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Saturnine

The Horus Heresy: Siege of Terra
Written by: Dan Abnett
Length: 16 hrs and 48 mins
5 out of 5 stars (98 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As the traitors tighten their grip on Terra, Rogal Dorn must marshal the Imperial hosts to weather the storm. But not all of the defenders will survive the onslaught....

Listen to it because:

Dan Abnett returns to the Horus Heresy! Experience one of the crucial stages of the Siege, as Rogal Dorn and Horus match wits in a game of Regicide where the board is the Throneworld itself, and one wrong move could lead to utter devastation....

The story:

The Traitor Host of Horus Lupercal tightens its iron grip on the Palace of Terra, and one by one the walls and bastions begin to crumple and collapse. Rogal Dorn, Praetorian of Terra, redoubles his efforts to keep the relentless enemy at bay, but his forces are vastly outnumbered and hopelessly outgunned. Dorn simply cannot defend everything. Any chance of survival now requires sacrifice, but what battles dare he lose so that others can be won? Is there one tactical stroke, one crucial combat, that could turn the tide forever and win the war outright? 

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Saturnine

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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Horus Heresy novel so far!

Blows every other 40k and heresy book out of the water! I'll be listening to this again. Might get a hard copy too.

2 people found this helpful

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Epic story.

Loved it, some fantastic moments and great battles in this book. Excited for the next book.

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Imperial Masturbation

The forces of chaos are bumbling fools with seemingly no tactical acumen. They do not make for compelling villains the way this has been written. Engagements are painfully predictable. A single SM champion will be able to successfully battle back a daemon Primarch, while 50 Chaos Champions can barely scratch a loyalist one. You don't even need to listen to know the outcomes of battles. Chaos only ever succeeds by weight of numbers. It's a childish and uncompelling story of good always triumphing over supposed evil no matter the odds. To have your heros be worth while characters you have to allow them to fail occasionally. Villains who constantly make hilariously stupid and head scratching decisions only to advance a weak plot. If all you want is Imperial masturbation, this is for you. If you want a compelling story that acknowledges the complexity of both sides, skip this and the other Siege of Terra books. This furthers the damage done to the lore under the current hierarchy of GW, with their massive retcons and their writing of the lore thats closely elated to minitature profitability.

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hot diggity dog does Jonathan keeble do a good job

lived the writing. loved the performance I can see that some of the lore additions could be problematic for some but I like it overall

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amazing

narrators did a truly great job of bringing me right into the siege. loved it

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Very Satisfying

So many things I have wished for in this series finally play out. I felt the female voice actor made a huge impact for her character and would not have been half as good without her. This book was a great addition to balance the battle

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Best Book of the Seige of Terra series to date!

This book is a pure masterpiece from start to finish, the content and delivery of the book are second to none in the Horus Heresy.

The content is outdone by the narration, just pure magic.

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Good, Not Great

I've read all of the Horus Heresy books and the siege of Terra so far. I've never felt the need to write a review until now.

While this book is okay there was some very odd choices made by the author. I've liked most of his previous works in the universe but there were some glaring inconsistencies in this book that didn't make sense to me. Several characters personalities are very different from the previous siege of Terra books and there were some odd lore inconsistencies. Without giving away any spoilers sisters of silence are now magically invisible to people when no other work in the universe has stated this and un-augmented humans have been easily able to see them. Abbadon and Little Horus, while previously being ruthless war leaders who wouldn't hesitate to kill those on their own side to further their goals now chuckle and laugh with each other over shitty jokes. And legionaries at more than one point just insult and goad primarchs into doing things that should (on the chaos side at least) result in the primarch simply killing them.

Overall it seems like this was a book written by someone who had never written a warhammer book before. It seems as though they skimmed through a couple books to learn the characters names and terminology then just tried to continue the Siege of Terra storyline as best they could. The story was okay, but some of the lore changes and character personality and interaction was very off and really took away the immersion of the book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-14

Saturnine AKA The Weakest Entry Thus Far

TL;DR: Poor dialogue, incongruent characterization, and overly high-minded writing make Saturnine the weakest entry in the series. Unfortunately some big reveals might make this neccesary reading.

As the series is written by multiple authors, inevitably there will be variance in the character portrayal and dialogue. However the prior entries in the series have done a commendable job in ensuring the characters feel similar in both action and manner of speech. Saturnine is a major departure from this trend and really detracts from immersion. This is the only novel in the series I actually had to ask myself if I should see if I could return it.


