Inquisitor Eisenhorn Returns In A Stunning New Novel That Pits Him Against His Oldest Foe, Forcing Him To Finally Confront The Growing Darkness Within His Own SoulInquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn Has Spent His Life Stalking The Darkest And Most Dangerous Corners Of The Galaxy In Pursuit Of Heresy And Chaos, But How Long Can A Man Walk That Path Without Succumbing To The Lure Of The Warp Pursuing Heretics In The Remote Worlds Of The Imperium, Eisenhorn Must Confront The Truth About Himself Is He Still A Champion Of The Throne Or Has He Been Seduced By The Very Evil That He Hunts The Magos Is The Brand New, Full Length Fourth Novel In The Hugely Popular Eisenhorn Series This Paperback Edition Also Includes The Definitive Casebook Of Gregor Eisenhorn, Collecting Together All Twelve Of Dan Abnett S Inquisition Short Stories, Several Of Which Have Never Been In Print Before These Additional Stories Have Been Compiled By The Author To Act As An Essential Prologue To This Long Awaited New Novel, While Also Serving As An Indispensable Companion To The Original Eisenhorn Trilogy There s one thing that should be made clear before this begins This isn t simply a new novel.People seeking to pick up this new release might be surprised to find that it is an omnibus length book, retaining the same page count as the entire Eisenhorn trilogy leading up to this work The reason for this is that it retains or less every short story published surrounding the series to date From a few rare examples to several audio to text adaptations, over half of the book is made up of things we have seen before from across Eisenhorn s career Is this bad No, because it gives Games Workshop a reason to reprint those stories, and there s not a bad one among them.That said, for time constraints, this is going to skip those for the moment Instead, this will focus purely on The Magos itself, and judge the qualities of that work Brief bite sized reviews of the short stories might come at a later date, but this is just going to cover the new story The Synopsis Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn has spent his life stalking the darkest and most dangerous limits of the Imperium in pursuit of heresy and Chaos But how long can a man walk that path without succumbing to the lure of the Warp Is Eisenhorn still a champion of the Throne, or has he been seduced by the very evil that he hunts It s not often we simply stick to the official blurb, but there s a lot here which can easily be spoiled If the review as a whole seems as if it is attempting to write around certain details, that s only because it is This is definitely a great addition to the saga, but you need to go in blind to fully appreciate than a few of its best points As such, the review below will highlight its best and worst qualities, but it might not be nearly so detailed as the usual reviews.The GoodIt would be easy simply to say It s Eisenhorn and then drop the metaphorical mic and leave You know this is going to be good as, even in the absolute worst of the short stories, they are still miles ahead of many of their contemporaries However, to offer a detailed outline of the best qualities found within The Magos, you need to look into how it is set up.By the end of Malleus, everything was or less finished The titular Inquisitor had come to the very end of his promised arc, only to disappear in the final afterward The characters broke up to follow their own lives, with several crossing over into the Ravenor trilogy As such, this could have easily seemed like a needless one shot, and yet it works near perfectly This is thanks as much to the overall depiction of its protagonist in its current state as the core villain The Eisenhorn that we see here has than a simple I ve gone off of the deep end tone to him, nor even the acceptance of his Radicalism Instead, there is a noted effort to almost mentally ignore it This isn t so much an outright effort to blind himself to having gone so far, nor even to try and live out a life now lost to him, but simply to not register it While difficult to describe without spoiling a few notable scenes, it makes for an interesting contrast with most variants of Inquisitor gone bad Eisenhorn as he is neither fits into the extremist insisting that he is right nor even the unwitting pawn of Chaos Instead, it s a bizarre twist which makes his descent all the chilling You can still easily see the man who fought against Glaw in there, and at times he seems almost unchanged The moment you do start to accept that, the book adds a brief but very sharp reminder of just what has transpired and what he now associates himself with.The core villain of the book is also a definite strength, turning what could have easily been a one shot figure into a surprisingly memorable foe In the past books, we had a solid string of antagonists First there was the Glaw Household, with a full introduction and outline of their personas Then it was a shadowy figure of such power that Eisenhorn only confronted and even directly spoke with him at the last moment Then it was a sin Eisenhorn had created, born of his own desperate need and a sign of how his compromises would come back to bite him Each filled out a specific role in