• Lion El'Jonson: Lord of the First

  • The Horus Heresy Primarchs, Book 13
  • By: David Guymer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (597 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Book 13 of the Primarchs series. 

Listen to It Because

The Dark Angels have their secrets...and their primarch is no exception. Discover what the Lion was up to while the Great Crusade came to an end. 

The Story

Each primarch is an exemplary being, derived from the Emperor’s own genetic stock to embody a facet of His personality. Their powers are unfathomable, but only one of them is the First. Lion El’Jonson is the paragon of what it is to be a primarch. His Legion, pre-eminent for most of their long history, typify the virtues of temperance, pride and martial excellency that the Lion embodies. They are the Emperor’s last line and final sanction. They are His Dark Angels.

Now, while the Emperor gathers His mightiest sons for an assault on Ullanor Prime, the Lord of the First instead draws his Legion to the farthest reaches of the known galaxy, seeking to subdue a single rebellious world. Is this but another example of the Lion’s infamous pride, or is there more afoot amidst that graveyard of empires that is the Ghoul Stars, more than the Lion will share even with his own sons?

Written by David Guymer. Narrated by Jonathan Keeble. 

©2020 Games Workshop Limited (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Lion El'Jonson: Lord of the First

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I really loved this book.

Obviously some bias as I am a HUGE fan of Dark Angels. I am even a Dark Angels player owning models for the tabletop.

I really enjoyed this book. Really gave a lot of deep details of how the Dark Angels function internally. Also got to get a good peek into the mind of Lion El'Jonson (Literally). Also gave a fantastic glimpse into just how dangerous many of the earlier Xeno's races were before the ones we know in the 41st Millennium.

Loyalty and Honor!

5 people found this helpful

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Not what I was expecting (in a GREAT way)

Going into this novella I wasn’t sure what to expect but I was very pleasantly surprised that it took some twists and turns into the realm of horror and mystery.

I’ve never been a huge fan of the Lion and the First Legion, but this story turned that around for me. The characterization of the Lion as a dark genius who does what he must out of a sense of duty was a refreshing change, and it really endeared him to me as a character.

David Guymer’s very clever use of secondary and tertiary characters to set the mood and mystery of the story was clever, and I really appreciated all of the details and depth of the First Legion. Combat scenes came in fast and furious, like a hyperkinetic anime and it was a joy to follow along.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone, whether new to Warhammer or a grizzled veteran of the grim darkness of the future.

4 people found this helpful

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Poorly written - Mary Sue Dark Angels

I was excited about this book after reading some other books in the Primarch series and having loved the the two Dark Angels Horus Heresy books. However, the author writes like Matt Mercer with an Ultramarines codex. The angels in this book are da bestest at everything, and are the coolest edgelords ever. in the previous primarch books we got to look at the strengths and weaknesses of the others. but the author writes The Lion as a perfect, favorite child who can do no wrong. The author missed the point of this book series entirely.

3 people found this helpful

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The real Dark Angels

Fleshes out the Dark Angels and their purpose as a Legion as intended by the Emperor. Delves deeply into their collective beliefs and values and provides insight into why they felt morally betrayed by The Fallen.

3 people found this helpful

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Best Dark Angels Book so far

This book goes along way to explaining the purpose meaning and origin of the DA. Short but insightful conversations between. Big E and the Lion are great. I enjoyed it and I hope to see more of the Lion in the future.

3 people found this helpful

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Over all Great!

Book over all is good, the Narrator is Amazing! really does a great job. The over all story is kind of ok. While good, the narrator carries this book into the 5 star range. If you are a Dark Angels fan boy, this is an amazing book. If you are looking to get into knowing about the dark Angels this is a must read.

1 person found this helpful

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Must Read for Any Dark Angels Fan

This does a great job of giving you an inside look at the Dark Angels during the pre-heresy years, and really sells them and especially the Lion for the badasses they are. Also once again counteracts the meme that Dark Angels are secretly traitors.

1 person found this helpful

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Understanding The Lion

This book is centered around understand the Lion. it's not a book about him. That being said, it's a badass Dark Angels book. Do not over look this piece. or you'll regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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The First Legion Triumphs!

