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, October 31, 2015

The Emperor's Finest book review

Once again, when reading The Emperor's Finest, I am reminded of the cynical humor and superb sarcasm that I so love in the Ciaphas Cain series.

This particular book in Sandy Mitchell's long-running series (hmm...but it's been a few years since The Greater Good and I still haven't seen a new full-length Ciaphas Cain novel yet) explores Ciaphas Cain's time with the Reclaimers Space Marine chapter, the same guys who helped graft Ciaphas's new augmetic fingers, and we get to see Scholer, the same apothecary we saw in The Greater Good after roughly 6 and a half decades. Yay. But we finally get to meet Drumon, the guy mentioned but not actually seen in that book (apparently they lost him in the Warp when The Spawn of Damnation made its transit) and the Techmarine who was the closest thing Ciaphas had as a friend among the Space Marines.

The characterization is good, as one would expect from Sandy Mitchell. One of the strenghts of the novel, though, is Ciaphas's self-absorbed narrative, which allows for tremendous amounts of humor, sarcastic quips and cynical observations, all of which had me laughing or cracking a smile when reading. This is how you write a Warhammer 40K novel. Who cares about the Grimdark and whatever serious stuff the Emperor sends you? Humor and self-preservation is where it is at!

The novel, despite the short synopsis, actually takes place on another planet, Viridia, where Ciaphas runs into the genestealers and hybrids at first before following the Reclaimers on a fairly long pursuit of the space hulk The Spawn of Damnation, running into an Ork fleet in the middle (with funny scenes of action and expletives as you would expect from Ciaphas and Jurgen). Hilarious turns of events, particularly when Mira DuPanya, the daughter of the Viridian planetary governor, seeks to turn Ciaphas into a consort and I'm reminded once again of how scary women can be (then again, considering my total lack of experience, I'm not in a position to say that), had me laughing at Ciaphas's dense nature before he finally realized what was going on, and it was fun to see him try to worm his way out of this in a rather similar manner to how he escapes the dangerous situations he reluctantly finds himself in.

I would say it's one of the best novels in the Ciaphas Cain series, even if the "if I had known what awaited me, I would have run off in the opposite direction/run off to an escape pod" lines are getting tedious. Nine novels so far and he always reuse these lines...come on, Ciaphas, I know it's kind of your trademark quote but really, stop saying that. Everything else, from his sarcastic appraisal of cogboys, um, I mean tech-priests, politicians' motives, Space Marines' formality, is top-notch and hilarious. I would read them all over again if I can. And in fact, I'm reminded to re-read Ciaphas's first adventure in Perlia where he led a resistance against Orks beginning from Cainstead...I mean Prosperity's Wells. HA HA HA HA!

I believe I said this before, but I'll reiterate it. The Ciaphas Cain series is the best thing in Black Library and the Warhammer 40K universe. In fact, the Ciaphas Cain novels were what brought me into Warhammer 40K in the first place and led me to become an Imperial Guard player as well as introduced the Skitarii to me. My love for Warhammer 40K, with the exception of Imperial Knights, can almost completely be traced back to Ciaphas Cain. Even the Baneblade, which he mentions more than once and tempted me to google it.

Therefore I'll highly recommend this book, as well as the entire Ciaphas Cain series to old and new readers alike. Longtime fans of Warhammer 40K will find Ciaphas a breath of fresh air and much-needed humor in a usually grimdark universe that takes itself far too seriously while newcomers would find the lighthearted narrative an easy entrance to the series without being turned off by the grimdarkness. Sandy Mitchell is also a huge inspiration to me, and those of you who read my stories can tell that he heavily influenced my writing style - from the first-person narratives to the sarcastic humor and wisecracks my characters make. At least in my manga fiction in Fictionpress if my War Convocation fanfiction is too serious.

Speaking of which, after reading Graham McNeill's Mars trilogy, I realized how far away I am as a writer, how awful my plot progression and writing style are, how shallow my characters are, and I think I'll rewrite a new story completely from scratch. That, I think I've mentioned before, will be titled Freeblade and I'll begin on this new project after I submit my thesis. Priorities and all that, ha ha. Plus I have a ton of novels to read and learn from.

After Ciaphas's hilarious adventure, I'll be moving back to more serious ground and visiting the story of another Commissar. This time, it will be Commissar Yarrick in The Pyres of Armageddon, so I'll read that and write a review on it. I get the feeling I like Ciaphas more because he's the funnier and "better" commissar (well, better is subjective so I won't counterargue if people contest my viewpoint on that). Look forward to it! And after Yarrick's story I'll finally get to read Baneblade by Guy Haley!

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