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Summary

Book five of the Siege of Terra

After a series of victories, the Imperial forces are on the back foot once more. The power of Chaos is rising, the Traitors gain ground, and all hope seems lost. Can Terra endure?

Listen to it because: delve back into the biggest war in Imperial history, which is getting even bigger as Traitor Titans land and the influence of the warp grows, plaguing the defenders in all sorts of vile ways.

The story: the victories of Saturnine and the sacrifices of the Eternity Wall space port have faded into the hope of yesterday. Denied but not defeated, the Traitors intensify their assault on the Imperial Palace. With the principal space ports in Horus’ hands, the Warmaster now drains the heavens of his reserves.

As the pressure of the assault increases, the power of Chaos waxes. The waking lives of the defenders are filled with despair, while their dreams pull them in search of a false paradise. As the fabric of the defences fails and the will of those who stand on them cracks, Horus commands the Titans of the Legio Mortis to breach the walls. Against them stands the might of Mercury Wall and the strength of the Legio Ignatum. Ancient rivals, the god-engines of both Legions meet in battle, while within the walls a few desperate individuals seek a way to turn back the tide of the warp’s malign influence. Across Terra, lost warriors and travellers make their way through wastelands and gardens of horror, towards home and an unknown future.

Written by John French. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble. Running time 16 hours 26 mins.

©2021 Games Workshop Limited (P)2021 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Mortis

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Slow, predictable and full of stereotypes

I can’t believe how someone could make Titan combat boring, but the writer did. This is also an overtly political book.

The result of every social exchange can be predicted from the first sentence because it follows Neo-Marxist talking points to the letter. For many characters, it is as if the writer was using the definition of Mary Sue / Gary Stu as an instruction manual. This is why people often do not like Ultramarines.

Female characters are obnoxious, entitled, arrogant and portrayed as Saints who can do no wrong, even though they have many flaws. People who act like that in real life are often reviled, but in this they are lauded. Kat isn’t so bad, it’s just as if the middle of her character development has been missed out.

Male characters do have acknowledged flaws, though, some realistic and some ridiculously exaggerated. One is cruel, stupid, violent against everyone around him, entitled and a glory hound. Perplexingly, even though he charges deep into enemy lines heedless of danger, women berate him for being a coward, and this obvious contradiction is not addressed by the characters or the narrator. Another man is well balanced, but women constantly denigrate, interrupt and disrespect him. And, as if he has Stockholm Syndrome, he likes them for it! Another man embodies insulting stereotypes about women. He fills the role of mother, but is often useless in a crisis and literally cries because of a cold gust of wind.

This book manages to be misandrist and misogynist at the same time. Only a third of it is meaningful action, and even then it is constantly broken up by gender politics. There are only 3 more books left and the Horus Heresy and then it’s all over! There is no excuse for so much time-wasting!

17 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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lumbering story

the story just seems to drag on for hours without getting anywhere, great performance but sadly the story is lacking.

14 people found this helpful

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chaff ! don't do it !! trust me just filler !!

chaff ! don't do it !! trust me just filler !!
filler filler filler filler

11 people found this helpful

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Worst book is n the series

Tedious sub plots and unimaginative battle scenes. We didn’t learn anything about Morris. The accent for the Titan commander was incredibly annoying. Terrible book

6 people found this helpful

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Narrator good, story bad.

Every passage with the time travelling super friends put me into an apathetic trance so uninvested that I would drift for minutes into an actually interesting segment before I snapped out of of my stupor and had to rewind to find where it started. I didn't purchase an audiobook with giant fighting robots on the cover because I wanted to listen to poetry about the nature of man.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars

Possibly the worst of the SOT thus far.

First off Jonathan Keeble was excellent as always, i'm so glad we have someone of his talent reading this series.

As for the book itself.....oh dear.

**SPOILERS BELOW**

It's not a badly written book and it does have a good deal of clarity and depth to it, these is plenty of descriptive prose in order t help with the world creating.

I do feel that it tries to cover too much, way too much and in doing so it cuts short parts that are actually important. and could have been handled so much better if they had been fleshed out further.

The main premise of the book is the conflict against Mortis, I liked the distance to wall as it created a kind of chronology in a neat and concise manner, particularly as it demonstrates the sheer scale of the conflict.

However, it just felt that the author was giving the traitors too many macguffins, the fact that Dies Irae was simply immortal even against the newly formed titan formations irked slightly, also that the Ordo Sinister was all but useless. Then the author added in totally unstoppable Warmaster (oh please) titans. It just made the story have no anticipation or intrigue.

