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Summary

The planet of Caliban exists much as it has for thousands of years - the knightly orders protect the common people, fighting back the beasts that lurk in the depths of the seemingly endless forests.

Young Zahariel and Nemiel aspire to join the greatest of the orders, led by the example of mighty Lion El'Jonson and his vision of a peaceful and unified world. But the coming of the Imperium brings new concerns and a new destiny for the Lion as part of the Great Crusade, and the sons of Caliban must decide if they will follow him to glory among the stars.

©2007 Games Workshop Limited (P)2013 Games Workshop Limited

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A tale of knights and monsters?

This Horus Heresy novel takes a different angle to the preceding books of the series and heavily focuses on the origins of the Dark Angels on Caliban and features a relatively small amount of story set around the Great Crusade.

The story is interesting and paints a picture of the Lion and The Order on their home world. It does lack the high stakes events of the prior stories in the series and is noticeably less well written, particularly the scenes involving combat where the prose is ponderous to say the least.

Overall an average novel that will probably appeal to Dark Angels fans but it sadly falls short of the standard set by the earlier novels.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

disappointed

Voice acting was good but the story was terrible. ..i have been listening to the horus heresy in order and this book has been the only one that i wont listen to again. Perhaps I am being harsh but the story seems to pick and choose when details are relavent, for instance it goes into great detail to explain the particulars of Calaban and the great beasts and the Orders endevoures, and then just says oh ye and they found a guy in the woods who is taller and stronger and faster and more capable than any other man who has ever lived on this planet. The book dosent explore any back story of THE LION. Instead it chooses to focus on some boy who turns out later to be a psycher and is literally incapable of failing anything. I mean this kid is so good at everything that its boring and i bet he has zero friends. Later the book goes on to just say here are the white scars the only other space marine chapter. We done here anythibg of the Emporers talks with his 1st son to be rediscovered or the second and nothing about any of the training it takes to be Astartes. The book ends pathetically by saying 1st war of the great crusade is over in i think 6 hours and The Lion get rid of some of battle brothers and this needs no further explanation. The only part that really got me interested was the shadow people in the woods. Maybe they were eldar although i think that is unlikley and of course there is zero explanation. I fully intend to listen to the heresy books again and when i do i will be skipping this one. The books leading up to this one have been amazing i just really hope the actual book is far better than this adaptation.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

High Fantasy with Chainswords!

A breath of fresh air from the pace of the previous books. Feeling more like a high fantasy novel for the most of it. Only complaint I have is that Armstrong keeps Zahariel and Nemiel's voices too consistent throughout. Which is an issue as we're introduced to the duo at the age of 7...

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Nothing to do with horus heresy

If this was a standalone book, it would be a slightly average tale of the dark angel's origins. The problem is that for some reason i cannot understand, its part of the horus heresy series.

If you've been going through the series, you arrive at this book from 5 books about epic events, legendary 40k astartes characters and huge battles. You're now primed for horus and the traitor legions (now corrupted by chaos) to start moving to attack Terra...

Instead you get a fairly dull book set before astartes even exist, from the POV of a not very interesting trainee knight. Such a random thibg to do and it completely derails the momentum of the series in a very frustrating way.

I wish i skipped this honestly. As a dark angels origin story is passable, but not very interesting. Best thing i can say is the narration is decent.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Not as good as other books in series

The story is frankly a bit boring and doesn’t really add that much to series - a shame. The story is simply not as good as previous books in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Path of Nadir

I wasn't expecting anything good due to some bad reviews, but apart from the end being a bit too rushed for my taste I found this prequel to the dark angels saga an amazing book, very well performed and with a nice pace.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very Knights and Beasts Tale

Very good book, although very separate from the series it's good at explaining the background of the DA

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Bittersweet story

With the exception of the first three books. This book is possible in my favourite by far. The story you can stand the one by itself with just a little knowledge of the universe. No data was also extremely competent his job and conveyed all emotions perfectly.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

love it

enjoyed the performance though thought it was a weaker story to fulgrim, still a great origin to the dark angels

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

no heresy

good book about the creation of the dark angels but nothing to do with the hourus heresy series of books so far.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael S. Labrow
  • 01-01-18

Great if you like Dark Angels

What did you love best about Descent of Angels?

