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Spear of the Emperor

Warhammer 40,000
Narrated by: Kelly Hotten
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
5 out of 5 stars (90 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Warhammer 40,000 novel.

The Emperor's Spears are a Chapter on the edge of destruction, last watchmen over the Elara's Veil nebula. Now, the decisions of one man, Amadeus Kaias Incarius of the Mentor Legion, will determine the Chapter's fate.... 

Listen to it because:

Aaron Dembski-Bowden has turned his attention to creating (and maybe destroying) a Space Marine Chapter in detail, and this is your chance to discover their fate.  

The story: 

The scattered worlds of the Elara's Veil nebula were once protected by the oath of unity sworn by three mighty Chapters of the Adeptus Astartes. The Star Scorpions were undone by flaws in their genetic coding. The Celestial Lions were ravaged by the Inquisition for sins they did not commit. Now, after hundreds of years, only the Emperor's Spears still keep their vigil. They are barbarian watchmen against the Outer Dark, bloodied but unbroken in their long duty.  

Amadeus Kaias Incarius, a brother of the Mentor Legion, is commanded to cross the Great Rift and assess the Spears' war-readiness, only to be drawn into the chaotic plight of a depleted crusade on the Imperium's benighted frontier. The decisions he makes, far from the God-Emperor's light, will decide the fate of the war-torn Chapter.  

Written by Aaron Dembski-Bowden. Running time 11 hours and 46 minutes. Performed by Kelly Hotten.

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

What members say

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excellent.

I found it very good. in many ways an exploration of trauma and adapting to change. the narrator is different to other books and this is also refreshing

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Incredible must have

ADB has cemented himself as my favourite 40k writer, he makes deep characters present with human flaws and believable actions. Get this guy writing sequels please 🙏
Initially I was unsure about the voice actor for some reason, I think a woman voicing Burleigh space marines seemed like it might be a tough gig perhaps but she definately cake through, masterful accent depictions and emotion in story telling.
Get this one guys 👍

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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loved it!

Absolutely loved the story! Definitely need more about the veil and the spears and lion's!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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great listening experience.

was a enjoyable story, read well and beautifully presented. the characters are well fleshed out for a GW novel. the story keeps you engaged and listening. hoping for this book to be continued.

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Such a great narrator

We all expect Dembski-Bowden to bring us great Space Marine stories. Spears of the Emperor is exactly that, another great Space Marine story.
It’s awesome that we’re starting to get some smarter fiction about the Primaris. Great lore about Imperium Nihilus.
This is about my 15th War40K audiobook, Kelly Hotten is my absolute favourite narrator so far, she’s awesome. I was sceptical if her tone would match the characters for 12 hours, she nails it. Her accent for the Celestial Lions is particularly good.

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Just didnt click for me.

Im a big fan of ADB and his work, but this story just didn't really draw me in. Its hard to explain, but the characters didnt really develop into memorable ones, and there werent any epic scenes I can recall now ive finished it. It was an okay ride as far as 40k books go, but it didn't blow my mind the way Aarons books usually do.

Narrator was pretty good. Took one restart of the book to get into listening to her.

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On yer ADB

As a long time Aaronaficionado I believe this is probably some of his best work- definitely up there with Betrayer and Black Legion. This was my first foray into the Dark Imperium era and it has taken me a while to get used to the concept of the big-marines. Well I'm pleased to say I was impressed by how subtly, and seemlessly, the Primaris lore was woven into the story. I now have a much greater appreciation of a setting that I was, before now, a bit wary of. The complexity of the tale, the use of the first person narrative and the way ADB works in material from his previous novels all comes together to make a very compelling read/listen. Can't wait until the next one! Kelly Hotten was an absolutely fantastic narrator too- big props to her and Black Library.

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Bravo to ADB and the narrator!

To start off, the narrator's performance was incredible and perfectly in tone with the book. The novels main characters are female, and the female narrator for this novel is perfect for both the setting and context of the story. Bravo to Black Library for selecting a perfect female lead to narrate this beautiful story.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden takes his story telling to the next level with 'Spear of the Emperor'. I initially believed 'Spear of the Emperor' would be an action packed story meant to sell new models for Games Workshop, however Dembski-Bowden takes his trademark incredible story telling to the modern era of the Warhammer 40k timeline to blow those perceptions out of the water.

