Friday, 30 May 2014

Recommended Horus Heresy Novels

If there's one thing I love; it's a good... no make that fantastic read! By read, I mean novels. I might have a strong hatred for Games Workshop's current policy; but even then, that hatred doesn't extend to both The Black Library and Forge World. Least I care not for either; other than keep giving me awesome quality stuff!!

Regardless; out of the whole entirety of the Warhammer 40K lore; my favourite stories are related to the Horus Heresy. For today; I shall be giving you a list of MUST READ Horus Heresy novels. These are my personal favourites!

Check it out right meow!!


The first novel that anyone who is remotely interested in Warhammer 40K should read, is easily "Horus Rising". Besides being the first book in the entire series; it along with the next 3 novels are THE best Horus Heresy novels ever, bar none! They are truly fantastic.

The first novel gives us insight into just how Space Marine life in the 31st millennium was like. And I tell thee; it's drastically different from life in the 41st millennium! It is here we're introduced to the Sons of Horus; or rather the Luna Wolves.
"It is the 31st millennium. Under the benevolent leadership of the Immortal Emperor, the Imperium of Man has stretched out across the galaxy. It is a golden age of discovery and conquest. But now, on the eve of victory, the Emperor leaves the front lines, entrusting the great crusade to his favourite son, Horus. Promoted to Warmaster, can the idealistic Horus carry out the Emperor’s grand plan, or will this promotion sow the seeds of heresy amongst his brothers? Horus Rising is the first chapter in the epic tale of the Horus Heresy, a galactic civil war that threatened to bring about the extinction of humanity."
- The Black Library

The second novel that you should read is "False Gods". Like I said before; the first 4 novels are a must read! And this is the 2nd novel in the series!!

Ignore the fact that the cover of this book is of the Luna Wolves and not the Sons of Horus scheme. Someone got the memo wrong and accidentally switched the colours of the first 2 novels. Don't let this deter you from the read! I suggest to thee; go read it right meow!!
"The Great Crusade that has taken humanity into the stars continues. The Emperor of mankind has handed the reins of command to his favoured son, the Warmaster Horus. Yet all is not well in the armies of the Imperium. Horus is still battling against the jealousy and resentment of his brother primarchs and, when he is injured in combat on the planet Davin, he must also battle his inner daemons. With all the temptations that Chaos has to offer, can the weakened Horus resist?"
- The Black Library

Have a guess as to what the 3rd novel you should read is? If you guessed "Galaxy in Flames", you'd be right! It's the 3rd novel in the series. I think you know where I'm getting at; and it's by far my favourite of all the Horus Heresy novels!!

See; this novel is about the Isstvan III Massacre. The first time when Legion fought Legion; when Brother fought Brother. It's an extremely good read; and actually very grim dark and sad. That feeling of betrayal just comes across like a wave!

"Having recovered from his grievous injuries, Warmaster Horus leads the triumphant Imperial forces against the rebel world of Isstvan III. Though the rebels are swiftly crushed, Horus's treachery is finally revealed when the planet is razed by virus bombs and Space Marines turn on their battle-brothers in the most bitter struggle imaginable."
- The Black Library
I think you're getting the picture here. Next book you should read is obviously "The Flight of the Eisenstein". This novel tells the story of how the Emperor discovered Horus' betrayal. Or at least; how some Loyalist Legionaries managed to escape and warn the Emperor of the great betrayal. It's no where near the best novel; but it's a very good read.

"Having witnessed the terrible massacre of Imperial forces on Isstvan III, Death Guard Captain Garro seizes a ship and sets a course for Terra to warn the Emperor of Horus’s treachery. But when the fleeing Eisenstein is damaged by enemy fire, it becomes stranded in the warp – the realm of the Dark Powers. Can Garro and his men survive the depredations of Chaos and get his warning to the Emperor before Horus’s plans reach fruition?"
- The Black Library


Ok now we're gonna break the chain and start towards the later of the novels. By this I mean "Betrayer" is the next novel you should read. Most of the other Horus Heresy novels between this and the 4th just aren't all that great. Well unfortunately I found them boring and just couldn't get the feels I wanted.

Betrayer however gives me exactly that. And truly, I shed a single mighty tear. When you think of the World Eaters, what do you think of? Mindless Berzerkers right? But of course; there's more to them than that. And it's in Betrayer that you truly see the complexity, and the pain that the World Eaters feel.

Angron is not exactly the charismatic leader that the World Eaters can look up to. He's not like Horus or Fulgrim where their Legionnaires look up to them in pride, feeling truly like a "father and son". Here the World Eaters are lost; they try to force create that kinship by hammering the nails into their heads; but that just makes it worse.

It is in this novel I came to extremely hate the Word Bearers and Lorgar. You'll know why once you read this!
"The Shadow Crusade has begun. While the Ultramarines reel from Kor Phaeron’s surprise attack on Calth, Lorgar and the rest of the Word Bearers strike deep into the realm of Ultramar. Their unlikely allies, Angron and the World Eaters, continue to ravage each new system they come across – upon the garrison planet of Armatura, this relentless savagery may finally prove to be their undoing. Worlds will burn, Legions will clash and a primarch will fall!"
- The Black Library



  1. Dan Abnett is great. I am also a big fan of the first four novels and think the series starts to slip a little after them. The Warhammer universe has almost limitless potential for storytelling. Nice write up.

  2. They have the covers around the wrong way... Book 1 should have the unit colours of the Lunar Wolves (the cover of book 2) and book 2 should have the colours of the Sons of Horus (cover of book 1) They even talk about the colour change in book 2 hahaha