reflecting the Inquisitor s own state and indicating things to come So, adding in a figure for a single novel, after that character arc is finished, could have turned him into a simple obstacle to be overcome.Instead, the oldest and most constant foe the blurb promises establishes something which could be seen as a manifestation of the Imperium s greatest failings Something which is parallel to the protagonist himself, and yet has been born from a very different origin Saying anything would be spoiling an excellent book but it is a welcome twist which grants the tome an identity of its own, rather than being some tacked on adventure.The presentation of the fights and the engagements here are low key up to a point You ll know the exact moment when it does throw things out the window and goes into the sort of battle Ravenor is known for Prior to that, however, the book tries to better emphasise the investigation and drama angles the series is best famed for In fact, it handles it better than than a few previous installments, as it doesn t feel the need to throw in nearly as many battles or Die Hard stunts to keep things interesting It s a different flavour of storytelling, but it fits in well with the age in which it is set, and even the style of storytelling present in the short tales leading up to it.The characters accompanying Eisnehorn himself are spectacularly written, as is to be expected by this point With a few returning faces and one particular daemonic entity, the story has plenty of well developed individuals to call upon How some have reacted following the fall out of past series is commented upon, and it is used to reflect on the current state of the group Specifically what they have become and how they are required to operate now Most are given a chance to shine within the work, and a few even benefit from short character arcs which cover several chapters This offers them to do than what was typically found in the main trilogy, and helps to better integrate the new faces into the overall work.However, the use of interrogatories, detective work and subterfuge is where The Magos truly shines While it is far less Mission Impossible than what Ravenor usually offered, there s a degree engagement in seeing how the characters adapt, work and overcome challenges with very finite resources It s clear that they have little to fall back on, which turns it into less of a spy thriller and of a Shadowrun experience with Inquisitorial figures involved.The BadThe obvious inherent weakness of the book is simply the flaw all singular series suffer from Continuity lockout With an intended ongoing one, one with multiple arcs and planned to keep going as needed, you can create jumping on points and ease new readers into them Many of you are likely thinking of comics, but even Gaunt s Ghosts features this In the case of The Magos, an inherent familiarity of the past tales is required to truly get to grips with it Many minor or secondary elements which old hands might have forgotten and cannot simply be gleaned from skimming over a wikia page are present here, which makes it difficult to dive headlong into without prior preperation This might sound odd, but even as someone who has read the original Eisenhorn and Ravenor series a dozen times over each, I was finding myself having to go back to see if I was misremembering events.Further, the book also pushes to be semi self contained in a manner akin to the previous entries Unlike those, a few later segments seem rushed in how they close out events While past books Especially Xenos could write off characters thanks to the substantial time skips or even the lifestyle of an Inquisitor, in this case it seems to force them closed This ends with than a few stories coming to a very abrupt end, and while this is infinitely less jarring than it might have been under another penman, it s a noted difference from past works Almost as if part of the book were attempting to wipe the slate clean, while the other half left enough dangling elements to follow on later The problem is, the two do not quite mesh, creating a somewhat jarring situation.With the presence of many new characters here, especially among Eisenhorn s entourage, there are than a few occasions where they seem notably superfluous While previous installments had their fair share of shock deaths, dispensible fodder and minor figures, there was always a solid core of figures to fall back on With so many of them removed here, several of the major players end up carrying out a very similar role They are thankfully their own characters and remain distinct enough to be than a simple substitute, but you can easily find yourself mentally noting that they have been added to cover for a specific role.Perhaps the greatest flaw to be found within The Magos is how it ultimately tries to rely on atmosphere than descriptions Abnett himself tends to go back and forth on this point, with some works favouring creating a sense or specific emotion within a scene over lengthy details, while others build a distinct image Neither one is particularly wrong, and Abnett tends to use one or the other depending upon what he is writing The thing is, however, that the past Eisenhorn works favoured the latter, whereas The Magos