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  • Kharn: Eater of Worlds

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Anthony Reynolds
  • Narrated by: Richard Reed
  • Length: 6 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (214 ratings)

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Kharn: Eater of Worlds

By: Anthony Reynolds
Narrated by: Richard Reed
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Summary

A Chaos Space Marines Novel 

The Horus Heresy is over. The World Eaters are leaderless and their greatest hero is in a coma. Poised on the brink of destruction, the Legion needs Khârn—but will his awakening save them or spell their doom?

Listen because...Khârn is one of the most iconic figures in the Warhammer 40,000 setting, the epitome of Khorne's mortal servants. In this story, you can witness his transition from the World Eaters Captain of the Horus Heresy to the blood-mad betrayer feared across the 41st Millennium.

The story: the Horus Heresy is over. The traitor Legions have scattered, fleeing the wrath of a vengeful Imperium. The World Eaters are leaderless, their primarch missing and their greatest hero, Khârn, locked in a coma. The surviving Legionaries have turned upon themselves, their Butcher's Nails driving them to ever-greater acts of berserk savagery. Poised on the brink of destruction, the Legion needs direction. It needs someone to rally around. It needs Khârn—but will his awakening save them, or doom them entirely?

Written by Anthony Reynolds. Read by Richard Reed.

©2022 Games Workshop Limited (P)2022 Games Workshop Limited

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A recycled tale from a different age

The problem with older Black Library stories is that canon in Warhammer 40k is a fluid concept. Established facts of lore are rarely subject to huge edits or 'retconned'. Rather, they evolve and change organically in small ways over time as they are treated by multiple authors in multiple publications. Thus the older a GW publication is - whether it be rulebook, codex or novel - the less likely it is to be in keeping with the current tone of the lore.

Kharn: Eater of Worlds is a perfect illustration of this problem. Although this audiobook production is very recent, the paperback version was published in March 2016. A lot of lore has passed under the bridge since then.

The choice by BL to recycle this older book is clearly driven by the desire to follow up on the recent Sigismund yarn with the next edition in a series on the lesser characters of the Heresy.

And herein lies the problem: The last time we saw Kharn was in the most recent instalment of the Siege of Terra (Warhawk by Chris Wraight) in 2021. Then, Kharn was shown as a bloated, crazed, Chaos-fueled killing machine no longer capable of rational thought. Yet the Kharn of 'Eater of Worlds' is a calm, rational almost zen-like character. Although this book is chronologically the next chapter in Kharn's story after Warhawk, it no longer fits with the current tone and detail of events (** spoiler alert - least of all that last time we saw Kharn in Warhawk, he was apparently being chopped into small bits by Sigismund **).

The unremittingly bleak story of Kharn and his brother World Eaters and their descent into madness in the Horus Heresy & Siege of Terra series is suddenly wiped out and replaced here with a much gentler tone of story. In 'Eater of Worlds' the World Eaters are shown as a bunch of mildly irascible warriors who are still capable of getting around a table to argue things out. Okay, it's all relative, but they are definitely not the drooling loons that appear in the SoT novels.

Kharn himself is shown as a calm, almost zen-like presence who is able to make considered and capable decisions. At the time, this may have been a commendable attempt by Anthony Reynolds to rescue the ridiculously savage legion's brand and show them as a fighting force that might credibly pose a military threat to someone (Let's face it, the World Eaters shouldn't logically pose the average Planetary Defence Force a serious problem: all you'd have to do is line up opposite them... and bombard them into tiny, angry little particles with artillery while they drooled and waved their axes..?)

There's also an attempt to backwards-engineer a convincing reason why Kharn is known as 'The Betrayer'. I think this is always a mistake: when authors and script writers try to retro-fit stories to excuse questionable decisions from the lore's distant past. Let's face it, someone working on an early codex decided 'The Betrayer' sounded like a cool name for a baddie. For me, that's the sort of detail that should get quietly retconned over time rather than have authors jumping through hoops to explain.

Anyway - I'm not a fan of this book, as you can probably tell. Aside from the above issues, there's a lot of boring World Eater characters who are very difficult to tell apart - they're all bad-tempered, warlike and Richard Reed gives them all dodgy accents which doesn't help one bit (Paul Sparks already mentioned this in his review and I 100% agree with his comments. Andrew Wincott would have been ideal to narrate this).

The Sigismund novel was pretty good, but this is a cheap move. If BL wants to continue to squeeze the final drops of juice out of the Heresy, the least they can do is give us newly-written, quality stories which fit with the current tone and version of events.

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5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Wouldn't bother

Bit of a none event, for such an iconic character. Avoid not worth the credit.

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2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

above average worth a read

Its a good story action plot
i enjoyed it
narration very good
its defo above average
check my other reviews to see do you like the same stuff as me

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1 person found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Pointless.

A pointless story only barely including Khârn. It's big reveal is that it has been leading upto the battle of Skalathrax, except that is not a surprise as its basically Khârn's only piece of Lore.

Also the character descriptions and personalities dont mesh well in with the story as told in the Siege of Terra.

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1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

I liked it but...needs more blood and skulls.

Kharne is barely in it. it spends too much time on the humans aboard the W.E ship who literally add nothing to events. The story is at it's strongest when the WE are actually fighting. it's still worth a listen but the title of the book made me think we,d get more insight to kharnes past before becoming a war hound and showing how much his ideals and motives have evolved to the betrayer we now know. Richard Reed preforming did a great job I just feel the story's writing/script fell flat for him which is shame. At the end of it all I would say that this one book I would rather listen to than physically read. Still worth a listen for more information on the world eaters I guess.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Kharrrrrn!

I have to admit Kharn alongside Huron and Sigismund is a must read/listen character and since I have the LE and ebook version I had to complete with the audiobook, I enjoyed Richard Reeds narrating of Mephiston and the necrons but he is not suited to the XII legion, he made them sound civilised and almost majestic! Andrew Wincott would have been the ideal for me

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Skip unless you need every single Kharn book

Well performed story, with very little stakes or interest, half of the book is entirely skippable. A few good battle scenes but it doesn't justify the purchase

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

KHAAAARN!

took a moment to get invested, but an absolute must read for Khārn fans!

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Needs more blood and skulls

This book felt like Twilight in a 40K setting with Bella’s struggle between Edward and Jacob being replaced by a more feral choice between legion and slaughter.

The third legion was as disappointing as always, but I didn’t expect them to outperform the twelfth.

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Kharn minus Kharn.

A book about Kharn, with just a little bit of Kharn. And a Kharn that doesn't match up with any other Kharn portrayed.
It's simply not a good book, and not worth the time or credit invested. There's some awfully written side characters as well that make no sense what so ever for reasons that cant be spoken of.

The narration is fine however. But I'd look for something else and not spend money on this thing.

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