The Horus Heresy (novels)
||This article may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Reference citation should be major focus with nested and circular referencing being top concerns.. (May 2013)|
|Authors||Various (List of authors)|
|Illustrators||Various (List of artists)|
|No. of books||30 (List of books)|
The Horus Heresy is an ongoing[update][dated info] series of science fantasy books written by various authors. The series takes place during the Horus Heresy, a fictional galaxy-spanning civil war occurring 10,000 years prior to the far future setting of Games Workshop's Warhammer 40,000 tabletop miniatures wargame. The war is described as a major contributing factor to the game's dystopian environment.
The books are published in several media by the Black Library, a Games Workshop division, with the first title released in April 2006; as of July 2014[update] the work consisted of 30 published volumes, with more in the pipeline.
The series has developed into a distinct and successful product line for the Black Library; titles have often appeared in bestseller lists, and overall the work has received critical approval despite reservations. It is an established, definitive component of Game Workshop's Horus Heresy sub-brand, and authoritative source material for the entire Warhammer 40,000 shared universe and its continuing development.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Titles
- 3 Contributors
- 4 Synopsis
- 5 Media and editions
- 6 Reception
- 7 Related works
- 8 Notes
- 9 References
The Horus Heresy is a dark, far future military space opera that takes place during the Horus Heresy, a cornerstone event of the dystopian science fantasy Warhammer 40,000 universe. The Horus Heresy is presented as a major chapter of conflict in the Warhammer 40,000 lore: it is caused by a Chaos plot to foil the Emperor by fomenting rebellion and internecine warfare in the expanding Imperium of Man.
The shared universe was originally created in 1987 by Games Workshop, parent company of series publisher Black Library, as the campaign setting for the Warhammer 40,000 tabletop miniatures wargame and in 2006 Black Library began publishing The Horus Heresy series. The series consists of full-length novels, and novel-length compilations of novellas or short stories, written by a number of authors. The series includes new characters as well as establishing the background of previously-established Warhammer 40,000 characters who play an important role in the post-Heresy fictional universe.
The first three novels in The Horus Heresy are an opening book trilogy. This trilogy presents some of the background and causes of the Heresy, and describes the start of the conflict. The arc's focus is on Warmaster Horus, the principal antagonist, and covers about two years in the overall Heresy timeline; most of this period elapses before the rebellion begins. Following the trilogy, the narrative is not strictly sequential and is often presented in nonlinear fashion from book to book. Apart from the initial trilogy, the stories often concern events that happen earlier or later than their position in the series would suggest, or may include time periods already covered in other series titles.
The majority of stories in The Horus Heresy are set around the start of the fictional universe's 31st millennium, in contrast to most Warhammer 40,000 material, which takes place in the 41st millennium. The stories in The Horus Heresy routinely cover the conflict's background, with some going back centuries before the war (and the 31st millennium) begins. In narrower scope, the entire conflict (including the Heresy proper and its proximate formative period), is depicted as having lasted less than a decade. With few exceptions, the sequence and dating of Heresy events is implied rather than stated in The Horus Heresy stories.
The seeds of Heresy are sown
|Abnett, DanDan Abnett||
The Heresy takes root
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
|3||Galaxy in Flames
The Heresy revealed
|Counter, BenBen Counter||
|4||The Flight of the Eisenstein
The Heresy unfolds
|Swallow, JamesJames Swallow||
Visions of treachery
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
|6||Descent of Angels
Loyalty and honour
|Scanlon, MitchelMitchel Scanlon||
Secrets and lies
|Abnett, DanDan Abnett||
|8||Battle for the Abyss
My brother, my enemy
|Counter, BenBen Counter||
War comes to Mars
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
|10||Tales of Heresy
[Short story compilation]
|Kyme, NickNick Kyme and Lindsey Priestley (editors)||
Deceit and betrayal
|Lee, MikeMike Lee||
|12||A Thousand Sons
All is dust...
