• Mephiston: Blood of Sanguinius

  • Mephiston: Warhammer 40,000, Book 1
  • By: Darius Hinks
  • Narrated by: Richard Reed
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (483 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A Blood Angels audiobook. 

A religious civil war brings the Blood Angels, commanded by Chief Librarian Mephiston, to a shrine world where they find a mystery that might help Mephiston understand how he survived the Black Rage - and perhaps cure the Blood Angels of their affliction.

Listen to it because:

Delve into the curse of the Blood Angels and how Mephiston survived it, while also exploring notions of faith and the influence of the Emperor on the Imperium of the 41st Millennium.

The story:

The shrine world of Divinatus Prime has become lost to the light of the Astronomican, and no ship can piece its veil. Only the Lord of Death himself, Blood Angels Chief Librarian Mephiston, has any hope of discerning the fate of this once pious world. After enacting a powerful blood ritual, Mephiston and an honour guard of his fellow Blood Angels reach the stricken shrine world to find it seized by religious civil war. Each faction fights for dominance of a potent artefact, the Blade Petrific, said to be wrought by the Emperor Himself. Yet there is more at work here than a mere ideological schism, for Mephiston believes Divinatus Prime could offer answers to how he became the Lord of Death, he who resisted the Black Rage, and possibly even a way to end the curse of ‘the Flaw’ in all Blood Angels.

Written by Darius Hinks. 

Narrated by Richard Reed.

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Mephiston: Blood of Sanguinius

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Muddled and missleading.

I'ma regular black library reader, so take that into account as my perspective.

The Characters:
The characters here lack depth, regularly seem perplexed by their own setting, and are generally un-compelling. The POV character is unlikable. He is boring, unsympathetic, and lacks the impressive quality that is a staple of most space marines. He is comes across petulant and maybe stupid? In short: He's so bad, he doesn't even rank mentioning in the plot summary. Yikes.

Speaking of characters: Mephiston. OH boy.
Boy o, is this book miss-titled. For being the title character, Mephiston is a non-factor. He is written as overly aloof, in an attempt (I think?) to make him seem mysterious. Instead, his lack of speaking or reacting makes him seem shallow and unappealing. He juts in and out of the story, a bland deus ex machina propelling the story forward, because frankly the plot has no momentum of its own.

Plot: The plot is muddled, and poorly paced. The first half of this book is in need of dire editing -- it is largely flavoring. Creating flavor great idea--- spending half the book on it with no story? Bad. Its exposition over exposition with characters saying what things are like, instead of...y'know having things actually happen. The first real story hooks feel like they being in chapter ...12? Really? Jeez.

Writing: Bog standard Black library witting. Hinks got the warhammer writing manual. Violence is well written, with decent sentence structure. Nothing terrible in that vector, though a bit uninspired, I'd complain about the blood imagery becoming samey, but hey. its the blood angels so I can't complain. All in all workman, like writing. Maybe interesting if its your first 40k book, but comes across as mediocre to me at this point.

Performance: Richard Reed is great, like most BL performers. Good range of voices, Nice pacing.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Dud

Just a waste of time for me. by the end of the story you just dont care.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Sub Par

Very misleading, Mephiston is not the main character of his own self titled novel. He is a background character, he and the main POV character are soul linked and still next to nothing about Mephiston is gained. Some cringe worthy back story but very rarely do we get to see his thoughts, intentions, or motivations from this link. In trying to make him Batman he was unlikable and unrelatable.

The Blood Angels are not written well in this novel, the rage is missing, the fangs are missing, not blood lust is gone. I'm not expecting flesh tearer levels, but at least something.

The psychers are very underwhelming, they aren't doing the things that even normal human psychers can do like read other people's auras and do mind probes. There are specifics, but I don't want to spoil anything.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Typical Black Library Bait and Switch

If you read the book title and description along with seeing the cover art, you might assume this book is told from Mephiston’s POV. Sadly we don’t get the quality of novel that “Dante” was, learning about Mephiston’s past and present in the first person, rather it’s told from the perspective of a librarian who isn’t even mentioned in the description. If you’ve read any of the Primarch centered books you’ll be used to this bait and switch by now.

Anyway this isn’t the real problem. The young librarian who is the POV is utterly unlikeable throughout the story (as is just about everyone else). He’s arrogant, emotional, and seems to be clueless much of the time about the goings on of the other librarians, despite having been a librarian “many years” and “more than half of his life”. Mephiston is generally the “crazy old wizard” type that mostly mutters to himself, never explains what he’s doing, and ignores everyone around him. Mephiston’s equerry is needlessly a jerk to everyone in general.

On top of this it’s clear Darius Hinks is unaware of some fundamental 40k and Blood Angels lore. First Founding chapters do NOT worship the Emperor, pray to him, or refer to him as a God. Other newer authors have this same problem, and it’s clear no quality control is happening at the BL to ensure consistency. Blood Angels don’t hire artisans to decorate their halls, they ARE artisans. People can not communicate via live broadcast with each other “across the galaxy” (kinda the whole point of astropaths). The list goes on. In some cases it’s just really sloppy writing. In one chapter the librarian is biting someone after it is stated he has his helmet on. Then he takes a massive face wound, and moments later someone seeing his face from afar comments on how perfect it is.