To begin, I'm no prude to be put off by coarse language, but part of what breathes life into the setting is the way the characters speak. The relatively little cursing makes the setting feel as if it's in a time long past while in truth being in the far future. When I hear Horus Aximand say "I love teasing the s#!% out of you.", it takes me out of the setting, not to mention just being weak dialogue and out of character. It feels too much like something I'd hear in our own time, not from the mouth of a 200 year old Astartes officer. It's a pervasive issue throughout the novel and it makes me wonder if the author bothered reading any of the previous entries to grasp the feel that had been previously established. Previous novels attempted to establish Abbadon as beginning to develop into the future warmaster of chaos, but it seems completely absent in this novel. Abbadon seems nearly an entirely different character. None of the proud disdain for the traitor primarchs, none of the decisive nature. He becomes a joke by the end, and while this may be enjoyable for those in the failbaddon camp, I prefer the more recent portrayals of Abbadon that Gamesworkshop has been going for. He's the future warmaster of chaos, he should be a strong, threatening figure. Certainly not throwing temper tantrums.

I could go on and on about instances of bad dialogue and out of character moments such as these. However I hope this at least gives you a vague picture of what you'll find in this book. If I loved 40k any less than I do, I'd have skipped the book. That said, there are some decent big reveals that I'd say make it neccesary to soldier through reading this novel. Hope the next one is a return to form. Should honestly just give the series to Guy Hayley lol.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-08-02

In response to critics, or “Saturnine is delightful”

First my review, then my responses to the criticisms of other reviewers with spoilers.

Once again, there’s about 80 pounds of grox here in a 20 pound grox bag. That said, this was my favorite of the Siege of Terra novels so far. At this point in the siege, all of the characters are feeling the pressure, all characters are feeling the absurdity, and it all just goes a bit odd. I love that because it makes them all a bit more human and relatable. The traitor marines are cold and distant. Their primarchs are obsessive madmen. The loyalist marines are hunkering down and digging deep together. Their primarchs are all starting to crack a bit under the strain. Meanwhile the imperial army are dong what they do, but their reasons are changing, a new identity is forming. And in the background, HERE COMES RHE INQUISITION! We are seeing the foundations of 40k subtly spun out.

*****
WARNING!! HERE BE SPOILERS!!

First, general critiques of critiques:
1. Sh*t: folks say it a lot in this novel. On a second listening, I think it was mostly confined to the traitor astartes and humans. I’d say that’s intentional. It’s showing the degradation of the traitors as they become more corrupted by chaos. They’re more sullied and twisted, less of the starch-a**ed goodies they used to be. Besides, if you didn’t smile when you heard Perturabo described as “happy as a grox in sh*t”, you’re taking this far too seriously.
2. “Modernisms”: to those of you who balked at “gender is fluid” and similar things, that’s not the author bringing in 21st century “political correctness,” it’s you bringing in 20th century bigotry. For throne’s sake, there’s an entire clade of shapeshifting, gendermorphing assassins. Get over yourselves and appreciate that this setting is 28,000 years in the future, when lots of things have changed.
3. Women: I’m seeing a fair amount of shade thrown at Jenetia Kroll and Erda. Could their parts have been better developed? Oh yes! Should they have been cut for more dakka? Oh no! There are far too few women in this series and the perspective that both of these big news bring is fascinating. Erda was there from the start. She has the knowledge that feeds us on a slow drip and leaves us wanting more. Kroll, also, is a window into things we can barely see (no pun intended). We know so little of the sisters of silence but their perspective is riveting. More of all of this, please.
4. Abbadon: this book explains a lot. For those who complain that we see our lord and warmaster of chaos in the 40k realm treated like a willful idiot-child here, THAT’S THE POINT! Abbadon is confident, he’s arrogant, and he thinks he can’t be beaten. They’ve been building him up from a mindless maniac little better than Kharn over the last few books but this was essential. By failing, Abbadon got some necessary humiliation and got his arrogance checked. He also lost his closed brothers and dearly wanted to just go blade to blade with the emperor’s finest. This sets him up for the future in two ways. First, he’s failed spectacularly once and he knows he can again. This was a safe fail that can remind him when he’s in charge that you don’t always get saved by the teleporter at the last moment. Second, it shows the value he places on those brothers and on worthy enemies. I now understand better why he tries to win over Sigismund - he misses those brothers, he wants the best.