is very much the former Many scenes in past books hinged very heavily on extremely detailed and very distinct environments, so to jump right from that to a very different approach can be discordant You can argue that this isn t an inherent problem with this book, but when it ties so closely into a larger series, it is worth citing as a flaw in the overall narrative.The VerdictThis was definitely the sort of book Pariah should have been Along with the action being centred on a familiar protagonist over a new figure stuck in an invisible war on unfamiliar factions, it fills in many gaps and helps to set the scene for the events to come While Eisenhorn s character arc had dome to a natural end with Malleus, this manages to keep the story going without feeling like a superfluous extension.The only serious criticism truly is that it is heavily entrenched in past series continuity, and has been written with old fans in mind Combined with a rather abrupt conclusion, it s definitely not something new fans or even those with a passing familiarity with the series will be able to get into Then again, that merely justifies introducing them to one of Black Library s greatest trilogies. Short review Abnett s inquisitor fiction just gets better and better, with this volume tying the unfinished trilogy of trilogies together.Long review Dan Abnett is my all time favourite Black Library author, and his two crowning achievements are the Gaunt s Ghosts series and the inquisitor novels, of which The Magos is the eighth entry, sitting between Ravenor Rogue and Pariah If you re still reading this review by this early point then I can safely make two assumptions 1 that you re not turned off by the idea of the Black Library making literary content based around Warhammer 40k, and 2 that you re aware of the background of Warhammer If that latter point is incorrect then a one sentence summary is in the 41st millenium the galaxy wide human empire is crumbling, with all powerful individuals called inquisitors attempting to arrest the empire s collapse The Magos depicts Inquisitor Eisenhorn as an old man, branded a dangerous heretic by the Imperium, working outside the Ordos with his retinue, and still utterly committed to his mission of ending the Cogitae OK cool, if you re not actually interested in this book then I ve completely lost you by this point.To you, discerning 40k reader, I can wholeheartedly recommend this book I desperately need to re read the other inquisitor novels on that later but I think this may be my favourite in the series As with his other work, Abnett just keeps getting better And I can make that comparison because included in the copy of The Magos I read were a series of short stories, some previously published in other books, some previously made as audio dramas, and some completely new They neatly show the progress of Abnett s writing, and act as important precursors to The Magos This is both a boon and a problem A boon because it allows for new characters in the book to have surprisingly deep, developed backstories, and reminds a reader like myself who hasn t read the other novels in a while quite who is who At a point in The Magos a pivotal revelation occurs, going all the way back to the beginning of the series and pointing a way to its conclusion at the end the Bequin trilogy The background provided in these short stories definitely contributes to the weight of this revelation.However When presented in the volume as they are, one after the other followed by The Magos, the telegraphing and foreshadowing in these short stories, as well as their effect when referenced in the revelation, comes across as rather hackneyed That s not to say that they are bad, or that their inclusion in the story is bad But when read in rapid succession their relationship to the story does seem rather simplistic.Fortunately however this isn t what Abnett intended.In the contents of the book Abnett provides a suggested reading order, showing where in the order of short stories you should read the other books from Hereticus to Pariah I plan on doing this in the future, because I imagine that with the weight of the rest of the story and better spacing between the shorts, the impact on the revelation in The Magos will be much greater, and the flow of the series will be greatly improved.Given how I read the book I award it four stars, but I imagine that if consumed the book s content as the author intended it would be five stars At any rate this is first rate dark science fiction, with deep characters, fantastic imagination, and gripping action Abnett is the best there is at this, and if you re interested in 40k then this series is arguably the best place to start. Dan Abnett, my life is all the richer for having books written by you in it Thank you, thank you, thank you. It was amazing to finally get back to Eisenhorn and fill in some of the gaps in his story I d only read one of these previously, the short story Backcloth for a Crown Additional which appeared in the Omnibus edition of the Eisenhorn trilogy But i had always meant to get to the others included in this anthology.When i started the book, i was under the impression that the only new story was the novel The Magos , but that turned out to not be true