Just finished Brothers of the Snake...really liked it! - Wargaming Forum and Wargamer Forums
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post #1 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 07:27 AM Thread Starter
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Default Just finished Brothers of the Snake...really liked it!

I love the Homeric/Mycenaean theme of the Iron Snakes.

I liked all of the characters and especially enjoyed Priad's character development. Character development isn't limited to Priad either. The other members of Damocles all have their unique personalities and moments of growth and development.

It was a really nice novel. Pleasantly surprised as I had read some bad reviews before trying it. I really look forward to future Iron Snakes stuff from Abnett.

Apparently, (at BL Dublin) Abnett has confirmed that the Snakes will be making appearances in the future

Have any of you guys reviewed the novel. Would be interested in reading your opinions on the book
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post #2 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 07:51 AM
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I really liked it as well, man. I should probably throw up a review some time.
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post #3 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 08:05 AM
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I really enjoyed this book, it was the first BL and 40k book I ever read. It's also the first of two books that I actually like by Dan Abnett.

I like the structure of the book in that, thought it was a straight story, it read to me at least as a collection of shorts that lead in to the next. I enjoyed the characters and they way they were developed - though I swear to god the story with the medic I think the was was practically if it the Ultramarines movie -. They were all likeable.

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post #4 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 08:53 AM
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I quite liked Brothers of the Snake, my favourite moment is when the Dreadnought Autolochus "interrogates" a Dark Eldar to find Priad.

"Wrong answer."


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post #5 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 10:48 AM
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I really liked most of the scenes with the Primary Clerk. How she responded when she first saw Priad...priceless.

There were a few of things that I didn't like about the book, though. How the Space Marines fought the Orks. The battle in the open seemed...odd. When you're out numbered 10,000 to 1, you don't slug it out with them in the open. The losses they took were appalling. I don't know what the Chapter Master was hoping to do. Slog through a million Orks to kill the warboss?

I didn't like how the cultists were able to harm the Snakes.

On the flip side, I didn't like how a single tactical squad could kill hundreds and hundreds of Dark Eldar without a loss. That seemed over much, yeah?

And the battle with the Chaos Space Marines in the refinery. It seemed too much like a...comic book fight. Too much back and forth without much tactical application. Tic for tac. Also the bowling over a CSM with a grenade haunts me.

Still, overall, I loved the book. Read it a couple-few times during some BL dry spells.

Last edited by hailene; 06-24-13 at 11:38 AM.
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post #6 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 11:19 AM
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I agree with most of your points, hailene.

I get that authors have thematic considerations for the factions they write about. In the Iron Snakes' case, Dan Abnett was motivated to have them not just behave like Homeric-Greek heroes, but to fight as them as well.

In practice, this was shown through a phalanx-style battle (Priad and the five squads taking on thousands of Orks), and in the Chapter's desire to face their enemies in what they considered worthy combat: infantry action. Unfortunately, as beautifully written as the book was, those parts didn't come off as nicely as they could have.

Greek hoplites, for instance, would have been the first to tell you that it's folly to march out a formation that can be outflanked by an enemy with superior numbers. It's why Leonidas and a few thousand of his best friends (not just three hundred Spartans) decided to hang out within the pass of Thermopylae, as opposed to being in the open. In an ideal world, Priad would have thought the same thing. Ditto with Seydon wanting to take on the myriads of Orks in heroic combat without trying to even thin out their ridiculous numbers from orbit or the air.

I think the people who claim the book was written with a mythic angle might have a point, though. This particular novel's themes might have deliberately been used in such a way as to trump reality and logic. It can't be coincidence that the next time we saw Priad he was being sent to an Ork held planet to keep them busy by himself for fifteen years!

Don't get me wrong, I still loved both the novel and the short, but there's a part of me that hopes the Iron Snakes' upcoming Space Marines Battles entry shows that, yes, they can win in their own style... but without that style making you wonder if you're reading a story within a story.
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post #7 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 01:01 PM
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It bears mentioning for those who haven't read it yet that it is more of a compilation of stories than a continuous novel (some don't like that format much). I've read the first sequences and very much enjoyed it. Priad is a good character.
I had overlooked this book until I read Abnett's excellent 1,000 word short Kill Hill. I recommend that story wholeheartedly to any who haven't read it yet.
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post #8 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 03:28 PM
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I liked the story where someone has to get some cheese or something to the other side of a course and the initiate eats the cheese and allows himself to be captured knowing they'll take him right to where he needs to go. A lot of times Astartes in 40K books come off seeming like unthinking brutes who just rely purely on strength and/or numbers, there's very little in the way of a feeling that they're thinking and adapting to the battle beyond maybe, "Oh crap, they're shelling us, let's get to cover!" which is more instinctual. They're supposed to have a post-human brain as well, allowing them to process information on a level we can't even really imagine, so it's nice to see that in action at least in some small way once in a while.
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post #9 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 04:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hailene View Post
There were a few of things that I didn't like about the book, though. How the Space Marines fought the Orks. The battle in the open seemed...odd. When you're out numbered 10,000 to 1, you don't slug it out with them in the open. The losses they took were appalling. I don't know what the Chapter Master was hoping to do. Slog through a million Orks to kill the warboss?

I didn't like how the cultists were able to harm the Snakes.

On the flip side, I didn't like how a single tactical squad could kill hundreds and hundreds of Dark Eldar without a loss.
This is something, me another guy and the local GW store manager talked about. This book was written in a different time, it was written when Space Marines were everything in the books. They could do things like like. If this was written now that would never be happening. So with that in mind I total accept that. The landscape of the 40k books had changed since then. It's no different than in one of my Spider-Man comics from the 70s Spider-Man calls an Asian crook 'Slant Eyes', times change.

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"Bubbles"....?

The Old World just became a fart in the bath.....
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post #10 of 27 (permalink) Old 06-24-13, 05:05 PM
Grr! That is all.
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Is this the one with the shorter stories in it? If so I have not finished it but did like it so far as much as I have read.


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