You are Ark Mechanicus. You are Speranza. You are the bringer of hope in this hopeless age.
Priests of Mars is a Warhammer 40000
novel written Graham McNeill
featuring archmagos Lexell Kotov's explorator fleet and its voyage across the wild astronomic sector known as the Halo Scar, the novel is notable for describing how the Imperium of Man explorator fleets work, presenting us a whole array of characters from the different elements of the fleet, from the command staff to the menial workers, it also features, in good 40K tradition, epic battles and a few surprises.
The novel provides examples of:
- Ave Machina: The novel brings some nice insight about the views and works of the Adeptus Mechanicus.
- Clarke's Third Law: Even for the setting the secret capabilities of the Speranza are so advanced not even the high-level priests of the Mechanicus can understand some of the functions of the ship.
- Coolstarship: The Speranza, an Ark Mechanicus class exploration ship so huge it can dock other ships inside its hulk and even an entire training facility for Titans.
- The eldar antagonists have the Starblade, a ship so fast it can evade light-speed attacks.
- How the Mighty Have Fallen: In the beginning of the book there is a poem written by archmagos Kotov where he reflects about how far mankind has fallen since the end of the Dark Age of Technology.
- The Great Machines of Old Earth were wondrous engines of creation whose power dwarfed that of any myth or legend. They shaped entire worlds, they drank the hearts of stars and brought light into the dark places of the universe. The techno-sorcerers who crafted them and wielded their power bestrode the world as gods. How far we have fallen.
- Lost Technology: the main driving point of Kotov's efforts is to recover a device known as the Breath of the Gods.
- Close to the end of the novel it is revealed the Speranza's own hulk structure represents some of the most advanced technologies ever created by mankind such as Faster-than-Light Travel fuelled by the galactic gravitational background, alternate dimension generators and weapons capable to crack planets open.
- Superweapon Surprise: during the climatic space battle of the novel the Speranza's AI activates a chrono-weapon capable to fire black holes.
- We Will Use Manual Labor in the Future: a great part of the book describes how awful is for Abrehem and his friends to have become crewmen of the Speranza's engines, as the imperial ships have men working to the death to get their ships working.