The Eternal Bookcase

Title:Galaxy in Flames
Author:Ben Counter
Published by: Black Library
Publication date: 10 October 2006
Genre:Science Fiction/War
Pages: 416
Source:Personal Collection

Buy the Book – Amazon

“Having recovered from his grievous injuries, Warmaster Horus leads the triumphant Imperial forces against the rebel world of Isstvan III where Horus’s treachery is finally revealed … “ – Black Library’s synopsis of Galaxy in Flames.

Galaxy in Flames is the final book in the opening Trilogy for the Horus Heresy. Horus has recovered from the life-threatening wounds he sustained on Davin and is ready to stage his final gambit on Isstvan III.

As with the previous two Horus Heresy books, I have read Galaxy in Flames before and previously, I really enjoyed it; in a fashion. During my first read I was so captivated by the characters of the book – set up in the previous…

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This is a Patreon Reward for maenoferren22, who has very kindly supported me on my Patreon Page.

What I love about Patreon – just like my commissions – is that I get to draw requests for people that I would never have thought about drawing myself. In this case a Samurai Feline; I chose a tiger because they’re beautiful animals.

I have never draw samurai armour before and my knowledge of it is severely limited, so I hope I got it looking right; even if it’s not technically accurate!

Moving forwards, this is the sort of anthropomorphic artwork that I would like to create. I still adore anthropomorphic creations and don’t want to give it up entirely; but would like to have it more in line with my other interests too, so be on the look out.

And again, thank you so much for supporting me on Patreon

If you’re interested in my artwork and commissioning me please visit my commissions page.
Alternatively, you can support me on Patreon from $1 and get a request when you do.

Title: False Gods
: Graham McNeill
Published by: Black Library
Publication date: June 2006
Genre: Science-Fiction/War
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Collection

Buy the Book: Amazon

Buy the Book: Black Library

“The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium. Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs and, when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemons. With all the temptations that Chaos has to offer, can the weakened Horus resist?” Blurb taken from the Black Library website, they did a far more eloquent job of describing their book than I ever could.

The second novel in the Horus Heresy series and another of the set that I have previously read; although I didn’t remember much about the book the first time around; other that being left with the impression that not much happened other than Horus being an idiot in a cave! I couldn’t have been more wrong!

Initial concerns – prior to my first read of the novel – was that the second book in the Horus Heresy was written by a completely different author. Would Graham McNeill be able to handle the beloved character from Horus Rising in a way that complimented Dan Abnetts groundwork of them? No two people approach the same problems in the same way, so I recall having concerns regarding Graham McNeills approach. These concerns are completely unfounded as not only does McNeill keep the core essence of the characters the same, he develops them and their story and makes them his own.

Needless to say, the enjoyable characters from Horus Rising are still present in False Gods and I feel like I gushed enough about them in my previous post to only give them a brief mention here. As False Gods progress the characters… change. Their easy companionship with one another becomes fraught as opinions differ and they start to walk their own paths. It’s easy to see where some of them are heading, while others we’re left guessing about. Which is a part of what is so enjoyable about the novel.

I remember Flight of the Eistenstein (Book #4 in the Horus Heresy) for being the catalyst to my hatred of Nurgle and all things gross related to it, yet somehow I had blanked the absolutely disgusting descriptions of Davins moon and the battle that takes place there; it’s a wonderfully written section of the book that left me reeling in abject horror for some of the encounters and the desperate struggles for some of the beloved characters.

