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Aaron Dembski-Bowden writes more about the Emperor this time and Horus the Warmaster is a little side lined. The author wanted to talk about the land more than the heroic figures present around or we can say that Aaron has tried to give some more time to the positive side in this book.
War and chaos is everywhere and it is burning the whole galaxy down and soon there would be nothing left except the ashes of a lost civilization. Conspiracies and plotting is going on against the Emperor at the very roots of the land. One thing that the Emperor is unaware of is the fact that the enemy has come close to Terra and it has set its strong base too.
Forces of Chaos hold supreme in certain ways and the Emperor seems to be the only one who is optimistic about the result of the war this time.
Emperor is created as a wonderful figure by the author, though he does not always mean what he says but he is able to impress the people around just like he succeeded in the previous books. Throneworld might not survive this time but the Emperor is ready for a fight as he has seen much worse circumstances in life.
In all the other parts we observed fights and battles this one is with a prolonged wait for the battle that is slowly building up and everyone is hoping for a result of his own liking. It is better that the series goes with Jonathan Keeble all the time in narration and every now and then change in the narrator is not necessary at all.
The First Heretic and Betrayer were never like this one, Aaron has brought more stability to the plot and scene description is more detailed than ever. Author has groomed with the passage of time and the old formulas of prolonging the tale is left for ever perhaps by Aaron.