This novel was nothing short of fantastic. It provides a good window into the motivations and philosophy of the Dark Angels, as well as goes into their reason for existing. They are the exterminators of the Emperor, and he gave them the means to do so. It also explains why the Lion was not at Ulanor and gives us a glimpse into his relationship with his father, the Emperor. The threat that the Dark Angels must face is also a welcome edition to the setting, as they manage to provide both a credible threat to the space marines while also giving us another fearsome enemy that is not one of the old favorites. The performance by Jonathan Keeble is once again perfect and really pulls one into the story.

1 person found this helpful

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The Lion deserves being the 1st

I was skeptical about this, I always appreciated the Lion but never cared for the Dark Angel. This changed that, the strategy, planning, obfuscation, and focus on the culture of the Dark Angels and thier purpose in the lore made this story a pleasure.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Damien D.
  • 10-28-20

Worth a Credit or Two.

Sensational story telling.
I have a newfound respect for the Lion and his Legion.
I thoroughly enjoyed how this story preceded the Heresy and gave a brilliant insight into the Lion and the Emperor's relationship.
The Lion is the real tough guy amongst all his brothers, excepting Sanguinius of course, he is like the Terminator when he sets his mind to a task.
Always heard how tough he was on Primarch ratings videos on youtube.
This will cast some much needed light on those debates.
The Lion may be the toughest of all the Primarchs not just due to his martial skill, but more so his cunning, mental acuity, resolve and iron will.
Just give us more novels on the Lion.
Please and Thank you.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Boris Headache
  • 11-23-20

Great Dark angeles story!

Good story well read, as always but i wouldnt consider it a Lion el Johnson story, its a dark angels story.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-25-20

Glory to the first

It is a great listen the Dark Angels are surrounded by mystery and this books goes a long way to expose some of their characters and orders. hints of the rangadan genocide are plenty and unlike other primarch books it gives the lion some much needed understanding

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-17-20

loyalty is its own reward!

Brilliant book, 20 years collecting and play Dark Angels ... finally a book that links the dots!

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-10-21

It has not won me over to love the first legion

I have never been a big Dark Angel fan and that might cloud my judgement. But of all the primarch books i have listened to or read this story spoke to me the least. Great performance again i cannot fault that

1 person found this helpful

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  • Craig
  • 06-08-22

Great book

This book shows the Dark Angels at their finest and explains the legions role in the Imperium. We need more stories about the Lion as this book has left me wanting more!

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • RC
  • 12-14-21

Half the duration I expected.

Performance pretty much faultless. Half the duration I expected.. Not sure about the story. All seemed a bit grim and lacking hope.

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  • jeroen Suys
  • 12-04-21

Good book

Good to have a (pre) heresy story with an enemy that is not a 3 legged alien or Chaos. Sometimes the story was a bit confusing or repetitive. Overall okay.

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  • Martin D.
  • 11-12-21

Cannot finish

A fairly good story as far as it goes, giving more of an insight into the primarch of the 1st legion.

Except the recording keeps stopping. Can only get it working again by removing from device, then loading again.
Now at 48m left I can't get it to play at all. So one star for story because cannot finish.

Bad form Audible. The other books appear to play OK, have finished dozens - just not this particular one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-29-21

Gd narrator

Not the best dark angels book but worth a listen dark angels by far the best always have been always will be

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-25-20

A must for any Dark Angel fan

Sheds light on the methods of the Dark Angels and the Lion, giving new depth as well as a thought out identity to the legion.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ben Harley
  • 03-17-22

A great story which shows another side to the Lion and the 1st Legion

The Dark Angels have a history of secrets and this book shows that throughout. A story full of partial truths, hidden secrets and Inner Circles within the legion which reflects their “modern” history and stories.
A great story for those who like the Dark Angels.

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  • Jason Spectre
  • 01-27-21

Unpopular opinion

I honestly didn’t really like it. The voice acting was stellar as always, however the actual mix of stories just didn’t quite hook together as well as I would’ve expected.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-04-21

Best representation of the Lion yet

Excellent story that shows off the uniqueness and character of the Dark Angels. Very well performed.