Review: Dark Apostle - Anthony Reynolds

Title Dark Apostle
Author Anthony Reynolds
Year 2007 
Stand Alone or Series First in Word Bearers Trilogy
Pages 416
Reading Time September 06 to 19, 2012

Driven on by dark visions, Dark Apostle Jarulek of the Word Bearers and his force lay waste to the Imperial planet of Tanakreg. After brutally enslaving the population, they set them to work building a monstrous, kilometres-high tower. What is the Word Bearers' vile purpose, and can they achieve it before the Imperial forces arrive to reclaim the planet?

This is the second time I read this novel. I still remembered the main plot even if the characters names had eluded me. 

Dark Apostle follows the story of a Warband of Word Bearers, the most fanatical of the Chaos Space Marines Legion. As you know, they don't follow a single chaos god but the pantheon. This particular Warband is led by the Dark Apostle Jarulek as they attack the Imperial Planet of Tanakreg. There they must find the PDF and built an moumental tower called the Gehemahnet. Usually this towers are built as they let the fiends from the Warp go through the material world.

This warband is quite large with thousand space marines. They are led by Kor Badar the Coryphaus (symbolic title granted to the most trusted warrior). There is also Marduk the first Acolyte who was learning with Jarulek to form a warband of his own. Marduk's first warrior was Burias/Dark'Shal, the Icon Bearer. This space marine was part daemon part human. There is also the Dreadnought Warmonger who fell in Calth in HH. Of all dreadnought he is the most sane, even if he has lapses and still thinks he is fightining in the Horus Heresy alongside Lorgar.

On the other side of the war you've got Varnus who we witness his fall from the light of the emperor, through the construction of the damned tower and in the end fighting the imperial guard.

There are also other small characters from the Adeptus Mechanicus and the Elysians Imperial Guard. They are famous for fighting from the skies and not the imperial trenches.

I really enjoy this novel from the begining of the attack until the end when the necrons are awaked. 

Until the very end of the novel we don't know why the Word Bearers are striking the planet and building a Gehemahnet and why the Adeptus Mechanicus are so eager to defeat the Chaos Space Marines.

It seems that the Chaos Space Marines were dying in masses but their ranks were replenish from where? I thought there were only 2000 chaos space marines in that battle
What happened to all that gene-seed and armour? Dozens of Rhinos, Land Raiders, Dreadnoughts, Terminator armour were left in that planet. How are the Word Bearers replenish their ranks?

The fall of Varnus
The Conflicts within the Host
The images Reynolds gave us of the battle scenes, Gehemahnet and chaos description.

Notable Quotes
Dark Apostle & First Acolyte
"The way you appear to the Host is paramount, First Acolyte," he remember Jarulek lecturing him. "Always you must project an aura of authority and religious awe. We are beyond the warrior-brothers of the Legion, we are the chosen of the gods, exalted by Lorgar's eyes and raised beyond the morass of lower warrior. Our warriors must worship us. And Why? We must appear glorified and exalted so that always we can inspire uter devotion in the Host. A warrior fuelled with faith lights with twice the hatred and twice the strenght of one that does not, and he will fight past the point when he would otherwise give in to death. A dark apostle must always inspire such devotion in his flock" said Jarulke, his eyes filled with passion and belief. "That is the reason that we need a Coryphaus, Marduk. The Dark Apostle must be separate and aloof from the Host to maintain the utter devotion of the warrior brothers. He must not be one of them, he must be beyond them. The Coryphaus is the war leader of the Host. For once you take on the mantle of Dark Apostle, you must be one apart from the Legion. Always you must project a holy aura that will inspire utter, fanatical loyalty and devotion."

(After The Mechanicus ask the General of the Elysians for their dead and wounded so they could fuel their own Skitarii troops)
"There really is not an ounce of humanity left in you is there, you wretched, base machine?" Said Havorn, his voice trembling with emotion.
"Correction. There are exactly thirty-eight Imperial weight units of living flesh and tissue upon my frame, Brigadier-General Ishamel Havorn. I am neither wretched nor bas, althought their usage in such a context is a new piece of data memory to be stored. And I thank you for calling me "Machine", though I am not yet so fully esteemed within the priesthood of Mars as to become truly one with Omnissiah"
"You answer magos," said Havorn," is that you can go and burn in hell before I hand over any of my soldiers to you, dead or alive.
Seeing no immediate response forthcoming from the magos, he added,"That means no, tou cold hearted bastart".

Nice adition to the Chaos Space Marines and the first trilogy dedicated wholesome to them. Truly good. I really want to dig in the next two novels as we see how Marduk will handle the mantle of Dark Apostle and fighting between the host fanatic devotion to late Jarulek. 8/10
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