The main battle just read as the Warmaster's forces will win no matter the cost.

One point I really hated was the withdrawl of Perturabo, don't get me wrong, it was awesome and the resons for doing so were sound, but surely Dorn would have mentioned it. It could have been used in a "The Iron Warriors are leaving" Dorn sighed, "I thought you'd be happy my lord". Shaking his head Dorn replied "At least my brother had some honour, if he withdraws it means something worse is on its way!" Something, just something to mark such a huge event.

The Keeler ark was nigh on pointless and just got in the way, as did the story revolving around Jon and Owl.

Then there was the very hurried arrival and injection of the first legion. This seemed like it was added as an afterthought.

My fear is that this book didn't really advance the story and that in order to take up the slack the next books are going to have to invent even more sillyness just to keep events rolling.

5 people found this helpful

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Worst in the series thus far

The book does not measure up well against its predecessors.
Mortis features a good amount of new characters, half of which are inconsequentuial to the overarching storyline.
The characters that hold a much bigger role are put on more of a sideline along with the other characters, which leaves the whole book feeling unfocused. There were a few important scenes that will greatly affect the outcome of the conflict, but these were so brief and so few that there is not much to say about them.

John French also has a tendency to write about a lot of flavours and scents. In this book, he constantely describes how characters get the feeling of vomit and blood mixed with something sweet and the stench of feces. Its a strange fixation, where as sensations like that makes sense in the setting, the author focuses on it far too much for it to not feel repetative or intentional.

In the end, the whole book was a poorly constructed way to push the storyline forward towards the end of the siege and not expanding on previously set storylines that the first 4 books had already established. The pacing of the story, the constant jumping back and forth between different characters, in completely unrelated scenarios makes it very hard to follow. Incredibly poor in comparison to them, but not the worst book I've read.

The postives: Jonathan Keeble once again delivers an outstanding performance. His tone shifts, pacing, accents and excellent baritones really captures the essence of every character. Mr Keeble performed even better than he normally does in this book.

5 people found this helpful

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He is here...

Newly released War Master Titans, now canon and miniatures available from GW.

Also, He is getting very close...

Need to have listened/read "Know no Fear", "Praetorian of Dorn" and "Legion" to get a good idea who is involved.

The Primarch don't turn up to often and the book has 6 or so concurrent stories which jump about and include dream sequences (classic John French).

3 people found this helpful

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Extremely satisfying filler

It's true that you can safely skip this book and you won't lose the overall sense of the Siege, but you'll also miss out on some rather tasty filler.

There's quite a few arcs being gathered here so it helps if your recall is good. Kudos to French for continuing the sagas of Olanious and John Grammaticus, Yesugei and even Corswain. There's recalls to the Webway war, and while one of the revelations doesn't have the impact it should (it needed a lot more threading in previous books to make it stick) it's a decent book and anyway, we know the eventual outcome.

Pick it up on Daily Deal or as a 2 for 1.

2 people found this helpful

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good read!

bit of a filler book but still good with interesting characters shiban khan etc Id reccomend

1 person found this helpful

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  • snozek
  • 18-06-21

Wow! Terrible.

Have you ever had a long book NEVER PAY OFF?

That's why a 1 star overall yet managing 2 for French and Keeble.

Have you ever held on during a long, boring, tedious, cavalcade of unimportant, brand new characters clumsily thrown together with established ones?

Have you ever changed between so many different story lines so much that you just stopped caring?

Have you ever gotten the feeling that the ENTIRE book you just went through was just a non-sequitur to the whole series. . . 550 pages worth?

Have you ever had particular demographics forced into an already overstuffed dramatis personae list in order to suit a political end?

Has your narrator forgotten just how established, major characters were written and performed in EVERY PREVIOUS NOVEL?

Have you had logic holes like where characters have their optics shattered only to be using them a page later?

Nothing in the set up pays off.
The entire book is an unrewarding waste of my time.

I have read EVERY Horus Heresy novel and audio. I have read all of the Solar War. I have read the majority of Black Library's work since 2004.

John French is a good author normally, understanding the need to build drama and provide payoff.

This book is a terrible exception.

There are too many characters for him to effectively make come to life, WAY TOO MANY. Most characters have no character arc, they are straw men.

There are too many unrelated threads that simply dangle.

This book tried to do too much, and serve too many masters. It accomplished little.

