• Urdesh: The Serpent and the Saint

  • Warhammer 40,000
  • By: Matthew Farrer
  • Narrated by: Harry Myers
  • Length: 9 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Warhammer 40,000 Audio

War rages across the surface of Urdesh as the Iron Snakes Space Marines attempt to hold the planet against a tide of Chaos forces.

Listen to it because: Urdesh is a brutal world, the fires of its forge-cities mixing with the many volcanoes and an endless expanse of battle wreckage littering the plains. When the reincarnation of Saint Sabbat herself appears on the blasted battlefields of Urdesh, powerful forces race to secure that which may decide the ultimate fate of the world and the crusade at large.

The story: the mighty world of Urdesh is burning. The smoke of war mingles with that of her many volcanoes; the wreckage of battle litters her forge-cities and chokes her fertile seas. Until the warriors of the Imperium can free Urdesh from the grip of the Anarch, the future of the entire Sabbat Worlds Crusade will hang in the balance.

Across these ashen battlefields strides Brother-Captain Priad and the warriors of Damocles Squad. They must keep safe one of the Imperium’s greatest weapons: the Beati, the reincarnated Saint Sabbat herself, whose very presence on Urdesh inspires the Imperial armies on to glory. But the enemy has plans for the Saint too, and against the malice of the Anarch and the trickery of the warp, the Iron Snakes may truly need a miracle to prevail....

Written by Matthew Farrer. Narrated by Harry Myers. 

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

What listeners say about Urdesh: The Serpent and the Saint

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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blah

The His narration was OK but the overall story was just boring. Is the space brains and the regular humans aren't developed at all. Space Marines aren't the easiest things to write but there is almost nothing too is nothing to these characters. I was very disappointed

2 people found this helpful

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Action Describing is abundant

This author doesn't do a bad job at writing a "doing this while doing that" kind of story, but it really isn't ideal for me who is trying to listen while qt work.

1 person found this helpful

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Half a book

First of narration was great, Harry Myers is awesome.

As for the story itself, Farrer does a good job of writing like Dan Abnett. It does seem like there is a lot of “bolt p0rn” filler. Like, we don’t need a second by second detailed fight about a random trooper. I know it’s trying to show the human element and contrast it with the Iron Snakes, but I was hoping for more about the Saint herself, like the recent Celestine book which was done from her POV, but we get basically nothing about her. She’s in the background but not really part of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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Matthew Farrer is Black Library’s secret weapon

Some of the best action scenes that I’ve read in a BL novel; it moves at a frantic pace from fantastic set-piece to fantastic set-piece, and it’s always more than welcome to see non-Imperial perspectives in a 40k novel.

1 person found this helpful

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Underwhelming

A long and tedious story about something to do with wolves or space marines. Maybe both. A saint was present and she was weird or calmly majestic or something. I don’t know, I’m just glad it’s over.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

must read gaunt's ghosts first

A these characters are from that series and really should read books 1-8 first.
It was a decent book there was nothing really special

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really good writer

This is what books can be in the hands of talented writers you aren't writing for pre-teens.

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Pretty good

The narrator is good, and his female voice acting is passable. The Snakes are cool, the enemies frightening.

The bolter porn is pretty boring. Least interesting part of the story. Looking forward to part two.

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Eh

This story is all over the place with all of its story archs which makes it hard to follow in this format. Lets go over and do a single chapter about this one dude who has minimal impact on the main story line. I don't care what this one random chaos marine is thinking for 5 min who then dies in the next chapter. What does that have to do with the price of milk? The story does make sense but it could have been written and put together better with a bit more backstory to bring people up to speed if you haven't read everything regarding this crusade up to this point.

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A skin deep story of war

If you are looking for the story of a conflict but not of the characters fighting in it then this would be for you. The descriptions of the action, of that there’s much, are good. The personalities of the characters fighting do not shine nearly as bright. Urdesh has a lot of characters but nearly all of them only have a few lines of characterization between conflicts or do not return in any meaningful fashion. There are little to no conflicts outside of actual fighting. Given the multitude of characters with little difference between a lot of the voices and names just blend together. Most of the time I could not remember if a character was recurring or not based on voice or personality. I feel like this is less of a failure on the part of the voice actor than the author himself. If you want dumb action with hazy impact then go for it.

