The Cadian Gate is broken, and the Imperium is riven in two. The might of the Traitor Legions, kept shackled for millennia behind walls of iron and sorcery, has been unleashed on a darkening galaxy. Among those seeking vengeance on the Corpse Emperor’s faltering realm are the Death Guard, once proud crusaders of the Legiones Astartes, now debased creatures of terror and contagion.
Mighty warbands carve bloody paths through the void, answering their lord primarch’s call to war. And yet for all their dread might in arms, there is no escape from the vicious legacies of the past, ones that will pursue them from the ruined daemon-worlds of the Eye of Terror and out into the smouldering wastes of the Imperium Nihilus.
Author: Chris Wraight
Narrator: John Banks
Publisher: Black Library
This book shows the warhammer 40,000 fan base that there really are few people with a talent for writing the Death Guard quite like Chris Wraight.
The novels in the 40k universe are largely written from the viewpoint of the Imperium, so its always interesting and refreshing to see stuff from the viewpoint of the traitor legions. You can see that both sides have a deep-set hatred for the other and both genuinely feel they’re in the right.
The Death Guard are a plague-ridden legion who view sickness (the more debilitating the better) as a true gift from their god, Nurgle. Chris Wraight shows the inner workings of the death guard and, in a strange way, makes their rotting, plague-filled lives actually sound kind of … nice. I know that I found myself loving every mention of the ‘Little Lords’.
In Lords of Silence we see everything from how the Death Guard (or at least the aspect of it focused on in this book) live, travel, wage war, take slaves and mutate them from men into shambling plague creatures and more.
My only negative with the book was that I kept losing myself as regards to what was happening. Whereas most novels I read or listen to keep me firmly routed to the ground and I can follow along and pick back up without issue, this one didn’t. I only feel a few of the characters were memorable and struggle to remember the rest.
That being said, the writing itself was excellent and I don’t remember being bored, even when struggling to remember what happened. A very strange critique, I know. The fact that I’m writing it confuses me just as much as it must do for anyone reading it.
For anyone choosing to listen to the audio version instead of read the written version, you’re in for a treat. The narrator is top notch. The voices and sounds he does for the daemons are fantastic and really add to what is a gruesome atmosphere.
For anyone not familiar with the warhammer universe, I would not suggest this as a starting point. Its too far along the universe’s narrative for that to be a wise choice.