I loved getting additional lore and backstory about the Dark Angels.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The story was about the coming of the Emperor and the creation of the First Legion. It has almost no tie in to the actual Horus Heresy. So as a tale about HOW the Dark Angels end up the Dark Angels of the 41st Millennium it's not bad. As a story of the Hersey it fails utterly.

Have you listened to any of Gareth Armstrong’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have listened to Gareth Armstrong on several other Black Library books, and he does a very good job telling this story. You always have a feel for who is talking due to the inflection of the character's 'voice' and he is very clear and brings a lot to the tale.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not really. The story felt kind of disjointed and at times it was hard to tell the passage of time. Some events were told as if they took mere hours or days but took weeks. Other events happened concurrently or behind other events in the book. The story itself could be tighter and better told.

Any additional comments?

I am glad I have listened to it. I'm not necessarily thrilled with the story itself. But then I'm not the biggest fan of the Dark Angels, so there is that.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-09-18

Fantastic seemingly unrelated story.

Great book that im assuming was only written to inroduce the primarch of the first legion the dark angels and give a full backstory. otherwise this book is mostly unrelated to everything that has happened in the rest of the series so far. that being said it was a great book maybe my favorite in the series yet and a needed break from the main storyline, i cant wait to see how they tie this together once the lion enters the war with horus. The one glaring flaw in this book is the abrubt ending, epilogue really wasnt enough either. Narrator was amazing!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-12-18

The weakest of the HH novels and poorly narrated

I've been listening to all the Horus Heresy novels in order, and this one is by far the least compelling. Many of the character names sound similar but the reader makes little effort to distinguish them with different voices. The plot is simply uninspired and the reader's voice acting in general leaves much to be desired. He especially has trouble mimicking shouts or bellowed commands, as well as the voices of young adults and women. I thought listening to the whole thing a second time would be easier, but it was not, and even less enjoyable. You will learn about the origins of the Dark Angels, but will be left scratching your head as to why it is worth hearing.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 04-12-18

filler story

absolutely one of my favorite stories of the series so far. I read the comments before listening to the book and was bummed to see that it was a filler. that being said this books knocks it out of the parks for Dark Angels. really starts to plant the seeds for the fall of luther.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • SYLOH
  • 22-11-18

One of the worst written book I've ever experience

Show don't tell. It's hard for a book to mess that up, but this book managed it. It constantly clobbers you with unrelenting exposition. Warhammer codexes are more subtle, and they're there to sell plastic. In the rare instances where it isn't expositing, what passes for tension is just you wondering when the characters are going to do the obvious thing you figured out 15 minutes earlier or if they're going to get Deus Ex Machinaed. The narrator did ok, but he can't save this wreck.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Elvis Dominguez
  • 19-11-18

Great & Awful

Great story, however Gareth’s delivery when voicing Zahariel & Nemial is terrible.

He kept the same pitch and tone of them from their child & teen years into their adult Astartes years, very cringeworthy & immersion breaking thibking of a full grown Astartes that sounds like my 9 year old nephew, and thats just my take on these 2 characters mind you.

Still, Mitchel Scanlon wrote a really good novel & it is worth reading/listening to.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 08-11-18

Good story

Good story, worth a listen. Dark Angels aren’t my favorite but touching on them during the Heresy is essential.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Brendan
  • 03-11-18

Lost

I'm not sure what the point of this was... I've listened to the other 5 and this just seems out of sequence...

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 20-10-18

great book!

slow but good. compared to other horus heresy books it's more story driven. less fighting scenes and more story telling.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kinomed_Knyght
  • 25-09-18

The Dark Angels

This books is about the Dark Angels and Caliban. It is a Great story and great performance. Just the story line seems to drudge on a little once in a while.