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Publisher's Summary

An Adeptus Mechanicus novel.

In the wake of the Great Rift, Belisarius Cawl turns his attention to the abandoned world of Sotha. Once home to the Scythes of the Emperor, it also hides a long-buried secret...and an ancient evil.

Listen to it because:

Cawl is one of the most fascinating characters in the Dark Imperium, and Guy Haley gets right into his memory circuits as he seeks ancient secrets that will blow your mind.

The story: 

Belisarius Cawl, Archmagos Dominus of the Adeptus Mechanicus, is the most brilliant mind alive. For 10,000 years he has furthered the cause of mankind, working under the aegis of the Emperor and Lord Commander Roboute Guilliman to prevent the inexorable march of the alien and the traitor. Many call him heretic, but all must recognise the magnitude of his achievements, for who else but he was entrusted to create a new generation of Space Marines? 

Who else but the great Belisarius Cawl could even accomplish such a task? Now, in the wake of the Great Rift and the Indomitus Crusade, his ambitions bring him to the long-dead world of Sotha, once home to the Scythes of the Emperor, now a barren wasteland devoured by the vile Tyranids. Accompanied by Tetrarch Felix and his elite warriors, it is here that Cawl believes the lynchpin of his mysterious Great Work lies. But uncovering it is a near impossible task, one in which the Archmagos must overcome an ancient evil that threatens to extinguish the last hope of humanity.

Written by Guy Haley. Total running time 11 hours and 11 minutes. Performed by John Banks.

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

What listeners say about Belisarius Cawl: The Great Work

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Adequate

Cawl has been a controversial figure in the lore since he appeared in Gathering Storm. There are some interesting developments to his background in this story that help to justify some of his deeds(looking at you Primaris). That said Cawl feels so powerful and knowledgeable that there isn't ever any real danger to him or those around him. As a result, most of the tension in the book focuses on Cawl's relationship with a Primaris he personally helped create, the remaining Scythes of the Emperor, and Cawl's own past. Most of the lore here is accurate if not always respected given Cawl's literally a desu ex machina.

12 people found this helpful

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Masterful

Touching, genius, and insightful. A great work in of itself. It was a bit hard to follow at points due to jumps, however I am positive this was intentional and merely another layer to the masterpiece. Even if you don't follow the Adeptus Mechanicus, even if you can't stand Primaris, even if you are tired of the old Marines, please read this. I will absolutely be adding a physical copy to my collection. Well done, very well done.

7 people found this helpful

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So much Lore!

1st, the narrator performed well, there were hardly any strange pronunciations of things from the Warhammer universe.

2nd, considering this book deals with a secondary successor chapter, the most boring aliens in all of Warhammer 40K, and the fairly repetitive Tyrranids, this book does very very well.

Belisarius is really fleshed out in this novel, pardon the pun.If the book is read from the perspective of Belisarius being the axis of the story, then the reader can have a really good time.

This book accomplishes the nearly impossible by making I actually care about some random successor chapter of the Ultramarines and the most boring alien faction in Warhammer 40K, the Necrons.

The setting for the story spans from before the great crusade to the very recent moments within the sundered imperium.

5 people found this helpful

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loved a book about my favorite warhammer character

cawl is my favorite. he is was got me into the game. and i just love to get in his head.

4 people found this helpful

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"Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang"...Time-Jump!

"Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang." Just starting to get into the story?? here's a time jump! idk, figure it out! "bang, bang, bang", oh something cool is happening! NOW YOU'RE 10,000 YEARS IN THE PAST! "Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang, Bang"

3 people found this helpful

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So good... it's practically heresy.

5 stars all around, can't wait to go through it again. this a must listen if you are a fan of 40k.

3 people found this helpful

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A disappointingly convoluted story.

The story attempts to be a multi-threaded non-linear revelation... instead it is a confusing and dull clunking slog of forgetful info and boring chatacters... other than Cawl.

2 people found this helpful

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You want the truth ! ??

“You can’t handle.....” ok here it is. In short
“ I NEED MORE”
I wasn’t to sure about this character ( I thought it was someone else so the first listen my characters were wrong in my head, but trust the process and plow threw it.) now he’s one of my favorite characters !!! I’m 1 year into the mythos of WH40k, so who is this guy? I’m into bad ass space marines! until I found Eisenhorn !- but this lovable weirdo “Cawl”- reminds me of a dark version of rick from rick and morty - witty , fun, but not silly - he’s always one step ahead of everyone and his eye on the goal! Master manipulator -I need more - possibly the most flexible Character ever made. Because he gets to “download personalities” that he thinks will best suit his Mission. He’s likable . And he’s modular ( mostly machine exterior ) so he can armor up when he needs. This is a fun one !!!

2 people found this helpful

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Another master stroke grom Guy Haley.

This book has made Cawl one of my favorite 40k characters. John Banks performance was amazing. Really brought every character to life.

1 person found this helpful

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Really enjoyed the story, good narration too.

Well developed characters as the story progresses. Hard to follow if you don't pay attention during the time jumps back and forth, but with some attention it all links up pretty well while still leaving room for fun speculation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Benjamin Martin Sadler
  • 09-26-19

Yet more revelations........

fantastic story, brilliant voice performance and a superb way to develope the characters and law.

By far some of the finest character develppment.

8 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-27-19

John Banks amazing Guy haley genius!

