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Ephrael Stern: The Heretic Saint

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A Warhammer 40,000 novel After centuries of strife guided by the Emperor's holy light, Ephrael Stern finds herself forsaken when the Great Rift dawns and the light is extinguished. When a mysterious stranger offers new hope, the Daemonifuge is thrown into battle once more… READ IT BECAUSE Catch up with Ephrael Stern, the Heretic Saint and living weapon against Chaos in a new A Warhammer 40,000 novel After centuries of strife guided by the Emperor's holy light, Ephrael Stern finds herself forsaken when the Great Rift dawns and the light is extinguished. When a mysterious stranger offers new hope, the Daemonifuge is thrown into battle once more… READ IT BECAUSE Catch up with Ephrael Stern, the Heretic Saint and living weapon against Chaos in a new novel that picks up the story of this classic character from Black Library's history and thrusts her into the Dark Imperium. THE STORY Throughout the tortured galaxy, Ephrael Stern is known by many names. The Thrice-born. The Daemonifuge. The Heretic Saint. Trapped deep within Imperium Nihilus following the coming of the Great Rift, the maligned Sister of Battle fears the Imperium is no more. The God-Emperor’s light, which has guided her through centuries of strife, has too extinguished. Seemingly forsaken, Stern is bereft until a mysterious stranger arrives, offering her a new destiny. One that might yet see the Imperium saved. Stern must prove herself worthy of the God-Emperor’s grace once more, lest a new threat greater than any mankind has faced before plunge humanity into a nightmare abyss of nothingness.


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A Warhammer 40,000 novel After centuries of strife guided by the Emperor's holy light, Ephrael Stern finds herself forsaken when the Great Rift dawns and the light is extinguished. When a mysterious stranger offers new hope, the Daemonifuge is thrown into battle once more… READ IT BECAUSE Catch up with Ephrael Stern, the Heretic Saint and living weapon against Chaos in a new A Warhammer 40,000 novel After centuries of strife guided by the Emperor's holy light, Ephrael Stern finds herself forsaken when the Great Rift dawns and the light is extinguished. When a mysterious stranger offers new hope, the Daemonifuge is thrown into battle once more… READ IT BECAUSE Catch up with Ephrael Stern, the Heretic Saint and living weapon against Chaos in a new novel that picks up the story of this classic character from Black Library's history and thrusts her into the Dark Imperium. THE STORY Throughout the tortured galaxy, Ephrael Stern is known by many names. The Thrice-born. The Daemonifuge. The Heretic Saint. Trapped deep within Imperium Nihilus following the coming of the Great Rift, the maligned Sister of Battle fears the Imperium is no more. The God-Emperor’s light, which has guided her through centuries of strife, has too extinguished. Seemingly forsaken, Stern is bereft until a mysterious stranger arrives, offering her a new destiny. One that might yet see the Imperium saved. Stern must prove herself worthy of the God-Emperor’s grace once more, lest a new threat greater than any mankind has faced before plunge humanity into a nightmare abyss of nothingness.

