"The Emperor’s Finest" by Sandy Mitchell – Advanced Review

Commissar Ploss reviews Sandy Mitchell’s latest installment to the Ciaphas Cain series, The Emperor’s Finest.

“Cain must have a very strong back. What with all the ducking he does in this book.”

After an extended hiatus, and long needed vacation, i’ve gotten back on the “horse” so to speak. And i’m pleased to say that my latest review was far from disappointing.

Sandy Mitchell has done it again. Successfully bringing his unique brand of humor to a galaxy that is rife with tight-arsed feth-heads.  I’m happy to say that I spent much of my reading time wryly chuckling to myself over the quips and qualms presented in this stellar novel.

For one of such an “inflated” background and esteem, Cain has his share of hardships. This is clearly painted int his book. I’ve continued to enjoy the Cain books immensely, as they really do paint a picture of what “hard luck” truly means.

Cains latest foray into the Emperor’s light comes swiftly after an incident with a Necron tomb world, which had him briefly breathing the vacuum of space.  We catch up with Cain in the infirmary within the first few pages, safely aboard a Reclaimer Space Marines strike cruiser ‘Revenant’.  The Reclaimer Space Marines have been dispatched to the Viridia system on word that an insurrection is threatening to drive the system (which does happen to be quite crucial to the Imperium) into chaos.

Cain is thrust into a position of “liaison” between the Reclaimers and the Imperial Guard contingents stationed on Viridia. (Because we all know how space marines fair when it comes to diplomatic solutions.)  It’s a good spot for Cain, and he relishes in his ideas of a cushy deployment, safely tucked behind the lines of conflict shuffling paperwork across his desk in relative comfort.  He even gets to “liaise” with a member of the governing family, a miss Mira, who as Cain states; “Fills out her uniform quite nicely.”

Little do any of them realize how deep the insurrection is seeded within the Viridia System, and before long Cain finds himself staring down the vicious fangs and claws of purestrain genestealers, flying through the warp in search of a errant space hulk, getting chased by ravenous bands of Orks, and worst of all…a proposal of marriage…

One thing i’ve determined is this: Cain must have a very strong back, what with all the ducking he does in this book.

There are turns in this book you didn’t see coming, that’s for sure.  It’s an excellent book with strong characterization, flowing plot devices, and a descriptive sense that places you inside the narrative. Written in a memoir style, its a novel that is sure to please, complete with footnotes written by one Amberley Vail, Inquisitor of the Ordo Xenos.

I’ve got no bones to pick with this book. It’s a solid read and one that wasn’t hard to pick up on, even for someone like myself, who has had limited exposure to the Cain sagas.

I happily give this book a solid,


Reason: As much as i liked the book, i wasn’t entranced by it. Granted, it wasn’t that i had a hard time reading it, it’s just that i didn’t find myself fighting to put it down.  If something called for my attention, it wasn’t much to pull myself away from the book. It’s not a heavy read in the slightest.  Since it’s being written as a remembrance, you’re well aware that Cain didn’t die during any of these incidents, so the emotional drag isn’t there.  You’re not hoping he will survive, or wondering if the next bolt shell will be his undoing. It’s clear from the beginning that he’ll live the entire book.  That said, i was very pleased with how it turned out.

Should you buy this book?: YES

It’s a great tale from the Cain Archives. I enjoyed every page of it, and i’m sure you will too.


you can find the book here:

This was an Advanced Copy review.

David Ploss

I’m a bit of an awesome person. :) I’m a semi-famous 40k Intellect and the Business Manager of Chique Geek Entertainment, LLC. www.chiquegeek.com. I’m a book reviewer and the owner of TheFoundingFields.com. Beware my wonky-ness…


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