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Publisher's Summary

Book one in the Ahriman series.

Cast out of his Legion, the sorcerer Ahriman, who condemned the Thousand Sons to an eternity of damnation, plots his return to power and the destruction of his foes. 

Listen to it because: experience the beginning of an epic, time-twisting saga of revenge, betrayal and attempted atonement. John French takes the Ahriman you know and love from the Horus Heresy in new and interesting directions, making him both deeply sympathetic and thoroughly evil.  

The story: all is dust.... Spurned by his former brothers and his father, Magnus the Red, Ahriman is a wanderer, a sorcerer of Tzeentch whose actions condemned an entire Legion to an eternity of damnation. Once a vaunted servant of the Thousand Sons, he is now an outcast, a renegade who resides in the Eye of Terror. Ever scheming, he plots his return to power and the destruction of his enemies, an architect of fate and master of the warp.   

Written by John French. Narrated by Mark Elstob.

©2020 John French (P)2020 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Ahriam: Exile

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Good story, wrong narrator

Story was pretty decent, but the narrator has the worst character voices I've ever encountered across hundreds of audiobooks. Comically bad, and constantly pulling me out of the story - I'm not sure the character voices could have missed the tone of the setting any harder. If I wasn't so committed to Ahriman's story I'd have abandoned it less than half an hour in. As is, I'd say read the physical book for this one if you have the option.

3 people found this helpful

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Disappointing

There were no characters or stakes you’d care for in this story. No real feeling of brotherhood or conflict over matters of leadership when said leadership was questioned. Everyone is depressed to unfathomable levels and I feel like this story could have really benefited from a hopeless optimistic.
Ahriman is a far cry of a character from his HH counterpart who’s perspective mainly consists of brooding over past mistakes. He doesn’t form any close relationship or have any meaningful dialogue with the other characters. Which makes caring for them difficult. The human perspective we get is that of a tech priest on the verge of madness. There isn’t much character for the space marines accompanying Ahriman. They are as much or even more so mysterious than the sorcerer himself. Ahriman does less of the manipulating which is implied and more of them being stupid.
Most of what Ahriman does is the same. He is constantly looking for answers that he could easily theorise for himself and in the process, gets into increasingly dangerous situations. And when somebody actually spells these answers out to him, it’s not a big revelation. It’s just a,”nah yeah mate I already knew that”.

Nothing really big happening in the plot and the characters aren’t good enough to carry it. So I am disappointed with it.

For the performance of the narrator. He was okay. I wish he gave the space marines crew more distinct voices.

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Missed opportunity

Missed opportunity to flesh out an interesting character. There was no sense of journey or excitement. Ahriman basically just has situations thrust upon him that he reluctantly deals with. He was a broken character to begin with and still broken at the end. Not what I expect from someone who has and is again about to lead the Thousand Sons

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amazing

absolutely joyous to listen to. amazing book from the wonderful games work shop to good

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  • Anonymous User
  • 15-08-2020

A woman has a deeper voice than Ahriman

I'm honestly just confused as to why Ahriman sounds like a sweaty congested nerd. Why'd you do my boy like that man? It detracts from his persona, makes situations feel less intense, and the story less enjoyable as a whole. Also, why does the chaos Warlord sound like the tootsie pop Owl?

15 people found this helpful

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  • C.O.
  • 12-08-2020

decent story, bizarre narration

The story is great but the reading is a hugely mixed bag. It's fantastic until he gets to certain characters voices and man they REALLY take you out of it. A lot of high pitched bizarre whiney and none of the bass you'd expect from astartes.

14 people found this helpful

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  • Rita
  • 05-01-2021

Very, very bad narrator!

The narration is so bad that I couldn't enjoy the story. The standard of narration of Warhammer audiobooks is usually very high, which makes this horrible performance even worse. Ahriman deserves better! And so does John French! And, of cpurse, all the fans of both.

9 people found this helpful

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  • Russ
  • 10-12-2020

Beautiful rendered story with strange narration.

I feel John French did an excellent job with the story. It is colorful, descriptive, and captivating. Unfortunately, Mark Elstobs's narration didn't mesh well with my own vision of the characters. I have always pictured Space Marines with deep and resonant voices. Very few, if any fit this bill. Especially Ahriman, who you hear from the most has a nasal and, oftentimes, whiney voice. Not what I was hoping for from the brilliant and insanely powerful sorcerer. Then there's the daemon that sounds high pitched and hooty. Every time it showed up I felt like turning the book off. Was very distracting and it just wasn't for me. On the plus side, Elstob put the effort in to give every character a unique voice that was distinctive and consistent throughout the story. A lot of narrators don't go this far and you can tell Elstob takes his job seriously. I look forward to more books from French and wish Elstob all the luck with his future narrations (put a little more bass in though brother).

PS: Audible, you have misspelled the title of the book here. It is Ahri(MAN), not Ahri(HAM).

6 people found this helpful

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  • Orca
  • 12-11-2020

Elstob

He's a bit better in this book, unlike that mess that was Avenging Son, but also adds nothing to it. An entertaining read with a somewhat off the mark narrator.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Zero
  • 04-09-2020

Excellent in every way

I read this book when it first came out and it’s even better on Audible. For a novel about Chaos marines I’d put it up there with the Night Lord books.