Stunning from beginning to end! And what an end total surprise! Loved the characterisation of one of the most enigmatic prime movers of the dark imperium staging now an iconic character up there with Eisenhorn and Gaunt... Cawl is a revelation in Haleys hands and in this audiobook thank the gods for John Bank's skills... The man is superb

4 people found this helpful

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  • Chris
  • 10-13-20

For the Machine God

I've been listening to The Horus Heresy for past two months and decide to take a break and listen to something different. I love Cawl, he is incredibly funny for a Member of the Mechanicum

Definitely a great book, but would suggest getting to know the Heresy or other 40k books before listen to this one

2 people found this helpful

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  • Rikki
  • 08-14-20

Brilliant story

This has to be one of the best 40k books I've read outside of the Gaunts ghosts series.
Performance was and the story was even better, I enjoyed the humour Cawls character brought to the story and the back story it creates
Highly recommended 👌

2 people found this helpful

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  • Marsin
  • 09-27-19

It was okay..!

It was okay, I hoped for something more insightful to the workings of Cawl and was not totally disappointed.

If you like stories of the Mechanicum then you'll possibly enjoy your way through this book..

2 people found this helpful

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  • Arvid
  • 08-09-20

Great story relevant to current developments in the lore

My favourite 40k novel so far. Sure, it is an action story set in a universe that knows little other than war, but the story and dialogue is well-written and there were some really cool passages. I was surprised how much I like the character of Belisarius Cawl and I think this book provides some useful background to current events in 40k, like the Indomitus Crusade.

The narration is also very good!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel
  • 08-08-20

Great listen

Good voice actors an intriguing storyline full of unknown bits of lore, what's not to love

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-15-20

Captivating!

Such an excellent book, as usual Guy Haley doesn’t disappoint. Surprisingly now Belisarius Cawl has now become one of my favorite characters within 40k

1 person found this helpful

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  • jamie
  • 06-01-20

I'm intriguing insight into an intriguing characte

took me a few chapters to wrap my hear around the jumping from time line to time line but when I did it was an amazing story and really opened my eyes to a unique character, would definitely reccomend

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mr ian Leeming
  • 03-13-20

2nd audio book.

Really enjoyed listening to the book whilst out walking the dog or cleaning the house. Made me more productive if I'm honest. excellent story and well narrated.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-27-19

Mediocre

While Haley has produced good works in the past, this was so far from the mark. It has its moments, but overall it doesn't feel like a very 40k book. Tetrarch Felix has been written like a squad sergeant with no idea of diplomacy and easily angered, and Cawl is portrayed as 'cooky' rather than the soul-crushed, 10,000 y/o brutal archmagos he is, and it frequently breaks immersion. Also, why would a tetrarch and an archmagos go down to inspect an ancient xenos artefact on a world destroyed by tyranids with just a dozen or so marines? Full of silly references like "Terra squirrels", and the result is that the story seems borne of another SciFi universe but has been worked into a 40k setting.

As for the audio performance, it's decent, but the total binary of character voices is incredibly lacklustre. Not all space marines in positions of power have to sound haltingly gravel-voiced and almost out of breathe, and not all intelligent characters need to sound plucky and high-pitched.

Easily missed.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-19

awesome

Really good insight into one of the most interesting new characters not directly related to a legion

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-18-21

The Man Cawl

Went into this book with mixed feelings, having just finished all of the Dark Imperium. Didn’t know if I would like a book about Cawl. Boy was I wrong, I really enjoyed this book finished within a few days as I just wanted to know what happened. Cawl isn’t just a robot, he’s a methodical genius who you not only learn about his life before but also how he came to be who he is. Our boy Felix comes back to us, with his feelings and thoughts towards him. And how the hive fleet Kraken destroyed sotha. Great listen, thanks Guy Haley.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-22-21

Enthralling

Narrator is great.
The story is extremely interesting and avoids getting too familiar with any particular character. Maintaining the grim and realistic approach of space marine mentality.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-21

Masterpiece

Always loved Guy Haley’s work but John Banks’ Cawl really made me fall in love with the character.

A must read/listen for any 40K fan.

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  • Luka
  • 07-06-20

Fucking fantastic

This story was absolutely beautiful this my first book in the Warhammer law I head the wonderful pleasure to listen and possibly listen again even peeking my interest in maybe getting some necrons and Cawl as kits though I should have started at the start this was visually and brilliant to listen to I got this book so to the author and the narrator that give this book justice I thank you for letting me fully pulled into the story of the Warhammer universe

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-24-20

bread crumbs of the entirety

for a person who has followed the creation of 40K from the early days of the 80s, every story released reveals another piece of a puzzle of a complicated storyline that perhaps has no rhyme or reason and is the epitome of chaos.
narration is excellent. cawl's character is wonderful. another entertaining book.

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  • Jeremy
  • 04-28-20

A must listen for modern 40k+ content.

Well read throughout.
Multiple stories from different points in time, great flow and keeps the attention easily.

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  • Tenma13
  • 02-20-20

Surprisingly interesting

Enjoyed the back and forth between current and post heresy timelines and overall the progression of Crawls character. Felix is fleshed out to be more than a stoic marine. Give it a go 😊

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  • Shaun Whybrow
  • 01-26-20

Belisarius Cawl

Guy Haley thoroughly enjoys framing stories to explore the past of these characters and uses it here again to great effect.

The immediate story is interesting and relevant but it's the past of Belisarius that is revealed throughout that's a real treat to hear.

Highly recommended.