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  • Storm of Iron

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Michael Geary
  • Length: 11 hrs and 3 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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Storm of Iron cover art

Storm of Iron

By: Graham McNeill
Narrated by: Michael Geary
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Summary

Winner of the Readers' Choice Poll.

Hell has come to Hydra Cordatus. A massive force of terrifying Iron Warriors have invaded the planet and laid siege to its mighty Imperial citadel. Can the defenders hold out? And just what do these ancient traitors want with such a seemingly insignificant world?

Listen to it because....

It's one of the true Black Library classics, and one of the first novels to make the bad guys the heroes...and it introduced the mighty Warsmith Honsou, who went on to plague the Ultramarines across plenty of novels. It also pits the Iron Warriors against their oldest foes, the Imperial Fists, which is always a guarantee of quality action.

The story:

On the nightmare battlefields of the far future, few foes spark more fear and dread than the Chaos Space Marines. Nurturing a hatred that is millennia-old, they attack without mercy, spreading terror and destruction in their wake. Now hell has come to Hydra Cordatus, for a massive force of terrifying Iron Warriors, the brutal assault masters of Chaos, have invaded the planet and lain siege to its mighty Imperial citadel. But what prize could possibly be worth so much savage bloodshed and destruction—and how long can the defenders possibly hold out?

Written by Graham McNeill. Narrated by Michael Geary. Approximate running time 11 hours and 4 minutes.

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

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Warning! Rose-tinted glasses advised

Growing up in the early eighties I loved the Transformers cartoon on British TV Saturday mornings. It was insanely good and the memory of my enjoyment of it has stayed with me into adulthood. So it was shattering to me, when on an idle Sunday afternoon, I finally tracked down an episode on Youtube and I discovered… that it was bilge. Utter bilge. Horrible, cheap animation, cheesy dialogue and absurd plots. A huge piece of my childhood was taken from me right there and then. Which, as a preamble to reviewing Storm of Iron, is all merely to say: be careful what you wish for.

'Storm of Iron', first published in 2002, recently won a poll by Black Library asking fans to identify an older 40k story for re-publication. The new audiobook edition offers a salutary reminder as to why rose-tinted glasses can be dangerous.

Clearly, a great many people remember reading Storm of Iron when it first came out and have fond memories of it. However, in all frankness, warm, fuzzy feelings of nostalgia for something is generally a very poor basis for making decisions (see 'Brexit').

Viewed in the cold light of 2022, Storm of Iron is a straightforward yarn about a siege, featuring — who else? — the Iron Warriors and the Imperial Fists, and scores of Imperial Guardsmen who, in true Black LIbrary tradition, die as soon as they've been introduced to the reader.

The problem with Storm of Iron is that even a fairly uncritical 12-year old today would probably find it lacking in depth or subtlety. Black Library still publish a fair amount of turgid, wooden crud today, but in general the quality of writing in their output has been raised considerably in the years since this first came out.

Since 2002, Black Library has given us the likes of Josh Reynold's masterly Fabius Bile trilogy, Aaron Dembski-Bowden's Night Lords saga and Chris Wraight's Lords of Silence. These are books which not only write from the perspective of the bad guys but also make them sympathetic, complex characters, and they credit the reader with enough intelligence to figure out what is going on without having every detail pointed out via constant, heavy-handed exposition. Set against this standard, Storm of Iron's clunky dialogue, wooden characters and general lack of a cogent story line serves mostly as a reminder of how much things have changed for the better.

Graham McNeill is, of course, still a highly prolific BL author today. I find his output infuriatingly mercurial. His recent Priests/Lords of Mars books were enjoyable, character driven stories. Sad to say, Storm of Iron belongs in the same bin as his ongoing, excretiable Uriel Ventris series. Yet, I shall always forgive him these blips thanks to The Last Church, which remains possibly the greatest w40k short story ever.

If you read Storm of Iron back in the day, and it gives you warm fuzzy feelings to hear it now in audiobook format, I don't begrudge you your enjoyment of it one bit. Michael Geary is a newcomer to W40k narration, admittedly given a relatively undemanding set of characters to portray he still hits most of the right notes here, but even his enthusiastic performance doesn't mask the fact that in 2022, Storm of Iron clunks badly.

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A fierce and monsterous anime

The heading of this review was a line in the book. Yes it was pronounced that way. 10/10 best narrator, would sack his duck.

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A boring siege a below average novel for me

Hello Everyone
You’ll find me on the camp of Black Library that loves 40K only and within that
Eisenhorn and Raven or and recently Pariah
So as someone else put It I am leaning to side that is less about gore and bolters and more about story and characters….
But don’t get me wrong I LOVED the night lords books, then the Fabio’s Bile (what imagination) The first 4/5 of Horus heresy (the rest is just a shameful and scouting act of capitalism and fan base disrespect

Do check my other reviews to see what I like

So on to this novel:

I got 60% through this and gave up
Not an exciting siege
voices are a bit samey (sorry dude)
story boring
characters not exciting

I don’t know why I cant get into the Gaunts novels when everyone else likes them and I love the Luther novel- one of my top3 if you have any recommendations for me drop me and email or tell me is there an online place we can rant about these novels!!

Ben

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Wonderful

really enjoyed this, read it many years ago and I was amazed at how clearly I remembered some of the scenes. really brought me back, thoroughly enjoyed it. Good on Guardsman Hawk!

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Lives up to the text, amazing effort!

Of the many Black Library books set in the 40k universe, this one is my favourite. This book got me into playing the game and gave me an unhealthy obsession with Iron Warriors, so as much as I wanted an audiobook version, I worried that it wouldn't live up to the novel.