Dembski-Bowden takes heroism, freedom and morality into a story that questions the very core of each of these themes. I constantly found myself questioning who was right, who was wrong and who were the hero's in this story of twisted allegiances and loyalties. I think the Warhammer 40k setting has very concrete perceptions on who is good and evil from afar, but Aaron Dembski-Bowden constantly blurs the lines of good and evil and makes the setting a more realistic and mature place for readers who demand more from their fiction.

Once again, bravo ADB.

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My new favourite

This is by far my favourite 40k book so far. If you need to choose just one, make it this one.

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amazing !

so once again another ABD book in audio book form. another army started ! brilliant book realistic characters and hope there is more coming !

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  • Acerock
  • 21-06-2019

fantastic New offering from ADB

this book is rad.

I was bummed that John Keeble was not the narrator but when o realized it is told from a female perspective the female narrator not only made sense but was also fantastic in her portrayal.

ADB is one of my favorite writers. he is able to inject real humanity and pathos into what is basically a trashy space opera universe populated by ridiculous stuff.

he has great characters in all his books, this one is no exception. good use of humor. dialogue that sounds like real people are talking. a sense of scale and real stakes. and there are good twists and turns. I was genuinely surprised at several moments in this book.

get it. you'll like it. if you don't then it is because you're not a good person.

16 of 19 people found this review helpful

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  • Dwhoot
  • 24-09-2019

Unexpected

The story wasn’t really what I expected to hear. From the description of the novel in the synopsis, I’d have selected much more of the novel to involve the space marines and their chapter rather than a chapter serf.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Vincent DeFosche
  • 01-08-2019

Bad narration

Absolutely love ADB’s work but this narrator was just unbearable. Really ruined a book I was looking forward to.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Cody A Mann
  • 01-10-2019

A phenomenal and new take on the Space Marines

Told from the perspective of a mortal serving the Astartes, this book looked at the Adeptus Astartes from an angle we rarely get to see. I listened to all nearly 12 hours of this book in just a few days, simply because it was too well written and performed to stop.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Hans-Joseph
  • 24-09-2019

Skubtastic Torment Porn

Prepare yourself, because ADB will make you work harder as a reader than you're probably used to in this skubtastic, torment-porn fueled trek across the home of the Adeptus Vaelarii: the Space Marine chapters tasked with protecting the stellar region known as the Elara's Veil. If you're a glutton for grimdark stories with more agony than coherency, then you're going to really get a kick out of this... wow, it felt like way longer than 11 hours and 45 minutes. There was scarcely a chapter that I did not have to listen to two or more times to understand what was going on. This abates a little during the middle chapters - sorry for being vague, I don't want to spoil this book if you're genuinely interested in reading it.

The point-of-view character is a Mentors chapter serf named... actually, hold on. I don't have the text copy of the book, and her name doesn't show up in any of the marketing materiel. Ah, found it: Anuradha. She's an unreliable narrator, but honestly she's the heart and soul of this novel and a real bad ass. Her master, Amadeus, remains a lifeless, one-dimensional character until the last hour or so of the book. Actually, Amadeus does get a brief character arc towards the latter third of the book right around the time that the Celestial Lions show up, get a brief moment of regality, and are promptly surprised-fucked by the Inquisition (I won't spoil how). Speaking of sons of Dorn, there're some Black Templars that aren't worth mentioning beyond noting their appearance. The titular Emperor's Spears as a chapter have enough character to distinguish themselves as Briton space marines (as opposed to the Space Wolves' Scandinavian space marines), but there's rarely more than a name to distinguish one Spear from another - they all have an acidic sense of humor, give Amadeus crap for not having a personality, and respecting Anuradha.

On a side note, I'm not sure I've ever heard Kelly Hotten read for any 40k audiobook before, but she was great. Her reading of the Celestial Lions in particular was a welcomed and pleasant surprise, and she really sold me on Amadeus' metamorphosis in a way I doubt the text alone could have. Her reading of Anuradha and Tyberia in the middle chapters came across as deeply heart-felt, and I appreciated it.

