Book Review: Traitor Hand's - Sandy Mitchell - Ciaphas Cain III

Title : Traitor's Hand
Author : Sandy Mitchell
Pages : 416
Publisher : Black Library

Traitor Hand's is the third installment on the Commissar Ciaphas Cain Series.Commissar Ciaphas Cain of the Valhallan 597th was sent to help a peculiar world where the one part of the world is in darkness and cold and the other part in light and hot. This world is going go to have a rough time since a chaos fleet are inbound towards it.The books of Ciaphas Cain in general and The Traitor's Hand in particular do not read like other Warhammer 40k novels Rather than reading a simple story told via the traditional first person perspective the reader is immersed in an historical record. The escapades of Cain are told not by the author but by the Commissar himself in the form of his memoirs. Throughout the work we are also treated to the comments, in the form of footnotes, of an Imperial Inquisitor who has taken it upon herself to provide additional detail, sub-text, and explanation of key points. Additionally there are occasionally comments from other characters from Cain's story gleaned from their own memoirs or journals and presumably corralled by the aforementioned Inquisitor. Through the use of this style Sandy Mitchell slickly gives us the perspectives of numerous characters on the events transpiring all the while keeping the focus of the work tightly and seamlessly placed upon the shoulders of Commissar Cain.
However, our misunderstood hero, Imperial Commissar Cain in this book, where his only motivation seems to be to preserve his over-inflated reputation, he isn't terribly cowardly at all, since regardless of inspiration he virtually always does the right thing. As one definition of bravery is doing the right thing even in the face of fear, his continual protestations of his own cowardice wear thin by the end of the book. This time Cain must also deal with an old classmate, Commissar Tomas Beije. The two were never friends. Beije is still as pig-headed and stupid as always, but his jealousy of Cain's career makes things much worse.

It soon becomes apparent that a sinister cult has formed and is summoning something so horrible that the entire universe is in peril. Thats nothing unique.... But this book has several things that make it unique. First They are sent to defeat a chaos cultist there. Second they encounter cultists of chaos in the planet already. Third they discover that the chaos cultist in the planet are Slaneshi and the inbound fleet is from Khorne. In the end we are able to conclude that the "Khornes" are as much trying to destroy the humans and probably with more intensity to destroy the Slaneshi. That thing was something of interesting. In the end the Imperial Guard has as much to thank them to stop the menace than to thank the Khorne cultists.It's a good book, probably with the best plot that the other two books.
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