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
War within the shadows
|Swallow, JamesJames Swallow||
|14||The First Heretic
Fall to Chaos
|Dembski-Bowden, AaronAaron Dembski-Bowden||
The Wolves unleashed
|Abnett, DanDan Abnett||
|16||Age of Darkness
[Short story compilation]
|Dunn, ChristianChristian Dunn (editor)||
|17||The Outcast Dead
The truth lies within
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
Ghosts of Terra
|Thorpe, GavGav Thorpe||
|19||Know No Fear
The battle of Calth
|Abnett, DanDan Abnett||
|Dunn, ChristianChristian Dunn (editor)||
|21||Fear to Tread
The Angel falls
|Swallow, JamesJames Swallow||
|22||Shadows of Treachery
[Short story and novella compilation]
|Dunn, ChristianChristian Dunn and Nick Kyme (editors)||
Flesh and iron
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||
Blood for the Blood God
|Dembski-Bowden, AaronAaron Dembski-Bowden||
|25||Mark of Calth
[Short story and novella compilation]
|Goulding, LaurieLaurie Goulding (editor)||
Unto the Anvil
|Kyme, NickNick Kyme||August 2013 (audiobook, e-book, hardback, paperback)||416 pp.|||
|27||The Unremembered Empire
A light in the darkness
|Abnett, DanDan Abnett||October 2013 (e-book, hardback, paperback)||416pp.|||
The legion divided
|Wraight, ChrisChris Wraight||April 2014 (e-book, hardback, paperback)||416 pp.|||
The Battle of Molech
|McNeill, GrahamGraham McNeill||May 2014 (e-book,Audiobook, hardback)||416 pp.|||
|30||The Damnation of Pythos
Thinning the veil
|Annandale, DavidDavid Annandale||July 2014 (e-book, hardback, audio)||416 pp.|||
Contributors in the series include artists, audiobook narrators, and compilation or abridgement editors. Each may have contributed in stories that utilise different forms; where applicable, the number of (multiple) contributions per form – or other pertinent information – is indicated in parentheses.
- Karl Richardson – Internal illustrations ("premium" editions)
- Neil Roberts – Cover art, front matter illustration; main series artist (all titles except where cited otherwise)
- Philip Sibbering – Cover art, front matter illustration
- Adrian Wood – Front matter map
- Gareth Armstrong – Unabridged novel (4), novella (2), short story (4)
- Sean Barrett – Novella
- Martyn Ellis – Abridged (3) and unabridged (1) novel, short story (3)
- Jonathan Keeble – Unabridged novel (3), novella, short story (6)
- David Timpson – Unabridged novel (2), novella, short story (3)
- Christian Dunn – Novel abridgement (3); mixed-form compilation, novella compilation, short story compilation
- Laurie Goulding – Mixed-form compilation
- Nick Kyme – Mixed-form compilation, short story compilation
- Lindsey Priestley – Short story compilation
Early in the 31st millennium, the Milky Way is in the throes of the Great Crusade. Originating from Terra (Earth), it is an interstellar crusade that claims the galaxy as the rightful domain of Humankind, and aims to reunite the multitude of scattered human space colonies under an "Imperium of Man". Organised in numerous Expeditions, the Crusade fields huge fleets and vast armies; at its forefront, led by the Primarchs, are Legions of Space Marines – transhuman super-warriors numbering in the millions. Over the course of two Terran centuries, the Crusade has reached star systems more than 50,000 light years away from its original staging point in the Sol (Solar) System, has assimilated millions of worlds into the Imperium, and has given Humankind a dominant position among the galaxy's species. Its grand mastermind is the "Emperor of Mankind", a mysterious superhuman of unknown origin who is said to be almost 40,000 years old when the Crusade starts.
The Emperor, Founder and Head of the Imperium, is a being of literally towering charisma, prowess, conviction, and ability. He has declared an atheistic worldview – the Imperial Truth – based on science, reason, and human primacy. However, he is also the most powerful human (or humanlike) psyker, and overall, one of the most formidable psychics in the galaxy; the Imperial Truth is at best a misrepresentation. The Emperor knows that in the Warp, the dark matter/dark energy-like parallel dimension that is the domain of thought, emotion, and consciousness, exist sentient vortices of concentrated, harmful energy. These malign immaterial entities forever seek to breach the material universe and subjugate or consume all life within it. They are the basis of many human and alien religions, and are known (by the few humans aware of their existence) collectively as Chaos, the Primordial Truth, or the Primordial Annihilator.