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  • Josh Reynolds
  • 01-31-22

Ruined unfortunately

Why not use the same voice actors as the prior book ?, Reads it too fast it's so bloody monotone and boring nd no distinction between voiceovers and characters,

3 people found this helpful

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  • Lertimo
  • 03-05-22

Nothing happens

This is a story in which absolutely nothing happens. Maybe it was skirting round the edges of events on Urdesh in Gaunt's Ghosts and worrying about intruding on the Dan Abnett-verse that made Matt Farrer so timid. I don't know, it's just a guess to try and explain how he came to write a story in which NOTHING HAPPENS.

The most interesting thing about this story is the first chapter, because Milo from Gaunt's Ghosts turns up. That's kind of fun. Then it all goes south. A bunch of space marines are assigned to protect Saint Sabbat. All sorts of interesting conflicts and personality issues are suggested by this - how do the Iron Snakes feel about the 'living saint' and her ability to do weird stuff in the name of the Emperor? How do they square it with their belief that the Emperor is just a man, not a god? Well I will just tell you - this isn't explored at all. In fact, nothing about the space marines personalities is explored. There is no conflict. There are no character arcs. Nobody goes on a journey of self discovery or has their eyes opened to some new truth, This story is (in the words of Homer Simpson) ' Just a bunch of stuff that happened.'

Harry Myers, who was very good narrating on Day of Ascension, here sounds likes he's losing the will to live. Someone else mentioned the speed of his narration. Honestly, you'd speed up if you were forced to read this out loud.

It really is dull as anything. I can't be more explicit about this. It's just dull.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-06-22

a lot of setup for little pay off

ok its book one but there could have done with a bit more of an arc.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-04-22

Great work, story and voice acting!

Both story and narration superb, what a great performance by Myers.... So happy to see the Iron snakes again and the Saint in the Sabbat worlds

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-22

Disappointed

I listened to the whole story and I can’t tell you anything that really happened the voice was not filling me with excitement or getting me involved, I don’t know if I we cause of the writing being dull or just lots of short unnecessary chapters, I don’t know I was expecting better.

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Profile Image for Dee
  • Dee
  • 07-19-22

disappointed and two many chapters !!!

it would be so much better if they used chapters properly, hard to get into because u start to get into it but when it's a chapter every 5 minutes (ie chapter 999) ggggrrrrr the first book to make me annoyed when ur getting into it the story and u hear its another chapter (I don't care lol).
plus There’s not enough character voice Variations, so its ability to crab u like other books is lacking !!!!!!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-29-22

Meandering and aimless

A book without a story. Dont waste your time. Hugely disappointing. Iron snake is much better.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-28-22

A very good story

The author carries Abnetts legacy of the snakes very well. fantastic read! spot on!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • timpleby
  • 03-14-22

Solid bolter porn

Like: the action is fantastic.

Dislike: the narrator was a struggle. I like his voice but something about it took me out of this story.

The characters were all forgettable. No stand outs that made me want the next book. (But I have heard the sequel is better so I’ll still read it)

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  • Phil
  • 03-07-22

Chapter 41 Book 18: The plot goes somewhere

It might be an audible thing but there was far too many cut aways. Some chapters were about a minute before you were lunged back across to another location. Never left an audiobook barely knowing any of the characters in it. The plot didn't actually go very far considering the amount of run time and I felt cheated by the CONTINUED IN THE NEXT book when it was about too. All in all probably in my top 5 worst books.

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  • Sean Mannix
  • 07-10-22

a pretty unique loon at the Dan abnett universe.

loved it as it shines a light on other aspect of the sabbat world crusades outside of the grunts ghosts saga. well worth the listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-18-22

short but good

adds to the Sabbat Worlds crusade story built by Abnett without overpowering it
I enjoy stories where both the enemies and protagonists are actually competent and have plans which make sense.