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Publisher's Summary

Book two of the Dawn of Fire series

As the Indomitus Crusade spreads across the Imperium Sanctus, the cardinal world Gathalamor is caught in the grip of war - but when an ancient evil is unearthed, the entire crusade is threatened.... 

Listen to it because: with the crusade in full flow, get your first look at the full scale of the horrors inflicted upon the Imperium and the determination of Guilliman to defeat them and reunite the emperor's realm.

The story: as the Indomitus Crusade begins, fleets of mighty warships leave Terra on a vital quest to stabilise Imperium Sanctus in the wake of the Great Rift. The returned primarch, Roboute Guilliman, leads a huge force towards the shrine world of Gathalamor, where stable warp routes will allow the flotilla to spread across the beleaguered southern half of the Imperium.

But grave tidings reach the Imperial Regent’s ears. Warnings from an ancient race, and eerie silence from the army tasked with holding Gathalamor until his arrival, lead Guilliman to send a reconnaissance mission to the world, at its head, Shield-Captain Achallor of the Adeptus Custodes.

Achallor discovers a world on the brink: a beaten Imperial force and sinister agents of Abaddon the Despoiler who have unearthed an ancient evil - a weapon that when harnessed not only threatens the primarch, but perhaps the holy Throne of Terra itself.... 

Written by Andy Clark. Narrated by John Banks.

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

What listeners say about The Gate of Bones

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

solid, winding, unsettled but good ending

Andy Clark does better than expected in this 2nd book of this series. One negative of the story is it seems at times to be disjointed. Some threads of the story are not tended to for quite some time, and this affects the overall coherency of the story.

As a general theme, this book might be summed up as "bad news but here is some hope".

Several of the main characters have sound quality, and are written well. A few of the main characters seem to be a bit to shoehorned however.

Where is the main guardsman female scout is a very decent character, the main knights female character is largely a paper cut out.

A person can tell that Games Workshop is in a big push for more female characters because there are a lot of female characters. And when you have quite as many female characters mandated and inserted into a story, the shear number seems to drive down the quality.

The mandate doesn't seem to stop at simply female characters however, because maybe the most prominent female character is, not joking, a paraplegic female Warrior character.

S somebody who spent about a decade in the American army, let me assure you, there are differences between boys and girls that are not simply biological. This sort of strategy seems to ignore that.

What Andy Clarke does not ignore is the mortality in difficulty of warfare. Andy Clark includes fatigue, filth, terrible trying difficulties, and what it sometimes means to earn a victory in dire circumstances.

The author also is very good about treating both the protagonist and antagonist with reasonable story time. The villains add good development and a character arc. This made the story well balanced and the victory for the protagonists worth something.

Also, something that is often ignored is the nature of each side of the conflict. Part of the nature of being a traitor is that your side is willing to splinter fairly readily. Part of what makes the loyalists loyal is there Fervour for unity.The author did not ignore any of this. He made it a consistent thread.

Well done Andy Clark.

One pet peeve was that the actual numbers of people that we were dealing with seems to disappear and then reappear only inconvenience to the story.

Now where some characters were developed well over the story, Like the custodian shield captain, others, like one of his team of custodes, was an absolute dead weight. He had some fun lines, but the events of the story meant nothing to the outlook of his character. He served more as an ideological place holder than an organic character.

I do not know if Andy Clark is a veteran, but it would seem no. The reason is that the tactics employed by some of the different elements of the combating forces seem to be inefficient or unwise.

As a personal sidebar, I love the historian times of the story because I myself was for a time and army historian.

So to sum up:
A LOT is happening.

Pace is usually good but with some lag times.

Some characters are well developed, some painfully not.

There is as unrealistically large lady presence in this book.

Earned story line and arc for the protagonists.

Antagonists were well invested.

Main points at the end of the story are meaningful, human, and touching.

The narrator occasionally seemed to mix up voices with lines in this blizzard of characters.

