Tuesday, 4 December 2012

La Légion des Damnés


I was never very good at languages at school - well, except English. Thank goodness then for Google Translate. It's a blunt tool and has its limitations but essentially gives you the gist of documents written outside of your mother tongue. It allowed me to check out this review of Legion of the Damned on a French critique site called 'The Reclusiam'. 'The Reclusiam' is run by a great guy called Maestitia. I've added the site to 'The Scene' on the side bar. I provide both the French and English versions of the review for the polyglots out there. Thanks, Maestitia!

"Ce roman est de loin l’un des meilleurs que j’ai lu de la Saga des Space Marine Battle ! Tout d’abord, Zachariah Kersh est un personnage qu’on aime de suite. Il vient juste de perdre son titre de ‘’Champion’’ pour devenir Capitaine. Or un homme de terrain comme Kersh aura toutes les peines du monde pour se mettre à la place d’un leader et réussir à convaincre ses frères de défendre un Monde perdu d’avance.
A côté de cela, on apprendra qu’il est torturé par des rêves étranges suite à une tragédie, mais je n’en dis pas plus. Ses rêves auront une importance non négligeable.
Mais ce que j’ai le plus aimé dans ces rêves (ou plutôt cauchemars), c’est qu’ils sont écris à la première personne du singulier.

Et le ‘’je’’ vous aspire avec une étonnante force dans la peau de Kersh. J’ai vraiment adoré les passages ou Sanders nous offre cette profondeur car ils sont assez récurrents et nous mettent de façon efficace dans la tête de cet Excoriator perturbé.

J’ai aussi aimé l’originalité de l’histoire, car la défense de Certus Minor n’est pas le centre de l’intrigue. La comète Keeler (qui porte un nom qui devrait vous dire quelques chose, sinon je vous renvoie ici bande de renégats) suit un parcours vers Terra elle-même. Et dans le sillon de celle-ci, la flotte des World Eaters. Les champions de Khorne suivent cet astre mystérieux et annihilent toutes les planètes qui se trouvent sur son chemin.

Un autre bon point pour Sanders, est sa vision de l’univers de Warhammer 40 000.
Je crois que c’est le premier roman qui aborde les Space Marines et leurs actions avec un regard beaucoup plus Science-Fiction que Black Librarien si je puis m’exprimer en ces terme. J’ai ressenti le vrai, le sombre, le meurtrier univers de W40k à travers sa plume. Grâce à son approche S-F, Rob fera aussi bien voyager les fans de fluff que les amoureux de fictions. Et ce n’est pas donné à tous les auteurs. Car oui il y a du fluff, mais je vous stop encore une fois : rien à propos de la Légion des Damnés, et c’est tant mieux, car elle garde tout ses mystères, même si nous n’aurions pas dit non à quelques infos. Mais concernant les Excoriators, il y a de quoi se mettre sous la dent, comme j’aime souvent le dire.

Le rythme est totalement maîtrisé en ce qui me concerne et suivre les pérégrinations de Kersh et de son Apothicaire n’a rien de lassant. Les dialogues ne sont jamais inutiles et les descriptions ne comblent aucun vide. Il y a beaucoup de bonnes idées et de terribles scènes que je n’oublierais pas de sitôt car elles ont su s’imprégner d’originalité et de cette noirceur qu’est la guerre au 41ème millénaire.

En fin de compte les Space Marine Damnés sont vite oubliés, effacé par un roman captivant et des personnages bel et bien vivants.

Pour finir, voici les plus et les moins :

Les + :

Une vision Science-Fiction, qui renouvelle un peu le genre et que j’ai adoré.
Un personnage principal étonnant avec des passages à la première personne vraiment agréables. Un très bon rythme, des descriptions et une atmosphère de tensions palpables.
Une Feast of Blade (Fête des Lames) épique.

Les - :

La Black Library joue la carte de la carotte comme dans Prospero Brûle avec ce cover aguicheur et nous spoil cet excellent récit rien qu’à la lecture du titre.

Note :

Rob Sanders nous offre un très bon roman. Un super mélange de personnages charismatiques, de dilemmes, et de sombres réalités. Le fluff est là mais c’est celui des Excoriators que vous y trouverez.

