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Primogenitor (1) (Fabius Bile) Hardcover – December 20, 2016
He is known by many names – Clonelord, Manflayer, Primogenitor. He is the epitome of deceit and perversion, and feared by man and monster alike. Once the chief apothecary of the Emperor's Children, the madman known as Fabius Bile possesses a knowledge of genetic manipulation second to none. Now a renegade among renegades, he is loathed by those he once called brother, and even the most degraded of Chaos Space Marines fears his name. Exiled for his dark experiments, Bile has retreated deep into the Eye of Terror, leaving a trail of twisted abominations in his wake.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Games Workshop (December 20, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 178496445X
- ISBN-13 : 978-1784964450
- Item Weight : 2.04 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.3 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #708,479 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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1) After years of reading about the heroic Empire of Man, I'm actually really digging the fallen legion perspective on things. So many other books portray Chaos Marines as pretty dark and... evil. I think this does a good job of showing how Chaos interacts with mankind when men aren't so fooled into thinking in a very black and white good vs evil mindset. Not sure Fabius Bile is the most interesting character here, and that was a nice twist. Bile's retinue are far better developed and interesting, overall, even if they aren't as uniquely interesting and powerful as Bile. But, hey, the Eye of Terror isn't all that scary when you are one of the Alpha predators, like Bile. I think it gets a little more interesting when you aren't at the top of the food chain and you are trying to swim with the big fish. Most of the other characters are some variation on that theme.
2) I thought the writing was good. I'm not looking for absurdly difficult to read, and I want good pacing with action that is easy to imagine and follow along with. Reynolds nailed that for me.
3) At the end I was excited as heck for the next two books. I believe I saw, somewhere, that this is part of a trilogy. Any book that makes me wish it wasn't over deserves a solid 4 star rating. It won't change my life, but I'll be back for more.
What a fantastic book. This has got it all, great prose, smart dialogue, compelling and excellently built characters and scene setting, an incredibly dark vibe coupled with humor and splattered in gallons of blood, and amazingly visceral fight scenes.
I am sold on this setting if any of the books are even close to this level of brilliance.
First book from the Black Library and first read by Joshua Reynolds, and it could not have been better.
Definitely a must-read for fans of the genre and for fans of great action and spectacular writing.
This is the first 40k novel I've read that features the chaos marines, and they somehow feel more human, more relatable than many of the loyalist marine novels I've read.
Top reviews from other countries
Fabius Bile, once Chief Apothecary of the Emperor’s Children, is of course not exactly a sympathetic character. He is a monster, pure and simple, but also the most talented among the Apothecaries of all the Traitor Legions. He has survived since the Horus Heresy by helping the remnants of these Legions survive by procuring them with gene seeds. He has broken away from his own Legion, or what is left of it. He has refused to ally himself with any faction or war band and, by the time the story begins, he is pursuing his experiments with a number of like-minded Apothecaries from other Legions. Their warped research (in more sense than one) takes place on a Chaos planet in a ruined palace that he has fortified and transformed into an Apothecarion. The descriptions of the environment, the Apothecaries and their creations are vivid and rather griping.
This relates to one of the main strengths of this book. The author has been able to conjure and assemble within one narrative a number of scenes of which Fabius’ Apothecarion of Urum, the Dead-Alive planet devastated by previous wars, is just the first one. A second set of scenes take place at Sublime, a dying planet that is also on the other side of the Eye of Terror and which is a giant contraband market where just about any piece of technology is for sale. A third set features a fractured war band of the much decayed Emperor’s Children and their Noise Marines, while a fourth is built around a ruthless and brutal assault of an Eldar craftworld with the help of Daemons.
A second interesting feature is the characterisation of Fabius Bile who still believes he can improve the genes of the Space Marines and found a future dominant race but who no longer believes that his old Legion can be part of the future or that he can lead it towards such a future. A related feature is that he is himself diseased, ageing and dying. It is only by transferring himself into fresh bodies that he can still hope to survive and struggle to achieve what he has been attempting to do for the last ten centuries.
The book also includes a number of other interesting characters, the main one being Oleander Koh, once also an Apothecary of the Emperor’s Children and a wayward disciple of the infamous Fabius Bile. He has a hidden agenda which involves both his former master and his current one, the Radiant, an ex-Captain of the Emperor’s Children who is craving to ascend and become a Daemon Prince. Also interesting are the devious and scheming Eldars, whether the Harlequins or those from the craft world.
Another nice touch is that the author has linked this story with others where Fabian Bile appears. There are therefore a few allusions to these. One particular example is the assault of Abbadon’s Black Legion and their destruction of the Emperor’s Children fortress and city which caused Fabian to flee and find refuge on Urum.
Needless to say, you can expect a fair amount of action throughout the book, with the assault of the huge Eldar craftworld as a suitable and apocalyptic climax. Four strong stars.
But I really enjoyed the Fabius Bile series, it's refreshing to have a character who's aims you might not agree with, but make total sense and are logical. Although there's the usual grimdark stuff typical of Chaos, especially where Slannesh is concerned, it's all just matter of fact stuff in the background that the protagonist practically rolls his eyes at himself.
Do yourself a favour and just buy all three books at once, you'll be straight on the second in the series after this.
It's chaos but not grimdark chaos. It's GW but including filthy xenos which I personally don't like in my 40k novels.
Seen chaos done worse and done better.
Think I will persevere, to get my money's worth.
I do like the look into how some chapters have devolved in the Eye and how some seem to fight their fate.
But there's some product placement going on in the novel, GW products. And they seem out of place. Of all of their race to explore here they seem the least naturally placed. You'll know when you read it. Why them here?
One last incongruity, a space market...in the Eye of Terror.
And my chief gripe, overuse of the words very and soul and being. Though again not enough to make me put the book down forever.
So yeah, 3/5, good enough to finish and look at buying the next.