This book was a page-turner and I read it in less than a week but at the same time it was really difficult to reread. This is the book that it all starts to go very wrong; the entities from the Immaterium are unveiled properly and Horus starts the wonderful decline of betrayal; which shouldn’t be a spoiler as this series is called the Horus Heresy! The plot-line and how it continues from Horus Rising feels superior to it’s predecessor, layering upon the intrigue that is started in Horus Rising masterfully. So while the book in itself is fantastic, there is the internal monologue screaming at some of the characters (Horus, mostly) not to be so effing stupid and get his act together! I actually think that this is the most questionable part of the book. Horus is mortally wounded on Davins Moon by rebellious Planetary Govenor Eugen Temba, Imperial Apothecaries can’t help save him and after pouring his heart and soul out to his personal Remembrancer Petronella Vivar he is taken to the Serpent Lodge on Davin and left to the “healers” of the lodge. Whilst in the Lodge Horus has visions which space the course of Warhammer 30/40k history! Horus seems so easy for the Chaos Gods too corrupt, especially considering his guides during his visions are of extremely dubious authenticity!

Everything after Horus’ visions feels hollow and empty; the heart of his Legion has been torn from him and the book takes on a very wary, forlorn feel to it. The Remembrancers suffer as much (if not more so) than the Sons of Horus and are cast aside by those they’ve been sent to document; partially by choice and later because they have no use and are seen as ‘dangerous.’ And False Gods certainly feels like a book of two halves, which is actually a good thing; you can’t pinpoint the exact page on which the tone of the story changes, but it’s certainly present. It all comes down to two sections; ‘Before’ and ‘After’ the fall to Chaos.

To help balance this fall into Chaos, we have the humans starting the journey of the Lectitio Divinitatus and it is amazing to see how the fall of one ‘God’ enables the rise of another; the offset of the two events (Fall of Horus and Rise of the Lectitio Divinitatus) is wonderfully written and really thought provoking in it’s own right. Woul the Chaos Gods have need of Horus is the Lectitio Divinitatus hadn’t taken hold and would the Lectitio Divinitatus even be required had Horus not fallen?

False Gods does a wonderful job of advancing the Horus Heresy story and allows the tale to start taking on a different tone; few and far between are the fun-filled encounters between the Mournival members and as a reader I felt that keenly. I longed for the happier times of the previous book, but knew that they had to die on order for the series to progress into something new, for the story of the Heresy to take place.

As this is my second reading of the book, I am pleased that my knowledge of the 40k Universe has aided in my understanding of the novel and while I still believe that anyone can pick up these books and read and enjoy them, I feel like I have gotten more out of them the second time around now that I am more invested in the ‘verse.

I am excited and terrified to read Galaxy in Flames.

Commission for an Email Client.

I don’t share any of these for a while, then – just like buses – three come along at once!

Thanks for looking.

If you’re interested in my artwork and commissioning me please visit my commissions page.
Alternatively, you can support me on Patreon from $1 and get a request when you do.

These images were commissioned by Cameron of Games Workshop Edinburgh store; they are for personal use only and by no means an official endorsement from Games Workshop.

The above images are of his staff members and were gifts for them as a part of the Store Birthday.

If you’re interested in my artwork and commissioning me please visit my commissions page.
Alternatively, you can support me on Patreon from $1 and get a request when you do.

Sadly, my lightbox is too small to photograph all the models in the army together properly – I’ll have to see if I can get a nice day for them to go outside and be photographed in natural light; I should do that when I take them beyond the ‘tabletop standard’ here – that’s enough of the excuses, on with the showcase!

These models are the ones that I started out with, seeing as they’re the most standard models in the set and I could get away with one or two of them looking ‘off’ while I worked out the ins and outs of the Mortifactors paint scheme and how I could get it to translate to the Shadowspear Phobos armour marines.

No army is complete without a Captain to lead them and this is the Boss himself; he’s a very detailed model and I was somewhat concerned about painting him, but the good thing about getting models to this standard is that you don’t get to lost or concerned about the details. They’ll be worked on a bit more later when I pick up the more interesting and appealing models and take them beyond this standard.

The Librarian brings a wonderful patch of colour to the Army and he is most certainly going to be the model I pick up first to add a bit of layering and highlighting too. I was initially very worried about painting this model as I really like it and I’ve never painted camouflage before. That and because the paint scheme isn’t 100% canon Mortifactor I wasn’t sure how well he’d hold up compared to the rest of the army. I am so pleased with how he turned out and can’t wait to work on him!

