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Publisher's Summary

Book 2 in the Farsight series.

The T'au Empire has long been plagued by the brutal orks—and Commander Farsight will see them destroyed. As his obsessive war against the greenskins escalates, other forces are at work, driving Farsight to an encounter that will change his view of the universe, the T'au Empire...and himself.

Listen to it because....

Discover the real story behind the defining moment of Commander Farsight's lif—and witness his struggles as he is torn between the Greater Good and a hideous truth about the nature of the galaxy.

The Story:

High Commander Farsight, fresh from his victory against the Imperium over the Damocles Gulf, looks to his borders and finds his old enemies—the savage and warlike orks—threatening to ravage the heart of the T’au Empire. Farsight’s obsessive crusade soon sees him locked in an escalating conflict with the greenskins, yet the hero of the Fire Caste will stop at nothing until their infestation is purged.

Foul forces are at work in the shadows, however—forces that will do whatever they can to see Farsight's military genius fall upon the daemon-haunted world of Arthas Moloch. Can Farsight stand in the face of the terrible truths he discovers there, and will the T’au Empire stand with him? 

Written by Phil Kelly. Narrated by Andrew Wincott and Helen McAlpine. Running time 13 hours 3 minutes (approx).

©2022 Games Workshop Limited (P)2022 Games Workshop Limited

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Once Again Phil Kelly Shows How To Write Tau

This was an interesting narrative of the history section of the Farsight Enclaves Codex. Once again Phil Kelly shows how good a 40K story can be with a GW game designer that is also a good BL writer. It connects from the previous novel in the series and ends with Farsight’s self exile; the events get closer to the present. The Farsight expedition encounter and battle Orks and have their fateful full on meeting with Daemons. There is good action but even better character introspection and development from Farsight. The novel also highlights the positive and negative aspects of the Greater Good. I eagerly look forward to more Farsight.

1 person found this helpful

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Good Tau story, really bad usage of Orks.

The Tau and Inquisitor parts of this story are great...much like the first book. Good lore, good narration, all around good.

The Ork parts....oh boy. The narrator and writer just....need some practice, lets say.

First book where the Orks are a challenge to listen to. The narrator voices them awfully and their intelligence is buffed to Ghaz levels for the only reason of progressing this particular story. The Orks are Gary Stue'd until Chaos is the main baddy...it's terrible.

1 person found this helpful

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Stunning and Amazing

i couldn't stop listening. Adventure, plots, Intrigue and loyalty. The universe is complicated indeed

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A good listen for 40k Fans and Tau players.

One of the easiest listens yet. Excellent narration by Andrew and the segments with Helen giving voice to Vykola were top notch. Plenty of action and intrigue as Farsight struggles with various races and his own sense of justice vs the Tau'va.

Looking forward to more Tau content from Mr. Kelly

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It's good to see Xeno perspectives every so often.

Full disclosure, I am not a Tau fan, but I did enjoy this tale of them. Having to contend with the unpredictable nature of both Chaos and Orks, Farsight's technology and grit makes him feel far more relateable than many actual humans from the setting. Lots of fighting, and I appreciated that as an Ork player. Also good dat dat Red Git learned how to use a real choppa.

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  • TJ
  • 07-26-22

Interesting but muddled by distorted action filler

Farsight started with short stories, and I think it should've stayed that way. Still some good content. Not stoked about the reader either, but it's better than how T'au usually sound.

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loved it

loved the action, the story, the orks, the characters, the suits, and how horrible the warp can be.

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An excellent novel and even better character

In a sea of madness that is Warhammer 40K it is good to see a small island of sanity that is Commander Farsight. The story is excellent and I eagerly await the third novel, even though we practically know what happens next from the games Codex.

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  • Lertimo
  • 07-20-22

Empire of Meh

OK I'm biased, I admit it: The Tau were an unfamiliar addition to the lore when I returned to W40k decades after drifting away from it as a teenager. So, maybe it's because they don't give me that warm, nostalgic feeling evoked by the Imperial Guard, space marines, orks, etc, but I have to be honest — the little blue space communists have always left me a bit cold. They're pretty unpromising subjects for a compelling story: optimistic and inclusive where the Imperium of Man is xenophobic and repressive, technologically superior to humanity and unafraid of progress. They believe in a better tomorrow. On the face of it, their society lacks the injustice, hypocrisy, conflicts and tensions that make the Imperium such a perfect backdrop to any novel. There's a distinct lack of grimdark about the Tau. All we had is a few hints that the ruling Ethereal caste know more than they're letting on. Not exactly thrilling stuff.

