March 25, 2017
Limited Edition, Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
It's another adventure of Magnus TOTALLY doing nothing wrong, but it has more feels because Graham McNeill is a monster.
I admit I’ve fangirled out about Magnus as of late, especially after reading A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns. It’s probably a good thing that I did, because when we were dividing up the primarchs between the two of us, Jen didn’t want to be in charge of Magnus. I can’t imagine how much I would have hated to read this book if I loathed Magnus.
Graham McNeill wrote this novel as well—he can’t get enough of the Thousand Sons and Iron Warriors—and while it’s not my favorite of his, it was still pretty good.
Remember That OTHER Time You Done F***ed Up?
Like the other novels in the Primarch series, the events of Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero take place before the Horus Heresy, and thus before the events of A Thousand Sons. However, it begins on the Planet of Sorcerers, with Magnus morning everything he lost after the events of ATS. He has a vision of one of his past sons, Atharva, who tells him he has more to give the Primordial Annihilator. When Magnus says he has nothing left to give, Atharva laughs and essentially says, “Hey, remember that other time you made a huge mistake? You remember Morningstar?” And then you can see the special effects as it all fades to a flashback episode.
Morningstar is a planet that recently came under compliance during the Great Crusade. For unexplained reasons, the planet is going through some changes that will effectively kill all residents. Maybe they’ll die by earthquake—the earth swallowing kind—or volcano or insane lightning storm. It’s not going well for everyone, and it’s up to Magnus and his Thousand Sons to evacuate the planet. Since the Thousand Sons are still recovering from the changing plague that wiped out most of the chapter, Magnus concedes he does not have enough manpower to efficiently evacuate everyone. So he calls his bestie who happens to be the best logistician of the Primarchs—Perturabo of the Iron Warriors.
However, there’s something on the planet somewhere that contains knowledge about Old Night that Magnus simply must have. (Because with a planet called Morningstar, who could have seen a daemonic evil coming?) Unsurprisingly, it’s connected to an underlying evil that is causing the planet to self-destruct. Now, this evil would have destroyed the planet regardless, but had Magnus not investigated it for truth, two of his most talented Thousand Sons wouldn’t have had their souls ripped from their bodies. Not to mention, Magnus wouldn’t have harbored this evil into his grimoire with the intent of saving them. Because, in the words of Mother Gothel, Magnus knows best.
Perturabo the Protector
This was my first time encountering Perturabo in the world of Warhammer 30,000. Jen fangirls about him all the time, but I never understood why because the Iron Warriors are some nasty heretics. After reading this novel, I now understand.
For starters, I had no idea Perturabo was so caring, and I don’t mean just with his sons and his best friend. All primarchs care for their sons, except for Angron, naturally. But Perturabo, he genuinely wants to help the people of this planet and get them to safety. He seems to enjoy helping others more than war, and he’s one of the few primarchs who has a plan for after the Great Crusade. I nearly wiped a tear when he proudly presented Magnus his plans for his retirement home on the side of a mountain with a view of his father’s palace. I know McNeill did that on purpose too, to drive home the point that Perturabo was always a good guy, thus making his fall even more tragic. Jerk.
He does care for Magnus a great deal as well. He cares for him so much, he risks angering Magnus just to keep him safe from reprimand. I burst out laughing when Perturabo smashed, in front of Magnus, a device Magnus asked him to make because he knew the device would get Magnus in trouble.
Which brings me to another new discovery about Perturabo: holy Throne, this guy is funny. I marked so many one liners of his that just cracked me up. When I get to his fall in the Horus Heresy novels, that’s gonna break me as badly as Magnus’ fall did.
Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero is pretty much a book of “oh hey, look at all these humanizing things that makes these guys’ falls even sadder,” but it’s also a strong reminder that Magnus’ hubris has worked against him before. Now that the spirit of Atharva has forced him to remember it, is it possible if he remembered it sooner he wouldn’t have fallen to hubris?
Nah, the guy would have insisted that NOW he knows what he’s doing, the schmuck.