Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett – Book review [djinn24] - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-11, 04:13 AM Thread Starter
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Default Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett – Book review [djinn24]

Professional Modeler and avid bookworm djinn24 reviews Prospero Burns of the Horus Heresy series by Dan Abnett in this awesome series, published by The Black Library.

The history of the Space Wolves is uncovered in Prospero Burns ~ The Founding Fields

http://thefoundingfields.com/2011/12...eview-djinn24/

A man terrorfied of wolves his entire life decides after a life of academia to travel to Feneris, a planet reportedly filled with them. Upon arriving Kasper Hawser is thought of as a bad star he was pursued by the indigenous people of the planet until one of the demon wolves of Feneris comes to his rescue. He awakens 19 great years later to find himself in the body of his 22 year old self, instead of the 70 year old body he originally arrived in. What was the reason for the rebuilt body and near 80 year slumber? In the book 'Prospero Burns' we follow Kasper as he become the skjald, or history keeper of the Third Company

In my short time of doing book reviews I have to say this is the hardest books I have come across to do a review on for various reason. On one side of the coin it was a really well written book, something you would expect Dan Abnett to put out. The character development was well done, you really got to know the narrator and some of the other people that were around him. You do get some insight into the strategic mind of the Wolf King and his sons; seeing them as the strategists that they are, instead of the mindless killers other see them as. The downside is the story focuses on Kasper too much, cluttering the overall plotline with flashback after flashback that repeat the same information. At the end of the book they are finally tied together and you do understand why they were put into the book. My honest feelings is they could have been cut down as they really do bog down the momentum of the story. Honestly you could probably cut away 10 to 15% of this book and not miss out on much, if any at all.

Now I know this contradicts what I said before, but let me explain. I got this book expecting a killer Horus Heresy novel, and while it was exceptionally well written, it had a much slower pace then your typical Horus Heresy novel, especially one with the Space Wolves, known as the Vlka Fenryka in Prospero Burns. I found the book too easy to wonder away from. The book does start off at a great pace, you do get a great feeling of how the Space Wolves started and developed in the beginning; including their traditions, strategies, and the way they conduct business. There are some action scenes before you get bogged down into the flashback hell that gets shoved into your face. The title in itself is very misleading as well as the cover-art as well. While the planet Prospero does in fact burn, it is only at the very end of the book and is finished in one or two chapters and the Wolf King only appears in the last 1/3rd of the book. The rest of the time you are learning about the Skjald Kasper.

In a nutshell as a non-Horus Hersey novel this would be an exceptional piece of literature, but after the hype, title, and cover art you are handed something that does not really feel like a Horus Heresy novel. Overall I would give this book a 7 out of 10, the three points lost solely on the overuse of flashbacks, and the title/art that makes you think you are getting one thing while you are handed another. I do have to say that you do need to get this book, it may not be required reading for the Horus Heresy series it does add some nice little details on why the Space Wolves were created.

One little pet peeve of mine as well about this book is overuse of the term 'wet-leopard snarl'. Every time I heard this I pictured Sylvester the Cat sitting in power armor, so I had a buddy of mine, Adam 'Serpion5' Flynn to do a piece of art for me:


Last edited by Djinn24; 12-25-11 at 04:42 AM.
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-11, 06:16 AM Thread Starter
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Please excuse the title, copy and paste error. It has been reported to ask for a change. Thank you for understanding! Please remember reviewers like feedback, just as much as painters!
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-25-11, 11:25 AM
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I do agree with you by and large. The main issue I had with this was the misleading title and the fact that overall it added basically nothing of real note to the Heresy series as a whole. The only real lesson I took away from this was that Russ was a far more cunning individual than Magnus gave him credit for, but this has been said already in other sources.

When I read A Thousand Suns, I really felt for Magnus and his Legion and felt a good bit of ire for the SW.

Reading Prospero Burns did nothing whatsoever to change that, if anything only making me feel the same even stronger.


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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 06:13 AM
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LOL my friend, LOL
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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 08:44 AM Thread Starter
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Ploss and I where about to die when we were discussing this cartoon, and Serpion did an awesome job putting it all together in picture form.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 09:14 AM
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Still my favorite Heresy book... *cough*10/10*cough*

But good review.

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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 10:29 AM
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I completely agree with Doelago.... except for the 10/10 part. 9/10 for a BL book.

Considering the book explains the events which lead to the sacking of prospero, I really don't think the title was misleading. Though I can understand why some people were expecting 100 pages of bolter-porn. Actually, I really can't. We should have expected that this book wouldn't focus heavily on the actual sacking of prospero considering a good part of A Thousand Sons was devoted to that. All in all, I think it was a brilliant contribution to the series.

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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 10:36 AM
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I completely agree with Doelago.... except for the 10/10 part. 9/10 for a BL book.

Considering the book explains the events which lead to the sacking of prospero, I really don't think the title was misleading. Though I can understand why some people were expecting 100 pages of bolter-porn. Actually, I really can't. We should have expected that this book wouldn't focus heavily on the actual sacking of prospero considering a good part of A Thousand Sons was devoted to that. All in all, I think it was a brilliant contribution to the series.
There was plenty of potential for expansion on the Wolves side of the Prospero incident, and it was this that I was expecting. It by no means had to be bolter porn, it just didn`t have to focus so much on Hawser.

Unless Hawser is gonna do something really fucking epic at some point in the future of the Heresy, I just don`t see the point. If something comes of this, I will reconsider my stance on this book but for the moment it just seems irrelevant.


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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serpion5 View Post
There was plenty of potential for expansion on the Wolves side of the Prospero incident, and it was this that I was expecting. It by no means had to be bolter porn, it just didn`t have to focus so much on Hawser.

Unless Hawser is gonna do something really fucking epic at some point in the future of the Heresy, I just don`t see the point. If something comes of this, I will reconsider my stance on this book but for the moment it just seems irrelevant.
Never said you did, but more than a few people have voiced that opinion.

Hawser was just a tool that was used by chaos to further their plans, and that tool was at the very least partially responsible for the sacking of the planet. Personally, I think he was extremely important to the heresy as a whole.

As far as the story telling is concerned, he also gave Abnett the opportunity to tell this story from a human perspective, which I thought was a nice touch and a welcome change from the typical marine point of view.

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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 12-27-11, 11:23 AM
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I have nothing against having a human viewpoint.

But again, he dominated the story completely. This is supposed to be a series about the Heresy, the greatest civil war the Imperium has known centred around primarchs and astartes.

Other books have covered a human viewpoint without sacrificing the astartes story as well.


Honestly, if I were to venture a guess, I`d almost say that Abnett found it harder to write about the wolves than other astartes, so instead he took the easy way out. I can`t think of any other reason for the change in style between his other books and this one.

Horus Rising for instance, a brilliant beginning that focused on astartes and human viewpoints equally well.

And then... this.


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