These guys were a lot of fun to do, especially after my concerns about the camouflage had been overcome in previous models. I especially like the gentleman at the front who doesn’t think the goggles on his head are good enough, so has to use his second set!

I had concerns about these models too, mostly because I really didn’t like the way they looked on their flying bases/sticks. But, with some craft basing there was very little conversion work involved (Read as none) but at this point I admit, I was feeling a little burnt out with the Army and was pleased that they went together well and didn’t give me any grief.

No Primaris army is complete without a Lieutenant! This is another model I am looking forward to bringing up to a higher standard as I really like the sculpt. Maybe that’s because he is the only model in the army (Other than the awesome Librarian sword) that is holding a close combat weapon! It’s nice to have finished an army – I say that as they all have paint on them and look a lot better than grey plastic – which looks decent on finished bases.

The bases weren’t as traumatic as might be believed and only took a couple of nights to do. A pack of Games Workshop Skulls and some of Lord Commander Eloths left-over Tomb Kings skulls were enough to do the entire army and give me a few left in case I get a couple of reinforcements! These were stuck onto the base with PVA glue, spray coatedm based, washed and dry brushed. I then used some AK puddle water effect blobbed on to finish. I am particularly pleased with the bases as I feel a good base really makes an army come together. They were fun too and helped me feel a bit more accomplished as I feel like my bases have been a weak point in modelling before now.

It feels like it’s been a while since I uploaded a commission on here! These busts are for FoeHamm0r on Twitter of him and his wife.

These busts are always a treat to be able to draw for other people and I am always honestly touched that people want one for themselves. It’s great seeing them as people profile pictures throughout the Warhammer Community and I am grateful for the commissions for them.

Title: Horus Rising
: Dan Abnett
Published by: Black Library
Publication date: 25th April 2006
Genre: Science-Fiction/War
Pages: 416
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Collection

Buy the Book: Amazon

Buy the Book: Black Library

It is the 31st millennium. Under the benevolent leadership of the Immortal Emperor, the Imperium of Man has stretched out across the galaxy. It is a golden age of discovery and conquest. But now, on the eve of victory, the Emperor leaves the front lines, entrusting the great crusade to his favourite son, Horus. Promoted to Warmaster, can the idealistic Horus carry out the Emperor’s grand plan, or will this promotion sow the seeds of heresy amongst his brothers? Horus Rising is the first chapter in the epic tale of the Horus Heresy, a galactic civil war that threatened to bring about the extinction of humanity.”
Blurb taken from the Black Library website, they did a far more eloquent job of describing their book than I ever could.

This is the second time I am reading these books – my intention is to read the first three if nothing more – and I am finding them a lot more enjoyable the second time around; my knowledge of the 30/40k universe has grown a lot in the ten years since my first read around and as such the books feel much easier to digest. Having said that, no prior knowledge of the setting is required to enjoy the stories in the Horus Heresy series. I do owe these books a lot as they are what captured my interest with the hobby as a whole (I wonder how many other hobbyists out there can say the same?)

I got a lot of enjoyment out of rereading this book, it’s a good, fun book to read but it’s also so much more than that. Horus Rising is the first novel in the Horus Heresy series and sets the standards really high for any of the 50+ novels that follow it. It’s often said that a book is judged by it’s opening line; “I was there, the day that Horus killed the Emperor” is one of the best opening lines from a book I’ve ever had the good fortune to spend time with. The first few chapters of Horus Rising gives away so much of the over-arching story, cleverly concealed in the guise of another tale being told by the main character Garviel Loken.

Loken as a main character is an inspired choice. Not because he is an overly interesting character, but because he becomes the ‘standard’ model for all Adeptus Astartes to be measured by. Loken is a Space Marine Captain of the Luna Wolves and is initiated into the Mournival – a group of personal advisors to Warmaster Horus, the leader of the Luna Wolves. It is through Lokens eyes that we are introduced to the grim, gritty world in which they all inhabit. He gives us a lofty view of this world and the role which he and his fellow Astartes have within it. He is a tempered ‘middle ground’ between the Godlike Primarchs, of which Horus is one, and the human Rememberancers – artists documenting the glorious Great Crusade.

