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Publisher's Summary

While Horus' rebellion burns across the galaxy, a very different kind of war rages beneath the Imperial Palace.

The 'Ten Thousand' Custodian Guard, along with the Sisters of Silence and the Mechanicum forces of Fabricator General Kane, fight to control the nexus points of the ancient eldar webway that lie closest to Terra, infested by daemonic entities after Magnus the Red's intrusion. But with traitor legionaries and corrupted Battle Titans now counted among the forces of Chaos, the noose around the Throneworld is tightening, and none but the Emperor Himself can hope to prevail.

©2016 Games Workshop Limited (P)2016 Games Workshop Limited

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What listeners say about The Master of Mankind

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Nice while it lasted, but won't re-listen.

Master of Mankind is to my mind, peak Aaron Demski-Bowden, with regards to strengths as an author and style of writing. There's a LOT of good in this book and a lot that's just fascinating, but be sure that you don't take anything that The Emperor says at face value, otherwise you might find yourself confused. Without wishing to spoil, suffice it to say that The Emperor's interactions are specifically crafted in such a way as to maximize His charismatic appeal to the person or party with whom He is speaking. As a rule of thumb, His statements throughout the Horus Heresy series should rarely be taken as a representation of His own opinions, but rather as a tool for Him to exercise His will; So far in the series, the only exceptions are in His interactions with Malcador, Constantin Valdor, and a very select few of His sons. If you are still a bit new to the lore, be sure to keep this in mind throughout the story, or you may well find yourself lost.

It should also be said that while ADB's strengths as a writer are evident, so too are his biases. It's difficult to pinpoint or provide any examples without giving spoilers, but for those who don't know, the author is well known for being something of a cheerleader for the Chaos faction, and his own personal daddy issues are a poorly kept secret within the 40K community. I mention this not as a jab at the author, but to provide context; If you find yourself scratching your head at moments in the story that just seem a bit off, knowing the above might be helpful. At least it was for me. I can only speak for myself here, so take this for what you will, but I can honestly say that my story experience would have been negatively impacted had I not been aware of some of the author's personal leanings beforehand, and I hope that this context might similarly help the experience of others, particularly those invested in the Horus Heresy series.

Overall, I'd ultimately really only recommend Master of Mankind to those invested in the Horus Heresy series or 40K as a whole. It's certainly no Horus Rising or Wolfsbane, but there's enough to keep your interest if you're waiting for other new releases in the series. For those who are still learning about the franchise, it's far from inaccessible, but bear in mind the points of context above. If you're freshly new to the lore however, steer clear, Master of Mankind requires a mild-to-moderate amount of background knowledge; If you're interested in the franchise and want to learn more, you'd probably find Horus Rising, Flight Of The Eisenstein, Legion, or The First Heretic more approachable.

21 people found this helpful

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How many Custodes does it take to close a door?

I enjoyed this book a great deal. It contains some of the rare glimpses into the direct actions of The Emperor as well as insight into his life across human history. You also get to see more instances of The Big E being an epic-level bastard and showing that despite being incredibly intelligent and possessing remarkable psychic abilities, he is still oblivious to much of what goes on in the minds of those around him.

Aside from The Emperor exhibiting some remarkable callous and narcissistic behavior, and at times inconsistent behavior, the novel introduces several Custodes and Silent Sisterhood characters. The novel catches up on what has been happening since Magnus' Folly. Spoiler: it is both a lot and not much at once.

The novel also brings some Mechanicum characters back onto the stage. One of my personal favorite things was the inclusion of a particular Techno-Archaeologist from way back in the 40k fluff.

As usual, Aaron Dembski-Bowden crafts an enjoyable and entertaining tale. it is not as depressing as his Night Lords stories but there absolutely some grimdark moments. Jonathan Keeble does an admirable job narrating the novel.

One last note, the audio in this reading was one of the most consistent that I have noticed from Black Library. There were a couple of scenes where I turned the volume up a notch but that was all. I often feel I am adjusting the volume too often in BL audio productions so this was a very welcome change.