On the upside the general idea behind the story is good. It’s also nice to see “powerful” librarians actually using their psychic abilities. I wish Hinks wouldn’t refer to EVERY ability as “blood” something, blood lightening, blood ritual, blood shield etc. It’s just lazy. Speaking of blood, zero mention of the Red Thirst.

As far as narration goes, the narrator does a much better job than most other BL narrators at putting emotion into his voice. It can be aggravating though when he goes from whispering to yelling if you’re wearing headphones.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Disappointment

Its not about Mephiston and its not nearly as dynamic and grabbing as Dante's self titiled book or anything eles Blood Angels. You could just as easily remove Mephiston's name, drop in any other librarian, and would get the same result. Mephiston deserves better.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Horrible

A story that is psychedelic and more about sorcerers. Less sci-fi and more ridiculous non sensical fantasy. Hard to follow and not a fan of the performance. I’m a huge fan of 40K and AOS, but hated this story more than any other. I thought latest Conquest stories weren’t very good, but this is way e we worse.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not my favorite on first reading

Didnt enjoy it as much. Will give it another shot...but...will see what happens. i guess

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Maybe my expectations were too high going into this one...

About myself, I’ve played Games Workshop games for 15 years or so and really enjoy the 40k setting and lore. After starting to collect Blood Angels I though it would stoke the fire in me to learn more about the chapter and it’s epic heroes.

This book just putters along with a mostly boring plot delivered from the perspective of cardboard grunts with very little depth

Mephiston has a couple fun scenes but mostly this novel is a snoozer.

I understand it’s a challenge to write space marines but GW did it much better in the early Horus Heresy novels.

Voice actor was mostly good but occasionally would do these over the top crazy person voices that were quite jarring and seemed to cause the audio to be much louder each time he switched voice.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Mephiston is unreal

loved every minute of the story, I can not wait for the next book, purchase it, you won't regret it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Hinks is pretty good

Darius Hinks is the author. I have never read any of his work, and having concluded this novel, I would certainly be willing to give him another shot.

Although the beginning of the novel was unnecessarily long, the set up was necessary one way or the other.

Blood Angels are a beloved chapter, and Mephiston is a very popular character. The book however could have been accomplished in 21 instead of 26 chapters.That is as long as they are the chapters at the end, and not the chapters at the beginning.

The overall plot and story are both adequately nuanced and enjoyable.It does not lack for action by any means, but because the nature of the main character is one which revolves largely on psychic power, it seems to lack some of the visceral punch of normal space marine literature.

Note however it is not because the author lacks the ability. The author expresses more than adequate ability to bring home the visceral realities of the grim darkness of the 41st millennium.

The reader is generally very good, yet there are some irritating mispronunciations that bothered me occasionly throughout the story.

It seems as though the book had some curious editing. Some minucia was left in quantity whereas some very helpful information could have been left in or it seems as though it were excised.

The central struggle of the main character is never really resolved in any clear way. This does not mean that we should always get a clear resolution to a problem, but it is more that the Central challenge was kind of forgotten until the last few pages, where it was hand waved away.

4 out of 5 seems a good rating. I bought the book because of the main character. It could have been shorter, But the quality of the writing towards the end of the book was such that the reader did not want to stop the book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lertimo
  • 04-16-20

You will like this book if you don't like books

Flick through the reviews for 'Mephiston Blood of Sanguinus' on Audible and Amazon and ignore the one line, 5 stars 'great book i recomend it' reviews and anything of the 'you will love it if you like blood angels' variety (an aside, but seriously, who likes or dislikes a book based solely on it's subject matter? It's like someone saying you will enjoy Moby Dick 'if you like whales'). Anyway, flick through the reviews with proper sentences and punctuation and you'll find the following, entirely reasonable criticisms of this Blood Angels romp repeated over and over again:

1) The characters are all dull with no interesting facets to their personalities or internal conflict, etc.

2) Mephiston himself is largely absent (Another digression, but why does Black LIbrary always do this? They constantly title books after subjects who then barely appear in them, and then in the dust-jacket blurb they fail to mention anything about the characters or the plot that actually do feature in the story. I suspect the 'heroic' characters from the tabletop game offer very few creative avenues for authors who know they can't kill them off or have anything really life changing happen to them).

3) Plot - is mostly absent. Just like Mephiston.

4) Full of blatant lore contradictions. Not the gentle retconning that always goes on the W40k universe, but big, annoying mistakes and deviations from basic facts of the lore that make it hard to stay with the story because you constantly want to scream 'but the Blood Angels don't worship the Emperor!!!!'

