Eisenhorn Book Two: Malleus by Dan Abnett, Narrated by Toby Longworth

Gregor Eisenhorn, surrounded by a cast of characters both old and new, finds himself at the center of a vast conspiracy orchestrated, seemingly, by Cherubael.
Following a devastating attack on Thracian Primaris, events are set in motion leading Inquisitor Eisenhorn to one of two fates. Either Eisenhorn is escorted to the prisons of the Inquisition, where he’ll be branded a heretic and executed, or he locates the puppetmaster pulling the strings of far more sinister and powerful forces than any he’s ever faced, where the future of the Empire will be decided.
Dan Abnett seems to have skimmed over large sections of the narrative in this account of Eisenhorn’s legacy, sometimes going so far as to reference these other puzzle pieces without filling them in for us. Of course, upon reaching the climax of this tale, it makes perfect sense that a lot of those details are left out. There is, after all, a universe-spanning mystery to unravel, and providing the reader/listener with some of those other elements would give far too much away. It’s a shame, though, because it makes for a book that feels less evenly paced and complete than the previous installment of the series.
Though the events of Malleus certainly seem to be far more epic in scope than those of Xenos, something about the way they’re documented in this book makes them feel more condensed. This isn’t a flaw, but it was a peculiar thing I happened to notice.
The narration provided by Toby Longworth, as before, perfectly captures the grim, wry-humored tone of Gregor Eisenhorn in such a way that I can’t imagine him sounding otherwise. The voices provided for the additional characters are distinct enough–in most cases–to make the narrative flow smoothly.


Eisenhorn Book One: Xenos by Dan Abnett

When people think of Warhammer 40K, it’s often in terms of large-scale warfare and military maneuvers/strategy. The tabletop game and the video games have often been more focused on those elements of the Warhammer 40K universe, so it makes sense that this is the thing first coming to mind. We all first imagine the indomitable space marine in their hulking power armor wielding a chain weapon or some absurdly massive firearm.
Eisenhorn: Xenos by Dan Abnett provides us with a more intimate, character-driven exploration of the Warhammer 40K universe, and it’s a great thing. Following Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn as he seeks to unravel the convoluted threads of a mystery involving ruling families, rogue traders, alien species, and Chaos Marines is an exciting ride indeed. With dire consequences looming on the horizon if Eisenhorn fails in his mission, we feel the tension all too vividly.
The narration from Toby Longworth for the audiobook edition is amazing as he brings to life the character of Gregor Eisenhorn as well as his compatriots and antagonists. An already captivating narrative is made all the more gripping with the harsh tones and grave articulation of this narrator.