4 people found this helpful

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Ave Imperator

Your reading a 40k review, it's doubtless what brought you here. Love him or hate him the Emperor is one of the driving forces of the War Hammer universe. This book puts in better perspective his life, reasons, and why the 40k is how it is. Great story, brilliantly presented, and worth it even if you don't care for the factions involved, there is something for all. including a lurking horror that may bring a new player to this universe's horizon.

3 people found this helpful

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Makes the Emperor Sympathetic

I liked how the Emperor is portrayed here. He’s a man who has an aura of authority. But still a man. And even though people see him as all powerful he still has limits. Not his own, but those imposed by how psychic power and everyone else work.

It’s great insight into his personal feelings with the Primarchs and how everything is pushing him to one goal. And how getting to that goal requires relying on unreliable tools such as the Primarchs and mankind itself.

The narrator is great and provides a good mouthpiece to all the characters.

2 people found this helpful

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A masterpiece

Aaron Demski-Bowden, Keeble and the War in the Webway... Perfect. I binged this book, left me utterly devastated and joyfull at the same time.

1 person found this helpful

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For the emperor

a great insight into the many faces of the master of mankind. dictator, king, machine God, warrior, shaman, father.

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my opinion, best of the Horus Heresy.

where is our aaron dembski-bowden siege of terra book? adb is must read to me.

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Best book for any fan of The Emperor.

This book was an amazing listen. It showed the most insight about The Emperor's personality and his original plan for the Imperium. It also showed that even as powerful as he is, he cannot control everything.

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solid 40k story.

ADB is one of the best the black library has. super humans are relatable and fairly well rounded, good action, compelling story within the horus heresy.

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must read for 40k lore!

Good insight into the ability of the emperor to actually predict the future and his struggles at reaching the desired end state.

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  • Atte
  • 07-22-19

Commander's review

Im commander Shepard and this is my favourite book on the citadel.

Citadel council approves.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Craigie
  • 01-14-18

Superb Insight into the Custodies & The Emperor!

Riveting and insightful. Here we learn of the exact nature of the catastrophe that Magnus the Red wrought upon the work the Emperor was attempting to carry out on a human webway.
Told from several viewpoints, a Custodian Guard, an augmented Blood Angel whom could no longer fight as his bionics are glitchy and more including a tech priest from mars who was responsible for the creation of one of warhammer 4000's most iconic vehicles, the mighty Land Raider ( bet you thought it was called that because it could raid over land! ? Not the case at all.
Master of Mankind is amongst my top five in the Horus Heresy series.
Jonathan Keeble performamce is as always at the top of his game.
Highly entertaining from start to finish.

7 people found this helpful

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  • MR C EARL
  • 07-18-18

A good book for fans interested in 30/40k

If you are a fan of the setting I would heartily recommend this book, the story and information contained within is a gold mine for those interested in what was happening on terra during the horus heresy. The characters/story are interesting enough and the narration is of the high standard I would expect from Black Library.

One of the few gripes I have is that most of the fights in the book are the typical hordes and hordes of folk on both side just fighting apocalyptic battles that are present in most black library novels. For those that like bland-ish heroic romps of violence with little real feeling of being in a battle and not just a massive vague brawl then I don't think this will bother you, I didn't until recently but the more black library books I read the more I notice this is a reoccurring theme.

Overall, a good listen that will appeal to fans of the setting but one that newbies to black library or those who like their battles to be a bit more gritty should avoid.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Sam
  • 06-19-20

Sub Par

I usualy love ADB's work, but this was a weak story thats only real purpose was to artificialy weaken the Custodes and the Silent Sisters. 5/10

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-03-20

Magnificent

Another great book by a great author, displaying the strength of the custodes and sisters of silance as well as giving insight into a war they couldn't hope to win.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Chris Gerrard
  • 08-26-20

ADB does it again.

