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Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium (2007)

by Sandy Mitchell

Series: Ciaphas Cain (1-3 & three short stories), Warhammer 40,000 (fiction)

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3261079,781 (4.18)2
In the war-torn future of the 41st Millennium Commissar Ciaphas Cain, hero of the Imperium, is respected by his peers and an inspiration to his men - at least that's what the propaganda would have you believe. The reality is very different, for Ciaphas is simply looking for an easy life and a way to stay out of peril. However, fate has a habit of throwing him into the deadliest situations, and luck (mixed with self preservation) always manages to pull him through and onto the loftiest of pedestals. To survive Commissar Cain must dodge, bluff and trick his way out of trouble, even if it increases his status beyond his control!… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Liked the book. The framing of the story as a personal journal being edited by someone else was a clever touch -it allowed the author to provide "infodumps" without distracting the reader too much from the storyline.

My only gripe with the book is that it is not yet available (legally, anyhow) in ebook format. I enjoyed this book, and think I would enjoy the series if I could get them electronically. ( )
  zakman14 | Aug 19, 2021 |
It was fine. I just got tired of it. No reason. If I can't finish a book this long in a month I probably am not going to finish it at all. ( )
  jerame2999 | Nov 14, 2020 |
This was a pleasant discovery, and it will go down for me as one of the best reads for 2008. In fact, it was the last book read for 2008 for me. I had never read any Warhammer 40K books before this one. I was familiar with the strategy game. I just happened to pick this volume up in a bookstore out of curiosity. The description for Ciaphas Cain as a sly rogue looking for an easy life, yet ends up the hero who does the right thing, seemed like the perfect thing for my mood at the time. I am very glad I picked it up after reading the first chapter. I was hooked. Commissar Cain has become one of my favorite literary characters. This series blends military scifi in a pretty grim far future with humor. Cain's adventures, always with his malodorous sidekick Jurgen, are filled with humor, adventure, and the search for the easy life. He may not want to be a hero, but the galaxy needs a hero, and he is it whether he wants the job or not.

Another appeal factor, and this may work for librarians like me, is that the Cain novels are written from his own point of view, then an archivist is putting together Cain's narrative. So, there are footnotes, "editorial" asides, so on, which make the tale entertaining, and can be as amusing as Cain's own words. For people who may not have read any Warhammer 40K stories before, this may be a pretty good introduction. I know it worked for me, as I will be looking for other titles. I will definitely be looking for other Cain novels. I highly recommend this.

If you like characters like Lazarus Long, you may like this as well. This volume collects the first three Ciaphas Cain novels, plus three short stories, which makes the volume a pretty good value overall. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
I enjoy Grimdark as much as the next 40k fan, but Mitchell proves even in a crapsack future there's room for some laughs. ( )
  LordPetros | Mar 19, 2020 |
This book was a difficult but rewarding read. Written in a style completely alien to me it took a bit of getting used to, but I thought the diary/history journal extracts were a nice touch. It's good to read a novel with such a morally a ambiguous character. Worth reading if you want a taste of the 40K universe. ( )
  wildeaboutoscar | Sep 20, 2013 |
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In the war-torn future of the 41st Millennium Commissar Ciaphas Cain, hero of the Imperium, is respected by his peers and an inspiration to his men - at least that's what the propaganda would have you believe. The reality is very different, for Ciaphas is simply looking for an easy life and a way to stay out of peril. However, fate has a habit of throwing him into the deadliest situations, and luck (mixed with self preservation) always manages to pull him through and onto the loftiest of pedestals. To survive Commissar Cain must dodge, bluff and trick his way out of trouble, even if it increases his status beyond his control!

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