Friday, 1 October 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Caiphas Cain: Defender of the Imperium - Sandy Mitchell

Release Date: 01/10/10


The legendary Commissar Ciaphas Cain, lauded as one of the great heroes of the Imperium, finds himself thrust onto the battlefield again. Cain wants nothing more than to keep out of trouble and get to the other side of his commission in one piece, but the war-torn 41st millennium has other ideas. Confronted with the powers of Chaos and hordes of alien foes, our intrepid Commissar seeks to sidestep danger and talk his way out of trouble. Yet each time he survives his legend only grows, and his life is in ever-greater jeopardy - Defender of the Imperium contains the novels Death or Glory, Duty Calls and Cain's Last Stand, plus the short story Traitor's Gambit and a new introduction from author Sandy Mitchell.


Fans of Sandy’s writing will be familiar with one of the Imperium’s greatest heroes, not because he’s a gene spliced super charged warrior but because he’s the common man, who fights to the last and, in effect perhaps the only popular member of the feared Commissar’s. What Sandy does well is bring to life a hero, who has his own fears and overcomes them with each offering. But unlike a lot of the other tales in the 40K world, Cain is the only one who really pokes fun at himself (along with his faithful servant Jurgen) as he struggles through each battle.

It is well written and with a principle character who charges into the fray to get out of it quicker, he is a hero that many a reader will love. Add to the mix that this is an omnibus collection of titles 4-6 with two additional short stories, you know that you’re getting a lot of adventure for your buck. Finally, with the next title in the series out soon (The Emperors Finest is out in November) it could be an ideal series to pick up for those long winter nights. Superb value and, if I’m honest, one of the 40K heroes that I really can’t wait to join in combat.

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