QUICK REVIEW: Valerius – Gav Thorpe

Day sixteen of the 2016 Black Library Advent Calendar gives us Valerius by Gav Thorpe, a Horus Heresy audio drama that continues a specific arc on from the novella Weregeld. As the title suggests it follows Marcus Valerius, Vice-Caesari of the Therion Cohort, as he leads his forces into battle at Beta-Garmon. Looking to the words of the Lectitio Divinitatus for guidance and holding tight to his faith in the Emperor, he continues to believe – despite the odds stacked against them – that he and his Therions are serving a higher purpose…

While The Grey Raven isn’t too spoilerific, this definitely rewards reading Weregeld first, to get an understanding of what led Valerius to Beta-Garmon. Continuing both of those stories’ tone, this is another dark and troubled tale – Valerius’ visions have led him to a pretty dark place; a crisis of faith and test of his confidence and decision-making. As always the voice work is excellent, although unlike some other recent audios there’s less here that overtly suits the audio format – it’s more a case of subtle (and very effective, especially on headphones) atmosphere rather than outright special effects. Overall it’s not a happy story, but it’s a fitting finale (well…) for this particular story arc.

Click here for an overview of the Black Library Advent Calendar 2016.

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