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Summary

Book five of the Siege of Terra

After a series of victories, the Imperial forces are on the back foot once more. The power of Chaos is rising, the Traitors gain ground, and all hope seems lost. Can Terra endure?

Listen to it because: delve back into the biggest war in Imperial history, which is getting even bigger as Traitor Titans land and the influence of the warp grows, plaguing the defenders in all sorts of vile ways.

The story: the victories of Saturnine and the sacrifices of the Eternity Wall space port have faded into the hope of yesterday. Denied but not defeated, the Traitors intensify their assault on the Imperial Palace. With the principal space ports in Horus’ hands, the Warmaster now drains the heavens of his reserves.

As the pressure of the assault increases, the power of Chaos waxes. The waking lives of the defenders are filled with despair, while their dreams pull them in search of a false paradise. As the fabric of the defences fails and the will of those who stand on them cracks, Horus commands the Titans of the Legio Mortis to breach the walls. Against them stands the might of Mercury Wall and the strength of the Legio Ignatum. Ancient rivals, the god-engines of both Legions meet in battle, while within the walls a few desperate individuals seek a way to turn back the tide of the warp’s malign influence. Across Terra, lost warriors and travellers make their way through wastelands and gardens of horror, towards home and an unknown future.

Written by John French. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Running time 16 hours 26 mins.

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

What listeners say about Mortis

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lumbering story

the story just seems to drag on for hours without getting anywhere, great performance but sadly the story is lacking.

4 people found this helpful

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Slow, predictable and full of stereotypes

I can’t believe how someone could make Titan combat boring, but the writer did. This is also an overtly political book.

The result of every social exchange can be predicted from the first sentence because it follows Neo-Marxist talking points to the letter. For many characters, it is as if the writer was using the definition of Mary Sue / Gary Stu as an instruction manual. This is why people often do not like Ultramarines.

Female characters are obnoxious, entitled, arrogant and portrayed as Saints who can do no wrong, even though they have many flaws. People who act like that in real life are often reviled, but in this they are lauded. Kat isn’t so bad, it’s just as if the middle of her character development has been missed out.

Male characters do have acknowledged flaws, though, some realistic and some ridiculously exaggerated. One is cruel, stupid, violent against everyone around him, entitled and a glory hound. Perplexingly, even though he charges deep into enemy lines heedless of danger, women berate him for being a coward, and this obvious contradiction is not addressed by the characters or the narrator. Another man is well balanced, but women constantly denigrate, interrupt and disrespect him. And, as if he has Stockholm Syndrome, he likes them for it! Another man embodies insulting stereotypes about women. He fills the role of mother, but is often useless in a crisis and literally cries because of a cold gust of wind.

This book manages to be misandrist and misogynist at the same time. Only a third of it is meaningful action, and even then it is constantly broken up by gender politics. There are only 3 more books left and the Horus Heresy and then it’s all over! There is no excuse for so much time-wasting!

1 person found this helpful

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chaff ! don't do it !! trust me just filler !!

chaff ! don't do it !! trust me just filler !!
filler filler filler filler

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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He is here...

Newly released War Master Titans, now canon and miniatures available from GW.

Also, He is getting very close...

Need to have listened/read "Know no Fear", "Praetorian of Dorn" and "Legion" to get a good idea who is involved.

The Primarch don't turn up to often and the book has 6 or so concurrent stories which jump about and include dream sequences (classic John French).

1 person found this helpful

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good read!

bit of a filler book but still good with interesting characters shiban khan etc Id reccomend

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Very hard to follow

By far the hardest book to follow, I do prefer Dan Annette so I am biased.

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Incredible.

The story is becoming truly intense as the stakes raise, the narrators passion can't help but drag you into the moment. You truly feel its all on a knife edge as the traitors March forever forward.

The only complaint I have is more swearing and that retcon character elder who makes no sense.

she saved the primarchs from their father by dooming them horrible childhoods that LEAD them to a path of ruin but blames the God Emperor.

Also it's quite jarring how the new erder retcon now requires a change in the God Emperor to be less than he was and is.

May not bother casuals but for fans with a long memory I suggest this heavily but ignore the retcon bits.

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little narrative value.

getting a bit tired of books that do not advance the narrative more than half an inch. theres suspense and then there is longing things out unnecessarily.

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Mortis Walks. John French’s best.

A great representation of the Mortis Titan Legion. Quite often they are portrayed as a unskilled Titan Legion which fails left right and centre by blundering into traps or being too cocksure (Like the baddies in an 80’s cartoon). This book portrays them in a very good light which makes me very happy.
Only thing I would have liked to have had in the book was some narrative from the Mortis side of the engagement, as all is from Solaria and Ignatum’s perspective regarding the Titan battles.

The book isn’t solely fitted around the Titans either which is also great as the narrative around the other characters from the Solar War series progress nicely.

Really love the Tower scene and implications/meanings.

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Great Listen!!!

This story is a great listen and an even better narration from the legend Mr Keeble, I can't wait for the rest of the seige of terra instalment.