4/5 stars, read this book of you are a Warhammer fan.

12 people found this helpful

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meh

if you're looking for a story that is unique and unoriginal then this is not the book for you. it had a really hard time keeping my attention and I often would have to go back and relisten to chapters because it would lose my interest and I would space out or think about something else. I have ADD so it's not that difficult for that to happen but there are plenty of Warhammer 40K books that keep my attention and then I can't wait to read the next chapter. most of the characters were uninteresting and the amount of female lead characters in this book was extremely ridiculous. in past books I can't think of too many lead characters that were women now all the sudden all these books I'm reading they're everywhere. call me sexist if you want I really don't care but when you force something like this that isn't natural it ruins the story and it ruins the immersion that we love from these books. I shouldn't be listening to a book franchise that I love thinking wow how political. and I'm assuming this was forced on the author to do so you're now ruining his creativity because you want to implement something that he probably wouldn't normally make otherwise. as a result you have the product you see before you. I was assuming people in the reviews before I read this we're overreacting about it but my God the amount of women in top positions in this book is absurd and obviously forced. this franchise is extremely male-dominated women just aren't too interested in this stuff and that's just a fact so to demean your own franchise in the pursuit of profits that aren't even there just disgust me. and obviously the sisters of the argent shroud are going to be led by women because it's all women but that should be it yet you have them leading the imperial knights and the fleet and the best commando and the imperial guard area was also a woman and the leader of the enemy chaos humans was also a woman that's probably over half of the organization leadership in this book all women. women don't perform combat rolls too often in war so when you see a woman in battle and she's a badass it makes it special but now they have them in abundance and by the way they're all leaders there's no underlying women it just seems unrealistic and ruins the uniqueness that is a woman fighting in the Warhammer universe. the other thing I hate about this book which I can attribute to the author is there's these characters in the book that you see in the beginning from the previous book that just vanish. never to be heard from again. this wasn't a huge deal but I found myself throughout the rest of the book wondering where are these guys at. I guess at least I can consider that non cliche. these characters are replaced halfway through the book with new characters that you'll see till the end it just ruins character build up and the few characters that stay on throughout the book have little to no character build up as well only the custodian is really seen throughout the whole book and has some semblance of character build up. by the way I know a lot of You feel Like I do about the political correctness stuff don't be afraid to speak up about it I spend a lot of money on these books thousands of dollars as do many of you so don't be afraid to speak your mind. you aren't sexist this is blatant pandering or an effort to reach a new audience for profits at the expense of the authors and the readers by forcing something that's not natural down the throats of everyone involved.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Filler Book

Characters weren’t particularly interesting, story wasn’t advanced in any sort of way, no real insight as to what’s going on in the galaxy. Nothing unexpected, no real twists.

Starts out interesting with xenos having an audience with guilliman explaining how Chaos has a powerful macguffin on a planet.

Then we go to the planet for 98% of the book. Chaos finds macguffin, uses on imperial forces, imperial forces triumph in the end but chaos slinks off with the macguffin (we didn’t lose this was the plan all along...) for the next book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • TJ
  • 02-11-21

Further illustrates a fragmenting Imperium

Dawn of Fire turns up the heat, but no smoke yet. Gate of Bones is a pretty good stand-alone story with the Indomitus Crusade as a backdrop. Horusy Heresy references are sprinkled throughout the story, but don't allude to much we haven't already heard about. Many characters are introduced, most of which have satisfying arcs and development. John Banks is great at what he does.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of the best 40k books

This book managed to keep me locked in on the story from beginning to end. I had no idea where it was going but it was a fun ride. The characters are interesting and the action is great. Alot of set up for later plot threads to keep an eye on also.

