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Shattered Legions is a collection of short stories which deal with the aftermath of the Isstvan massacre. Yes, you read that correctly and you would be right for wondering what the point is, over 40 books into a series, to look back at events from book 3 – again.
Fortunately this collection is saved by the quality of the stories – mostly. I won’t say they are all gold, but the focal stories are the tales of Shadrak Meduson of the Iron Hands legion, and his attempt to keep his legion together and give them purpose in the days, months, and years following the massacre.
Unfortunately for Meduson he has to content with the Iron Fathers, the elders of the legion, and their unwillingness to change in a galaxy that has already moved beyond them. Meduson struggles to bring stability and purpose to his legion, and gradually attracts stranded warriors from other legions to his banner.
Also featured here are stories of the crew of the Sisypheum, another mixed group of loyalist marines seeking vengeance on their own terms against the traitor legions. This crew has a way of getting caught up in the intrigues of others, including Primarchs.
Both groups have a few things in common, mainly their tactic of striking back through hit and run tactics, and aiming to kill senior members of the enemy legions wherever possible. Outnumbered, outgunned, and without a stable base or supply line, their lives grow ever more tenuous.
Overall the shattered legion stories takes us around the galaxy over the time of the heresy. We see the effects of the tumult and chaos of war on Astartes who have been used to unity. Covering years of warfare, the optimism of years part is replaced with a weary realisation that the future holds only war.
rating: 3.5 golden thrones
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