Maestitia"




"This novel is by far one of the best I have read the Saga of the Space Marine Battle!
Firstly, Zachariah Kersh is a character you love away. He just lost his title'' Champion'' to become Captain. However, a field man Kersh will all pains to put himself in the place of a leader and succeed in convincing his brothers to defend a world lost in advance.

Besides this, we learn that he is tormented by strange dreams after a tragedy, but I say no more. His dreams have significant importance.
But what I like most about these dreams (or rather nightmares) is that they are written in the first person singular.

It sucks you in with amazing strength in Kersh. I really loved the passages or Sanders gives us that depth because they are quite recurrent and we are effectively in the head of this Excoriator disturbed.

I also liked the originality of the story, for the defense of Certus Minor is not the center of the plot. Comet Keeler (who has a name that should tell you something, if I refer you band of renegades) follows a path to Terra itself. And in the wake of this, the fleet of World Eaters. Champions of Khorne follow this mysterious planet and annihilate all the planets that lie in its path.

Another good point to Sanders, is his vision of the world of Warhammer 40,000.
I think this is the first novel that addresses the Space Marines and their actions with a much more science fiction than Black Librarien if I can express myself in these terms.

I felt the true, dark, deadly W40k universe through his pen. With its approach SF, Rob will both travel fans that love fluff fiction. And it is not given to all authors. Yes because there is fluff, but I'll stop again, nothing about the Legion of the Damned, and that's good because it keeps all its mysteries, even if we could not say no to some info . But on Excoriators there something to put in their mouths, as I often like to say.

The pace is completely controlled with me and follow the peregrinations of Kersh and his Apothecary is nothing boring. The dialogues are never useless and descriptions do not fill any empty space. There are many good ideas and terrible scenes that I will not forget anytime soon as they were able to soak originality and this darkness is war in the 41st Millennium.

Ultimately the Damned Space Marine are quickly forgotten, erased by a captivating novel and characters alive and well.

Finally, here are the most and least:

The +:

Vision Science Fiction, which renews a bit like that and I loved it.
A main character with amazing passages in the first person really nice.
A very good pace, descriptions and an atmosphere of palpable tension.
A Feast of Blade (Feast of Blades) epic.

The -:

The Black Library plays the card as in Prospero Burns with this enticing cover and risk spoiling this excellent story by just reading the title.

Note:

Rob Sanders gives us a very good novel. A great mix of charismatic characters, dilemmas, and grim realities. The fluff is the only one of Excoriators you'll find.

Maestitia"

4 comments:

Maestitia said...

Hey Rob, just wow.
A huge thanks for that article, you're really cool.

I'm happy you liked my review but there are more on the site so if you want to enhance your french you can try with an other one ah ah.

Thanks again Rob, I loved your style and now your kindness.

Maestitia said...

PS : I love the Sister, so mighty!

Tassos Tassopoulos said...

Hi Rob,

I'm currently reading your novel LotD. Fantastic job sir... What really stands out in each of your novels is the vocabulary. I always find words that stand out, instead of the alternative ones that could be used. Nice...

By the way is the chapter symbol of the Excoriators the following?

http://warhammer40k.wikia.com/wiki/Excoriators

In the 1st chapter when you describe Gideon's armour I thought it was only 1 lightning bolt clenched in the fist...

Thanks in advance for the reply and keep up with your good work.

p.s. When will we see a full novel of your again (and about what)?

ROB SANDERS said...

Hi Tassos,
Thanks for your kind words about Legion of the Damned. I think that you're right about the lightning bolt on the symbol but I'm happy for people to interpret the icon as they wish. It's all part of the narrative / game-orientated involvement. As for vocabulary, I'm not a believer in reducing everything down to bare descriptive essentials unless the specific style of the piece calls for it. If you are attempting to help readers visualise far off and exotic locations like alien worlds and futuristic civilisations then I think that it's the author's job to convey them using apt vocabulary. I glad you like the approach : )

More novel goodness on the way soon. I've completed a novella and a bunch of shorts lately and am in the middle of a BL novel as we speak. Don't tell anyone, though. Shhhhh. It's top secret. : D

Thanks for your support.

Cheers

Rob