Overall, don't let this be your first 40k novel. Actually, don't read this until you've read/heard ADB's Helsreach novel first.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JT
  • 06-08-2019

great story but a little odd narrator choice

when I think of hearing a space marines voice I imagine deep rumbling bass notes gruff and masculine. Kelly Hotten was good for the base human voices but it's weird hearing a womans voice for the emperors angels

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 30-06-2019

apparently not optional, a heading is

I intensely dislike her choice of accent for the Spears of the Emperor. her voice is super jarring and the sibilant notes are even more grating than a typical Russian accent. In fact, why go with a Russian accent for a chapter supposedly using characteristics based on Roman-Greco culture.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Nadan Hotic
  • 01-10-2019

A glimpse into Imperium nihlus

The book synopsis grabbed me. Author grabbed me.
I was expecting to read about Space Marines and their struggles in the ruven Imperium. What i got was a pow of a female thrall and so many jumps in the story that i kinda felt that this was a mashup of many short stories and not a one book. Author has given us too many jumps into the future with this book with casual noncharlance that i didnt find apealing at all.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Yerrow
  • 20-06-2019

Narration is Fine

Voice acting is clear, high quality and well paced. the accent of the cast is no more remarkable than most Black Library audio products.

Reviews calling out the casting for the main narrator are made in bad faith, story is told from the POV of a woman in a fantasy space empire, so the mode and delivery are well suited to the action and exposition of the series.

14 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Upsetti Spaghetti
  • 20-06-2019

Great Story

I loved the story. Its nice to see a story all from the view of a normal human with the point still being about space marines. I also loved the narator's performance.

6 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Oliver Terndrup
  • 18-06-2019

excellent twists enthralling story, really enjoyed

really enjoyed this story well read and well written as expected from Aaron dembski must say the twists and turns of this story and inclusion of old lore and new makes this an enjoyable read for both new and in my case old readers of the 40k fluff ;)

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • "liquid_calm"
  • 18-06-2019

one of the strongest black library novels

detailed, full of lovely lore and a great narrator make this a 40k treat. The perspective gives a great insight into the grimdark, with a refreshing take on the Warhammer 40k universe

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Kazuya Penrose
  • 01-09-2019

ADB does it again

Grim dark and loving it. Awesome that it's fro. The view point of a human thrall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Matt
  • 20-08-2019

A totally different perspective

Fantastic, Loved the perspective of how space marines appear from a human view point. Loved the narrator her voices are brilliant and in add so much life and flavor to the story! The Spears are a very interesting chapter and my only regret is that there isn't a second book out already!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • jack cf
  • 19-08-2019

Gripping and bittersweet

I very much enjoyed this. The narrator did a fine job of conveying different characters and their emotions. Aaron Dempski-Bowden has painted a picture of what some parts of Imperium Nihilus may be like without the light of the astronomicon.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • James W.
  • 19-08-2019

excellent story from start to finish

really shed light on imperium nihilus and really enjoyed the primaris story furthering and how 'old' and new marines interact

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • charon
  • 18-08-2019

One of the best 40k books ever written

Absolutely superb book, and the narrator was also excellent - cannot recommend this book enough

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Graham Weir
  • 01-08-2019

great book gives you a wider perspective

at first i thought that the female voice actor was going to make it weird when she does the marines but the story is done as biography of the situation and thing that happen are in a pretence so works out great. The camaraderie between the space marines comments from mordent and amadeus and my personal favorite would be braec

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mitchellious
  • 30-07-2019

Just absolutely fantastic

a wonderful book and i cannot wait for the next one on the series, we get to see the effect the great rift has caused. the story is beautifully read and gives you a real feel for the characters and their reasoning for their actions

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • CGough
  • 16-07-2019

Great fun.

Not the authors best work but very entertaining. The central character is sensibly not a space marine and the book is all the better for it. It is also not too heavy in the combat scenes but focussed instead in character development and plot which makes it far more enjoyable I read than the traditional war in the far future stuff.
It teases some fascinating ideas but sadly takes them no where (the false Primarch...).
Special mention must be made of the truly excellent narration. This is the best Black Library narration thus far and I sincerely hope BL commission the narrator for more work in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful