• The Crimson King

  • The Horus Heresy, Book 44
  • By: Graham McNeill
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (716 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After the razing of Prospero, Magnus the Red spirited the Thousand Sons away to the aptly unnamed Planet of the Sorcerers, deep within the Eye of Terror.

Removed from the concerns of the galaxy at large and regarding the Warmaster's unfolding Heresy with cold detachment, he has dedicated his hollow existence to the preservation of all the knowledge once held in the great libraries of Tizca, should mankind ever seek such enlightenment again. But his sons can see the change in their primarch - he is a broken soul whose mind and memories are slipping away into the tumult of the warp.

Only by returning to the scenes of his greatest triumphs and tragedies can they hope to restore him and allow the Crimson King to be crowned anew by the Ruinous Powers

©2017 Games Workshop Limited (P)2017 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about The Crimson King

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Must read / listen if you like Thousand Sons story

What did you love best about The Crimson King?

Story is very interesting and it shows main characters such as Magnus, Ahriman etc. Narration is cool, would recommend for any TS.

3 people found this helpful

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by the Chaos Gods, the angst

i have read every horus heresy book up until this point, and this one was probably the hardest to get through. I usually love when these stories aren't just a testosterone fueled thrill ride full of bolters and blood. Usually i van sit back and reflect afterwords on the themes and ideas of thw story. this one we too far. the angst felt by the entire thousand sons and almost every character led to a confusing journey that just seemed to drag on too long and was interspersed with bits of action. not the worst book i have ever read but it was missing something.

1 person found this helpful

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Painful

Really, really tried to finish this book, as it actually contains new drive in the Horus Heresy story arc rather than just tread the water like many recent books did. Unfortunately, Graham McNeill delivers one of his worse performances in this book. It is littered with his common faults - poor, infantile dialogue, cheesy gimmicks and stereotypes and long segments of exposition and zero story progression. As a textbook on the universe lore it might have value for the dedicated researcher, but as a piece of entertainment it is a failure. The reader makes a decent go at rendering the awful dialogue, but this does not really help the poor material at all. Had to finally abandon the book two thirds in due to typical McNeill form, despite being set on finishing. If you like previous McNeill books you will probably love this as it is in his typical style, though it is certainly not one of his better efforts. Otherwise, steer well clear.

1 person found this helpful

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Confusing.

A lot of skipping between point of views. Very confusing and hard to follow. Still good though.

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Magnus Returns

A good continuation of the Thousand Sons' Novels. However, not sure it is fully necessary for the whole series. All in all good if you enjoy the Legion

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Magnus the Red

The story is a bit long and ongoing but it does add to the overall story line.

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instantly new favorite story

Absolutely brilliant storytelling and set up. The voices and personality show through the master performance given here.

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Fantastic

the best insight into the 30k era thousand sons, a must read if you want a bigger picture of the story

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Questions were answered!

This was an awesome story to listened to! I always wondered at the fates of the 3 remembrancers back in The Thousand Sons and I thought we will never see them again, but to my surprise, they played a very vital role in this story!

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good read for the horus heresy series.

has some riviting scenes and Give a you a great view of what happened to Magnus after Russ shattered him

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  • Lertimo
  • 04-02-19

Neither one thing nor the other

The Crimson King suffers from the same essential problem as many other mid-series entries in the Horus Heresy narrative. The series' overarching plotline relies on a few key protagonists (newcomers may wish to look away now) e.g. Horus, his rebellion against the Emperor of Mankind and the handful of other recurring characters who try to prevent it e.g. Garviel Loken, Nathaniel Garro, Iacton Qruze, Euphrete Keeler, etc. However, Horus is one of 18 primarchs, not all of whom are actually that vital to the key events of the Heresy. So the middle part of the series is maddeningly padded out with meandering stories about his brothers and their legions, despite the fact that they are utterly peripheral to the events in the earlier books or the Siege of Terra, where the series culminates. The Crimson King of the title, Magnus, is one of those characters, and to be honest this isn't one of Graham McNeill's best efforts in any case. I found it very difficult to follow what was going on most of the time, or who any of the characters actually were - but then after the first couple of chapters, I simply didn't care enough about any of them to try very hard. Contrast this with MacNeill's first entry in the Heresy series, False Gods, which is gripping from start to end, plotted like an action thriller and full of believable characters in peril. We also get the now-familiar references to 'superhuman' or 'transhuman', 'demigods' 'perfection of humanity' and other tedious cliches for describing the space marine legionaries. Like Fulgrim, Ferrus, Mortarian, Perturabo and the other 'not-very-central-to-the-plot' primarchs, Magnus himself comes across as so monumentally stupid and self-absorbed one is forced to question how he could possibly have risen to the leadership of a planet in the first place.