I’ve seen a few reviews complaining about Mark Elstob’s narration. If you’re a big fan of John Banks’ mediocre abilities and Shatner-esque delivery then you probably aren’t going to like Mark Elstob, who actually sounds like a professional voice actor that gives each character a unique sound. I very much enjoyed the narration and I’m hopeful that Elstob will narrate more 40k books.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Fan
  • 26-01-2021

You misspelled Ahriman in the title!

Ya misspelled it you! As of this writing it shows "Ahriham"!

The main character counted on having plot armor too much. It's one thing to act reasonably and be saved by plot armor, another thing if the characters actually counts on having plot armor to make his plans. Otherwise the story was great.

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  • Kenneth Anthony Lull
  • 18-04-2021

Narrator ruined it for me

The story is nice and I love John French’s work, and this is one of my favorite characters... but the narrator— I’m sure he’s talented—made some terrible choices for the books and It just pulled me out of the immersion and became physically uncomfortable to listen to at parts. Seriously. While I get that you usually have the same narrator throughout a series, I was hoping Black Library, after having to re-record Avenging Son, Dawn of Fire, that they would have not brought this guy back. I’m quite disappointed to see the sequel I bought is done by this same narrator again. It’s a great story!! But if you can’t bear this at least try the hard copy .

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 15-10-2020

Excellent Tzeentch-y fun

This book probably will not mean a ton to the average reader, but for fans of the Thousand Sons it was a delight.
My only real complaint was the silly voices used for the most afflicted if Chaos characters - but even then the delivery of the performer was quite good. The "how" was skillful; the "what" was a bit of a "why?!" 2 stars for direction, + 2 stars for performance skill.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-11-2021

Bit split on the voice acting

First of all, credit where credit is due: the narration is amazing. He is really able to put in the energy and emotion to help you feel what is happening in each scene. Each character is given as unique a voice as possible; you can easily tell who is speaking regardless of how you feel about the voice being used.

Which leads me to perhaps my biggest complaint: I personally just don't agree with how all of the characters are voiced. ESPECIALLY Ahriman himself. Granted, I am still new to Warhammer as a whole, so I am by NO means an expert on how any characters should sound. But I would have liked if Ahriman didn't sound so... nasally? I think that might be the best way I can put it. Beyond that, I loved this story.

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  • Al
  • 16-08-2020

AH-RI-MAN ! AH-RI-MAN ! How good was this!

Never been a fan of the Thousand Sons but this was quality from start to finish. Never been a fan of leaving reviews but for this I make an exception. Ahriman's elevated himself to a place much higher in my imaginative estimation, so high in fact that only one stands above him in my eyes, Fabius Bile, aka pater mutatis,manflayer,primogenitor and clonelord.
All said and done though, this was good, really good, better than all the previous Thousand Sons books and lore. Strongly suggest listening to this, you will not be disappointed. I may even listen to it a second time,right now.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Dan Raskoll
  • 13-08-2020

Not that great

It's a bit rubbish to be honest, the story is boring and the performance is even worse, Marks Elstob voice just doesn't sound right for this type of title, I was really looking forward to the audio book, but it just didn't work for me and will not be rushing back for a second listen to soon, it a 3 out 5 book at best.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Adam
  • 08-10-2020

A Gem

This book is awesome!
Not only does it give a rare look into what life is like for those who have fallen to chaos (it’s not fun) but it also follows one of the most interesting anti-heroes in the 40k universe. There is a good mix of action, sorcery and betrayal. If you loved the thousand sons novels and wondered what happened next, look no further. This book is so, so good.

A note about the narrator:
Audiobooks can live or die on the strength of their narrators.

I’ve listened to almost all the 30k/40k audio books now and I have to say that Mark Elstob ranks up there with veterans like Toby Longworth and Johnathan Keeble. I really enjoyed his character voices - he’s got the chaos sorcerers and the fallen space marines to a T. I am looking forward to his reading of the rest of this series!!

4 people found this helpful

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  • Joel Cassin
  • 30-08-2020

Great introduction to Ahriman

Shows Ahriman as more than a two dimensional character, explaining his contradictions and his desires.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James Foster
  • 01-12-2020

Good book, narration could of been better

Big fan of the thousand sons. I didn't mind ahirman's voice but the others could of had more thought put in them. One to read then to listen.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 27-11-2020

I hate this man's voice.

from the annoying what seems to be throat tapping "mechanical" voice, to the lip clapping sound swallowing demon voice. I'm not saying that you won't like his voice I'm just saying that this man's voice made this book unbearable for me to listen to. I love the lore of the Warhammer 40k universe but I can't stand this Inquisitor level torture.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-11-2021

slow to start, but good

bit slow to start but it's a good in the end, if your a sons fan defo worth the listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-11-2021

Forced and annoying voices

Reader fakes voices to the point of annoyance eg the navigator. Compared to other voice actors reading for Black Library.

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  • Anthony Scott
  • 17-08-2021

Awful performance from Mark Elstob.

i have read and loved this book and was really excited to listen to them at work. but i dont think this kind of story suits Mark Elstob. his voice and acting just ruined the characters for me.

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  • Martin M.
  • 23-07-2021

Ahriman: Exile (book 1) review

What a glorious book! Mark Elstobs' performance is second to none! Each character is dripping with nuance, depth and vocal personality! He absolutely nails my mind's eye of Ahriman.
The story is fantastic, the rise, growth and rebirth of Ahzel Ahriman is beautifully encapsulated in this novel. Feeling his humanity, his desires and machinations culminate in the chapters is a treat and the reading only takes this to the next level.
An absolute must for any 40k, Thousand Sons or Sci Fi fan. A+

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