Adeptus Mechanicus and Astra Militarum/Imperial Guard "Wiki"

Ave Omnissiah!

My blog is primarily my own personal fluff in the Warhammer 40,000 universe regarding the Draconis system such as the Knight House Yato in Draconis III, the Imperial Guard...I mean, Astra Militarum regiment trained there, the Draconian Armored Force, and the Forge World of Draconis IV with its Adeptus Mechanicus priesthood and Skitarii legions, and perhaps the Titan Legion, Legio Gojira (which will never happen because I don't have money for Forge World Titans).

Oh, and I'll throw in the Thousand Sons from time to time because they're my favorite Space Marine Legion. I refuse to believe that they are Traitors! They're just...ahem...secretly loyal to the Imperium!

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Saturday, September 12, 2015

Knights of the Imperium

Knights of the Imperium is a well-written novella by Graham McNeill, the genius behind the Mars triology and the highly acclaimed Mechanicum. It is also one of the recently published novellas distributed and sold by the Black Library alongside Tempestus, which is the next in line to be reviewed.

As it is a short novella, my review will be proportionately short as well. The short length of the novella actually turns out to be an advantage, because unlike the majority of Warhammer 40K novels (with the awesome Ciaphas Cain series being a notable exception), it doesn't suffer from a bloated cast and too many loose plot threads that need to be tied together in the end. Rather, it focuses on Baron Roland of House Cadmus, his wife Cordelia and the antagonist, Nemonix. The book offers two antagonists, actually, one in the monstrous form of the Tyranids and the other in the equally heinous tech-priest Nemonix.

The focus on the Imperial Knights of House Cadmus and even the inclusion of the kind and ever helpful House Hawkshroud. The awesome war-machines the Imperial Knights bring to bear are impressive enough, with McNeill sparing no detail and delivering exciting battle scenes to display their formidable weaponry and stature. Yet he balances their strength by not making them infallible. Many a Knight had fallen victim to the Tyranids by the end of the book, and the desperate and valiant sacrifice of Scholam Vikara shows that they are never fighting alone in the Imperium. Despite their formidable machinery, the Knights depend on the various forces of the Imperium to win the war, and the myraid forces of the Imperium also rely on the sheer power of the Knights to turn the tide of battle toward victory.

The portrayal of Cordelia and the various consorts of the Knights also add a rarely-seen dimension to the dark universe of Warhammer 40K. The women are not as helpless as the majority of them are seemed to be portrayed as, with Cordelia embodying strength, determination and intelligence to outwit a dangerous foe and preserve the autonomy of House Cadmus despite the absence of Baron Roland and so many Knights. The women are as important to the survival of Knightly houses as the Knight pilots themselves, and McNeill does an excellent job with bringing that across. The Knights are not complete without their other halves, that is their wives, and despite their over-reliance on their machines, they are just as dependant on their consorts to maintain their house's continuity and lineage.

The dark and twisted schemes of the Adeptus Mechanicus also come into play here, with the Tech-priests of Mars engaging in politics and subterfuge. Nemonix makes for an even more disturbing antagonist than even the monstrous Tyranids, his backstabbing and conspiracies possessing the potential to bring an entire Knightly house down to its knees from the inside. Fortunately, his plans were foiled by the noble Knights and especially by the intelligent and strong consorts who, as I said earlier, are as important in protecting the indepedence and survival of their house as their mighty husbands.

Knights of the Imperium is a good read, even if it is short, but I enjoyed it tremendously. It might not have the scale of Tech-priest, which I like a lot more, despite featuring the titular Knights as massive behemoths capable of wanton destruction, but the characterization and a peek into the inner workings and politics of the rarely-written about Imperial Knights are excellent enough to overcome the general lull in action.

As a side note, I really need to continue War Convocation. As I said, there are few books featuring Imperial Knights, so I want to write about them, and this time I'm writing about a Knightly house with close ties to the Adeptus Mechanicus, so it's going to be fun. However, I'll only be writing about them after I finish reading the Mars trilogy, so it will take a while. Oh well.

Anyway, I'll just leave you this before I end the review.

"Knights of the Imperium," I shout. "We ride!"

I'll be sure to add the new Knights into my fanfiction!

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