Second, y’all need to calm down about what you think are “canon breaches”:
1. Kibre dies and yet he’s there in Talon of Horus to go find Abbadon. What’s the problem here? We’ve established that the Chaos gods can bring people back to life (ex. Lucius) so why can’t they do that for Kibre?
2. The Emperor’s Children rally their legion to attack Saturnine when, in Talon of Horus, we hear that they were off raiding the planet for slaves during the siege. Again, what’s the problem? There’s more siege to go and Fulgrim clearly states the equivalent of “I’m out and so are my sons” so, after Saturnine looks like the point where the Third Legion abandons the siege for slaving and earns that hatred.
3. Erda’s “hand” in scattering the primarchs going against what we know from Valdor: Birth of the Imperium and First Heretic. Simply put, why couldn’t she have had a hand in it? We don’t have all the details.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Matthew
  • 2020-07-15

One plot problem

Loved it, my only problem is with a glaring plot issue...

Falkus Kybre didn't die in the Siege (Talon of Horus)

9 people found this helpful

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  • Frank
  • 2020-07-13

Very much disliked

I've read/listened to a lot of Abnetts books and liked them but this one is not one of them at all.

Got about 5 hours in before giving up. Some sections are well done (Dorn, Sanguinius, Perturabo), but others just made me cringe (The sister of silence seemed to exist only to think about how strong certain characters are or fuel a side story that got on my nerves quickly.) Dissappointing since how much I liked the Sisters in the War on the Webway books and the 40k book Watchers of the Throne.

Also, the word "shit" is used A LOT in this piece when I've only ever heard it used in many other books maybe once. it's super glaring when characters who have never said it in past novels talk about the shit hitting the fan and such.

Disappointing entry in the Siege of Terra series and disappointing entry in Abnett's bibliography.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-08-01

Please Dan, Read The Established Lore

This book disacknowledges and breaks several pieces of established lore set by authors such as Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Seemingly retconning events that occurred in stories such as The First Heretic and the Black Legion series. The life of Falkus Kibre leader of the Justaerin, and the scattering of the primarchs Mr. Abnett has suddenly tampered with. In Pt:3 Ch:5 he even says Kharn is 1st captain, Kharn was NEVER First Captain he is 8TH CAPTAIN. 8TH CAPTAIN KHARN FOR F**** SAKE.. Almost every fight that is to happen will suddenly jump to some unrelated scene, after about 6th time this starts to feel DRAINING. In addition to its incongruity this book has been sprinkled with modern day politics and terms which is unfortunate to see in a Warhammer novel. Abaddons characterization has simply fallen flat on it's face. Some of the strongest warriors in the entire galaxy (Death Guard and World Eaters), are reduced to mindless incompetent savages and simple disease carriers without martial prowess. They are treated as chaff and cut down as simply as basic mortals. Fulgrim is VERY underpowered and the fight with Dorn was lackluster.. Another disappointing entry to the Siege. Get your damn lore straight Mr. Abnett.. I will be reading Betrayer again to cleanse my palate.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Linda
  • 2020-07-20

Fantastic performances but bad history!

Falcus Kibre didn't die on Terra. He initiated finding Abaddon and the Vengeful Spirit 10,000 years AFTER the siege, (now this has become a conflicting lore. Thanks , Dan ) and the 3rd with Telemachon Lyras did not take part in the siege; instead they raided the planet for slaves and supplies. (Black Legion book). I just wish the errors were not there, otherwise, I liked the book. Dan Abnet has been writing Warhammer lore for years and this has egregious mistakes.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-16

just wow, one of the best 40k books

incredibly good. emperor back story, primarch actions, scattering of primarch. must read book. cant waith for the next one

4 people found this helpful

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  • RickyP
  • 2020-07-30

Ok but showing some flaws.

This one has some issues. It came down to three things. The first is it felt like the author was borderline inserting modern politics into it. With alot of weird talk about truth not being important and some real red flag words like "gender fluid." The second issue is that having a second narrator was very jarring and really shattered both the pace and story. Honestly I'm not sure why the choice was really made at all. I guess it was to show that the Sister of Silence was special. But it's a poor way to convey that. The third was the use of very modern terminology and curse words. Those thing can be ok, but in the series so far those things have been absent. This also makes it pretty jarring. So I guess it's an ok story, but the aide issues really get in the way.

3 people found this helpful

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  • anusan
  • 2020-07-29

woow!!

Amazing! so far the best.
really good read. cant say more due to spoilers!
worth every penny

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-07-13

Finally!

No spoilers here for anyone reading but Abnett you clever bastage thank you for this book!

3 people found this helpful