I had to write this book review, because this legion is close to my heart.
Anyhow, reading the new novel... As the biggest Iron Warrior on this forum and perhaps the world... The novel seemed very "so, so." I will say this, if you are going to write a book about two legions, I seriously don't think you can depict them very well if you have the Istvaan survivors running around.
What did they contribute? Next to nothing is what I'll tell you. They wasted time and space on this novel. This novel could have been glorious, but it wasn't. Too much bullshit.
To elaborate, I first thought the Istvaan survivors were being used in this novel to prevent something from happening sort of like a sabotage force, nothing else. They didn't. Graham McNeill used a couple hundred astartes to fend off two entire legions. This is wrong... I can't express myself more. Was this or was this not the novel to show the Iron Warriors at their best. Every other legion and their novel has left their mark.
As a legion I'm afraid, the Iron Warriors did not shine very well. I would say that every other legion with their heresy novel would be able to attract a lot of fans and game players to go out and play these legions. However this novel does not make me want to play the Iron Warriors. We didn't really learn from the legion entirely. The way they fought was very bland and messy. The first battle was an opportunity to show the Iron Warriors at their best. And instead, Graham McNeill, decided to shine the light on the Imperial Fists.
I don't want anyone thinking I'm pessimistic about this novel. It did meet standards. The problem is when you write about a legion, I think you should write about it using your whole heart. We've read about his Thousand Sons and Fulgrim. I'm afraid Angel Exterminatus does not reach those two with greatness by any stretch of the term.
If you came out of this novel going... "I could really play the Iron Warriors," and especially if you've read about the other Legions in the heresy, boy do I feel bad for you.
Perturabo was well written. I will give Graham Mcneill that much. I think that the mystery that unfolds from Perturabo in the novel makes him one of the most liked characters in the novels so far. I'd rate how well his character was written right under Horus. Graham McNeill made Perturabo easily the most liked and powerful Primarch in the heresy... so far. Especially when we get to see his visions of the Imperium and the things Perturabo has invented but never let be. He was the angel in the Great Crusade that did not get to sing, but his song was probably the most beautiful.
For the Iron Warrior Fans and Followers, you get to see every single Iron Warrior in Honsou's journeys. In a way, it is a pity that we know Graham McNeill killed them off. But their personalities are well written in Angel Exterminatus
The biggest accomplishment made in the book was probably the new fluff presented. It shows the chaos legions colliding with one another. More specifically it shows that those legions more devoted to chaos to be more destructive against themselves and their allies. It almost makes you wonder, if chaos was trying to make itself lose the rebellion against the Emperor.
The novel did a great job of showing the Emperor's Children and Fulgrim totally at rock bottom of chaos. They were lunatics and crazy bastards. The wonderful character of the Emperor's Children characters from Fulgrim, completely destroyed, butchered, and perverted. It does show in many ways Graham McNeills original intent of making this an Emperor's Children novel.
Another interesting peace of fluff is that we see that Perturabo is not on the same page of rebellion as Horus and the rest of the traitor legions. It supports my theory in the sense, that Perturabo maybe sabotaged the rest of the rebels due to their differences of their means. And we see some support of this right after Perturabo regroups at the end of the novel and begins his new quest.
It is definitely a must read if you are a Heresy Fan. However, I can tell this novel's original intent was not that of an Iron Warriors novel. I suppose it is a novel about Perturabo, but the Iron Warriors looked like nubes. It was a disgrace upon me as a big fan of Iron Warriors, but Perturabo's might compensated for the lack.
You will leave this novel saying Perturabo is the shit. Fulgrim recognizes at the end of the novel that Perturabo was perhaps the mightiest of the primarchs, and Fulgrims use of Perturabo for his ends would really suggest that.