30 review for Ephrael Stern: The Heretic Saint

  1. 5 out of 5

    Laurence

    Ephrael Stern – the Heretic Saint, by David Annandale is follow-up to a two-decades old comicbook story about a Sister of Battle that has struck me as intensely disappointing. It's not JUST due to the wild deviations from the previous stories' themes and plots, and in this case it would not really be a fair justification for criticism. Over the course of the original series, it went through four writers, in each successive case the new scribe ignoring or misunderstanding some part of what came bef Ephrael Stern – the Heretic Saint, by David Annandale is follow-up to a two-decades old comicbook story about a Sister of Battle that has struck me as intensely disappointing. It's not JUST due to the wild deviations from the previous stories' themes and plots, and in this case it would not really be a fair justification for criticism. Over the course of the original series, it went through four writers, in each successive case the new scribe ignoring or misunderstanding some part of what came before, and adding their own angle that was quickly discarded in turn. Thus, a detour into the wacky plot tangle of the comics: The first book ends with Ephrael giving up the power and knowledge of the Daemonifuge to Hand, being restored to something of a status quo. But by the next book she had magical powers again, and scribes a tome in her own blood of such vital importance that it is saved alongside an exploding ship with a new inquisitorial sidekick. Then both tome and sidekick are abruptly gone, and she's on the run, pursued by allies and enemies alike. In the final volume, the very framing device of the series is retconned to being a delusion, and Ephrael dies again in order to somehow earn her 'Thriceborn' title, although I'm sure she's already had more than three at this point... Yes, someone that reads the series should be used to massive plot swerves by now. So the fact that this new novel does not address the intimate knowledge of Chaos that Stern possesses as being her true power, and instead treats her as a flying weapon of mass destruction (admittedly, called out in the text by the character herself) is not a big deal. That her Sisters, who refused to believe lies about her heresy and buried her with full honours, now see her as an enemy is a minor point at best. Her eldar sidekick, who had barely been introduced in the comic by its end, is unceremoniously set aside for the latter half of the novel, but we barely knew him to miss him. Perhaps part of the dissonance with the old series is the hundred year plus time skip. Yes, the current timeline of 40k having advanced, the decision has been made to have Ephrael advance with it. That further solidifies the annoying sense of immortality that she has – lowering my investment in the character – and also implies that she hasn't done anything worth reading about for a whole century, both elevating her and dragging her down at the same time. Curiously, the time skip doesn't even have much of an effect on the story, and one has to wonder why it was included, especially given no dates were given in the original comics – they could have taken place only months before this story and made no difference! Characters still no who she is, no one has forgotten her, and the great universe-splitting cataclysm that keeps her from her goal is bypassed between chapters, again bringing into question its inclusion. It's the writing style itself that gets me the most, I think. There is far too much introspection for my taste. Before characters talk, each will search themselves for the implications of an upcoming conversation, pondering each sentence uttered as the other speaks, and then reflecting on the changes for some moments afterwards. I'm not against such navel-gazing, but it happens with such regularity, permeating even the action beats that the book was quite challenging to read at parts, as I found myself wanting to tell the characters to get over themselves and act. That's again probably down to the contrast between the mediums the story has been told across, moving from a graphic and violent comic to a more structured and thoughtful novel. But there's more to it than that. Ephrael Stern, in the comics, was fairly informal and flippant. Where other characters pontificated or cursed in arcahic manners, she let out a “You're kidding”. When others would be happy denouncing a foe in over-dramatic terms, she was happy with an action-movie one-liner like “Pucker up”. In this novel, she speaks in the same drawn-out and officious tone as every other character, and she loses something of her voice. It was not her unique power set alone that cut her apart from her Sisters, but her very behaviour and personality. She has drifted so far from her original conception to something near-unrecognisable, and perhaps that was the point, maybe that was what the author was trying to convey that her situation was doing to her, but after so long away a fan just wants something familiar before moving on to the next stage. It's just too abrupt a switch, and it can't even have been said to be in aid of new readers: If you have not read the originals, you will not know what is going on. There are allusions to past events, but very, very brief and imprecise. Most definitely, do not read this book without reading what came before, and do not expect a conclusion; this book's big failing is the fact that it does not end, but leads directly into Games Workshop's latest game setting book, in which Ephrael plays a role. In conclusion, the book plays fast and loose with continuity, tells a fractured narrative and leaves off with a sequel hook that will be continued in yet another different medium of book. The bulk of the story is spent with angst and self-reflection, a character study that I think takes just a little too long to realise its purpose. Finally, I don't recall actually reading the word 'Daemonifuge' anywhere in the text. Weird.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James Green

    Ephrael Stern, the thrice born, the heretic saint, the daemonifuge fears the Imperium has fallen. The Great Rift fills the skies and the Emperor's Light has gone. For over a hundred years the outcast Sister of Battle and her Harlequin companion have been fighting the forces of chaos driving them back and rescuing planets filled with a humanity she longer feels a part of. The Inquisition is on her heels though to try and bring her back into the Imperial fold. Following on from the graphic novels t Ephrael Stern, the thrice born, the heretic saint, the daemonifuge fears the Imperium has fallen. The Great Rift fills the skies and the Emperor's Light has gone. For over a hundred years the outcast Sister of Battle and her Harlequin companion have been fighting the forces of chaos driving them back and rescuing planets filled with a humanity she longer feels a part of. The Inquisition is on her heels though to try and bring her back into the Imperial fold. Following on from the graphic novels this takes place... sometime (who knows) afterwards and brings Stern into the contemporary 40K setting on her way to fight the Pariah Nexus. She's basically a daemon slaying superhero now flying around zapping daemons is, interesting. Not a great story but one that successfully updates the character.

  3. 5 out of 5

    nooker

    Very solid view of the Sisters of Battle.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Peter Smith

    Great book from start to finish, ties in well with the current state of the universe.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Alina Zabiyaka

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wolf

  7. 4 out of 5

    Matt

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ryan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dave Kirlin

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jakub Sládek

  11. 4 out of 5

    Tristan Ware

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard Mclaren

  13. 4 out of 5

    Keri Honea

  14. 5 out of 5

    Simon Cottrell

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ohjus

  16. 4 out of 5

    Liam Loftus

  17. 5 out of 5

    Skywatcher Adept

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tom Hann

  19. 5 out of 5

    Steven Baldwin

  20. 5 out of 5

    William

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michael Dodd

  22. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Mellado

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tejvir

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bosier

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cory Rathbun

  26. 4 out of 5

    Eric Kohring

  27. 4 out of 5

    David

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jose Carlos

  29. 4 out of 5

    Richard Wade

  30. 5 out of 5

    Lucie

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