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Summary

A Horus Heresy novel

Hero. Villain. Protector. Destroyer. Loyal. Fallen. Luther embodies the duality at the heart of the Dark Angels – but what is his story? Prepare to find out....

Listen to It Because

Get new insights into one of the key figures of the Horus Heresy, who shaped the destiny of the Dark Angels for 10 millennia, in a new novel by the master of First Legion fiction, Gav Thorpe.

The Story

Knight of the Angelicasta. Saviour of the Lion. Grand Master of the Order. Lord of the Dark Angels. Protector of Caliban. Chaos Heretic. Destroyer of Caliban. Sorcerer of the Abyss. Arch-traitor. Dark Oracle. First of the Fallen.

Can one man be all of these things?

Kept alive and imprisoned for 10,000 years, Luther is the curse and the salvation of the Dark Angels made manifest. None are so close to the heart and history of the Chapter as the man that embodies all that was great about the First Legion and all that is shameful about the Dark Angels. In his story is writ the tale of the Horus Heresy and the fall from Enlightenment in a single long life. Glory, honour, pride, shame and betrayal weave a tapestry of truth and lies that the Supreme Grand Masters of the Dark Angels have sought to understand and unbind across 10 bloody millennia. Luther claims repentance for his past deeds, but was it his sins that condemned the Chapter to its secretive fate, or should warnings from history have been more closely heeded?

Written by Gav Thorpe. Narrated by Andrew James Spooner.

©2021 Games Workshop Limited (P)2021 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Luther: First of the Fallen

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At last a Dark Angels novel for grown ups

I've found that Black Library's W40k novels largely fall into two camps: The first is thought provoking stories which skirt round the sillier aspects of the W40k universe by focussing instead on interesting characters, plots and situations (Gaunts Ghosts, Eisenhorn/Ravenor, Helsreach, Fabius Bile ) The second category is by far the larger and features superficial tripe written for an audience with a reading age of 8 (e.g. most books about Space Marines – most recently, The Blades of Calth and Indomitus)

I have to admit that nearly every Dark Angels book I've read falls into the second category. Plus, there's something about 'The First' that always got my goat. Maybe it was the way they are all named after fallen angels from Hebrew literature and it just so happens that they become a legion called the Dark Angels. And some of those that turned traitor are the 'Fallen'. What a coincidence! What are the chances? Oh yeah and they have a big secret. It just so happens they were always a secretive bunch, before they got their big secret… what are the chances? And so it goes on.

All that being said, 'Luther' is absolutely top quality. Gav Thorpe veers between the two camps more than most BL authors, but I shall happily concede that he delivers the goods here. Andrew James Spooner does a sterling job on the narration, there's been some dodgy contributions by newbie readers in recent BL audiobooks, but I can report one feels no disconnect here, all the voices 'felt' right and consistent with past productions.

On plot, I refuse to give away anything (who knows what small detail might be a spoiler to a First Legion fanatic?) but needless to say, this is a thoughtful and nuanced story about a complex character who Thorpe endows with real depth. Luther is neither a square-jawed hero, nor an evil, mustachio-twirling villain. The narrative structure – partially told in present, partially told in flashback, might annoy some but it worked perfectly for me.

What we get is a really careful examination of many of the contradictions about the Dark Angels and the Fallen that really should have made them perfect subjects for novels for years. Fans of bolter-porn might find it disappointingly light on loving descriptions of 'gen-hanced musculature' , evisceration by chainsword and mortals wetting their pants at the general awesomeness of space marines - but that's because 'Luther' is a proper book for grown-ups. At the same time, it still manages to be a fun read – there are a lot of bones thrown in for the average w40k lore-junkie. In short, this is the book on The Dark Angels that I didn't know I'd always been waiting for.

13 people found this helpful

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Deluded ravings of a heretic

Yet another heretic attempting to justify his disloyalty to the emperor (pardon my heresy there I meant God Emperor obviously)

This is a really enjoyable and intriguing book, I am no fan of the 1st legion and knew next to nothing of their history and lore, sadly there are many in the grim dark future who also are unable to bow down to the master of mankind and Luther meets these shady characters, Erebus and Thyphon, great story and great narration

4 people found this helpful

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dark angels

love it hate it the dark angels. great story, please more....hope to see a continuation of this story. great 👌

2 people found this helpful

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Well well well....not such a Traitor after all....

That definitely puts another prospective on the Dark Angels.
You cannot help finding sympathy and reasoning behind Luther's decisions, a very, very good listen and I highly recommend it. I will always be a Blood Angel fanboy but I like Dark Angels lore and this is definitely worth it.

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great to listen to

Great getting an insight into the mind of Luther, and how the Dark Angels go from reasonable to pure zealots

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Serendipitous Character

I have never thought that a sassy horse would be my most favourite character! Also what an insane insight into this guy!

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good but nothing new

I've read plenty dark angels HH stuff and this is pretty formulaic with nothing new to add.

