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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 listeners say about Spear of the Emperor

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  • Rick157
  • 04-12-19

Amazing Story & One Hell of a Narrator

I’m unabashedly a huge fan of ADB, so this was a no-brainer purchase, but my goodness I was not expecting Kelly Hotten.

What an incredible job with all the characters, infusing them with life, humor and care.

I hope she does more work in the Warhammer universe, and eventually, hopefully, the second tale in this sagar.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Dwhoot
  • 24-09-19

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.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Nadan Hotic
  • 01-10-19

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.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Acerock
  • 21-06-19

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.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Carl Brittain
  • 30-06-19

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.

13 people found this helpful

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  • Mark Romero
  • 30-01-20

excellent story

I loved it and wish it didn't end the narrator did an excellent job with her voices helped me get into it more

2 people found this helpful

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  • Vanora
  • 02-04-20

Surprisingly deep for a 40k book.

Aaron Dembski-Bowden is widely regarded as the top tier of black library writers, but I think this novel puts him into the top tier of sci fi writers. Let’s face it, space marines are inherently boring. Warrior monks who go from humans to weapons are boring protagonists. But ABD finds the nuance in the transformation from human to weapon that leaves the reader on the edge of their seat. This is more a story of transformation than it is your typical 40k book. The characters are rich and thoughtful, their progress is deep and touching, and more than once I found myself hating, loving, and caring about these characters in ways that I’ve always reserved for my all time favorite novels. I eagerly await its sequel.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-20

Beyond bolter-art!

This book made me grin as many times, as it made me go into serious reflection. One of the best sci-fi books I've "read", 40k or not.

1 person found this helpful

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  • PunchieCWG
  • 11-12-19

Astartes, by mortals

An excellent viewing of Astartes from a mortals point of view. I honestly find this much more enjoyable than the usual Astartes perspective.

I would also note that the narrator is excellent and that a female narrator is a welcome breath of fresh air in my 40k listening.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Cody A Mann
  • 01-10-19

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 person found this helpful

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  • David
  • 27-06-19

great story

Great to hear about some new chapters in depth. cant wait for the follow up novel.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Oliver Terndrup
  • 18-06-19

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 ;)

11 people found this helpful

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  • Ian Jackson
  • 03-07-19

great story

The female narrator did a great job with a great story line, typical Warhammer ethos.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Swords and Spectres
  • 01-01-20

Mildly interesting tedium

There were several things with this book that just left me feeling disappointed. The first would be that I found the blurb to be VERY misleading. The blurb claims the decisions made by Amadeus will (not could, will) determine the chapter's fate. But it becomes painfully obvious, really quickly might I add, that no opinion Amadeus has can possibly have any real bearing on anything. The blurb also claims ADB creates (in detail) a chapter ... what detail there was was scant. So that just kind of feels like click bait. If anything the chapter kind of just feels like what would happen if a group of Space Wolves were left alone to go half-feral.

Another thing that kept my interest low was that the whole thing, from start to finish was just very tedious. I'll not lie, it was interesting tedium for good chunks, but then the author seemed to realise he was giving too much interest away and stopped it real quick.

It's also told from the point of view of one of Amadeus' human thralls. So you don't get the up-close and hectic space marine battles with bolters, chainswords and savage fury. You get a bit of a bland retelling about battles she witnessed from relative safe distances. She also had next to no character to speak of, so it just added to the already present tedium. I have read other reviews that claimed there was lots of action and I am left wondering just what these reviewers class as fast-paced, 40k action.

I also felt that the Space Marines felt far too human. They did not feel like Space Marines at all. I don't know if other readers got this same opinion, or whether it was just me being very nitpicky. But I just couldn't get the Adeptus Astartes vibe from any of them (I mean, for example, one of the most straight arrow, hard-lined Space Marines in the book takes his primarch being insulted in relatively good stead. Absolute madness.)

The ending was relatively good but I just had nearly no enthusiasm by that point so it just felt lukewarm rather than red hot. All in all, for a variety of reasons, I was just left feeling incredibly underwhelmed. The epilogue was written in such a way that I could tell I should have been desperate to see what happened next and where this series is going ... but I just don't have any enthusiasm for finding out.

The fact that it flowed relatively well and that there was quite a bit of interesting points throughout helped this score a two instead of a one. And I never thought I'd not enjoy an Aaron Dembski Bowden Warhammer novel. But then, everyone else seems to love this book, so perhaps I am just the incredibly one one out. That's reading tastes for you.

I will say that the narrator was fairly good throughout. The only parts I think she fell short on was when voicing the Space Marines. I just don't think she had the strength or depth of voice to play a convincing Space Marine.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Edward Holtom
  • 11-11-19

Amazing story and performance

it's a great story, amazing character work and thrilling to the end. At no point did the performance detract, an amazing audio treat.

2 people found this helpful

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  • James
  • 18-06-19

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

8 people found this helpful

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  • MR L.
  • 17-03-20

not worth the money

this book is completly ok, it is nothing special and as such it isnt worth the money

1 person found this helpful

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  • james johnson
  • 19-01-20

to much of a struggle

the narrator took me out of the story with her sometimes monosyllabic reading,so wish Jonathan keeble had done it,to much of a struggle

1 person found this helpful

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  • Nima Hossami
  • 11-10-19

Just get it

Excellent writing, narration and development. Can't wait for another and hope they bring the same style of narration back

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bees
  • 10-10-19

Amazing book and narration.

An amazing story from start to finish. Outstanding narration. One of my favourites 40k books now.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jamie Fitzgerald
  • 14-07-19

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

3 people found this helpful

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  • Evan
  • 09-07-19

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 👍

3 people found this helpful

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  • Erich Ung
  • 04-07-19

loved it!

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

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jeremy
  • 02-03-21

A unique and engaging 40k story

Drew me in at the start and only built from there.
Mostly told from the unique perspective of a chapter serf attending her master as a helate.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-02-20

Great!

Honestly was hesitant as I haven't heard a female voice actor. But Kelly absolutely smashes the voices. Really enjoyed it, gotta love ABB books, always great writing.

Book overall was great, hope there are more novels in that region of the imperium!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marko Petrovic
  • 09-01-20

One of best ever!

Amazing story with the most satisfying ending I've ever heard or read.

Really great performance by Kelly Hotten!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 21-12-20

great storytelling!

great story and read very well by Kelly. def recipient this. my fav so far.

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  • Thomas Hilleary
  • 17-12-20

exceptional.

loved it. the female narrator was amazing. I had doubts about her ability to portray an Astartes but she really nailed it. typical ADB book. awesome.

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  • Darryl Miller
  • 04-09-20

Great Narrator

Interesting story, crappy sub-twist however (won't spoil that). A look into Nialus and the troubles there make for a different feeling, especially with travel. Worth a follow up.

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  • Judy Stanley
  • 31-08-20

Amazing Read - Slow start but great audiobook!

Loved the characters. Narration was brilliant. definitely on the listen again pile in a year.