Humankind's continuing biological and psycho-spiritual evolution includes the gradual development of widespread Warp-related psychic abilities that will make the species far more susceptible to Chaotic influence; united under the Imperium of Man, shielded in the belief of Imperial Truth, and judiciously steered by the Emperor and his inner circle, the human race may yet avoid the Chaos-induced psychic corrosion and social entropy that would lead to its eventual annihilation. The transition of Humankind to a spiritually conscious species that is self-determining, and free of taint, may thus be accomplished. Chaos is aware of the Emperor's objectives; it has plans of its own to thwart them.
Book 1 to Book 10
1. Horus Rising: the seeds of Heresy are sown
Horus Rising, the series opener, starts its real time narrative in the early years of the 31st millennium, during the 203rd Terran year of the Great Crusade. It describes the rise to power of Horus Lupercal, Primarch of the "Luna Wolves" Legion of Space Marines (the 16th Legion of 20 formed originally), and the most versatile and favoured "son" of the Emperor. The Emperor has recently appointed him Warmaster (overall commander of Imperial military forces) and has left him in charge of the Crusade; he then returns to Terra, where in relative isolation is undertaking a secret project that even Horus is not privy to. Much of the focus of this novel is on Garviel Loken, Captain of the Luna Wolves' 10th Company. He becomes a member of the Mournival (an informal advisory body to Horus), and participates in Crusade campaigns against anti-Imperials and aliens. The story also hints at tensions in the nascent Imperium, exacerbated by the Emperor's absence and actions – these are common themes in following books..
2. False Gods: the Heresy takes root
False Gods picks up the tale a few weeks after the conclusion of Book 1 in the series timeline, and tells the story of Horus' fall. In a complicated conspiracy implemented by Chaos allies, Horus is mortally wounded during a Crusade mission by an alien, Chaos-tainted weapon. In a desperate (and contrary to Imperial doctrine) action by his lieutenants to ensure his survival, he is taken to a temple that has a reputation for healing. However the temple is actually in service to Chaos, and both Horus' wound and its supposed healing makes him susceptible to Chaos' influence. He ultimately turns against his "father", the Emperor, and sets in motion the entire Heresy. This novel further highlights the institutional and personal tensions that accompany the Imperium's maturity into the preeminent power of the galaxy; they include rifts among Primarchs and among (and within) Legions. The tensions, and characters' flaws, are repeatedly and successfully manipulated by Chaos in this and following volumes. A parallel storyline, also present in several other books, involves the growing influence – within Crusade Expeditions and in the wider Imperium – of a forbidden religious cult, whose members worship the Emperor as god.
3. Galaxy in Flames: the Heresy revealed
Galaxy in Flames continues the Heresy story, starting timewise shortly after the end of False Gods. It outlines the corrupted Warmaster's descent into madness, which will soon engender a brutal galaxy-wide civil war that abruptly ends the Great Crusade and subverts its objectives and ideals. Horus continues his secret planning of the rebellion in earnest, seeking (and finding) allies among the Primarchs, their Legions, and the Imperium's other organisations and personalities. The novel details the first open move of the Heresy, the culling of remaining "Loyalists" from the ranks of "Traitor" Legions and other rebel forces. This mainly takes place in the (fictional) Isstvan star system, specifically on and around the planet Isstvan III; Loyalist vessels come under treacherous rebel fire in the surrounding space, while on the planet's surface pro-Emperor elements of several rebel Space Marine Legions and Imperial Army units defiantly oppose the traitors.
