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Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan

(Phoenix Lords)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  125 ratings  ·  15 reviews
The Phoenix Lords are demigods of battle, warriors whose legends span the stars. They are embodiments of the warrior nature of the eldar, and each walks his own path. The first, and greatest, is Asurmen, the Hand of Asuryan. Since he led his people from destruction at the time of the Fall, he has guided his children, the Dire Avengers, in defending the remnants of the elda ...more
Published August 8th 2015 by Black Library (first published June 1st 2015)
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Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about Asurmen, the Hand of Khaine. He leads the Dire Avengers, one of the sects of Eldar Aspect Warriors who war for and protect the Craftworlds of the Eldar. He is immortal and cannot be killed, only reduced to nothingness and then as a Phoenix Lord, comes back to inhabit a new host and take over where he left off.
This book includes insights into the war between two Craftworlds, which has happened in the 40K universe, but never really written about. It is a subtle war, of power lea
Alexander Draganov
Excellent beginning to the Phoenix Lords series. I know that Gav Thorpe has repeatedly stated that he loves dwarves above all fantasy races, but I think that his work with the Elves is comfortably ahead of everything I have read from other authors about them, including fantasy heavyweights like Tolkien and Terry Brooks. Here he tales the story of probably the greatest Eldar warrior, mixing a battle with Chaos from the grim dark future and his past, prior to the Fall. The result is a fantastic no ...more
Jackson Thomas
Gav Thorpe is fast becoming the go to Eldar author in the warhammer 40K universe and justly so. His Path of the Eldar series was a triumph. The trend continues with Asurmen in his wonderfully immersive style but there were a few flaws in this one. The start of the book took a while to fully engross me in the characters and the locations never really felt like they were given the proper attention they needed for a backdrop to the story. Also the book felt rather short and the chapters more so. Th ...more
I am conflicted.

On the one hand, I really wanted to like this book. Phoenix Lords have a really badass lore, but they are not really allowed to be presented as great warriors since they are most often the antagonists or background characters. So their greatest achievements are reduced to a few lines in a Codex. But here they are, the heroes of their own books when they are allowed to be awesome. And the book really shows some great aspects of Asurmen - his world-view, his ship and his story.

Callum Shephard
Whether or not you’ll like Asurman: Hand of Asuryan comes down to an incredibly simple question – Did you enjoy the last work Gav Thrope produced for the eldar. If you did, you’ll love this. If you didn’t, you’ll find a few interesting qualities here and a few improvements, but not enough to really justify the purchase. Really, there’s nothing else to say about this, and really it has the same strengths and failings we can cite as last time.

The story follows the first of the Phoenix Lords, Asurm
In a vision granted by Asuryan's Heart, foresees an escalation in the rivalries between the craftworlds of Ulthwé and Anuiven. This prophecy from the father of the gods shown to Asurmen, the first and oldest of the Phoenix Lords, reveals that this will spell disaster for the Eldari at large. The path to elude this future leads to a downed ship in the ruins of the old empire. But when farseers play as gods there is no telling what the future holds.

Gav Thorpe really is at his best when writing El
Oliver Eike
Having just finished the Lorgar book, i was admittedly skeptical to pick up another Gav Thorpe book right away. But, my fears were unwarranted by quite a bit.

The book follows Asurmen, Hand of Asuryan as he steps forth to correct a failing of old. It also shows bits of his origins which to me was the one disappointment of this book. As i had expected something more interesting on that end.

A craftworld is in trouble and Asurmen arrives to aide it, or at least one of its members. The combat scenes
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Being brand new to Warhammer lore and this being my first step into Warhammer, I obviously didn't understand some things that were said and things that were going on. But I did thoroughly enjoy the book and have been reading it at every available opportunity.
The story follows along a few different storylines and characters which I did prefer some of the perspectives more than others. At first I was confused by everything but settled in quite fast. The names are challenging to pronounce and I had
David Donachie
I am a sucker for anything related to the Eldar, and so I loved Asurmen for the masses of Eldar culture, language, and history that it contains. Gav Thorpe is the master when it comes to these. The flashbacks to the fall of the Eldar were especially fascinating, it is a period that has never really been touched in Games Workshop fiction before.

I was a little less grabbed by the actual plot of the book — Asurmen intervenes in a local struggle, helping an Eldar pilot release her inner fears and en
David Scott
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pretty good insight into the fall of the eldar and there customs pre fall. It can be a little dry sometimes but the action and drama make up for it!
Michael Dodd
Apr 02, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Potentially the first novel in a wider series, Asurmen : Hand of Asuryan sees Gav Thorpe delve into the mythology of the eldar to tell the tale of the titular Asurmen, first and greatest of the fabled Phoenix Lords. Set in the midst of a conflict against the chaos forces of the Flesh Thieves, instigated by a Farseer of Anuiven craftworld in order to reclaim an artefact of great power, it sees Asurmen co-opting a peaceful eldar pilot to help him as he steps in to try and avert a disaster unforese ...more
Aug 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
An excellent tale about the greatest of Eldar warriors, with insights about his life before and during the Fall.

The other part of the story, a run-of-the-mill fight between Chaos and Eldar, was interesting on its own, but would have merited a four-star "liked it", but for me, the main selling point was how the first two Phoenix Lords came to recognize their fates in life.

Hoping that the other stories will be as interesting as this one, I really really look forward to further installments in the
Jack Volante
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very enjoyable read. Gav did a great job of fleshing out the day-to-day life of the Eldar. I was pleasantly surprised to read Asurmen's flashback memories of The Fall of the Eldar. Never read anything on that before, so it was great to read about this immense tragedy and pivotal point in the WH40K universe.

My only grumble is that Asurmen disappears for a huge chunk of the second act. Only the alternating flashback chapters keep him in the story.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stupid characters doing stupid stuffs. Not even bolter-porn guilty pleasure. Eldar are described no different from Space Marines, just going out there and fighting like a bunch of idiots.

Warhammer 40k fiction used to be great. And now even inexperience authors who write children books can come up with something more compelling than this.

Gav Thorpe, go back to writing Space Marines.
I always enjoy reading Warhammer paperbacks, particularly when they’re about Space Elves. The book makes for good entertainment.
Lee Rawnsley
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Nov 17, 2015
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Jun 27, 2018
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Ken Andreassen
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Jack Doud
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Shane Bennett
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Gav spent 14 years as a developer for Games Workshop, and started writing novels and short stories in the worlds of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 when the Black Library imprint was launched in 1997.

He continues to write for Black Library, and his first 'homegrown' novel series The Crown of the Blood has been released via Angry Robot.

Currently living in Nottingham, Gav shares his home with his lo

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