The Dark Fortress

Review: Prospero Burns

24 March 2011 | 5th Edition

Prospero Burns cover

The other side of the story to the excellent A Thousand Sons

Marketed somewhat puzzlingly perhaps as being a companion book to Graham McNiell's very entertaining A Thousand Sons, I was really looking forwards to a weekend romping through Dan Abnett's latest.

I already knew it wasn't power armour through and through, and that there was much background story set on Fenris building the story and that was all fine. To be honest it started with real gusto. We are eye-witness to a "murder-make", a raid by one tribe on another in the frozen wastes of Fenris. The language evocative, the scene is being built for another classic that we rightfully expect from Dan Abnett.

But then we get to page 15:

"A Balt spear punctured him right through, and tore him open so thoroughly, his guts spilled out onto the snow like ropes of sausage. Ghejj tried to catch them, as though he could gather them up and put them back inside himself and everything would be all right again."

It goes on for another six or seven tawdry lines. But I've had enough. This is pure rubbish. It's unrequired. It's cheap. It's not befitting the range of Horus Heresy books, several of which deserve to be lauded as classics of their genre.

Is this the kind of thrill-writing content that Black Library see fit to peddle as meaningful science fiction nowadys?

I'm undecided whether to actually carry on with this book now. There aren't many books I don't finish. To me there should be a level of editorial control exercised by Black Library designed to strengthen the literary merit of their output. I'm not squeamish and by buying a Black Library book a realise I won't be getting true literature — I can read that elsewhere — but I don't want steaming ropey guts either thank you. As a customer spending my money I think I deserve something better then the kind of adolescent sensationalism being delivered.

Overall Rating

As it isn't finished it's not going to be rated yet.


UK PRICE: £7.99 (at the time of publication)
UK ISBN-13: 978-1-84416-776-0
US ISBN-13: 978-1-84416-777-7
GW PRODUCT CODE: 6010 0181 103


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