4. The Flight of the Eisenstein: the Heresy unfolds
The Flight of the Eisenstein follows the Eisenstein, a space frigate of the "Death Guard" or 14th Legion, commanded by Battle‑Captain Nathaniel Garro of the 7th Company – one of the few Commanders in the Traitor Legions that remain loyal to the Emperor. The story describes Eisenstein's escape from Isstvan III (see Galaxy in Flames above) and its perilous voyage across the galaxy as it attempts to reach Terra and raise the alarm over the developing rebellion. Garro and the others on board the vessel face suspicion and incredulity from Imperial authorities; apart from the inconceivable news of Horus' betrayal, the situation is complicated by the fact that many of the travellers on the Eisenstein now openly proclaim their heretical belief in the Emperor's divinity.
5. Fulgrim: visions of treachery
Fulgrim centers on the eponymous Primarch of the 3rd Legion, the "Emperor's Children", as both the flamboyant, perfectionist Commander and his Space Marines become corrupted by Chaos around the time Horus meets the same fate (Book 2). As a result, a warning about Horus' imminent betrayal and the disaster that may follow – delivered by the alien Eldar to Fulgrim and his staff – goes unheeded. The Emperor's Children eventually become the "Chosen" of Slaanesh, a god of Chaos, while Fulgrim is slowly and unwittingly drawn into grotesque communion. Primarch Ferrus Manus and his "Iron Hands" Space Marines (the 10th Legion) also play a prominent role in the novel, and several other Primarchs and Legions make appearances. Described in passing is the pivotal Battle of Isstvan V (an Isstvan system planet), also known as the Dropsite Massacre. The battle fully reveals the scale and ferocity of the rebellion.
6. Descent of Angels: loyalty and honour
Descent of Angels is a pre-Heresy story that concludes about 50 years before the start of that conflict. It introduces the "Dark Angels" Space Marines (the 1st Legion) and their Primarch, Lion El'Jonson. The story is mainly told from the point of view of Zahariel El'Zurias, a native of Caliban (a Warhammer 40,000 planet). Caliban is an isolated, low-technology planet that resembles a medieval fantasy world; the narrative details the fantasy-like setting, uniquely diverging from the series norm. Zahariel is introduced in the story as an Aspirant of the Order, an organisation of techno-barbarian knights. The first half of the novel is set on Caliban and covers the final battles of the Order under the leadership of Jonson, the future Primarch. The book's second half describes Caliban's unification with the Imperium of Man as well as the actions of the Dark Angels during the early years of the Great Crusade. In this part of the story, Zahariel, selected as candidate Space Marine, is accepted as a Dark Angel Neophyte. A future schism within the Legion is also intimated in this section of the book.
7. Legion: secrets and lies
Legion features the "Alpha" Legion of Space Marines, the 20th and last to be formed. It is the most secretive, subtle, and inscrutable of all Legions; its deepest secret is the binary nature of its Primarch, who comprises the twins Alpharius and Omegon. The book also highlights the Imperium's mainstream military force, the Imperial Army, featuring several male and female officers and their units. Another important factor in the novel is The Cabal, a mysterious, ancient interspecies organisation opposed to Chaos – one of the main characters is a human Cabal operative, John Grammaticus. The story takes place over roughly a 6‑month period, about two years before the Heresy starts; it describes the events that eventually lead Alpharius Omegon to support Horus.
8. Battle for the Abyss: my brother, my enemy
Battle for the Abyss is concerned with the lead‑up to the rebels' invasion of Ultramar, the in‑universe remote home star system of the unshakably Loyalist 13th Legion, the "Ultramarines" (Book 19 and 24). Early in the Heresy, the Traitor Word Bearers Legion is tasked with organising and leading the invasion; they plan to use an immense, secretly commissioned warship, the Furious Abyss, to spearhead the surprise attack. The vessel, commanded by Fleet Captain Zadkiel, launches from shipyards near Jupiter around the time of the events on Isstvan III (Book 3), and sets course for Macragge, Ultramar's capital world. Leading the cast of Loyalist protagonists is Cestus, Fleet Commander and Captain of the 7th Company of the Ultramarines. They become aware of the powerful capital ship's true purpose, and engage in long pursuit; they will seek to prevent the Furious Abyss from participating in the invasion and from reaching Macragge.
