Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The 5 Horus Heresy novels you can't miss!

Did you know the first Horus Heresy book was released in 2006? although the series really didn't start taking off until ebooks were made available in late 2010. All this time I have read and re-read all the novels (and re-re-read again some of those), courtesy of a long conmute on my way to the office. This is the Top-5 novels no Warhammer fan, no science fiction fan can miss. Here we go;

#5 A Thousand Sons by Graham McNeill

The Thousand Sons are one of the most special Legions. Warfare was but a side consequence of their real objective which was the collection of all knoweldge. Thus they tapped into the Warp, a vast ocean of emotions and knowledge, and thought they could control it. Thought they were ready for it. Thought it would not harm them. They were wrong.

This is a very enjoyable novel about a fall that should have never happened, for the Thousand Sons and Magnus were loyal and devoted servants of Mankind, and all their did was to enlighten the rest of our kin. Unfortunately for them, the Warp can't be controlled and can't be fooled, and gambling with its inhabitants will only yield disaster. This is again a tale of Mankind being about to reach its peak, only to fall onto the deepest of pits. The other part of the story is told from the eyes of the Wolves of Fenris in Prospero Burns.

Remarkable moment:
Magnus manages to reach Terra to warn the Emperor about the treachery of Horus, but wreaks absolute havoc in doing so and severely damages the Golden Throne, earning the Emperor's punushment through the Space Wolves.

#4 Horus Rising by Dan Abnett

Time has taken its toll and many novels have appeared since, but this is where it all began. For the first time we heard about Loken and Torgaddon, the Mournival, the remembrancers and many more classics. It was a time of hope and enlightment for Mankind. And this is precisely what makes this book so special: probably the only non-dystopic book in all of the Black Library; there was no grim dark future, no doom at hand for Mankind, but a vast Galaxy to be conquered, an interstellar empire to be instaured. The Emperor and His Sons were abroad, commanding vast armies the like of which had never been seen before. Mighty battleships carrying death incarnate in power armour for some, enlightment for others. There was nothing that could stop Mankinf. Nothing on the tangible side of the galaxy at least...

Remarkable moment:
Loken's induction to the Mournival probably sets the highest moment in the Crusade, the final moment of utopia, and the beginning of the end.

#3 Legion by Dan Abnett

Whereas this book tells about the fall of the Alpha Legion, this is first and foremost the only Imperial Guard centric book in an otherwise universe of power armour. Abnett has proven over and over again to be the Master of the Guard, and this time is no different: the real stars of the show are the troopers of the Jokers regiment and their Commanding Officers. Soldiers of flesh and blood, fear and emotions, lasguns and trenches. Non-enhanced, knowing the fear, the cold and hunger. And yet quickly become the stars of the show. Not even the guest appearance of John Grammaticus and the Cabal he works for can steal any of the spotlight.

Remarkable moment: 
Bronzi Hurtado is not a man to be bullied when taking a leak, not even by a mighty Astartes!

#2 Mechanicum by Graham McNeill

Behold the mightiest machines of the Mechanicum rise in arms! this has to be the biggest product niche GW has yet to explore. Hell even Squats wouldn't sell as much as a fully-fledged Mechanicum army. Let's face it, big robots have always been popular in sci-fi, but seldom have been this cool. Huge stalking giants, bearing weapons capable of taking cities down in but a few seconds, fighting for the supremacy of the red planet. And the Heresy seeds creating a huge ridge in the planet that could tear it apart. Knights, Titans, Legions, Adepts, Forges and even a mysterious Dragon  make Mechanicum a Black Library masterpiece. Just. Don't. Miss it.

Remarkable moment:
A loyalist Titan legion defending one of the latest standing Forges from the attack of Legio Mortis. Pure epic.

Remarkable moment #2:
A patrol of Mars Knigths (think about the Grey Knights Dreadknight and you won't be far off the mark) are the first to receive the Emperor upon His descent to Mars. They get blinded by a warm golden light and are kneeling before His presence without even considering it.  Heal thylsef, machine!

#1 Prospero Burns by Dan Abnett

In the grim future/past of the 31st millenium there is only war, and boy what a war! the greatest, most powerful forces the Galaxy has ever seen are fighting each other. And amongst them, the Space Wolves outstand as the most ruthless and dangerous of them all (Abnett dixit). Not even the psychic mastery of the Thousand Sons stand a chance against the Emperor's deterrent once their fury has been unleashed. For most of the novel we will get a different insight though, not of bolters roaring but of the Wolves in the Rout, the Fang, and of their ways through the eyes of an outsider named Kasper Hauser. The Council of Nikaea is at the center of the story and plays a key role on the events that are about to unfold. Of course  there are other forces at play, the same that got Hauser to Fenris in the first place, and that might have been working in the shadows for decades so this Council actually happens...

Remarkable moment:
The final fight between Primarchs Leman Russ and Magnus is truly a clash of titans, yet one that can only have a winner. Abnett is at his best portraying Leman Russ, who tries to look like a barbaric madman but turns out to be more of a cunning warrior than that.

And that's it. Perhaps Ultramarine players will think Know No Fear should be on this list, or BA players will vouch for Fear To Tread. This is of course a subjective list, so feel free to post what are your favourite Horus Heresy novels!


  1. Replies
    1. Burned to ashes! perhaps the Imperium would have fared better without this happening though


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