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Ahriman: Exile

(Ahriman #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  428 ratings  ·  33 reviews
A Chaos Space Marine Sorcerer seeks the power of the gods

All is dust... Spurned by his former brothers and his father Magnus the Red, Ahriman is a wanderer, a sorcerer of Tzeentch whose actions condemned an entire Legion to an eternity of damnation. Once a vaunted servant of the Thousand Sons, he is now an outcast, a renegade who resides in the Eye of Terror. Ever
Paperback, 416 pages
Published July 2nd 2013 by Games Workshop (first published December 25th 2012)
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Gianfranco Mancini

He looked up as Astraeos removed his helm and looked down at him.
Ahriman looked to the daemon hovering above. It had grown long needle blades of bone from its fingers. Blood dripped from the talon's tips. The bound daemon was smiling its shark smile.
'What have you done?' breathed Ahriman. Astraeos sheathed his sword, a grim smile twisting his scarred face for an instant.
'Fulfilled my oaths', he said.

The Thousand Sons were a broken Legion after the razing of Prospero, mostly falling to the flesh
David Soponski
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Following on several thousand years after the events of A Thousand Sons, this book details some of the events that led to Ahriman's exile from the infamous Planet of Sorcerers and his Legion. Once considered one of the most powerful living psykers in the known universe, his fall from grace and banishment led him to punish himself for thousands of years my dulling his mind to the powers of the warp and his own abilities, reducing him to little more than a servant and slave to war-bands and ...more
Jun 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer-40k
I admit, I am a fan of Ahriman and the Thousand Sons, so when I found out French had written a novel about the character, I jumped at the chance to read it.

The first thing I really enjoyed about this book is where it falls with Graham McNeill's A Thousand Sons. French uses a lot from this Horus Heresy novel and it's nice to see the continuation of the themes McNeill started being used in the story of Ahriman after he is exiled. This helps to create a nice continuity in a fictional world where
Jul 23, 2013 rated it liked it
This was a very entertaining read. Seeing Ahriman as a lowly punk renegade on the run was an interesting twist. Insight for his motivations for the Rubric (and his continuing quest) was cool, too. Finally, the time continuum differences between the Eye and 'real' space was fun, especially as an explanation for his power level and what was going on in the Imperium.
Niccolò Ceresa
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
1. A good insight on Ahriman psiche, a good idea to start with a renegade, low level Ahriman.
Dulled by by his sins and following a low profile life as a simple thug marine.

2. The progressive corruption of loyalist marines.

1. too long book for too short action.
2. I know that Ahriman is one of most powerfull psyker of galaxy, but for the sake of narration the author could give to him some problems to wins; it was never in danger, even in most dire situation.
3. Book closure: too
Atanas Parushev
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
"Ahriman: Exile"begins with a pitiful Azhek Ahriman, who has rejected his name and goes by Horkos. He operates as a lowly sorcerers in the traitor marines' warband, named The Harrowing. All is gloom and doom, until a daemon begins to taunt Ahriman. Ahriman does not beleive in fate, but fate has come for him ,taunts the daemon in his dreams. And a sorcerer of the Thousand Sons, accompanied by two Rubricae (the fleshless marines) comes to collect Ahzek. The sorcerers of the Harrowing put up a ...more
Michael Dodd
Oct 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Released back in 2012, Ahriman : Exile was John French’s first novel for Black Library, and you’re unlikely to find a more assured, complex, detailed debut novel than this. The first in a trilogy regarding one of the most famous villains in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, when we first meet him Ahriman is at his lowest ebb, years after the failure of his Rubric and his exile from the Legion he tried to save. Masquerading as a lowly sorcerer serving a motley warband of Traitor Marines, he’s a far ...more
Jeff Wass
Jul 29, 2013 rated it liked it
A bit too much of reading about someone's thoughts for my liking.
Callum Shephard
Jun 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
Of all the factions to be found in the 41st millenium, easily some of the most iconic are the warlords of Chaos. Even among the ranks of the loyalist space marines there are few figures who stand out quite so well as the brutally unrelenting Ahriman, Kharn the Betrayer, the enigmatic Cypher of the Fallen Angels, or the dreaded Ahriman of the Thousand Sons. Each following their own ambitions and dark gods, these millennia old warriors have unlocked secrets which would strip the sanity of lesser ...more
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
Moves inexorably from scene to scene, but not through any apparent agency of the protagonist.

It's like the author was handed a script of places the characters had to appear and then told to write the scenes without regard to any overarching narrative.

Also, my understanding of Ahriman isn't that he's some guy who's just a little bit better than most of the people who oppose him. But that's how he often comes off here.

And as to the secondary characters falling to Chaos. That's really not how it
Jack Saunders
Sep 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
"But it was you that set this in motion. It did not end with the Rubric. Your curse lives on, and yet you dare not face it. You run and let your Legion die because you were wrong once."

Ahriman is a Great Sorceror, and following the horrific Rubric that he set in motion, he must deal with his utter failure and his opposing will to survive. Which will win out?

