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Summary

After the razing of Prospero, Magnus the Red spirited the Thousand Sons away to the aptly unnamed Planet of the Sorcerers, deep within the Eye of Terror.

Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster's unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, he has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch - he is a broken soul whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp.

Only by returning to the scenes of his greatest triumphs and tragedies can they hope to restore him and allow the Crimson King to be crowned anew by the Ruinous Powers

©2017 Games Workshop Limited (P)2017 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about The Crimson King

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Neither one thing nor the other

The Crimson King suffers from the same essential problem as many other mid-series entries in the Horus Heresy narrative. The series' overarching plotline relies on a few key protagonists (newcomers may wish to look away now) e.g. Horus, his rebellion against the Emperor of Mankind and the handful of other recurring characters who try to prevent it e.g. Garviel Loken, Nathaniel Garro, Iacton Qruze, Euphrete Keeler, etc. However, Horus is one of 18 primarchs, not all of whom are actually that vital to the key events of the Heresy. So the middle part of the series is maddeningly padded out with meandering stories about his brothers and their legions, despite the fact that they are utterly peripheral to the events in the earlier books or the Siege of Terra, where the series culminates. The Crimson King of the title, Magnus, is one of those characters, and to be honest this isn't one of Graham McNeill's best efforts in any case. I found it very difficult to follow what was going on most of the time, or who any of the characters actually were - but then after the first couple of chapters, I simply didn't care enough about any of them to try very hard. Contrast this with MacNeill's first entry in the Heresy series, False Gods, which is gripping from start to end, plotted like an action thriller and full of believable characters in peril. We also get the now-familiar references to 'superhuman' or 'transhuman', 'demigods' 'perfection of humanity' and other tedious cliches for describing the space marine legionaries. Like Fulgrim, Ferrus, Mortarian, Perturabo and the other 'not-very-central-to-the-plot' primarchs, Magnus himself comes across as so monumentally stupid and self-absorbed one is forced to question how he could possibly have risen to the leadership of a planet in the first place.

Narrator Jonathan Keeble does his enthusiastic best with the journeyman material he's been given, but there's only so many times you can hear a narrator raise their voice to shout about the space marines awesomeness, "as they slew their enemies with such incredible speed, blah blah blah...." before it becomes white noise or a dull headache sets in.

As it is, The Crimson King really is neither one thing nor the other - it fails to grip or entertain as a standalone novel and as a part of the Horus Heresy series, it doesn't move the overall narrative forward at all either.

16 people found this helpful

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A disjointed 'Search for Magnus'

Unlike the Search for Spock there is no real emotional driver here or even a good starship-stealing sequence. The story could easily have been told in novella or even in linked short stories. Characters come and go, linked by a fairly cogent story at the start. As the hours progress little happens - and this is with Lucius somehow in play. I'm reminded of the second half of the movie Excalibur and the Grail quest - a basic explanation and some random wandering with a sudden and rather abrupt conclusion. Not a bad book but a boring one

3 people found this helpful

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Great story about the 1k Sons

A relevant and compelling story that really explained some missing pieces of the pussel - and as always Perfect narration by Keeble.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book but the wolves are hard to like

Always good to see more Thousand sons and Magnus, the story arc of both Arhiman and Amon was also interesting to follow. The wolves however were a bit one dimensional and were hard to like or enjoy. I think the book would have been better off without them

1 person found this helpful

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Important but disappointing

Important book to learn how the Thousand Sons turn Traitor. That said my least favourite of all the books

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It was ok

It was ok not a bad story but don't think it advances the HH story. Great for 1k sons fans to understand Magnus more.

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Fantastic read

I always felt sad for the Thousand Sons as they were loyal and got screwed over and have always wondered why Magnus decided to fight his father.

Wonderfully detailed story about Magnus and what makes him tick.

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Good story though a little frustrating.

While it IS a sequel to thousand sons and prospero burns it is a very slow one. Not a bad book but it didn't grab me as much as it could have. Also Keeble gets some of the names wrong and pronouncements seem off.

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Good listen

Great book well narrated and griping storyline perfect Carry on for the thousand sons books well worth a listen

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'words Words WORDS'

A study aid when reading Shakespeare, along with 'a play within a play', or more to the point 'a battle within a battle' and 'repetition for emphasis' all can be used to great effect. I felt the story a little longer then it needed to be but would have no clue as to what I would need to leave out but I was glad to get to the end. But I can't and won't take anything away from Graham McNeill who has us spellbound from the start and of course leaves it wide open for another instalment which I hope won't be too long to wait for. This frameless is in little doubt as to who has returned and I think that the Galaxy will be all the more interesting for it. Jonathan Keeble gives us a masterclass in narration. You won't be disappointed.

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  • Artyom Trityak
  • 31-01-18

Must read / listen if you like Thousand Sons story

What did you love best about The Crimson King?

Story is very interesting and it shows main characters such as Magnus, Ahriman etc. Narration is cool, would recommend for any TS.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-04-21

Magnus Returns

A good continuation of the Thousand Sons' Novels. However, not sure it is fully necessary for the whole series. All in all good if you enjoy the Legion

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-02-21

Magnus the Red

The story is a bit long and ongoing but it does add to the overall story line.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle
  • 25-01-21

by the Chaos Gods, the angst

i have read every horus heresy book up until this point, and this one was probably the hardest to get through. I usually love when these stories aren't just a testosterone fueled thrill ride full of bolters and blood. Usually i van sit back and reflect afterwords on the themes and ideas of thw story. this one we too far. the angst felt by the entire thousand sons and almost every character led to a confusing journey that just seemed to drag on too long and was interspersed with bits of action. not the worst book i have ever read but it was missing something.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Per
  • 09-09-20

Painful

Really, really tried to finish this book, as it actually contains new drive in the Horus Heresy story arc rather than just tread the water like many recent books did. Unfortunately, Graham McNeill delivers one of his worse performances in this book. It is littered with his common faults - poor, infantile dialogue, cheesy gimmicks and stereotypes and long segments of exposition and zero story progression. As a textbook on the universe lore it might have value for the dedicated researcher, but as a piece of entertainment it is a failure. The reader makes a decent go at rendering the awful dialogue, but this does not really help the poor material at all. Had to finally abandon the book two thirds in due to typical McNeill form, despite being set on finishing. If you like previous McNeill books you will probably love this as it is in his typical style, though it is certainly not one of his better efforts. Otherwise, steer well clear.

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  • Sara L.
  • 15-08-20

instantly new favorite story

Absolutely brilliant storytelling and set up. The voices and personality show through the master performance given here.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Devin
  • 05-06-20

Fantastic

the best insight into the 30k era thousand sons, a must read if you want a bigger picture of the story

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-04-19

Questions were answered!

This was an awesome story to listened to! I always wondered at the fates of the 3 remembrancers back in The Thousand Sons and I thought we will never see them again, but to my surprise, they played a very vital role in this story!

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  • justamom
  • 31-07-18

good read for the horus heresy series.

has some riviting scenes and Give a you a great view of what happened to Magnus after Russ shattered him

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Acerock
  • 22-05-18

...meh

the narration is awesome. but the narrative was meandering and uninspiring. by the time it ended I found myself wondering why I took the trip in the first place. the first real dub for the HH series for me.