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The Alpha Legion are known as being the most secretive of all Astartes. We have seen this legion once so far; at the end of Fulgrim, participating in the Isstvan V massacre as one of the traitor legions. But what led them there?
Legion answers that question. The book also gives us an insight into the inner workings of this secretive legion. Long story short; they make extensive use of human field agents. This is useful for us readers as it gives us normal human viewpoints through which to observe the Alpha Legion.
At first this seems similar to Fulgrim, a loyal legion find itself fighting on a planet against an enemy in thrall to chaos. However the Alpha Legion are better-informed than their compatriots in the Emperor’s Children, having at least a rudimentary knowledge of chaos.
In addition to their knowledge of chaos, the Alpha Legion have given thought to the purpose of the ‘great crusade’ and the Emperor’s vision for human rule of the galaxy. They have found it wanting, but seem content to participate for the lack of any better option for the human species.
This book also introduces the Cabal, a shadowly alien group with their own designs on humanity, and their own human agents. The Cabal and the Alpha Legion spend their time trying to out-maneuver one another, until eventually the Cabal deliver a compelling message to the twin Primarchs, Alpharius and Omegon. This message sets them on a path to that will take them to the Warmaster’s side.
The Cabal’s agent, John Grammaticus, is an unusual man who has lives several separate lifetimes already. We will be seeing more of him. The Alpha Legion have always been devoted to secrets and conspiracies, and so it is fitting that their novel is filled with them.
rating: 4 golden thrones