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meh

plodding, lumbering narrative and mainly inconsequential to the main story arc. good ending though. would have quit if I wasn't such a completionist

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Among the Best

This is quite an excellent book. If you like stories of realistic people struggling through otherworldly horror and strife, then you'll enjoy this one. The author does an excellent job of displaying the humanity of the characters, even the "evil" ones. In fact, the antagonists of this story are some of the more interesting and sympathetic ones. Clark does a great job of giving the villains an understandable motivation, particularly the Warpsmith of the Iron Warriors, who has his own martial honor. The themes of religious zealotry got on my nerves a bit, but it's not presented as necessarily a good thing. It serves a purpose, and it is not celebrated in the overall narrative. It gives color to the futuristic Dark Age the story is set in, but be prepared for it, it's a lot!

Overall, I think the Dawn of Fire books are among some of the better novels in the franchise. It isn't the most flashy. Most of the characters are quite ordinary. But that is its strength. You get some very real people feeling things you'll be able to relate to, which is very good in a setting this stylized and outlandish.

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loved it!

great performance really brought the intersections and relationship dybamics of certain mordian guards to life!

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Good performance, story was mediocre

Overall I think the book was decent and John Banks did a hell of a job with his narration. What I have come to expect from most modern 40K books is that there is going to be a lot of praising the emperor. However this particular book takes that praise and proselytizing to the extreme. In fact it was so constant that I actually began to get frustrated every single time I heard the phrase "praise the emperor" or, "the emperor protects". I understand that the Imperial religion towards the Empire is a focal point for the entire 40K setting but I feel like it makes many of the characters two dimensional and boring. The best parts of this book involve the custodes.

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great story

loved the story and had more than a few laughs, great single story. Would recommend to readers who like warhammer

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ryan
  • 02-12-21

Great book but...

I love this book.... however the custodian on the cover looks like Michael Barrymore and this really annoys me in a massively irrational way.

Tribune “Barrymore” Colquan. I can’t get Michael Barrymore out of my mind every time he’s mentioned. As a side note the author describes his head as....a bullet shape. He has no neck just a bullet head like juggernaut from the x-men.

For a character who I liked because he’s nasty to everyone. Colquan is now the joke of the crusade fleet.

Gutted for him.

John banks is awesome as always. Except maybe the knight house princess voice..... that’s touch and go John, maybe retire that voice.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh
  • 03-05-21

Enjoyable

It is an enjoyable book as stated in the title of this review, the performance was expertly done. (John Banks always knocks it out of the park). The story was ok nice blend of all the factions.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Lothian
  • 02-19-21

great book

Really good insight into the Indomitus crusade, I loved the mordians, the custodes and all the sisters action

also good to see some old faces

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-08-21

10/10

Andy Clark and John Banks have done great yet again and l can only hope we get lots more with John reading them

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-25-21

Great story, but harrowing.

Fantastic story, interesting characters
And nice to hear an Irish accent in a black library audiobook

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • paul sparks
  • 02-13-21

Sympathy for heretics?

Sadly I am starting become more sympathetic to the heretic astartes and having a book like this doesn’t help! 😉 Andy Clark has written a superb tale of heresy and faith with characters I would like to read more of in the future (although I doubt I will apart from Fabian) my only caveat on the audibook is John Banks narration of the Knights..... I would listen to Mr Banks read a menu but the accent for those characters made me cringe

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Mark
  • 05-15-22

A poor follow-up

Bit of a letdown after the previous book in the series. the characters seem kind of flat and the world building is nowhere near as rich

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-27-22

Simply Fantastic, both in story and performance

Great and compelling from start to finish, a credit to the author and the narrator

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-07-22

Very good stuff

The story takes you along all factions. Pretty cool stuff. Chaos, Sororitas,Knights, all af them.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-01-22

great insight into the beginning of Era Indomitus

Good to see the view of the Custodes and what they think of returned Primarch Robute, the Emperor, and the general state of the galaxy.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-17-21

my thoughts

while the majority of the book was very enjoyable the character introductions seemed very clunky and broke the early flow of the book . again otherwise very enjoyable