QUICK REVIEW : Herald of Sanguinius – Andy Smillie

On the eighteenth day of Christmas, Black Library gave to us…a Horus Heresy audio drama by Andy Smillie. Set amidst the turmoil of the newly-founded Imperium Secundus, Herald of Sanguinius sees Commander Azkaellon making some difficult decisions regarding the safety of his primarch, the new Emperor Sanguinius. Tensions are running high amongst the gathered Space Marines, and the future of Imperium Secundus weighs heavily upon both Sanguinius and his sons.

Coming in at just under twenty minutes, this is easily long enough to feel like a detailed, interesting story, but at the same time deliberately feels like a teaser, whetting its audience’s appetite for what’s to come next in the Imperium Secundus arc. There’s a slow, gradual build up of tension as Andy Smillie sets a fairly ominous scene before revealing both its cause and its implication. With almost nothing in the way of traditional action scenes, the focus is instead on tense, at times almost ambiguous dialogue that portrays a dangerously bleak setting and hints at a potentially unhappy future for those involved. It’s a subtle, thoughtful tale that warrants serious consideration after listening, and feels remarkably prominent in the storyline for such a short piece. Intriguing.

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