• Ahriman: Sorcerer

  • Ahriman: Warhammer 40,000, Book 2
  • By: John French
  • Narrated by: Mark Elstob
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (199 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Book two in the Ahriman series.

Ahriman, greatest sorcerer of the Thousand Sons and architect of the Rubric that laid his Legion low, continues to walk the path towards salvation, or damnation. Searching for a cure for his Legion, he is forced to consider - was the great ritual somehow flawed from the very beginning?

Listen to it because:

This is the second part in the tale of one of Warhammer 40,000's most notorious villains. The Ahriman series explores the motivations of this dark sorcerer in greater depth than ever before. Horus Heresy fans will also find plenty to enjoy as the story harks back to events of this great civil war, particularly the fate of the lost Book of Magnus.

The story:

Ahriman, greatest sorcerer of the Thousand Sons and architect of the Rubric that laid his Legion low, continues to walk the path towards salvation, or damnation. Searching for a cure for his Legion, he is forced to consider - was the great ritual somehow flawed from the very beginning? The answer may lie within the mysterious artefact known as the Athenaeum of Kalimakus, a grimoire of forgotten knowledge that is reputed to contain the exact words of the lost Book of Magnus...or, perhaps, even a transcription of the primarch’s deepest and most secret thoughts.

Written by John French. Audiobook narrated by Mark Elstob. 

©2021 Games Workshop Limited (P)2021 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Ahriman: Sorcerer

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All is dust

I know the narrator has got a lot of heat in the past and I personally left a bad review on the Avenging Son novel. HOWEVER compared to the first Ahriman novel and the Avenging Son he has improved considerably. His space marine voices are much better, of course the ones from the first novel stayed the same for consistency but the new ones were on point. John French does a great job there some clichés that I found a little disengaging but overall still a great job. There are some plot points that tend to get over looked if you are used to the bolter porn straight forward type of story telling. For example a big reveal at the end is casually mentioned by a character (which only adds to it) and once you stop and think about it, it flips the whole storyline upside down and adds a ton of potential that has me waiting for the next one to see where the author takes it.

The beginning is kind of a love it leave it sort of style of writing, there are a bunch of moving parts that need to get into place for the end to make sense and is a slow burn. Once it got going I was fully engaged and stayed that way for a while.

9 people found this helpful

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Definitely not a fan of the narrator

there's hundreds if not thousands of hours of WH40k audio content to listen to go get an example of how to voice certain types of characters in this universe or how to pronounce certain words and this guy so far (and I'm not even an hour in) has missed the mark on both especially the Space Wolves and Ahriman who is one of the most famous characters in the setting

2 people found this helpful

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amazing work! as usual.

I really want Mark Elstob to know that I think he's a fantastic narrator and I'm very grateful to have his voice in this series.

1 person found this helpful

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Unsatisfying

Does this book live up to how Tzeentch is described? Yes. Does that make a good story? Not at all.

A bunch of haphazard things happen. A blizzard of dues ex machinas happen*. It all works out. Ahriman claims it's just as planned. The end.

The antagonists are beyond incompetent, and Ahriman is competent beyond any suspension of disbelief. The final part with the pointless space wolves especially feels like the book is just rubbing it in.

The way the combat works out is very grating.

'The enemy moved fast. Too fast. Time froze for the billionth time, Their weapons move PERFECTLY. But too perfectly. That's bad because it's predictable or something. I teleport, freeze time some more, regenerate fatal wounds, kill everyone with random spells, teleport some more and nothing matters.'

Other than that the prose itself isn't bad. John French in my experience isn't a bad writer, so I do not know what went wrong here.

*might be a literary Guinness Book of Records contender.

1 person found this helpful

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What a rollercoaster!

One of my favorite Warhammer books, the center of the novel is frustrating to watch plan upon plan fall to ruin but trust me- the end is well worth it!

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Fantastic

Always love anything to do with Ahriman and with one was absolutely no exception.

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Two thumbs up!

This was a great buy. Mark did a great performance. I really can't wait to listen to the next one in the series.

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The final chapters were...

Once again, a well done story. Ahriman is a very interesting character.

The narrations and voice acting were amazing. While I PERSONALLY still do not agree with the voice chosen for Ahriman himself, Mark Elstob simply did a fantastic job. Every character has as a unique a voice as one man can try to give, allowing you to easily tell who is speaking regardless of how you feel about the voice itself. And the small handful of points where he transitions from one voice to another mid-sentence were expertly done.

If I have to give a major criticism, it would be with the final segments. To me it felt like it was all a grand "All according to plan" moment with little to no explanation OF said plan or how it was set up to that point. Maybe I missed some things, but as events unfolded I was wondering how Ahriman devised his schemes? How did he know what to set up for things to go the way he wanted? The only point I can think of in his defense here is earlier on in the book where he explains the Psyker ability to look into the future and how it works. So, yes, he COULD see how events might unfold and plan accordingly; but I personally would have liked more detail. More hints as to what he might be seeing and scheming. I would have LOVED to revel in the feeling of all the pieces falling into place by being able to think back and realize when they were set up to begin with.

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Much better narration

This was worlds better than the previous book in terms of narration, but the story is difficult to follow and jumps around too much. It really could have benefited from location and time setting before sections.

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Questions piled on questions.

The voices performed by the narrator are a little different from the first book, mainly on Cadin. The story grows more and more complex to a point be the end I had to stop and think about what just happened and what it meant for the earliest parts of the story. absolutely fantastic job by Mr. French

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  • Kelv1n
  • 04-25-21

jumps around

the narration was excellent and the editing also good, unfortunately the story itself jumps between scenes far to often, but it's made 10x worse as there is no announcement of the shift. You'll hear a conversation between 2 characters, then another conversation which you assume is related, just to work out 30 seconds later the scene had shifted.

if reading the printed book, you'd see this, it would be marked as a new secrion - but with an audiobook they need to insert some announcement of location, in other 40k audiobooks they have, but some reason failed to with this one.

it made the 75% of the book extremely difficult to follow!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Josh
  • 08-23-21

it was alright

It was ok in terms of the story but the performance was superb. well done Mark Elston

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mikko
  • 05-31-22

Hard to follow with lacking performance

I'd skip this one, unless you're dying for whatever Thousand Sons scraps you can find

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  • Hobbs
  • 03-09-22

Painful

This was disappointing, lacklustre, slow and quite frankly painful to listen to, the first one was better and having listened to a lot of the audiobooks from Black Library I’m know they can do better.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-04-21

Missable

Not an essential part of the lore and the performances were cluttered as the scenes switched without warning, very confusing. Didn’t enjoy this.

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  • Martin M.
  • 07-23-21

Ahriman: Sorcerer ( book 2 ) review

The performance and the reading couldn't have been better. Each character has a distinguishable voice and personality brought to life with Mark Elstobs reading.
The story is fine, easy enough to follow and plenty for the minds eye. I felt that the story is stretched amongst such a cast of characters that I didn't feel as connected to them in the first book. Deaths don't hold weight and the twists don't feel sharp or surprising. The books namesake character is also - I felt - noticeably absent.
However it is an above average story with an excellent reader. B-