Book Stats

  • Narrated by Colleen Prendergast
  • Minka Lesk Series #1
  • First published 2019
  • This edition published by Black Library
  • 12hrs 40 minutes runtime


The Cadians are a broken people. Humiliated by defeat and the loss of their homeworld, the remaining Cadians find themselves unsure of their place in the Imperium, and one Minka Lesk finds herself forced into a leadership role she is not ready for . . .


Picking up some time after the events of Cadia Stands, Cadian Honour properly starts the Minka Lesk series. Rather than just one of many characters scrambling for survival, here she comes into her own as a newly-minted sergeant of the Astra Militarum. Whereas Cadia Stands was all about survival (not to mention tying together a meta-narrative for the Warhammer 40,000 setting), this book is more about what comes after. When you’ve come out the other side alive, and when you realise that survival alone is not enough to fight for. After all, what does it mean to be a Cadian when there is no more Cadia?

There are no straight answers to that question, which thematically is for the better. It’s a rich well that Hill returns to in Traitor Rock, but here much of the emphasis is on that initial rebuilding phase. The stage in which Minka must shake her troopers out of their grief and bring them back to fighting fitness. Of course, this is no easy task, and there are plenty of casualties along the way, which is exactly what I want from my military SF. I was fairly cool on this book the first time around, when it was near the start of my proper exploration of Black Library, but coming back with a better idea of what I’m getting into, Cadian Honour reminded me of what a great character Minka is.

Though Minka takes centre-stage, Hill takes his time to pan the camera out and look at other figures on both sides of the conflict, as well as those who are simply caught up in the chaos. It’s an eclectic cast too, with corrupt nobles, beleaguered soldiers, painters turned heretics, and more shellshocked veterans than you can shake a chainsword at. Revisiting the book now, the most interesting side characters to me were the Sisters of Battle who turn up late on in the story. They only have a few scenes, but it gets me very excited for Hill’s upcoming Pilgrims of Fire.

Continuing that broader perspective, Hill breathes sickly life into the world of Potence. Away from the front lines, it’s a far cry from the mud-churned battlefields of most Militarum novels. Instead we have sprawling tent cities filled with starved refugees, the constant threat of terror attacks by insidious forces, and the decaying grandeur of a capital in decline. It somehow feels more real than other Black Library settings. Perhaps because it’s less World War II in space, and more akin to the news reports we see on a daily basis in the twenty-first century. Unlike what a certain other franchise might say, the Cadian novels recognise a simple fact: War, war changes.

A solid piece of military SF given new shades of life by a strong narrator, Cadian Honour is a great entry point for new readers of Warhammer 40,000, and proof that Black Library can stand proudly alongside any other publisher.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

More by Justin D Hill
Cadia Stands
The Bookkeeper’s Skull
Minka Lesk #2: Traitor Rock
Terminal Overkill

Deeper Dive: But Minka, That’s Heresy!

One of the things that sets Minka Lesk’s battlefields apart from those of other characters is that nature of her enemies. They are not orks, or aeldari, or any other xenos. They are not even the mutated chaos spawn seen in Cadia Stands. No, they are as human as she is. They may be enslaved by the Ruinous Powers, but they are not all the way gone. Indeed, many believe themselves to be faithful warriors of the God-Emperor.

The Gallows Cluster is an interesting little region for this reason. While staunchly Imperial, it is riddled with unorthodox beliefs and cults. It’s a more nuanced take on religion than a lot of what we usually see is Warhammer fiction. faith in the Emperor is mandatory for Imperial citizens, yet it is also this faith that enemies of the Imperium use to turn loyal subjects against their master. Throughout real-world history, faith has been both sword and shield to civilisations, and it’s nice to see Warhammer reflecting this complexity.

4 responses to “AUDIO REVIEW: Cadian Honour, by Justin D Hill”

  1. Bookstooge Avatar

    Have you read the Gaunt’s Ghosts or Ciaphas Cain novels? Just wondering how this might compare to them.


    1. Alex Hormann Avatar

      I’ve read both (though not the most recent Cain book). Tonally, the Minka Lesk series is much closer to Gaunt’s Ghosts, and I’m hoping Hill gets a similar chance to carve out his little corner of the galaxy.

      The most recent Cadia novel, Traitor Rock, is easdily my favourite 40k novel. If you enjoyed Abnett’s Necropolis, you’ll probably enjoy Minka Lesk too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bookstooge Avatar

        Well, I’m all about the ground pounder action, so I might have to see what is available for the Cadians. Thanks 🙂


  2. MONTHLY ROUNDUP: February 2023 – At Boundary's Edge Avatar

    […] Audiobook: Cadian Honour, by Justin D Hill (January backlog) […]


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