5) If you don't know who Mephiston is there's really no point to listening. There's no attempt made to explain who he is, it's just assumed we already know. Or care.

6) Writing. Lurches betweens extremes: Fails to explain anything about Mephiston or his purpose and background, then we get journeyman prose, full of expositionary dialogue and words that creative writing teachers constantly strike out of homework in red pen, saying 'No! Show, don't tell'. The usual, absurd hyperbole to describe space marine battles is present too (In one short scene alone, Mephiston 'was like raptor, silent and deadly', 'grasped his sword...as though he were a figure carved into a sarcophagus.' and 'He was like a terrible deity fallen from the heavens to mete out the Emperor's wrath'. Really - all three at once? And what do any of those images actually mean?)

7) Narrator Richard Reed does his best, bless him.

8) Ending - It seems a lot of people got to the end none the wiser about what had actually happened. I was one of them.

The best W40k novels use the 'grimdark' universe to pose some interesting conundrums which in turn are a source of conflict, tragedy and heroism. Think of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn deciding whether to use chaos to defeat it, the Grey Knights having to destroy a planet in order to save it, Garviel Loken coming to terms with the betrayal of Horus. 'Mephiston' has none of this. It's just a non-book, devoid of ideas. So, 100% recomended "if u dont like books about ideas."

38 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • William
  • 02-26-20

still good but not the best

Narrator was incredible and I love Mephiston, the story was lacking to me compared to the other audiobooks - would still recommend and am looking forward to any more of this character

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-10-20

It gets so good as it progresses

The first part of the story starts a little confusing if not dull....but then it escalates and escalates to the point of becoming just glorious. Very satisfying as my first audiobook.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • dekboi
  • 04-17-22

Mediocre

While not a bad subject matter, in that mephiston and the blood angels are interesting characters, both the writing and narration are lack lustre. The story progresses in fits and starts and mephiston himself is depicted, quite annoyingly at times, as a sort of blundering ditsy protagonist with godlike powers. Worth a look if you really are a blood angels fan or if you are just looking for more space marine stories. The Astorath novel would be a better recommendation.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • theghostoftom
  • 09-04-21

A good story, well narrated but not 40K

To elaborate, the story itself is good and the narration great but the writer just does not know 40K lore.
He has Astartes crying out in pain and fear while bleeding out. He has them shocked at towers of bone, feeling sick at massacres and unnerved by crusifiction. He has the GUNSHOT from a plasma pistol put a hole in a humans skull.
I just gave up at the last part. I couldn't suspend my disbelief that this was in the 40K universe anymore.
The whole point of the Astartes is they are psycho conditioned to be numb to all that. They are made to face horror and not be stunned.
Also plasma pistols throw super heated plasma balls, not bullets.
If you don't mind that, it's a bit of a psyker mindbender of a story but well done.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Terry Bonner
  • 07-29-21

Fantastic! Didn't want to stop listening!

I'm 1/4 through HH and decided to give this a try. It's the best 40k I've listened to so far. Story is great and easy to follow the different characters and scenes. The narrator is the best I've heard too - actually sounds like he is enjoying telling the story unlike others I've heard. Looking forward to hearing the rest of the series 👍

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Josh Wilson
  • 01-15-21

great performance

the reader makes the most of the action, with a lot of vigour. really compelling

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • paul sparks
  • 01-03-21

Lord of Death indeed

Darius Hinks has really changed my mind about the Blood Angels as I was never really a fan of the sons of sanguinius but this and the other Mephiston books have made me a fan and I have to say narrating these tales suits Richard Reed perfectly

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kevin O.
  • 11-24-20

another awesome installment of the blood angels

another fantastic episode in the history of blood Angel's lore. reading beautifully and catching the characters, it tears you along at a fast paced war of imagination. cant wait for the next.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • alan
  • 11-09-20

A Great Blood Angels Novel

Another Great Read from Black Library about a mysterious character that's rarely written about and a chapter who barely gets noticed

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-09-21

Blood

I thought this was a good book and listen, narrator did a great job, the part that got me was I think Mephiston was just way to over powered. Just everything he did was kinda thinking meh Mephiston is like a god at this stage he’s got it. But still a good story.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-16-21

Amazing

The voice acting is always on point. The story is great, it is nice to see there is more to the Blood Angels than just being twilight fans.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris Ricketts2423
  • 08-29-20

What an awesome adventure!

I loved this book. It presented the Angels in such an interesting light. As someone who didn’t know much about them aside from their affliction it was nice to get to know the chapter a bit more.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Andrew Vaughan
  • 08-12-20

Really good bit of 40k performance

Ramps up in a bit of convoluted manner, but the pay off is worth it. The narrator takes it to next level

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Tenma13
  • 07-05-20

Very standard 40k story

Struggling to finish this one. Really standard story which is a same as Mephiston seems like a character who has the potential for depth.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kindle Customer
  • 06-29-20

Chaotic

Always good to discover a little more of the 40K universe. The book is beautifully narrated and well worth listening to.