Published: 7 July 2003
Publisher: Black Library
Series: Black Templars #1
Format Read: Physical
Battle-weary Marshall Brant of the Black Templars returns with his crusading force to find his homeworld, Solemnus under savage attack from marauding orks. Now Brant swears a blood oath to avenge his lost brothers, his home planet, and the honor of the Chapter by hunting down the ork leader responsible–and follows a trail to Armageddon, a world synonymous with war…
When I picked up this novel a few years ago at at a secondhand book stall in Amsterdam, I thought I had found a good old 40K novel. One that promised it was going te be a rollercoaster ride of non stop action and pitting the Imperium against the menacing Orks. Sadly it took me nearly half a year to get through this novel. I struggled, by the Emperor, I struggled, so much in fact that I put it down for four months and went on to read other non 40K related novels. This book pissed me off and yet, in retrospect, I can not make a Salty review of it, seeing as Salty is still recovering from certain Orc Smut related incident…
Crusade for Armageddon is part of a duoligy that follows the Black Templars, a succession Spacemarines Chapter that owe their founding to Sigismund and can trace their origins to the Primarch Dorn of The Imperial Fists. Very loyal to the Emperor and leaning on borderline fanatics. I am not sure, but I believe this novel takes place after the Horus Heresy has faded into history as I am sure if they believed in the Emperor as a god, they would have had the same treatment the Word Bearers got that started the whole Horus debacle… Armaggedon is a planet that has seen many wars in it’s history and the world sounds like it is likely to see more in the future too, as, “in the Grim Darknes of the Future, there is ONLY WAR.
The tale is told in three prespectives. First the Black Templars, the other a Warlord Titan with Tyrannus Maximus (already damaged and alone on the battlefield) and the last a Steel Legion Imperial Guardsmen with an important information and trying to get back to HQ. The plot in then converge the three viewpoints into a single massive battle against a factory for the Orks. One of my favorite parts of this book had nothing to do with the Black Templars at all, but revolved around the human Gaurd regiment of the Steel Legion as well as the Dreadnaught Brother Jarold. If you have followed my reviews for a while you might have seen that I am a sucker for a well written Dreadnaught and Jerold was what kept me reading to the end of the novel. For the rest of the novel I did not feel any sympathy for any of the Characters of the Templars, they were quite boring actually, so many times I fell asleep during this book where I had it nearly gave me a concussion just by how heavily boring it was. One of the main factors of that is the fact the Marshall Brant’s name is dropped but he never was part of the action, the story focused on some other Champion of the Emperor that had visions sent to him by some sort of wizzardry they connected to the majesty of old Emprah, it was laughable, laughable if you could stay awake long enough. Another main gripe was the fact that almost every battle the Templars would utter “No Respite, No Remorse! as their battle cry, it just read so silly, but I guess every Faction has their own little credo’s. It was just a bit frustrating to read that they apparently curse the orks during battle, but you never read about those curses, just the fact that they cursed at them, evey fething time, shouldn’t be a gripe, but I was interested in how a Templar would swear against a Ork. Come here you big meany!? Die you green scummy scum scum!?, I do not know…
This book read more like a Battle report same as a certain Cadia Stands series as well as that it felt like it was written while two friends were busy playing the table top version of it and making things up as they went along, not a bad idea in its own right, but this one was executed badly. I have to be forgiving to it though as this was 2003 we are talking about and the first Horus Heresy novel only came out three years later. Certian ways in which units or characters interacted were not as established as other fans will know today and it certainly shows it’s age in this novel. While I feel a certain series has spoiled me in how well it set up the Mechanicum way of how Titans and Dreadnaughts opperate, I did decide to go a tiny little easier on this novel, but by a small margin. I won’t have to reread this ever again forsure. Just glad I can now take it of the shelf to make some well needed space.
Getting to the Orks, as this was still “young” Black Library, the Orks were done quite a good bit of justice and they did pose a big threat to the Crusade. It was laughable to read how they just demolished a potential Black Templars home world like pissing against a tree at the same time as emptying a magazine of your favorite AKA47 and downing a pint. That part just made the Templars read like pushover wannabes. Its a miracle they got as far as they did, but we are led to believe that even in 40K miracles do happen. The orks made sure to put the big double “O’s” in Bolter Porn for this novel. Reading about the different units that they have as actual miniatures in the physical table top was also well done, I’ll give Green that much. It can be easy to see that he might’ve been more of a ork fan than a Templar sympathiser. There is action to be had within the last part of the novel, but getting there was a slog, at least for me… The fact that Gazghul Thrukka, an Ork whose own story I still have as a NetGalley book waiting on my attention, was also name dropped at the start of the book but never seen was also a let down. Instead of Brant and Thrukka facing of mano e orko, we get generic Spehsmahreen facing up against an Ork general. Some of the Ork “bigmek” and Titan battles were well written at least and the part where Brother Jarold came to the rescue of the Steel Legion was a treat, but the book did not build up from there. Each time it was semi going somewhere the perspective would shift to a different place on Armageddon. I was not a fan of that.
I gave this a 3 out of 5 on GR. I do not know if I should recommend it to anyone, I do not want to be the reason for some one else’s anger. If anyone would like to give it a go, I am willing to send my copy to them…
Till next time.
5 thoughts on “Crusade for Armageddon – Jonathan Green”
Feeling like a tabletop game exposition. Man, that happened with the Magic novels when they existed, so I feel for you.
Glad you made it to the end though 😀
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I read a few magic novels back in the day but at the time had no idea what they were about. The covers that displayed Phyrexia always caught my attention. Cant even remember what books they were. Long before i started using GR.
Had another mediocre 40K recently. Trying to get up to date with reviews at the moment. Thanks for stopping by.
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Sorry to hear you had another mediocre 40K book.
Hopefully that gamercat manga will be better for you 🙂
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I still have to create a post for new books I got, just waiting on one more to come in either today or tomorrow.
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