For ten thousand years, Cadia stood as a bastion against the daemonic tide spewing forth from the Eye of Terror. But now the Fortress World lies in ruins, its armies decimated in the wake of Abaddon the Despoiler and his Thirteenth Black Crusade. Those who survived, though haunted by the loss of their beloved homeworld, remain bloodied and unbarred, fighting ruthlessly in the Emperor’s name.
Amongst them is the indomitable Sergeant Minka Lesk. Sent to the capital world of Potence, Lesk and the Cadian 101st company soon discover that a rot runs through the very heart of the seemingly peaceful world. Lesk knows she must excise this taint of Chaos, for it is not only her life and those of her company at stake, but also the honour of Cadia itself.
Author: Justin D. Hill
Publisher: Black Library
Release Date (Kindle): 26/12/2018
Release Date (Paperback): 19/09/2019
Pages (Kindle): 377
Pages (Paperback): 496
Series: Cadia #2
My Chosen Format: Kindle
My Rating of ‘Cadian Honour’: 3 out of 5
I decided to pick up a copy of Cadian Honour because the Cadians were always a faction of the Imperial Guard I had an interest in. Stoic defenders, situated right in line of where every Chaos incursion passes. They have pushed back numerous Black Crusades … but no more.
Now the Guardsmen and women of Cadia find themselves without a world to call their own. With no home, no way to re-populate their regiment when they inevitably take losses, they are, quite literally, the last of a dying breed.
The whole premise of Cadia’s fall seemed horribly beautiful and appealing to me as a fan of Warhammer 40,000. Unfortunately, I can’t say that my interest was in any way sated after reading Cadian Honour. The book starts relatively well, but then it settles into what I can only describe as mind-numbing tedium for the first 65% or so. That’s not to say that there isn’t some good old-fashioned grim-style violence, but it just felt like it all was more ‘for the sake of putting it in’ rather than for furthering the story.
The novel is billed as a ‘Minka Lesk’ novel. This is borderline false advertisement. Minka Lesk is in the novel, but to say it is a novel based around her is about as honest as saying that the Lord of the Rings was a ‘Samwell Tarly’ novel because he featured in it for parts. The point I am driving at is that Minka Lesk appears in less than a third of the novel. Most of it is spent focusing on incredibly slow world-building that features around the religious and political factions of the world they are on. The parts with Minka mostly feel like her babysitting a bunch of guardsmen that have little to no depth of character and it just felt dull. I was expecting something a bit punchier than I got.
The book wasn’t all slow tedium. After you get that out of the way it really does pick up and gets quite interesting for the remainder of the novel. I don’t feel the incredibly slow-burn was warranted considering the fact that the vast majority of it didn’t feel like it impacted the end at all. The parts that did could have been explained far quicker and still had the same high-octane, adrenaline-filled ending that we had.
I am guilty of not having read the first in this series. I hadn’t been aware there was a book that came before it when I picked it up. That being said, I don’t feel as though I needed the first one to get enough out of this one. I know I moaned about lack of character depth and those characters could have been expanded on in the first book, yes? Nah, they couldn’t. Those guardsmen Minka was babysitting were brand new squad members to her. I only really feel like I remember a couple (the ones Minka had issues with) as the rest were just names that were mentioned in passing. So I don’t feel I sold myself too short by not picking the first book up, but just in case, I will be giving this book a 3 rather than a 2 that I was flirting with.
The ending did make me curious as to where things go from here and, admittedly, I’d e interested in finding out. I just don’t want to put myself through two-thirds tedium to get to one-third excitement again. Nor do I want to spend any more time reading a book that I feel an attachment to the characters is near-impossible.