Battle of the Fang. Chris Wright Paperback – June 1, 2011
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When the book begins a Space Wolves ship has found the greatest prize imaginable. They have found Magnus, the Daemon Prince, Primarch and Progenitor of the Thousand Sons. Immediately the Wolves muster their forces and send the full strength of their company against the Archenemy. Magnus is of course no fool so no sooner than the Wolves jump out of the system, leaving a small force behind to defend their home, the Thousand Sons jump in and begin an all out assault on the Wolves' home planet of Fenris.
What follows is an epic battle. The defenders must hold out against an overwhelming army and hope that word can get through to the Wolves' fleet and let them know of the situation. The book is pretty much nonstop action with space battles, ground battles, chaos sorcerers, dreadnaughts, and manner of Warhammer weapons. The Thousand Sons soon learn that the only thing more dangerous than facing a Wolf in battle is facing one in its own den.
I love the Thousand Sons. After reading where this started, the attack on Prospero, I became an instant Crimson King fan (one of my all time favorite novels, that was a goooood one), his lore, how his father and brothers saw him, Ahriman, the Corvidae, the whole deal. That made me pick up this book and read more about them and their vengeance.
Although this was a Space Wolves novel and aptly named 'Battle for the Fang,' we all knew this should have been about the Thousand Sons, I mean, come on, a primarch coming back to play with mortals? Magnus the Red unleashed? That's what I wanted, expected, and at the very least, hoped to see the Thousand Sons legion emerging with a dark smile of triumph after years upon years of supposedly planning for this. I'm not a Space Wolves fans whatsoever. Never have been, may never be. All the Space Wolves characters are exactly the same to me. Contrasted with the Sons' individuality, or other legeions characteristics like the Night Lords remorseless, ruthless, disrespectful personas, Russ's kids are very boring. The writing was hit and miss, many times dragging uneeded details. The characters were very dry. I didn't care for any of the Space Wolves while we only got a tiny peek at the Sons.
It was a horrible plot for me. Could have been executed and expanded on by so much more perspective or approaches. The book didn't get interesting until the last 100 pages and by then every punch and kick was accounted for, no extra story went in at all.
*Definite Spoiler and Complaint*
So Magnus gets the crap beat out of him by 3-4 Spaces Wolves in a row because he forgets who he is, then it's like 'Hey, I just imploded that other guy a few pages ago, I think I can do that again now with this one who just mopped the floor with me, yeah, let me remember: I'm a primarch and can actually just grow like dozens of meters and squish peeps.' Then you have the Space Wolves who travel across the Warp, destroy a whole friggin planet and get back in time to defeat Magnus? All the while, all the Sons do is make it into the mountain(anyways, why not just bombard it from space and make the whole planet uninhabittable?!)? Magnus mentions they attacked solely for Wyrmblade's experiments but doesn't explain why, we get left in the dark and the book ends. The whole reason why they attack the Fang and we don't know why. This is a return of Magnus? This book should not have happened; shame on you Black Library.
Top international reviews
I do agree that the book is more enjoyable having read Prospero Burns and also a Thousand Sons but I would say its not necessary to read them, it would be a good book regardless.
Absolutely loved the end of this book and it fills out a pretty critical if minor part of the whole 40k saga as it gives meat to why the Thousand Sons are in modern day 40k reduced to roving bands rather than a formal force. I also thought that Chris handled the final battle against Magnus extremely well - it was always going to a tough one when you have an ascended daemon Primarch as the bad guy. I read the final hundred pages at breakneck speed I was so desperate to get to the end.
The only real criticisms I would have is the end ---SPOILER---- All the main protagonists are eliminated in quick succession in a few pages. I accept the primarch turning up and going through the Wolves like a dose of salts is a good story turn and would likely turn the tide of battle, but it all just seems a little rushed. All this time taken up developing the characters and then suddenly - he's dead, so's he, and him, and him. all gone. The end. This is a minor point though as overall I loved the book, it just means 4 stars instead of 5.
Plus we finally have some light shed of the Spacewolf successors the Wolf Brothers and some cruel teasing about Russ himself, loved it.
If you're new to the series then this is the one to read first and with the quality of this book and Fall of Damno not being too bad, my hopes for the series have improved greatly.
Some knowledge of Space Wolves and Thousand Sons would be helpful before reading this book, but not neccessary.
More Chris Wraight 40k please.
Price was reasonable