9. Mechanicum: war comes to Mars
Mechanicum is the first book in the series not to focus on Primarchs or Space Marines. Instead, it is about the civil war on Mars, which takes place around the time of the start of the wider Heresy conflict. The planet is the seat of the Mechanicum, a cultlike, Terra-allied technocracy responsible for the design, construction, and maintenance of all Imperial military and civilian technology. Planning his imminent campaign against the Imperium, Horus obtains the secret allegiance of highly placed Mechanicum Adepts, including that of Kelbor-Hal, Fabricator General of Mars and the technocracy's leader. They plot, and eventually carry out, a coup d'état in order to eliminate those on Mars who are loyal to the alliance with Terra and the Emperor. The ensuing war will determine which side in the struggle will receive the Mechanicum's crucial support.
10. Tales of Heresy
Tales of Heresy is a collection of short stories that introduces or expands storyline perspectives and actors such as the Custodian Guard (the Praetorian Guard-like Imperial Bodyguard) and the Sisters of Silence, a classified Imperial organisation of warrior‑nuns originally introduced in Book 4; most stories take place around the time of the Heresy. It includes two stories that take place on Terra, one of which is happening much earlier than the Heresy and adds to the background regarding the Imperial Truth; another entry in the compilation is a Primarch origin story, wherein Angron (one of the Emperor's "sons") takes command of the 12th Space Marine Legion, the "World Eaters". The book contains seven stories by various authors; several stories relate to full-length novels in the series.
Book 11 to Book 20
11. Fallen Angels: deceit and betrayal
Fallen Angels continues the Dark Angels tale begun in Book 6, Descent of Angels. The novel starts around the time of Book 6's conclusion, about 50 years before the Heresy, but forwards to just about the time of the Heresy's beginning in the opening chapters. It tells two stories: one concerns the effort of Primarch Lion El'Jonson and a small group of Dark Angels to deny a forge world (a planet devoted to manufacturing, especially of weapons) to Horus' forces; the other is the story of Luther (Lion El'Jonson's second), Zahariel El'Zurias (by now a full Space Marine), and a Dark Angels contingent sent back to Caliban, the Dark Angels Legion home world. They get involved in the fight against a growing insurgency that seeks to free the planet from under the Imperium's thumb.
12. A Thousand Sons: all is dust...
A Thousand Sons is the story of Primarch Magnus and the "Thousand Sons" Space Marines, the 15th Legion; it mainly takes place before the Heresy begins. Following a reprimand by the Emperor for dabbling in sorcery, Magnus and his Legion secretly continue to study the forbidden subjects. Then, around the time of Horus' corruption (Book 2), Magnus learns through sorcery of his brother's impending betrayal. He tries – again through sorcery – to warn the Emperor, believing that the gravity of the news justifies his disobedience. However, he overreaches with his powers and damages the vital and secret project the Emperor is undertaking (Book 1), endangering the safety of Terra itself in the process. The Emperor is enraged and orders Leman Russ, Primarch of the 6th Legion (the "Space Wolves"), to Prospero, the Thousand Sons Legion's in‑series home world. The Space Wolves, accompanied by other Imperial forces, are to bring Magnus and his Legion to Terra to account for themselves.
13. Nemesis: war within the shadows
Nemesis is set about two years after the events on Isstvan V described in Book 5, Fulgrim. It is a look at the war behind the war, the covert operations undertaken by the opposing sides in order to influence the visible conflict. Specifically, it deals with a plan by a secret Imperial organisation, the Officio Assassinorum, to eliminate Horus; an "Execution Force" consisting of operatives from all of the Officio's disciplines, and led by top-rated sniper Eristede Kell, is tasked with the mission. There have been several previous unsuccessful attempts against Horus' life, and this gives a high-ranking officer of the Traitor Word Bearers Legion the idea to field a nemesis weapon of his own: a highly specialised assassin, who is to be used in an audacious scheme to kill the Emperor.
