Originally Posted by Angel of Blood
I found the interactions between Kyriss and Ka'Bandha to be more odd than anything, something about two greater daemons from different gods having a long chat in a room just didn't seem right.
This. Very much this. This whole concept of greater daemons working together is so mindbogglingly insane that it's not supposed to feel right. It's the kind of thing that you couldn't ever get right if you tried to make it feel natural. So, yeah, odd is good in this case. Chaos should be unfathomable by sane minds, and interactions between its polar opposites should be anything but what you'd expect them to be.
The fact that there's even any interactions between the two daemons should also give the readers a hint just how important it was for Chaos to turn the Blood Angels over.
On a different note, I agree that character development was done more by descriptions and outright statements than through memorable scenes or lines, but I found it somewhat refreshing.
Sure, Raldoron doesn't come off as great as Argel Tal, or Sevatar, or Corswain, or Azek Ahriman, or Aenid Thiel, or... Anyway, back to my point. I like the fact that characters get sketchy development time, and that they feel more like rank and file marines.
An individual's capacity for heroism is not just measured by the opportunity to be in the right place for a really awesome character development scene. Not everybody gets to utter "Forgive me" before plunging the galaxy into civil war. Not everybody gets to ram a chainsword up a primarchs' spine. Not everybody gets to be the first to utter the words that still rally the forces of Chaos ten thousand years after he dies. Raldoron isn't that guy, he's far more understated as a character, even though his well deserved reputation is still enough to ensure he is counted among the equals of the aforementioned characters. He's more evenly tempered, none of the others' traits are as obvious about him. He's not as prone to the others' greatness, but neither is he as prone to their flaws.
Another thing I feel like mentioning is that he's actually closer to a Space Marines Battles character than his Heresy counterparts. In a broader sense, that's a good thing. There's an obvious difference of style between the two series, and having all Heresy-era characters portrayed as larger than life figures just dampens the heroes of the 41st millenium somewhat and leads to saturation of the Heresy series. Every now and then you need a book that focuses more on revealing new events rather than on adding yet new characters whose needs for development will only cause more trouble reconciling as the story drives closer to the siege of Terra.
Anyway, I wouldn't go as far as LotN as to say it's the best Heresy book (mostly because I can probably recite half of The First Heretic by memory alone now), but it was a very enjoyable read nonetheless. I really didn't have any problems with the characterizations being kept light (even though I'm a sucker for depth and grayshading), nor did the pacing seem off.
Amit rocks, though. I could well see him in an audiobook of his own...