Additionally, on the same date For the Emperor was released as an audiobook, narrated by Stephen Perring and Penelope Rawlins. Character[ edit ] This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience. Commissars are charged with maintaining the morale and loyalty of Imperial troops, an important matter when one considers the horrific odds and staggering casualties of the "grim dark future" of the WH40K setting. Despite holding no standard rank and being outside the chain of command , commisars have wide discretionary powers, including summary execution or even decimation , in pursuit of their duties. Cain, having observed the tendency of many members of the Commissariat to fall victim to "accidental" friendly fire , prefers to lead by example and encouragement instead of fear, and has gained a reputation for charismatic leadership, self-effacing heroism and concern for the common trooper.
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He is the Master of Mankind by the will of the gods, and master of a million worlds by the might of his inexhaustible armies. He is a rotting carcass writhing invisibly with power from the Dark Age of Technology. He is the Carrion Lord of the Imperium for whom a thousand souls are sacrificed every day, so that he may never truly die.
Yet even in his deathless state, the It is the 41st Millennium. Yet even in his deathless state, the Emperor continues his eternal vigilance. Vast armies give battle in his name on uncounted worlds. Greatest amongst his soldiers are the Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, bio-engineered super-warriors. Their comrades in arms are legion: the Imperial Guard and countless planetary defence forces, the ever vigilant Inquisition and the tech-priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus to name only a few.
But for all their multitudes, they are barely enough to hold off the ever-present threat from aliens, heretics, mutants - and worse. To be a man in such times is to be one amongst untold billions. It is to live in the cruelest and most bloody regime imaginable. These are the tales of those times.
Forget the power of technology and science, for so much has been forgotten, never to be re-learned. Forget the promise of progress and understanding, for in the grim dark future there is only war. There is no peace amongst the stars, only an eternity of carnage and slaughter, and the laughter of thirsting gods.
This is my first Warhammer experience, and the intro listed above gives one a much different feeling than what would follow and yes Warhammer fans, I know the Cain series is an oddity in that regard.
Those looking for something truly grim need not apply… though those looking for a total light hearted read should possibly avoid as well. As I mentioned above, this is my first Warhammer experience. My knowledge of the universe is thus very limited. I bring this up because people in the same situation as me may like to know that several alien races are introduced with little to no description. Knowledge of the universe is very much assumed. If you are wanting to read this, I suggest bookmarking the Warhammer wiki Well, because it is damn fun for one reason.
The book takes the form of his memoirs, in which he reveals that his heroic acts are mostly being in the right place or wrong place from his point of view at the right time. For example, the heroic act of going back for a fallen soldier seems a lot less heroic when you find out that from his view point, he saw something horrible ahead, retreated and decided a human shield was the appropriate way of keeping himself alive.
He is a coward, a combination of Blackadder and Flashman, placed in a grim military science fiction setting, who is supposedly know for his heroic acts; through this Mitchell is able to deconstruct the entire Warhammer setting, playing it completely tongue in cheek.
People die, sometimes abruptly and in rather terrifying ways. Some of the aliens presented are the things of nightmares and there are a few moral decisions that make even Cain rather shellshocked. We are told at the beginning that these are his own personal journals found and footnoted by an inquisitor after his death. Through footnotes and chapter breaks from "historic sources" we are given a view about how people perceived Cain and how others saw his actions, sometimes outright conflicting with his report.
He is caught in lies throughout the footnotes, making it seem that Cain may perhaps be exaggerating his own cowardliness That, at least in the first novel, is not resolved, but it creates a character that you are constantly given two alternate interpretations. Through these two extreme interpretations we are given a shockingly 3-dimensional character, who most likely falls somewhere between to two takes.
While the novel suffers from some pacing issues, and newcomers to Warhammer will no doubt need references to the material, For The Emperor is a constantly entertaining read with a shockingly fascinating lead.
Recommended for Warhammer fans and those looking for a grim but humorous read. A solid three out of five.
They were sequestered by order of the Inquisition, and were kept and organised as the "Cain Archive" by Ordo Xenos Inquisitor Amberley Vail with whom Cain had many encounters over his career, and shared a close working and personal relationship. M42, made available -- for the internal use only of the Inquisition -- first-person accounts of several Cain missions, often annotated by herself. It is worth noting, as Inquisitor Vail did in footnotes throughout the memoirs, that Cain was a skilled liar and dissembler, however his narrative is refreshingly honest concerning his shortcomings, and even, according to Vail, overly modest in recording his victories against the enemies of the Imperium. Origins and Early Life Cain makes numerous mentions of his homeworld, apparently a Hive World, though he never mentions a name or any feature which could lead to it being identified.
Ciaphas Cain: For the Emperor