The book could be skipped by the reader and simply post that Perturabo leaves and heretic titans beat the loyal ones.

BTW, those titan characters are entirely throw-away waste paper. This book could have been salvaged by simply cutting the titan legions out. This was because the writing for them was terribly meaningless and trite.

The book in essence, nothing else of consequence takes place. . . in 550 pages. . .

Now Jonathan Keeble turned in the worst, least professional performance of his that I am aware of.

What exactly are those constantly changing John Grammaticus and Ol Person accents? American? Irish? English?

Don't know.

Thats because it was ALL OF THEM IN RANDOM SERIES! EAR TORTURING NONSENSE!!!

Has the Black Library punted on direction and editing?

Corswain doesn't sound like that.
Vasago? Why is he suddenly Prussian?
Thank goodness that there were several women from the Subcontinent in this novel, their voices were above average.

If this is the new standard, quit now. This entire work lacked vision, economy, editing, character arc, consistency, and ANY payoff.

The pacing was slow but at least built up.

Save yourself the effort, the book is bad.

23 people found this helpful

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  • G. Marcelin-Williams
  • 08-06-21

A good book but kind of all over the place

I would give this a 4.5/10 the book itself is a good one and a fine addition to the Seige of Terra but out of all the books this one is probably the hardest to digest what’s going on. Probably due to to many characters and some of the names of Titans and guardsman I can’t keep track of which adds to the confusion but a second read helps. All in all a good book

9 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 13-06-21

Not that great

How many times do we need t o hear about Ol falling? 3 Legios march against Legio Mortis and still get beat like they are nothing? What was the point of having so many subplots that it felt like the overall story was diluted?

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-06-21

High highs, low lows

This book was something of a disappointment.

I don’t take issue with the plot or the writing. The arc that French creates is excellent and the individual set pieces range from good to beautiful. There were many points in this where I had to pause and take a minute to have a cry. This is excellent writing.

However, it’s power and impact is diluted by the fact that he tries to do TOO MUCH. I said this in my review of Solar War and I’ll say it again here: FOCUS! There are two or three good books squeezed into Mortis and as a reader, for all the beautiful vignettes, I am left wanting and feeling a bit cheated by storylines he sets up and then knocks down when we’re not looking only to bring us back to look at the wreckage. When French is focused on less than 5 things in a novel, he’s masterful. When he focuses on more than that, his prose is still excellent but the threads are weak and unsatisfying.

Keeble typically does phenomenal work and this was largely in line with what I expect from him. That said, I was floored by the lack of consistency on some of the names. It’s really jarring to be in the middle of an intense scene and then have him butcher the name of a key character he’s named multiple times before, and then to have the character’s name pronounced another way once or twice more in the story. With all of the folks French throws on the page consistency is key and it was lacking.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrslick
  • 09-06-21

Hot diggity

Daddy emps needs some gawd dang aquafina. He is a very thirsty boy.extrs words

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Taco
  • 30-07-21

Just too much nonsense with the traitors

I get that we're supposed to be at a climactic and the game battle however it feels like the author I just decided to keep trying to one-up himself by showing why the enemy is evil each and every single time. If things were as dire as there are in this book then this whole thing should have ended three books ago. FA happens that makes sense.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • The Foxes
  • 24-07-21

Boring, even for a filler book

The Siege of Terra books have been very good, if a bit slow. This one, however, brings new meaning to "slogging". While true there are mammoth war machines attacking giant citadel walls, confrontations between Horus and the Emperor, and people entering the Astronomicon and yet it somehow it manages to be painfully boring.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ted B.
  • 22-07-21

Not sure of the point of this book

It was 16.5 hours long, and basically all that changed is that [SPOILER] the enemy legions made it to the walls of the Inner Palace, and Perturabo decided (somewhat spontaneously?) to take his ball and go home. [/SPOILER]. Primarchs barely make an appearance. Katsuhiro finally appears again, but accomplishes basically nothing. Grammaticus features prominently, but once again, accomplishes nothing. Even the titular Mortis Legio barely shows up. Honestly, I think this book could have been skipped entirely, and we would be none the worse for wear.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Joan Tappe
  • 09-06-21

Johnathon Keeble is the true Big E

Incredible book with the most inspiring narrator. Johnathon Keeble is a treasure that needs to be protected at all costs.

4 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-06-21

Gibberish

Makes no sense at all. Don’t get this book!
I can’t believe I wasted money on this trash.

4 people found this helpful