s … contagious? Horus and Sanguinius arrived on the main planet of the Galaspar cluster first and are looking about. He has a deep desire to use his station as the commander of an army to liberate, which is rare in the world of Warhammer. The parallels between the enemy that he fights in this book, the tyranny that he fought on his homeworld in the past, and the monstrous entity that the Imperium later becomes is a clever plot device which works really well in this book.

The Primarchs series of Novels is, I think, intended to shed light on their nature and that of their Legions. No doubt this wasn't helped by Keeble given him a somewhat posh British accent more reminiscent of a villain like Ramsay Bolton than a Demi-God like Mortarion.

The balancing of his two "personas" in the Liberator and Death was an interesting dichotomy and does wonders towards explaining why Mortarion cleaves so strongly to his convictions and acts so brutally in the wake of Galaspar and beyond. The idea that Mortarion's style of fighting is materially different from the average Primarch is a joke.

Everyone takes a varying amount of some drug that keeps the population docile or makes the overseers more aggressive.

After his force gets wrecked while he crawls back to the surface he meets some psyker mutant in the sewers that taunts him how he is in denial about a psyker himself. H. Right after they merge the two factions of the Dusk Raiders and Death Guard, so we see how Mortarion thinks and acts as a leader and savior. When Keri and I decided to dive into the Primarch series, we divided up the primarchs based on who we were most interested in reading about. The only weak point here is the monotony of the movement through the hive, which feels like it needs more connection, as the rest of the book is very strong with deep, interesting, characters within and without the death guard.While the focus of this book was always going to be on Mortarion, the novel actually does a solid job for its pagecount of adding depth to those characters that do make a cameo. David Annandale is the author of the Warhammer Horror novel The House of Night and Chain and the novella The Faith and the Flesh, which features in the portmanteau The Wicked and the Damned. Anyway, two stars isn’t really for the writing, the writing is good, it’s not even really for the story which is okish.

I was expecting more about Mortarion's character, his past, his relations with the other primarchs and the Emperor, etc. This story takes him back to his first campaign in the Great Crusade, and manages to balance his bellicose personality with the military genius and greater than mortal passions all primarchs should have. In fact, off the top of my head I think the Konrad Curze, Leman Russ, and Alpharius novels might be the only ones I’ve actually enjoyed. Then one of the "units" appears and while afraid tells Mortarion how she finished her allotted corpse counting.

Each of them seemed to have been dropped into a significantly awful world, and each of them has struggled greatly to achieve what little they may have in their life. A large section of the book could easily have been labelled as merely "Bolter-Porn" but through leveraging Mortarion's character arc, several interesting side characters and the evolving character of the nascent Death Guard, none of the constant butchery seems gratuitous at all. She asks to serve him and he gives her a name and its revealed it is the woman from the epilogue that needed those augmentations from the phosphex and radiation injuries and he thinks of her as a student and proof his methods are correct.

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