I was told Angel Exterminatus by Graham McNeill was going to be a great one. I was also warned that this book would make me really like Fulgrim or Perturabo. Since I already felt bad for Fulgrim after the book of the same name, I figured I’d just like Fulgrim more. Hoo boy was I wrong. Not only did I leave the book hating the Emperor’s Children, especially Fabulous Bill, but I also left it understanding and feeling bad for Perturabo.
I still think he was unbelievably petty and childish to nearly beat Berossus to death after the man only informed him that Sigismund was not at Istvaan. He just lets his rivalry with Dorn consume him. Dorn considers it a rivalry. Perturabo, however, has turned it into absolute hatred.
All that said, though, I found myself growing to like him and the Iron Warriors a great deal. So thanks a lot, Mr. McNeill. You’ve made me like Iron Warriors. I feel like dirt and entitlement.
The Disgust for the Emperor’s Children
Perturabo and the Iron Warriors knew that Fulgrim and the Emperor’s Children had an obsession with obtaining perfection in everything they do. So their reactions to what the Emperor’s Children have become were rather entertaining to say the least.
“‘I saw some strange things on Istvaan,’ began Forrix, ‘but this is…’”
“Where others beheld beauty, he [Kroeger] saw corruption and decadence. Where his [Fulgrim’s] soft words were a balm to the soul for some, they were mocking insults that pricked at his urge to do violence.”
And then, of course, there were the feelings of ultimate betrayal, leading Perturabo to ultimately believe he could only trust Horus, the poor sod.
Perturabo had nothing else to say. His brother was dead, and this monstrous creature was all that was left of him. Nothing remained of the once might and oboe primarch the Emperor had rafted to be his perfect warrior, and Perturabo felt an all-consuming grief that what had begun in such glorious hope an age ago had been so perverted.
…His betrayal had had turned the last of Perturbo’s heart to stone, cementing his conviction that there was only one man whose orders he could trust. One warrior who spoke without guile and with only noble intentions at this heart. From now on, he would trust only Horus Lupercal.
The Respect for His Brothers
Deeply contrasted with how much Perturabo despised what the Emperor’s Children had become was his great respect for his brothers and even his Father. Whenever Fulgrim talked down about one of his brothers, Perturabo was very quick to point out how great they were at their individual talents.
For example, when Fulgrim puzzled how some Iron Hands could have escaped Istvaan and tracked them down, Perturabo snorted and reminded Fulgrim of Ferrus Manus’ dogged determination. And of course, there was the infamous scene where Fulgrim dismissed Vulkan’s handiwork and Perturabo responded by bashing Fulgrim’s face into one of Vulkan’s creations.
Perturabo, even though he had turned against the Emperor, still has great respect for everything the Emperor did. He’s appalled at what Fabulous Bill is working on, tampering with the Emperor’s genetic code. I honestly would have loved to have seen his reaction to learning that Lucius and Bill took one of the Iron Warriors’ apothecaries in for experimentation. Pretty sure that would mean the death of Bill at Peter Turbo’s hands, and we all know Bill can’t die. Pity. That would have been the best chapter in the entire book.
So congrats, Graham McNeill. With Angel Exterminatus, You’ve made me a fan of the Iron Warriors and Peter Turbo, at least as far as the Horus Heresy goes. I kind of want to re-read or at least skim Storm of Iron now that I know more about those players, but I’m afraid I’ll never really be that much of a fan of Honsou. Dead Sky, Black Sun kind of scarred me for life on the “present day” Iron Warriors.
Twenty-three books down, 31 to go.
Horus Hearsay is dedicated to Keri’s journey through the Horus Heresy saga. The chronicling of the Horus Heresy began over ten years ago, with currently 54 books in total, not counting The Primarchs series or the various short stories. Horus Hearsay will only cover the main novels.