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The Dark City review thread


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My quick and dirty, spoiler-free assessment: 10 out of 10 for anyone who enjoyed the previous books in the series. If you didn't, then you're operating on a set of review criteria that I can't fathom and wouldn't attempt to.

Really enjoyed this closing installment. I predicted a few of the beats and was surprised by others. I kind of feel like delving into just how conclusive the ending may (or may not) be is already venturing into spoiler territory that most people probably aren't ready to hear or discuss given that the book just came out. Time later for that. Consider this the capsule review, with spoiler-tagged discussion to follow.

But I can safely say that I'm now exceedingly curious to see Wraight try to top himself with Book 3 of Watchers of the Throne.

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Darker than Wrath of Iron?

That would be something as this was his darkest work from my perspective, thus far.

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7 hours ago, Kelborn said:

Darker than Wrath of Iron?

That would be something as this was his darkest work from my perspective, thus far.

Fair point- I actually forgot that. But after thinking about it yes, much darker. I won't say much else about it as I don't want to spoil, but it is a different sort of dark than the Wrath of Iron brutal pragmatism.

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This book is amazing. Will need time to chew on it but thats the short version.

 

Also, a scene in this book is the first time ever that I went 'wait, thats Heresy!' out loud and completely unironically lol.

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I can't recall much detail from the first two books - anything you suggest I read as a recap?

Apart from skimming the books again.

Or any background for any plot threads that emerge? 

(I'm not to bothered about vague spoilers)

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40 minutes ago, Aramis K said:

I can't recall much detail from the first two books - anything you suggest I read as a recap?

Apart from skimming the books again.

Or any background for any plot threads that emerge? 

(I'm not to bothered about vague spoilers)

 

  Taken from another thread:

 

The Carrion Throne:

 

Spinoza becomes Interrogator to Inquisitor Erasmus Crowl. They stumble into a conspiracy that definitely involves factions within the Inquisition, Mechanicus, and very likely some of the standing High Lords. This turns out to be the codex blurb about the Mechanicus reaching out to elements of the Dark Eldar for help with the gradually failing Golden Throne. An escaped Haemonculus has been fleshcrafting things out of the ignored underclass urban populace because, hey, that's what psychotic body-horror faeries do. Big battle ensues at the end, conspiracy not resolved.

The Hollow Mountain:

 

Spinoza and Crowl continue their investigations into which of the High Lords is behind the conspiracy. Crowl checks out the Speaker for the Chartist Captains (essentially the aggregate Imperial shipping fleet). Spinoza leads a defense of their fortress stronghold when it comes under sustained attack. Heavy casualties ensue. They put things together and figure out the Astronomican is involved, and head out to the physical facility (the eponymous Hollow Mountain). In the midst of it all the Great Rift opens. Astronomican goes offline. Chaos ensues. All the denizens of the Astronomican have been driven mad and the place is a horror show. Spinoza and Crowl have a falling out over their duties; Crowl just wants to pursue the conspiracy, Spinoza believes they need to retake the Astronomican and get it back online. They part ways - Spinoza calls on the Imperial Fists for help, Crowl moves on and confronts Leops Franck, the Master of the Astronomican. He gets some answers, not others. Spinoza and the Fists succeed in reclaiming the Astronomican, but it's clear a monumental catastrophe has occurred.

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This thread reminded me to buy the ebook, and what happened to the prices lol. Ebooks went from 11.99 cad  to 18.99 cad, and stuff like the ollow mountain and the second Watchers of the Throne book are bring advertised right underneath at the old price. Didn't realize all the covid supply problems affected an unlimited digital product, especially to the tune of an almost 60% increase.

Going to start reading the actual book now.

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As others have said, a very grimdark ending to this trilogy, contrasting the sense of hope (inherent in other novels of this timeline) that the return of Guilliman brings to the Imperium.

Interesting to see if some of the plot carries on in other works or at least if there is a partial crossover with the next Watchers of the Throne novel. 

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1 hour ago, Taliesin said:

Any more Dark Eldar shenanigens, plot continuations?

Fairly significant Dark Eldar shenanigans and plot continuations, mainly focused on the events from the first book. I can give a brief rundown in spoilers, but would recommend reading it instead ofc :D 

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23 hours ago, Aeternus said:

Fairly significant Dark Eldar shenanigans and plot continuations, mainly focused on the events from the first book. I can give a brief rundown in spoilers, but would recommend reading it instead ofc :D 

Spoiler rundown would be highly appreciated actually, I'm a long way away from reading this and I suspect so are some others.

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Taliesin said:

Spoiler rundown would be highly appreciated actually, I'm a long way away from reading this and I suspect so are some others.

Occasionally, Reddit is good for something. This is a high-level look at the major story bits. If you're interested in anything more specific (like... what happened to specific characters) go ahead and ask further down and I'll do a spoiler-tagged response (unless someone beats me to it or an admin decides it's too early).

You will never find...

Edited by Lord Nord
Forgot link
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Very good book- Wraight is one of the newer BL authors that I've really come to enjoy. His stories are more complex and less "Giant armored guys bashing stuff" than others, while still retaining a lot of 40k's aesthetics and themes. His series, and the 40k Crime novels, are some of my new favorites along with standbys like Abnett. 

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On 7/28/2022 at 2:09 AM, Lord Nord said:

Occasionally, Reddit is good for something. This is a high-level look at the major story bits. If you're interested in anything more specific (like... what happened to specific characters) go ahead and ask further down and I'll do a spoiler-tagged response (unless someone beats me to it or an admin decides it's too early).

You will never find...

What do we see from Crowl in this one?

 

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Taliesin said:

What do we see from Crowl in this one?

Short, non-spoilery answer: You won't be disappointed when you finish the book.

Seriously, I REALLY recommend reading the book and not clicking the below spoiler (even though I do keep it vague).

You has been warned.

 

Crowl's actually absent for the first half to two-thirds of the book. And when he does show up, he's not in the greatest of shape. While that might sound like he's shunted to the side in favor of Spinoza and the rest, that's really only true in terms of total "screen time." Unlike the ending of The Hollow Mountain, where everyone except Khazad basically abandoned him, he is the uniting figure in the finale of this book. This trilogy really is HIS story.

Edited by Lord Nord
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I'm about halfway through and things are hitting the fan. Damn, I really wish this trilogy had been released entirely ahead of 8th edition / Rise of the Primarch. It fits so neatly before The Emperor's Legion and Dawn of Fire, building up mysteries that we already know occured. The references are a joy to read, and I envy the folks who may go into this trilogy blind, then follow it up with Watchers of the Throne and Dawn of Fire.
If anything, I'm sad that Watchers 3 isn't going to be set before Watchers 1, because Chris is leaving a big hole in the narrative here that damn well deserves to be filled by him. It's silly that BL has so far been tip-toeing around that big event.

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Just finished it. Great book. The ending put me in a bad mood. Not because it's a bad ending, but because of what happens. VERY 40k, but might need a somewhat brighter palette cleanser after this.

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What big event? The guilliman meeting with the Emp? I think the whole point of that is to make it mysterious and have the perception of it changed over time - because the emperor’s influence is like an aura that stays. So as guillimans views change his memory of the meeting changes. That’s the point - your view of the emperor is partly based on your beliefs. 

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