Great book. Answers many of the questions that surround the overall narrative. Thoroughly enjoyed it.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Dann
  • 09-12-19

A Paradigm-Shifting View of the Heresy

ADB does it again. I now look on the 30K (and, as a result, 40K) setting with new eyes. I've come away from the Master of Mankind with new eyes on who the Emperor is, what he is like, what his motivations are and how he acts amongst the various people he encounters. I see the Horus Heresy more in context of the story of Mankind as a species and the devestating effect it has on said story. We learn more about the Emperor's webway project and what that would have meant for the species. We see his feelings on the primarchs, both before and after the betrayal. Put simply, I cannot look at Warhamer 40K in the same well again, well done ADB.

Jonathan Keeble, as ever, does an amazing performance. His range of voices is impressive, and especially his Emperor voice. The feeling of each character comes through in his reading. His voice is now the voice of any Black Library book in my opinion.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Semi Pro Tech Guru
  • 07-12-19

Coming back again and again

So I don't usually write reviews but I need to do this one

I've listened to most of the Heresy series, and the Black Legion series by ADB.

Whenever I am waiting for a new Horus Heresy book to come out, this is the book I return to and listen again and again. It still evokes the same enjoyment and emotion.

If you listen to one Warhammer book, or one Horus Hersey book, make it this one.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Travs
  • 10-26-20

awesome...

So the book took me by surprise and greatly opened up the hidden war in the horus heresy. Really good

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Eyþór Ingi Kristinsson
  • 10-11-20

Just wow!

one of the best in the whole series.
For me, everything about it was perfect.

I can not recommend this book enough.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-02-18

.

Definitely one of my top 5 HH books with interesting look into the sister of silence and the custodians with well written battles. Jonathan Keeble as always makes the characters memorable and brings them to life.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-26-18

A fantastic listen

Every minute of this novel was awesome. It was read supremely well and kept me hooked.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-26-18

fantastic in all senses

great book and well performed by the reader. definitely a must read for 40k fans

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-24-21

Absolutely Gripping

This next installment of the Horus Heresy is unmissable! More insight and depth is given to the Emperor and his works than any previous book in the series. His efforts and sacrifice, and those of the Custodes, Silent Sisters and Mechanicum are given light. Gripping from beginning to end! Coupled with narration by Keeble at his best, this audiobook is brilliant!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-22-21

Big E swings his Big D

I like the part where the big E does the thing, it's pretty neat right

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 08-28-20

Simply amazing.

An epic of the series. The scale and drama of it all has blown me away. Easily one of the best in the series.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-15-20

This is a really good one!!!

I’ve listened to a lot of the Horus Heresy novels and more and more I am drawn to the Aaron Dembski Bowden books. The story and characters are engaging and detailed. I find myself looking up and cross referencing details to fill in the over arching lore and there is always something new. Like a secret revealed to only me. Fun stuff. Anything narrated by Jonathan Keeble is spectacularly entertaining. His commitment to developing individual characters is a delight.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-10-20

The fall of all to come. *Minor spoilers*

The Master of Mankind is the the type of book that doesn't have a happy ending. So if your looking for a glorious triumph over the forces of Chaos in the caverns of the webway, you won't be happy with this book.

It DOSE however, give you an insight into what the Emperor has to deal with. And the trials and tribulations of the 10,000 and Silent Maidens. deffinitely worth a read if you want to understand the deeper workings of the Imperium.

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  • takanzwa
  • 01-25-20

Outstanding

What is there to say really it is amazing it totally captured the tragedy of the destruction of all the Emperor hoped to leave for Humanity and the collapse of his dreams. Yet inspite of this I still found myself grinning at the humour and sarcasm of some all to human characters.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-01-19

A work for the thoughtful sci-fi reader.

The Emperor is one of the most compelling characters in modern science fiction, and this book is a wonderful exploration of his deeper persona. Reading it will entertain you, and then make you question the very nature of humanity itself.

9/10