The newest Titan novel goes under the microscope and we see what fury the Warlord holds.
TITAN LITERATURE REVIEW
Story: Warlord: Fury of the God Machine
Length: 272 pages (limited edition)
The Plot: When war comes to the world of Khania, the Legio Pallidus Mor must work with the Imperial Hunters Legio. The fatalistic and the proud do battle together against the Tyranid foe and fissures form in their unity. When the nearby world of Katara needs assistance, this strained relationship is put even further to the test. The forces of Chaos, namely a force of Traitor Titans, lay claim to Katara through insidious means. The divided Legios must take a stand to save the world, but to do so they need to put aside their differences in order to achieve that salvation or they will instead be Katara’s damnation.
Titan Focus: David Annandale weaves a tale that follows the mould of Titanicus. Warlord is the story of the Pallidus Mor (through Princeps Krezoc), the Imperial Hunters (through Marshal Syagrius), and the human element through Captain Deyers of the 66th Kataran Spears and Confessor Ornastus of Creontiades. While the actions of Captain Deyers and Ornastas are important to the events of the book and have their focus, the true spotlight is given to the Titan Legios that fight in the Emperor’s name.
Throwbacks to the old Warlord loadouts are made as split carapace weapons make a return and the Imperium naming scheme for fallen Titans (Feral, Ravager, and Banelord in this case) is brought back into the lore as well. The story’s largest focus is on Princeps Krezoc and her Warlord, Gloria Vastator. However, care and attention are paid to several other god-engines and how each one is different in terms of their nature, tactics, and crews. Not only has old lore been resurrected, but Annandale stays true to established literature as well. Further definition is given to the Titans than in the past by further describing the operation of a Warlord Titan.
While not as comprehensive as other established Titan literature, Warlord stays true to what is established and adds to the realm. In addition, it shows interaction and integration of Princeps and Titan in ways that had not been previously explored or given such depth. Perhaps the greatest contribution to the lore from Warlord is a look into the cultures and traditions of the Pallidus Mor and Imperial Hunters Titan Legios. While in the past these Legios had been briefly described, Annandale takes a more in-depth look at them and fleshes the forces out.
Score: 3.5/5 Cogs
Final Thoughts: There’s probably a wonder why a story that follows in the footsteps of Titanicus and gives us so much new information scores what it does. Warlord is a good story, but it’s not a great one. The novel offers a treasure trove of data on how Titans work, the culture of two Titan Legios, and another glimpse at how Titan war works beyond what has already been established. However, the book fails to capture its human element in a meaningful manner, all but two characters feel heavily two-dimensional, and several elements feel rushed; something that becomes evident by simple proofreading errors and skipping between scenes where a lot of information is still needed. It also misses out on the chance to show us the Chaos side of the Titans and the Traitor Legio involved. In spite of those flaws the story is quite solid and Annandale offers us many new things to consider about Titans and their operation. He expands upon established pieces of lore and crafts a story that you can see playing out in your mind, scenes of battle vividly envisioned and believable. This is still a book worth buying.
Let us know what you think of the story in the comments below. Are there any particular stories you want to see reviewed next?