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  • G. Marcelin-Williams
  • 08-06-21

A good book but kind of all over the place

I would give this a 4.5/10 the book itself is a good one and a fine addition to the Seige of Terra but out of all the books this one is probably the hardest to digest what’s going on. Probably due to to many characters and some of the names of Titans and guardsman I can’t keep track of which adds to the confusion but a second read helps. All in all a good book

7 people found this helpful

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  • Joan Tappe
  • 09-06-21

Johnathon Keeble is the true Big E

Incredible book with the most inspiring narrator. Johnathon Keeble is a treasure that needs to be protected at all costs.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrslick
  • 09-06-21

Hot diggity

Daddy emps needs some gawd dang aquafina. He is a very thirsty boy.extrs words

3 people found this helpful

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  • snozek
  • 18-06-21

Wow! Terrible.

Have you ever had a long book NEVER PAY OFF?

That's why a 1 star overall yet managing 2 for French and Keeble.

Have you ever held on during a long, boring, tedious, cavalcade of unimportant, brand new characters clumsily thrown together with established ones?

Have you ever changed between so many different story lines so much that you just stopped caring?

Have you ever gotten the feeling that the ENTIRE book you just went through was just a non-sequitur to the whole series. . . 550 pages worth?

Have you ever had particular demographics forced into an already overstuffed dramatis personae list in order to suit a political end?

Has your narrator forgotten just how established, major characters were written and performed in EVERY PREVIOUS NOVEL?

Have you had logic holes like where characters have their optics shattered only to be using them a page later?

Nothing in the set up pays off.
The entire book is an unrewarding waste of my time.

I have read EVERY Horus Heresy novel and audio. I have read all of the Solar War. I have read the majority of Black Library's work since 2004.

John French is a good author normally, understanding the need to build drama and provide payoff.

This book is a terrible exception.

There are too many characters for him to effectively make come to life, WAY TOO MANY. Most characters have no character arc, they are straw men.

There are too many unrelated threads that simply dangle.

This book tried to do too much, and serve too many masters. It accomplished little.

The book could be skipped by the reader and simply post that Perturabo leaves and heretic titans beat the loyal ones.

BTW, those titan characters are entirely throw-away waste paper. This book could have been salvaged by simply cutting the titan legions out. This was because the writing for them was terribly meaningless and trite.

The book in essence, nothing else of consequence takes place. . . in 550 pages. . .

Now Jonathan Keeble turned in the worst, least professional performance of his that I am aware of.

What exactly are those constantly changing John Grammaticus and Ol Person accents? American? Irish? English?

Don't know.

Thats because it was ALL OF THEM IN RANDOM SERIES! EAR TORTURING NONSENSE!!!

Has the Black Library punted on direction and editing?

Corswain doesn't sound like that.
Vasago? Why is he suddenly Prussian?
Thank goodness that there were several women from the Subcontinent in this novel, their voices were above average.

If this is the new standard, quit now. This entire work lacked vision, economy, editing, character arc, consistency, and ANY payoff.

The pacing was slow but at least built up.

Save yourself the effort, the book is bad.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-21

High highs, low lows

This book was something of a disappointment.

I don’t take issue with the plot or the writing. The arc that French creates is excellent and the individual set pieces range from good to beautiful. There were many points in this where I had to pause and take a minute to have a cry. This is excellent writing.

However, it’s power and impact is diluted by the fact that he tries to do TOO MUCH. I said this in my review of Solar War and I’ll say it again here: FOCUS! There are two or three good books squeezed into Mortis and as a reader, for all the beautiful vignettes, I am left wanting and feeling a bit cheated by storylines he sets up and then knocks down when we’re not looking only to bring us back to look at the wreckage. When French is focused on less than 5 things in a novel, he’s masterful. When he focuses on more than that, his prose is still excellent but the threads are weak and unsatisfying.

Keeble typically does phenomenal work and this was largely in line with what I expect from him. That said, I was floored by the lack of consistency on some of the names. It’s really jarring to be in the middle of an intense scene and then have him butcher the name of a key character he’s named multiple times before, and then to have the character’s name pronounced another way once or twice more in the story. With all of the folks French throws on the page consistency is key and it was lacking.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-06-21

Not that great

How many times do we need t o hear about Ol falling? 3 Legios march against Legio Mortis and still get beat like they are nothing? What was the point of having so many subplots that it felt like the overall story was diluted?

1 person found this helpful

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  • Samuel E. Clark
  • 11-06-21

Wish Grammaticus was in a separate novel

The Legio Morris story line was a snooze fest. The khan, Grammaticus/Oll story was the real reason for this book.

If they would have combined that with a different story line I would have been happier

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • vyler
  • 20-06-21

good, buuuutttt

too many sub plots in one book without any connection. they aren't bad by any stretch, I just wish this was 4 books or a collection of short stories.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RMFitzhugh
  • 19-06-21

Or how to make giant robots fighting boring.

It meandered in the middle with purple prose and finished abruptly without moving the narrative.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • TSF
  • 18-06-21

A good read and another flawless performance by Keeble

Like some of the other reviews here attest, Jonathan Keeble does another amazing job at bringing this story to life. Good writing and storytelling by French. Very happy w the step by step installment approach gamesworkshop has used to end this series. “Epic” is the word that comes to Mind.