The previous Farsight book, Crisis of Faith, started brilliantly with a Tau propaganda broadcast to Imperial citizens which echoed Soviet-era depictions of life in the West. That really set up what I hoped was going to be an interesting examination of all the fault lines at the heart of Tau society. Unfortunately, the plot then descended into a series of repetitious war scenes which felt like someone reading aloud from an extended catalogue of Tau warsuit table-top models.

So, I began Empire of Lies more in hope than expectation. It gets off to a good start, immediately introducing the gods of the Warp casting their avaricious eyes over the idealistic Tau and their nascent empire. I really wanted to see how the Tau reacted to the existence of chaos. It had the potential to be as cataclysmic for their civilisation as the revelation that the Imperial truth was a sham was for humanity. This is the punch in the guts that the first book promised but ultimately failed to deliver.

The Tau are clearly positioned as a mirror image of the naive optimism and wilfull ignorance of pre-Heresy humanity, but the parallels are pretty superficial. Grand tragedy requires investment on the behalf of the reader, and try as I might, I just couldn't bring myself to care enough about the outcomes for the Tau.

The biggest barrier to Empire of Lies delivering this body blow is the main protagonist, Commander Farsight. To be honest, his character is pretty dull. He's a great warrior and mindful of his duty. If you recast Farsight as a space marine it wouldn't make much difference to his personality, except that in the Heresy books, the betrayal sets brother against brother, primarch against primarch, it makes orphans of space marines like Garro and Loken who by choosing loyalty to the Emperor lose the only family they knew.

Farsight doesn't have this problem because he's a member of the Fire caste and so all his best mates are also members of the Fire caste. Farsight's character arc is basically him learning to distrust the Ethereal caste. However, the Ethereals are depicted from the start as pompous, arrogant and so obviously hiding something that it's difficult to share in Farsight's growing sense of betrayal. Instead one begins to despair of him ever making the small leap of imagination required to figure it out.

The other trait that makes a compelling character is competence, yet, for a supposedly brilliant general, Farsight does seem a bit dim. He's consistently outmanouevred by his nemesis, an Ork warboss who is portrayed as the usual 'half-witted cockney hooligan in space'.

Farsight's other enemy though he doesn't realise it at the start of Empire of Lies, is the Ruinous Powers, but despite his growing personal experience of Chaos he still manages to find each new piece of information hard to believe. It gets genuinely frustrating. I mean, he already fought a demon in Crisis of Faith, yet he refuses to recognise an army of demons for what they are in Empire of Lies, despite knowing of such things' existence.

The other slightly baffling thing is that Farsight has a confidante/advisor in the shape of Imperial Inquisitor turned Tau-sympathiser, Vykola Herat. I won't give out any spoilers, but I'd actually assumed she'd spilt the beans to Farsight about the Warp, demons and the like at the end of Crisis of Faith after they fought a demon together. Despite technically being a traitor to the Imperium, she appears to have told Farsight nothing. This seems odd and yet it isn't really resolved or explained and things like that annoy me.

Things to like about this audiobook - there is definitely more character development, politics and personality conflict in Empire of Lies than the first novel (although there's still quite a lot of battle scenes providing an opportunity to name drop all those warsuit models too...). Herat is a good character too, and she can engage in observations about Tau society that Farsight is incapable of. I really wish Phil Kelly had used her more.

The use of dual voices (Andrew Wincott for the most part, Helen McAlpine for Herat's sections) provides interesting contrast. Wincott reads everything like it's a horror story, and for w40k that approach works. Even innocent scenes become embued by a sheer sense of dread and impending doom that seems to drip from his every word. He's fast becoming one of my favourite Black Library narrators. I do think he's a bit wasted on this though. I'd have chucked it to Gareth Armstrong, who's a bit hammy for some people's tastes, but he'd at least have given the Tau characters' cheerful voices that would have helped me get through boring dialogue about the Tau'va and helped me remember which Tau was which.

In the end I dunno. I told you I'm biased. I don't dislike the Tau and I really didn't dislike this book, but — meh.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Craig
  • 09-25-22

Farsight at its best

A great insight into the Tau, much darker then previous stories and who does not like Farsight and his commanders. I cannot wait for the next book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-11-22

For the greater good

Well read, dragged a little in the middle, strong ending. Perfect for T'au fans. love the detail of their. ody language communication and hand gestures.

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  • William
  • 08-11-22

it didnt get better

elequent orks, inquisitors that are lame and lots of dialog. serious padding in this book. the auther does not know the 40k world and calls most things by their codex names without understanding how they fit. very clunky. very poor. burn heretic scum

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-31-22

Lots of filler

Lots of filler compared to the previous book. Still worth getting if you are invested in the story. The voice acting is great.

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  • paul sparks
  • 07-18-22

More Farsight

One of my favourite characters and it was good to see him finally understanding what the ethereals are and that is basically not good for the Tau