A novel; published by the Black Library in August 2011
Tired and broken by war, the men of the Brimlock Eleventh Imperial Guard are a force on the verge of collapse. Having been stretched across the galaxy by their loyalty to the Emperor, they are presented with one final battle that will allow them reward they all seek: to colonise the distant world of Voor and live out the rest of their days in peace.
All that stands in their way is a force of savages - a plague of feral orks that has spread across the planet. But can the Brimlock's battered bodies and minds hold up to this greenskin invasion?
Podcast review from Tyrant's Due
Despite the action, and there is plenty of it, this is a book about people. All of them are war-damaged in some way, some just with strange habits that help them through, others totally bonkers, and others who donít know or care whatís going on, for various reasons. But all of them are well thought out and imagined, each an individual not just touched by battle but severely beaten. The action itself is also well done, the set pieces descriptive but never glorifying war or its aftermath, despite the title. It has all the things you would expect from a WH book, but is ironically more of an anti-war story.... Definitely one to put on the Ďread againí pile.
For the full review see British Fantasy Society
There's quite a decent little plot that at first seems disconnected, but as the novel progresses these threads from the past influence the present in a way that was a bit hard to follow, mainly due to the way the "back story" was introduced. Fortunately, it does all come together in the end. There's one other group of characters: the Orks. Yes, the Orks. There's actually quite a bit of story from the Orky point of view, and I found these little looks into what makes and Ork, an Ork, to be highly entertaining. I actually began to look forward to the Ork chapters.
For the full review see the Bell of Lost Souls
This is an extremely well written BL novel, it left me wanting more - which is always a good thing. The mysteries surrounding two of the principal characters, Private Stone and Major Stanhope carry through the length of the novel and aren't easily guessed at either. For a first offering, this is a must read, and is good enough to stand with Abnett, McNiell and Dembski-Bowden.
For the full review see Truddenia
Imperial Glory does its job well enough but there was something missing there for me that made it less than the read it could have been. Thatís not to say that Imperial Glory isnít a good read in itself. While I wouldnít say that it was a compelling read thereís certainly plenty to recommend it and there was never any doubt that Iíd finish the book once I got started.
For the full review see Graeme's Fantasy Book Review
I cannot recommend it enough. If youíre a fan of Imperial Guard, the 40K universe, or you just want to read a good book, you really should pick this one up... The interesting thing about this book is that the battle isnít really the main focus of the story. Thereís a ton of fighting to be sure and the action is great, but the theme of the book is really about the past and the effect it can have. The focus is on three main characters and how this theme plays out for them. Thereís Major Stanhope, a man whoís unable to put the past behind him, 2nd Lieutenant Carson, a man unable to escape his past actions, and Private Blanks, a man who has no idea what his past is. Thereís a number of really great supporting characters as well that flesh out the company, you really get the sense that the 11th have been fighting far longer then is healthy for a persons well being. Physically, theyíre extremely capable soldiers, but mentally...some of them not so much. They range from weary to downright insane. A few stand out including a Trooper and the Ogryn who never leaves his side, and a former athlete turned Captain who still carries his gameball around with him. And has drawn a face on it. And named it Mister Emmet... I found the pacing at the beginning of the book to be a little bit hard to follow at first. The timeline and location jumps around a little which threw me off a bit at first, but really it was my own fault for not paying close enough attention as it gives you a clear where and when each time the plot line jumps. Also the various plot lines are set up early and some of them seem to be left hanging, but by the end everything is tied up in a really interesting, totally satisfying way.
For the full review see Giant Bomb
Whilst there is action a plenty the focus is on three main characters and how this campaign plays out for them. We have Major Stanhope, a man whoís unable to put the past behind him, 2nd Lieutenant Carson, a man unable to escape his past actions, and Private Blanks, a man who has no idea what his past is. Thereís a number of really great supporting characters as well that flesh out the company, you really get the sense that the 11th have been fighting far longer than is healthy for a personís wellbeing. Physically, theyíre extremely capable soldiers, but mentally there are questions! Just keep an eye out for Mr. Emmet and youíll know what I mean. Whilst Imperial Glory wonít rank up there with my all-time favourite Imperial Guard novels as at times itís just a little too slow and when thinking about the novel it does make me think of missed opportunities for developing the characters, backstory and even the campaign it certainly is a good read. The novel kept me reading and when it really got going I was glad that Iíd stuck with it, but itís ending whilst premature was different enough from the normal flow of the Black Library stock that it actually made me pause for a moment or two as it is very emotional.
