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Valdor: Birth of the Imperium

The Horus Heresy
Written by: Chris Wraight
Length: 6 hrs and 16 mins
4.7 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Horus Heresy character novel.

Constantin Valdor is the chief of the Emperor's Custodian Guard and is among the closest of His companions. As the wars of Unity come to their end, Constantin faces his greatest challenge, as dark deeds are required to pave Mankind's road to the stars.

Listen to It Because:

Delve into the era of the Unification Wars and discover Constantin Valdor's role in bringing about the Imperium of Mankind in an unmissable novel by Chris Wraight!

The Story:

Constantin Valdor. It is a name that brings forth images of heroism, honour and peerless duty. For it is he who commands the will of the Legio Custodes that most esteemed and dedicated cadre of elite warriors. He is the Emperor’s sword, His shield, His banner and he knows no equal. Clad in shining auramite, his fist clenched around the haft of his Guardian Spear, he is the bulwark against all enemies of the throne, within or without. Nearing the end of the wars of Unity, Valdor’s courage and purpose is put to the test as never before. The petty warlords and tyrants of Old Earth have been all but vanquished, and the Emperor’s armies are triumphant. What now for the nascent Imperium and what fate for its forgotten soldiers, its Thunder Warriors and armies of Unity? A new force is rising, one which shall eclipse all others and open the way to the stars. But change on Terra is seldom bloodless, and for progress to be ensured darker deeds are necessary. 

Written by Chris Wraight. Narrated by Steven Pacey, Jonathon Keeble, Katy Maw and Toby Longworth.

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Valdor: Birth of the Imperium

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great for context on the beginning of the Imperium

Fantastic narration with a great story. While it doesn't actually talk much about Valdor himself, it's a great little background on the imperium itself and it's beginning.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ethan
  • 2020-04-03

Can Chris Wraight please have a team of lore nerds

I get very conflicted with Chris Wraights books because they are well written by themselves but the are not consistent with the greater 30k/40k lore. In this book we get a lot of good lore but then suddenly we’re told that the legions had their icons before finding their primarchs? Also apparently the emperor thought of the primarchs as sons? Those two things not only are out of character but they have books that address those issues. I get wanting to hint at the dark angels helping with the conflict but anyone who knows 30k will know that a Roman numeral 1 on the pauldron would be more of a name drop than the legion heraldry. Overall kinda annoyed/ disappointed because it was good up until the last 2-3 chapters where all this happened.

7 people found this helpful

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  • James Anacleto
  • 2020-04-22

No revelations, just an awesome story

While most of us already know the beginning of the Imperium proper: end of the Thunder Warriors, the Primarch project, the Legions it's nice to have a character perspective about these events in finer detail, especially through Constantine Valdor.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ralph
  • 2020-05-07

It was okay

Honestly was hoping for more about Valdor and have the book actually be about him instead of the slew of other characters who got far more attention I feel. I honestly feel the title is somewhat misleading to those wanting to know more about the man, rather than whats given in this one.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Christopher Bruner
  • 2020-04-01

Well done. I was hoping for more lore.

I was hoping for more Lore about the old battles, a discription of the battle between the thunder warrior and the custodes. I didn't learn anything I didn't already know. I wish more artistic licence was used towards the character development. The only real character with a story were ultimately inconsequential.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jar00d
  • 2020-10-08

Great First 40K book

I’ve been into 40k for a bit but this is the first one I actually started with I’m very intrigued with the early days of the imperium and this really set the scene

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-10-02

Good narration, hasty story comming dull

Expected more from pre-imperium book. While having potential for interesting book, I felt like story just hastily jumped between key points of imperium early development focusing on suggestive side of dialogs instead of their actual content. Although the 'birth' of the imperium from the 40k perspective should be scarce and almost mythical, there is a space for stories dealing with each stage of early imperium from various perspectives (other warlords, selenar cult, thunder warriors, imperium builders, industry makers, spies etc.) which could present lore on parcial level instead of brief abstract like was presented in this book.

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  • Jeff Pettit
  • 2020-10-02

i liked it

good story, good narrator...i liked it. I'll have to get other 40k books soon.

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  • Joshosgirl
  • 2020-09-13

Excellent portrayal of the end of Unification

An insight into the birth of the Imperium. Enlightening, as it is devious! Ave Imperator

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-09-10

Good but odd

Maybe I need to listen again, I’m not sure... the book is called Valdor, and he is featured but... he seems like a tertiary character within the story. I found the other players to be significantly more interesting. I suppose the real focus needs to be on the second part of the title, Birth of the Imperium. That part was accomplished. Great world building, it just felt like Valdor himself was second or even third fiddle to his own story.

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  • CaptainPicard
  • 2020-08-29

BY THE EMPEROR: The best prequel EVER

Seriously this was an amazing book. one of The best Nerrative performances I've ever enjoyed. combine that with the fact that this really has a lot of truly excellent lore, character and storytelling moments. BUT MAJOR spoliers following: THE BEST has got to be the Face Off between the last primarch of the Thunder Warriors and Constantine Valdor, brilliant diolgue during the Epic duel of the Fates style fight were the Passionate Fury of the Warrior meets the Cold Procision and Terrifying calculation of the Ultimate Custodian. The first ever use of the Astartes Dark Angel Legion is seen here as well as the near annihilation of the Astartes in thier cribs by thier own mother, terrified they will suffer and degrade just like the Thunder Warriors and become monsters without the PRIMARCHS to stabilize them. The IRONY being that it was the PRIMARCHS ultimately who led to the collapse of the great crusades. There's also some truly humanizing looks into Valdore's personality and you see he almost seems resentful that he cannot feel and live life vicariously as the Thunder Warriors did. "The Cause is all I have Left", he tells Malcadore, bitterly at the end.