at all There are 3 short stories that haven t been published previously, two of which feature Magos Biologis Valentin Drusher in his earlier career before he has his encounter with Eisenhorn On top of that Dan Abnett rather skillfully wove references and mentions from all of the featured short stories into The Magos novel, so it was well worth reading them all in order, even if you ve read them previously his author s forward mentions this as well, but it s surprising how many people i ve heard say they skipped that Honestly, i think this is my favorite of the entire series so far Drusher is an amazingly good every man character, who just comes out and says a lot of things ordinary folks might think about Eisenhorn and his Inquisitorial followers, sometimes blurts them is actually appropriate It s often hilariously awkward, but frequently very insightful I ve become so accustomed to the way Eisenhorn presents his first person narrative, that i never really thought about how that conceit would appear to an ordinary citizen who s never really heard of or believed in the great enemy This has always been the greatest strength of the Eisenhorn Ravenor books, in that it portrays a look at life in the 41st millennium away from the battlefields of Warhammer 40k And this book turned that up to 11 There s also a particular chapter toward the climax of the story, where Eisenhorn has to face some incredibly difficult truths about himself and his mission And specifically, about the way he s been doing things his whole life This chapter is where a lot of the references from earlier stories comes in, but it s by no means the only section to do so This bit was the single best breakdown of his character i ve ever seen And Eisenhorn comes away from it, a profoundly changed man I ve been holding off on reading Pariah the first in the Bequin trilogy for several years, because i was concerned that the 2nd part wasn t forthcoming any time soon But it s very tempting to dive into that book The Magos sets up a lot of what i m sure will be some fascinating character arcs there. The first half of the book is short stories, which Dan Abnett recommends reading or re reading for background for The Magos itself I loved the book After the disappointment of The Warmaster I was hoping that Abnett s writing mojo went into this oneand it did It s the link from Hereticus to Pariah and makes me really excited for the next book which I believe is called Penitent. Last Warhammer for a bit, I kinda promise.Eisenhorn is a bad man, an inquistor for those not familiar with the universe basically a cop This is a collection of short stories and a new one that shows the world that most of Warhammer books don t cover, the dirty underside of an already dirty world, yup..that bad This is great stuff, if you are a scifi fan and crime noir type fan..this is a good read for you and it is spring breakyou need something to read. Excellent collection of Eisenhorn short stories that lead into Book 4 of the Eisenhorn Trilogy Lots of action and intrigue, with some solid characters The Magos novel is a bridge to the Bequin Trilogy Check it out. Magos is not just one book There is the main story called Magos and then there are several short stories that precede it All of the stories eventually have a tie in to the Magos storyline.This is the story of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn His obsession with the chaos cult called the Cognitae has cost him his standing with the Inquisition Still Eisenhorn continues his battle against the Cognitae, even to the point of going rogue in the eyes of his Ordos This story focuses on Eisenhorn and his search for the Yellow King Without going too much into the plot the chaos cult s efforts truly cause Eisenhorn to question the validity of his own beliefs and actions Is he a heretic Or does he still serve the Imperium The action is exciting and the story is interesting The short stories run from being great to merely good But they all do introduce characters whom you will run into during the main plot of Magos While not a Space Marine, save one in a cameo in one of the short stories, makes an appearance this is still an exciting tale The Inquisition is a great organization to read about Eisenhorn is an interesting character and I enjoyed learning about his background The short stories allow for insight into many of the things that occur later in the Magos storyline I enjoyed the way they tied in and it made sense rather than being a random bunch of stories.Nice read about the Inquisition and, in specific, Gregor Eisenhorn Any Warhammer fan will like this one. It has been a long time since Pariah and I have sorely missed the world of Gregor Eisenhorn, Gideon Ravenor, and the rest of their circle Magos, the main story and the added short stories, have certainly soothed the pain of waiting I was unsure about the Eisenhorn in this book, the weight of years and the shadow of being hounded by the Ordos and the Archenemy have certainly taken their tollwell, you ll just have to read it yourself to see how things end up Great book, and as always i eagerly await Dan Abnett s next novel
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- 720 pages
- The Magos
- Dan Abnett
- 08 July 2019 Dan Abnett