For the full review see Millest's Mediocre Meanderings
What began as a slightly muddled novel, ended on a master stroke. I read the second half of Imperial Glory in a single sitting (a little over 200 pages), so compulsive was the story. Williamsí writing is very good, the dialogue interesting, well-paced and realistic.
For the full review see Civilian Reader
To be honest, this best part of this story for me was the psychology of the veterans. Nearly all of the men presented have some form of erratic behavior or insanity developed over the course of their campaign. This book is as much a 40k story as it is an examination of the effects of warfare on the human mind and body. Also of note was a section of the book from the Ork perspective, including the life of an Ork from birth to Warboss. I hadn't expected this when I picked the book up (the book is titled Imperial Glory after all!), but it was a pleasant surprise and gave me a much better idea of Ork society and physiology.
For the full review see Followers of the Machine God
The book does follow a rather straight-forward approach and doesnít bounce around too much, so after the prologue itís a very easy read with great guard on Ork action. The thing I enjoyed the most about this book was the realism in which I portrays soldiers dealing with the things around them. Itís a great break away from always reading about fearless supermen, or heartless aliens. It brings it down to a personal level. There is never an over-arching view of things. Itís always from someoneís perspective, even if they are dead in the next two paragraphs. Interestingly enough the Orks do get some face time near the end of the novel, which is also a great read in itself for all the greenskin fans out there.
For the full review see Chicago Kamikazes
As youíve come to expect from the Black Library, its heavy duty combat, the fighting bloody and for every inch of ground gained a heavy price is paid by these soldiers of the Imperium. As with Richardís other books (Reiksguard and Relentless) the tale is one that concentrates on the struggles of both the mind and the physical and as such does a great job of bringing both the fore as the reader feels the troops exhaustion throughout the title.
For the full review see Falcata Times
This story is very good in that there are many characters thrown in from the regiment, and the author does an excellent job of making each of them characterful. The battles are dramatic and pretty much the oppostie of bloodless for the guard unit. The guys may be vets, but they die just like any other humie.
For the full review see Three Color Minimum
What makes this book stand out is in addition to the blood curdling, gut wrenching, limb losing, brain splattering action is the more human side of the story. It tells the story from a variety of perspectives and allows the reader to delve into the politics behind the Imperium of Man, it allows the reader to explore what the guardsmen do when their not shooting things or blowing them up and the human emotions they suffer with.
For the full review see Searching for Twinkies
What the readers say...
Richard Williams' Imperial Glory satisfies with its strong character development and slam-bang action sequences; however, the ride is rough and sometimes bumpy because of a disjointed plot structure that could have been easily remedied by focusing on a linear story-line at the beginning... however, Williams overcomes the structural stumble and powerfully concludes the novel.
Keith W. Harvey on Amazon.com
This is my favorite Imperial Guard book I've read to date... Unlike the space marines, these guardsmen are easy to identify with, and the struggles on Voor and little twists the author puts into the story make this book fall just shy of a perfect 5. Highly recommended for any 40k fan.
Templar110 on Amazon.com
I highly recommend the book. Not only is it well written, but it contains an excellent depiction of Ork behavior and mentality, from within an ork's mind.
Thomas Lau on Amazon.com
I could not put this book down after I started reading it and finished it within twenty four hours of buying it. The entire book was a completely different take on a standard IG Regiment.
Logikk on Black Library
Williams has brilliantly portrayed each and every character in his novel, from the petty rivalries and fractionalise infighting, depicting men who are trained to fight, and die, on command and without question. A must read.
Rhys on Black Library
Felt like reading an historical novel - the notion of an elite officer class (or not so elite given their traits) and the lives of the troopers. A study of the psychological aspects of war. WH40K has reached a turning point.