I needn't have worried. This is a superb effort and the narrator does a great job of making the characters distinct and the action scenes pop.

Still my favourite 40k novel and now one of my favourite audiobooks too!

Iron Within, Iron Without.

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Justice to a classic

Storm of Iron is one of my favourite Black Library books from my first steps into the written lore. It was as much of a pleasure to listen to as it was to read over a decade ago.

Michael Geary really seems to understand the weight of these characters from Honsou, Forrix, Guardsman Hawk, and even the Warsmith, and channels these personalities magnificently. I’d love to hear him read more of the Iron Warriors stories, and even more Chaos Marines books (Word Bearers Omnibus please)

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Classic 40k

One of the classics of 40k, characterful, idiosyncratic, brutal.

nothing else to say but reviews have a 15 word minimum so here's a filler sentence.

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food for thought

n flesh for survival in a battle of will and might which never fails to imaginationand the narrator is full of expression and energy

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very well paced, good action

enjoyed a lot would listen to again. has good stories on both sides but definitely rooting from IW. the avatar of khorne was a bit much but otherwise an excellent siege story.

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the titan battle

the characters were a little plain with the Iron legion being obviously mildly irritating as they are meant to be , but the guardsmen were well written giving the feeling of a garrison who never expected real combat but fought well! honestly the best bit was the titan battle for intensity and drama!

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  • Richard Burgener
  • 05-10-22

FINALLY! THIS IS LONG OVERDUE

Storm of Iron is a 40k classic! It rises to the top of the list of novels of this franchise, definitely in the top 10. It's a great depiction of not only the Iron Warriors, but also the Chaos Space Marines faction as a whole. The author himself is aware of how beloved this novel is, and has been told by many of his fans that this began their love of collecting and playing the Iron Warriors faction in Warhammer 40k. If you enjoy it, the story continues with an AMAZING novel in the Horus Heresy series called Angel Exterminatus, which is the direct prequel to this novel.

The Warband depicted in this novel is perhaps not the absolute representation of an Iron Warriors fighting force, definitely among the most corrupted by the Warp and an extreme example, but it's very enjoyable nonetheless. The villains, heroes and antiheroes of this novel are all extremely likeable, and no matter your allegiance, you'll find your sympathies in conflict. It's just that well-written. The only downside is that Black Library did not include the extra chapters that the author penned for the limited edition printing. Even still, we'll take it! Some of us have been waiting years for this story to become an audiobook!

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  • David J Ray
  • 26-09-22

Black Library Classic

There’s no denying that this is a Black Library classic, and deservedly so, but it’s definitely a child of its time. For example the overall Iron Warriors depiction doesn’t have the layered complexity that you might expect in the modern era – they’re recognizably Iron Warriors, but there’s not a huge amount that differentiates them from generic Chaos Marines. Likewise McNeill’s prose isn’t as developed as it is today, unsurprisingly for his second ever novel, but his storytelling, plotting and pacing are all genuinely successful. What makes this still really work though, over 20 years later, is how pleasingly tricky McNeill makes it to decide which side to really root for. The Iron Warriors aren’t exactly likeable, but Honsou is somehow still relatable despite it all, and while it’s hard not to want the Imperials to scrape to victory there’s something essentially 40k about watching the bad guys on the up.

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  • Brian
  • 18-02-24

Ok...but

While I have enjoyed Choas Space Marine stories from Black Library. This one was not as enjoyable as other entries. The character of Honsu was compelling and interesting. The other members of the Iron Warriors came off as mustache twirling villians and one sided. While the battles and Honsu own story was interesting, all in all an Ok entry to the Black Library.

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  • Amy
  • 11-01-24

THE VISION OF CHAOS

A fantastic novel. Graham often over-extends his sentences, causing attention loss. But otherwise worthy of all praise. Essential reading for anyone in the hobby.

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  • Josh
  • 03-01-24

I'm not crying, you're crying

The charge scene makes you want to pick up a las rifle and die for the emperor

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  • Anonymous User
  • 27-11-23

Peak Iron Warriors

As an avid Iron Warriors fan, I loved seeing the perspective of the enemy facing them, not to mention following Honsou’s rise to Warsmith. I really expected Hawk to die and be left just another Jowran corpse on the field, but glad that he survived.
Iron Within, Iron Without

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  • Eugene Gualtieri
  • 17-10-23

Iron within. Iron without.

One of my favorite stories of the ruinous powers and their machinations. I really like how the timeline of the 40K universe can draw from thousands of years of history. Where seemingly insignificant acts or decisions can have a profound effect on future happenings. Where warriors who have fought and planned for millennia finally see the fruits of their abominable labors achieved or dashed at the last moment. This book illustrates the deception within not just the traitor legion but within the empire of man as well. It shows why neither side will ever triumph completely. The characters are so believable You find yourself rooting for the heros as well as the enemies.

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  • Maurice
  • 17-10-23

Amazing listen

Action packed well written and narrated did a good job of capturing the spirit and feeling of an iron warriors story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-10-23

The best in a bad kind of way

I could not make up my mind and then I took a chance and it turned out to be the best Choice a perfect balance of The mechanics the soldiers The character hawk is this from gods of Mars And a sprinkle of chaos whenever I got bored It changed gears on me just at the right time perfect I'm going to Immediately listen to It againI would say this is definitely a listen that you can go back to and not be bored

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-10-23

reminiscent of Old 40K

guttural grinding grandeur. have been so disappointed by other 40k books like the dawn of fire series. they need to take a page outta this books.. book.

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