Amidst the scenes of battles – which are amazingly written in their own rights – we have some brilliantly crafted character development. The Space Marines in the novel are written in a way that makes them ‘more’. More human than human. These traits are easiest to pick out in the combat scenes, but also in the way they view and interact with one another and we’re given glimpses of a bond with one another beyond that a mortal can comprehend. This is not only shown in how they interact with one another but in how the Remembrancers act and react with them. How they are revered by normal humans and the Remembrancers interactions with one another seem to pale in comparison.

This book is filled with personality; which isn’t always something that come to mind when dealing with Space Marines – maybe this is due to my experiences of 40k novels mostly centering around Ultramarines? It’s a masterful stroke of genius that all the main characters differ from one another in terms of their personality; the jovial Torgaddon, super-angry Abaddon, straight laced Loken and tempered Aximand (The Mournival). Which helps to bring a sense of real life to such a fantastical, in depth and far-out setting. Giving nod to other side characters, Saul Tarvitz, Eidolon & Lucius of the Emperors Children chapter who help to shape the difference between the Space Marine Legions. Also Erebus of the Word Bearers Legion, but fuck that guy!

Horus himself, being the most Godlike character we’re introduced to, feels just as human as the rest of them, in a fashion. He uses the Mournival as a means to manipulate those around him in believing they have a choice in the world around them; but everyone dances to the Warmasters tune and the scenes including the politics of war throughout the book are very well written. Especially reading the frustrations that Horus has to keep this air of neutrality in his war politics and the overall effects that this has on his health. Charismatic and aloof in the same brush stroke.

Beyond the characters – which are a highlight of the story – the plot has enough action and intrigue to keep the pages turning with a thirst to know what’s going to happen (I know what happens and every few pages I felt a creeping sadness wash over me) and more importantly, how it is going to happen.

While this book is primarily a Science-Fiction war story there are other topics that are addressed within it’s pages; religion and philosophy being explored by the human characters and the place that these fledgling thoughts have in their lives. Poetry and art being ever relevant to human nature have a place in the story too; being off-set and powerful in their own right against the Space Marines bolters.

We’re also treated to other races in the 30k/40k universe. The extremely alien megarachnid – most relateable to 40 Tyranids -and the Interex an offering of Terran humans thought cut off from their human brethren. And it’s welcome to read about other races in the universe setting beyond what is currently within the 40k game setting.

I’ve jabbered about this with Science Fiction in other book thoughts on the blog, but I often find myself struggling with a higher-level of language that I cannot cope with which ends up in my wanting to pitch the book out of the window! Clearly, I had no such problem with Horus Rising. If you’re looking to get into 40k and start your own Space Marine army, then I assure you, Horus Rising is the best place to start; speaking from personal experience.

This is the test base for my Mortifactors Army; considering their obsession with skulls I figured this sort of a base made the most sense. I’ve not done a base like this before either, so it was fun figuring out how to do it without it just looking like I have stuck some skulls to a base (Which is exactly what I did)

This base is the smaller of the armies offerings, belonging to one of the Infiltrators. I’ll paint up the aforementioned Infiltrators to a decent standard and marry him up to his base and then we’ll see if the idea works well enough to complete the rest of the army.

I already shared the finished image of the final one (Of the Chaplain) but thought I’d share the other two sketches as well.

The first is the Blood Guards Chapter Master; Loghain Kemplar – who is quite mad, I assure you – the Blood Guard ones are work for the Codex, the other fine looking fellow is Tarik Torgaddon from Horus Rising/False Gods/Galaxy in Flames which I am currently re-reading, which probably explains the sudden influx in Space Marine stuff on the blog!

I’ll try and get them all finished up soon. They’ll be posted on my Patreon page first as an incentive to subscribe!

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