Full disclosure, I love Black Library novels so there was very little chance that I wasn't going to like this book. I also love John
May 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I took off one star because this book was too introspective of a Warhammer book for me. If you like Dune, then this might be the book for you. The story is the first in the Ahriman trilogy. It starts with Ahriman drifting in life guilty about the Rubric when an assassination attempt on him fails and reawakens him to a greater purpose. On the way to find his would be assassin he meets up with some interesting side characters. I’m mildly interested in what will happen next.
Vincent Knotley
Jun 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though the book wades through a quagmire a little in its middle stages, overall it's a delightful read and one fans of the Thousand Sons, Ahriman, or magical grimdark space tomfoolery in general should take the time to digest.
Matthew Gilliland
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As so many have said this is one of the best 40K books ever written.

I had thought this story was when they did the Rubric and destroyed their Legion, but this is about the aftermath many years later.

Excited to finish the Omnibus!!!
George Ramos
Jan 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, warhammer
Interesting character mired in the dark, brutal confines of a ship infested with demons. Fun!
Chris Torno
Apr 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shows a side that you never expect from one who wields the so called “Evil” magics of chaos. Well written and a great read.
Jan 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ahriman makes me happy.
Jeff Sinclair
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer-40k
Excellent story of the greatest sorcerer of the Thousand Sons, full of magic, hubris and tragedy.
K.Z. Freeman
May 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
To preface this review, allow me to state that Azhek Ahriman was my favourite 40k character before I read this book. Having said that, this book disappoints on some levels while delights on others.

I began reading this book after finishing King of Thorns and immediately noticed the lessened overall quality of writing. I know it's not really fair to compare the two books since they are not even remotely similar in setting and what they are trying to achieve, but my mind couldn’t help but compare
Nik Snith
May 13, 2016 rated it liked it
Ahzek Ahriman is one of my favourite characters in the WH40K universe so it was with great excitement and anticipation I opened this book. I wanted so badly to enjoy it and I tried so hard to like it but reluctantly I was forced to admit that it was at best a missed opportunity and at worse a very average read.

You would think a character as layered, as deep and as conflicted as Ahriman would be a gift to an author. Here we have the greatest sorcerer of the doomed Thousand Sons legion, who rose
Aug 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
"Guilt ridden, wallowing, denying his power - these aren't words you'd associate with any Traitor Legion!"

"Ahriman: Exile" by John French, what can I say, it's a really good read. The Thousand Sons ex-chief librarian is one of my favourite personas from the HH universe. I had reservations about this novel from the outset, mainly as this is John French's first full novel for Black Library - how wrong I was, Mr French does him justice.

As you can imagine, the story centres around Ahriman, a
Feb 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
The story is deep, awesome, and the kind it should be; considering character who's tale it tells. The plot consists of victories, defeats, reminiscence, travel.

This is the first full-length novel from John French I've read. The ones before were short stories like We Are One and several from Horus Heresy series.

If you like 40K stories that are not the usual forever repeating action stories, this is one for you. If you don't then, well, you should. This is real quality.
Dec 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Alas, I was expecting to read and learn of the exploits if the erstwhile sorcerer of one of my favorite if not my favorite Traitor Legion, but it was not to be. It is altogether very interesting reading, creating a compelling and evocative background to the character. Like the Night Lords series this book establishes a certain humanity to the character, with which one can identify in some manner.
David Earle
Dec 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
A very good look at Ahriman's early days. We don't get to see how he becomes the terrifying nightmare he is in Atlas Infernal, but we do get to see him set his feet on that path once he's finished moping. The psychic scenes are descriptive and the imagery is almost always horrifying. I sincerely hope that this book is the start of a continuing series.
Mario Polytaridis
Mar 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction-fantasy
This book is just awesome! And I'd give it 5 Stars alone for a single chapter that is the most EPIC five way fight ever imagined or put on paper... It all happens in the space of 3 heartbeats... it's tense, fast, brutal, deadly and absolutely insane. You will go back and read it several times.

Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: warhammer-40k
Interesting premise but failed to be engaging. Read as just a progression of things that were happening, didn't pull me in. Maybe I needed to read Prospero Burns first and get the backstory?
Denis Reynolds
Jul 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
John French is quite easily one of the best writers BL currently has. An enthralling book, and I'm eagerly looking forward to reading the rest of the series.
Stephen Gault
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great start to the journey of Ahriman and the Rubricae
Dec 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Exile was an interesting read and seems well worth going on with the series. Just as the Night Lords series, it feels like a cross 30k to 40k story.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A flawless history of the great Ahriman so very tragic is the story of the Thousand Sons...
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John French is a writer and freelance game designer from Nottingham, England. His novels include the Ahriman series from Black Library, and The Lord of Nightmares trilogy for Fantasy Flight. The rest of his work can be seen scattered through a number of other books, including the New York Times bestselling anthology Age of Darkness. When he is not thinking of ways that dark and corrupting beings ...more

Other books in the series

Ahriman (3 books)
  • Ahriman: Sorcerer (Ahriman #2)
  • Ahriman: Unchanged (Ahriman #3)