Narrator Jonathan Keeble does his enthusiastic best with the journeyman material he's been given, but there's only so many times you can hear a narrator raise their voice to shout about the space marines awesomeness, "as they slew their enemies with such incredible speed, blah blah blah...." before it becomes white noise or a dull headache sets in.

As it is, The Crimson King really is neither one thing nor the other - it fails to grip or entertain as a standalone novel and as a part of the Horus Heresy series, it doesn't move the overall narrative forward at all either.

21 people found this helpful

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  • 451
  • 02-13-19

A disjointed 'Search for Magnus'

Unlike the Search for Spock there is no real emotional driver here or even a good starship-stealing sequence. The story could easily have been told in novella or even in linked short stories. Characters come and go, linked by a fairly cogent story at the start. As the hours progress little happens - and this is with Lucius somehow in play. I'm reminded of the second half of the movie Excalibur and the Grail quest - a basic explanation and some random wandering with a sudden and rather abrupt conclusion. Not a bad book but a boring one

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-19-19

Great story about the 1k Sons

A relevant and compelling story that really explained some missing pieces of the pussel - and as always Perfect narration by Keeble.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cerus
  • 02-05-18

Good book but the wolves are hard to like

Always good to see more Thousand sons and Magnus, the story arc of both Arhiman and Amon was also interesting to follow. The wolves however were a bit one dimensional and were hard to like or enjoy. I think the book would have been better off without them

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-25-22

Started great but gets lost in trying too hard

Enjoyed this overall and its starts fantastically well with real depth of character development and spot on pacing. By the middle of the book its getting bogged down in melodramatic nonsense with the Space Wolves that frankly (as with much of the Wolves story) leaves a lot to be desired and feels tacked on as filler that doesn't serve much of the greater arc.

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  • Chros
  • 02-26-22

Worst Graham McNeil novel in the HH series

Potentially the worst Graham McNeil novel in the HH series. It feels like a soulless continuation of A Thousand Sons. Considering Graham McNeil is no longer a Black Library author by choice, I imagine his passion was already gone as he penned this. The book is filled with non-consequential scenes. What could've been a short novella becomes a 15 hour audiobook. Additionally, for a book named after a primarch, we get hardly any coverage of Magnus the Red. It was like a headlining band of a festival getting an opening 20minute opening slot. Characterisation, especially Ahriman and Lucius, takes a real hit. The former, meant to be a great intellect as a Chief Librarian, comes across as a lost sheep asking basic questions throughout. The latter, a post-human Space Marine, is a spoilt child with no ability to reason. Yes - Lucius is meant to be psychotic, but you don't go 'full psycho'; even Angron isn't completely psycho (thank you ADB). For me, the only positives were catching up with those characters from A Thousand Sons which were a little more thought out such as Amon and Lemuel.

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  • David E
  • 07-17-21

Weakest of the books so far.

keeble the only reason i made it to the end, so many plot points just felt no really! including the start of the final fight. As with a lot of the books focusing on the traitor legions basically the emporer legions are depicted as gullible idiots and any impregnable base will be breached within a paragraph.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Travs
  • 06-22-21

Important but disappointing

Important book to learn how the Thousand Sons turn Traitor. That said my least favourite of all the books

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Olli
  • 05-20-21

It was ok

It was ok not a bad story but don't think it advances the HH story. Great for 1k sons fans to understand Magnus more.

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  • Kareem
  • 12-10-20

Fantastic read

I always felt sad for the Thousand Sons as they were loyal and got screwed over and have always wondered why Magnus decided to fight his father.

Wonderfully detailed story about Magnus and what makes him tick.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-21

gripping

Of Horus heresy books so far I found this the hardest to STOP listening to. performance, voice actor wise, was terrific. Story was also excellent, with only a few parts becoming repetitive (no spoilers don't worry).

from a narrative perspective, this novel did an excellent job of blurring the lines of morality for both sides. Great listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-07-21

just not for me.

I dont know what it is about the 1k sons I just can't get behind them in stories...... I love the models on the tabletop, their lore is cool but as soon as it's a story I struggle with them..... performance was solid the story was decent but in the end it wasn't my style.... hope others enjoy it more than me.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-12-20

great in every way

the extra effort put in by the reader and the fantastic writing made this an enjoyable experience.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tenma13
  • 12-13-18

Standout in excellent series

Superb voice acting with an excellent story and varied cast of interesting protagonist. one of my favorites!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Harrison
  • 08-30-18

Everything is magic

Honestly, pretty good. Story was compelling and there were some interesting new lore reveals for Thousand Son fans. Enjoyed it.

There was alot of wandering around in the Warp while not alot of anything was really happening, though, couldve cut 2 hours if theyd trimmed some of the Warp Crazy for the sake of it from the story.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-02-18

Brilliant

Loved it. Epic story. Epic narrator. Wasn't let down the slightest. 10/10 Enjoyed this very much.