Andrew on Black Library
This book was not what I expected. It was deep, interesting, thought provoking... I recommend this just for being an amazing book to anyone.
Derek on Black Library
Excellent read. Build up is slow but steady. Interesting view on the imperial guard (veteran) hierarchy and (in)competent guardsmen. Thoroughly enjoyed this book, recommend it to everyone with a soft spot for the Guard!
Dave on Black Library
By the Emperor. I have NEVER read a more thrilling and emotional '40K book as this one. The ending almost tore my heart out! The characters in this book read like real, historical, figures and you generally get to love and hate them. The battles are so well written it's like you have watched them unfold first hand.
Andrew on Black Library
A magnificent read, as on the blurb says its about a veteran regiment with all the quirks and regrets of 20 years worth of fighting. The reviews below can't underestimate how fantastic the story is.
Ash on Black Library
The book tells a war story from the part of soldiers and low rank officers, "tired and broken by war" as writen on the back cover. Very interesting characters, well described. Relations of loyalty and betrayal, hate and love, acts of heroism and cowardice, reason and madness. People trying to avoid responsibility, people making fatal errors, people caring for themselves or ideology and destoying others. And all these writen in a smooth language, no exaggerations. Realistic and brutal battle scenes, vividly writen. I think the pace of story-telling is never slow or hurried.
a customer on Amazon.co.uk
I have a huge soft spot for the 40K IP anyway, so thought it'd be a standard Guard romp, and had low expectations. What I got, however, was a very terse, gritty, and _painful_ experience (in a good way), which both had me quickly feeling for the well-written, damaged-goods characters and then immediately having me either laughing aloud or exclaiming in rage as the story progressed. I'd never heard of Richard Williams before, but he paints clear brushstrokes of character with brevity, and in this story created an atmosphere of psychological strain, farce and despair that reminded me of Catch-22, Kelly's Heroes or Apocalypse Now.
Mr. Roderick A. Hamilton on Amazon.co.uk
As a war story it was a good read, but I found the plot around the orks pure drivel and the ending rushed. Generally I like the Warhammer novels, but this was the worst I've ever read.
Ackadia on Amazon.co.uk
The ending to this book is beautiful and I at the time had to read it 3 times just to capture that feeling again and again . It was in my mind a truly epic way to end the book and even now after 3 days of finishing it i think about it. It has stirred something inside and at the end of the day isnt that what you want from a good book...to be moved?
Robin G. Symons on Amazon.co.uk
The book immediately attempts to hook you in with several puzzles, there's a Major who no-one seems to like and seems completely disinterested in anything that's ongoing, a brutal Commissaar who has history with several of the troops, a soldier who has completely lost his memory, another soldier who is absolutely terrified of the Commissaar but no-one knows why and a previous battle which many of the regiments seem to have been involved with that went horribly wrong. Gradually the pieces start to fit together during the course of the book which forms a major part of the book alongside the current storyline as the regiment go into battle for the last time before they retire. The main plot is erratic at times but feels more credible, there's not so much the big heroes and villians and more just the soldiers fighting for the lives to try and get through it along with all the internal conflicts which exist from so many different regiments that have been merged together.
Johnmcl7 on Amazon.co.uk
Very impressive Novel. DIfferent than any other 40k book I have read (which is most of them). I was expecting much the same as Abnetts Gaunt's Ghosts series. And to a degree it was, but with everything wrapped up in one book.
Marktank03 on Amazon.co.uk
Overall a very good read with a solid and enjoyable writing style and characters that do grow on you and surprise you.
Dazzo on Amazon.co.uk
I havent really read alot of 40k novels but this is by far one of the best things ive read in years. Its a great read that somehow got me really caring about the characters inspite of there being so many of them. Each having their own little character flaws really helped them me feel like i knew them.
Blue on Amazon.co.uk
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Thoughts on the portrayal of the Brimlock Dragoons
'Encyclopedic' account of The Battle of Highpoint
Thoughts on the end of Imperial Glory