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interesting take on the fall of the Dark Angels

An interesting take on Luther's fall but could've made a little more of the pride and how he was tempted in the first place, although I'm largely happy that the author let me draw my own conclusions about that. there is some lazy writing in here which is why it only gets 4 stars as it distracts a little from the story which in itself is good. I can't say more without getting into spoilers.

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  • snozek
  • 26-04-21

Way better then Gav's last book

Gav Thorpe is notoriously hot and cold as far as the books he writes for black library.

Some of his books are among the best of the Horus heresy, like deliverance loss or angels of Caliban. Others are so terrible that I really wish I had never read it, like Indomitus, his eldar novels, or some of his varied Dark Angel shorts.

It seems like black library had intended this book to bridge a number of different weak points in the lore of the genesis of the dark angels.

If this was the mission, than the author accomplished it very solidly.

The author has a bad habit however of making a straw man out of characters that are not ones your supposed to like.

The effect is that many of the stories are 2 dimensional until you reach 1 or 2 characters.

Presuming the previous mission, the author had a tough task, but used the vehicle of Luther as an effective bridge across seeming chasms of unwritten lore.

There are a few very difficult parts to the book however, these parts are shared with other books recently from black library generally and Gav particularly.

The forcing of politically correct agendas is really not necessary in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium. Nobody likes to be subtly or unsubtly propagandised, I really don't need female nights running around when that was never integral to the story.

In fact, it's kind of a put off. They are not any historical evidences of this happening anywhere in human history. It is just a modern political agenda that will pass later. It makes the work have less staying power and appeal ability.

Have and black library both have been pushing similar agendas with gender nonconformity, female empowerment, and how evil religion is.

S is really irritating and nobody really enjoys it. It is tolerated, not enjoyed.

Jumping onto that bandwagon, Gav also loves to permeate the work with the idea that everything is meaningless and there is no right or wrong.

Being a veteran of black library, the warhammer universe generally, and all sorts of similar fiction, this is one of the most annoying tropes out there is fiction.

It is a small minded, internally invalid outlook the defeats itself simply on its statement. I am not advocating one or another value set per se, but damn seems to love the depressing and meaningless angles in his characters.

Why does a character do any one thing instead of another thing if there is no hope of anything positive in the end? Gav doesn't know, or at least he doesn't seem to write anything.

That is why this is so strange about this particular book. The reader is hopeful of some kind of information contributing to the overall storyline of the dark angels. This keeps us turning the pages.

In this book, Gav understands that very well, which is why the book was very readable.

It seems strange that gave does not extend this understanding to characters in his books.

That being sad, Gav's work in this book is above average and is generally very solid.This is mostly because the subject is compelling and we really want to advance the overall storyline in the 40K universe.

He narrator, Mr. Spooner, did a phenomenal job! It is fairly rare to have a reader do so well that I have not heard before in 40k audios, but he did quite well. Hats off!

16 people found this helpful

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  • Frank
  • 30-04-21

Outstanding!

Great story & narration! Even if you're not a DA fan it's still very immersive and paints a different picture of Luther.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Kjetil Moen
  • 04-04-21

choppy

the sound is really choppy.
ive tried both the normal and large version.
as it stands now, it is unplayable

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Alexander
  • 26-05-21

Dull and trite

Nothing worse than a sci-fi author trying to be a philosopher. Also, the author’s politics emerges in boring fashion as a medieval society cares about tolerating immigrants and ensuring equality. It was like they had Twitter in space and everyone virtue signals instead of being interesting.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-05-21

Good S***

This story was the most human story I've listened to or read so far. "A"mazing

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cody & Ashley
  • 11-04-21

One great book I loved it

I loved this book one of the best I've heard so far. Full of great little stories and a insight of what it's l like to be a fallen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-04-21

woooooo

first legion rocks. Haill the emperor. Luther had to do what he had to do.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Benjamin Garwood
  • 02-07-21

A great story about the last knight

Great story written by such a great storyteller. It is an excellent read about the Luther the last true knight of Caliban. As always oration was perfect and really brought the characters to life. One of the best warhammer books and author imho though they have all been good.

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  • Nick
  • 04-06-21

Excellent Read

A collection of visions framed by Luther’s periodic interrogations allows us to understand the complexities of villainy.
Luther is an excellent protagonist, who you will root for even if you are a dedicated Unforgiven.
Fans of the Dark Angels should definitely pick up this one, as well as anyone who enjoys knight’s quest, chivalry, and epic battles.
Thorpe’s writing is on point and gives us many memorable characters, but most importantly capture the voice of the First Fallen perfectly. Spooner’s narration performance pushes the story to the next level, bringing Luther to life in the novel mostly written with Luther as the narrator.

Can’t wait for more stories involving the Fallen and the tragic hero of Luther!

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  • Mark Connolly
  • 31-05-21

Amazing

Awesome addition to the Dark Angel's story line. Gav Thorpe did a fantastic job with Luther.