Friday, January 29, 2010

A Thousand Sons Book Review

Title: A Thousand Sons
Author: Graham McNeill
Publisher: Black Library
Pages: 560
ISBN: 9781844168095

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions”

- Samuel Johnson

The Great Crusade is in full swing.

Humanity's expansion into the stars is unstoppable. Legions of the Emperor's space marines – genetically enhanced super soldiers – fight on hundreds of fronts, on hundreds of worlds to unite all of humanity under one banner: The Imperium of Mankind.

In Graham McNiell’s latest epic installment in the Horus Heresy series, Thousand Sons, science and reason rule the age. Religion in all forms has been disbanded and outlawed. Demons and Devils no longer exist. The only gospel spoken is that of technology and humanity's right to rule. Humanity's dark genetic side – that of the Psyker – is repressed; psychic powers are looked down upon with disdain and fear by most in the Imperium. Except by the Sons of Magnus.

The Thousand Sons, a legion of the space marines embrace their psychic side, using their powers to fight humanity's enemies and expand their knowledge of the unknown. Their own Primarch Magnus the Red – genetic son of the Emperor – encourages his soldier’s pursuit of knowledge; certain of the fact that they have complete control over their powers.

But the Thousand Sons fight two enemies, those without and those within. Summoned to the planet of Nikea to stand trial for their powers, and to determine the fate of all psykers in the Imperium, the Thousand Sons are painted as sorcerers and warlocks who use powers that no human should ever have the ability to wield. They are told to never again to use their powers, and to cease all research into the depths of the warp, by order of the Emperor himself.

Magnus and his ilk return to their home world of Prospero, burdened with the knowledge that what the Emperor demands is impossible for them to. Perhaps Magnus can redeem himself and his legion in the eyes of his father.

A Thousand Sons tells the tale of a Legion beset by friend and foe alike. A legion who see's their powers as nothing more than tools to be used. To them, it's not the powers that make an individuals actions evil, it's is the individual's themselves.

This book was yet another stellar addition to the saga of the Horus Heresy. I give this an easy 9.5 on the Sonic Screwdriver scale (10.5 points was easily possible but that would mean Graham McNeill is a literary god, however I’m pretty sure he’s just a fallible as the rest of us humans). Fans of the Thousand Sons will probably have their own idea of how the book portrays the legion (I know I did). But Graham McNeil does an awesome job at throwing that right back into the readers face, with twists and turns around every page.

When this book, comes out in March, I urge you to go pick it up; anyone who likes epic military science fiction needs to buy it when it hits shelves.

This book is the first part of a duology with the second book, written by Dan Abnett, titled Prospero Burns, originally due to be released April of this year. However, due to recent medical problems with Dan, Prospero Burns is being pushed back until January of 2011.

So, until next time, in the words of The Thousand Sons…

“All is dust.”

Align Left

~ Ryan


  1. I found it a well written entry to the series, it dripped of hubris, pride and that misplaced sense of doing something that felt right at the time, but in the end was less than great in hindsight.

  2. I look forwards to this book as I am currently re-reading all the others.

    Shame to hear that Dan Abnett's next Horus Heresy book has been delayed on health grounds, as he's my favourite out of all the Black Library authors.

    Although Graham McNeill comes a very close second...


  3. Read A Thousand Sons in the beginning of January and thought it was a really wonderful book.

  4. Hi, well be sensible, well-all described