14. The First Heretic: fall to Chaos
The First Heretic details the fall to Chaos of Primarch Lorgar and the 17th Space Marine Legion, the "Word Bearers". Decades before the start of the rebellion they become heretics relative to the Imperial Truth by introducing religious worship. This results in public and humiliating censure of Lorgar and the entire assembled Legion, by the Emperor himself. The despairing Lorgar is subsequently swayed by two of his most trusted lieutenants, who are in secret allegiance with Chaos; eventually both Primarch and Legion covertly embrace (and promote) the Primordial Truth, many years before Horus' corruption. The story is largely told from the point of view of Argel Tal, a Captain of the Word Bearers, who becomes commander of a Chaos-possessed elite Legion unit. It spans several decades, starting 43 years before the events on Isstvan V (Book 5) and concluding around the time the Word Bearers are on their way to assault Calth (Book 19).
15. Prospero Burns: the Wolves unleashed
Prospero Burns is part of the story arc of Book 12, however it follows a different but related timeline. The story begins more than a century before the Space Wolves-led mission to Prospero, and the concurrent start of the Heresy. It is presented from the point of view of Kasper Hawser, formerly a noted Terran academic who becomes a Crusade Remembrancer, and then the Oral Historian or skjald of the 3rd Company of the Space Wolves Legion. On the surface it is his story; the important understory concerns the long-term machinations of Chaos, whose aim is the destruction of both Space Wolves and Thousand Sons. Chaos attempts to exploit the weaknesses of the Primarchs and their Legions in order to pit them against each other – the ultimate result is the confrontation on Prospero. While this confrontation is taking place, Horus' previously covert rebellion becomes visible (Book 3). The novel also adds background to Horus' fall and to the planning of the Heresy campaign by Chaos and its forces.
16. Age of Darkness
Age of Darkness is a compilation of nine short stories by various authors. They take place during the seven‑year period between the Dropsite Massacre on Isstvan V (Book 5), and the conclusion of Horus' campaign. The stories present various facets of the unfolding conflict, as suspicion, insecurity, and paranoia spread through the galaxy on the wake of the Warmaster's betrayal. Subjects include: a Primarch prepares for the end of the Imperium; a Traitor PSYOP topples an Imperial planet; an unusual diplomatic contest will decide which side will be chosen by a world on the fence; a non-combatant may be a rebel agent or a herald of unpalatable truths for the Imperium; a Loyalist Space Marine in a Traitor Legion holds his own against his erstwhile brothers. Several of the included stories are linked through continuity; some are also prequels or sequels to stories in other series books.
17. The Outcast Dead: the truth lies within
The Outcast Dead is the first novel-length story in the series to take place almost entirely on Terra. It covers a relatively short period, starting several months before Magnus' catastrophic psychic visit at the Imperial Palace (Book 12), and concluding several months after this event. The unauthorised visit is central to the story: apart from damaging the Emperor's top secret project (Book 1) and the planet's defense, it massively disrupts Terra's long-range communications infrastructure. The ensuing isolation and confusion cause indecision and delays for the Loyalist side. The story's main character is Kai Zulane, previously a gifted Imperial astropath attached to the Ultramarines Legion. He unwittingly becomes the keeper of a secret that could decide the victor in the developing galactic civil war. The secret has additional implications regarding the Heresy's conclusion and the future course of the Imperium of Man. "The Outcast Dead" are other protagonists: a small, disparate group of Space Marines suspected as traitors, with whom Zulane falls in during the second half of the book.
18. Deliverance Lost: ghosts of Terra
Deliverance Lost is mainly concerned with the actions of Primarch Corvus Corax and his Space Marine Command, the 19th Legion or "Raven Guard", during the year following the Dropsite Massacre (Book 5). However, operatives and the Primarch of the Alpha Legion play a prominent role. The story starts about 3 months after the Dropsite Massacre, with the unexpected rescue of Corax and the remnants of his Legion (at less than 5% strength due to casualties in that battle). Arriving at Terra a few months after the events described in The Outcast Dead take place, Corax convinces the Emperor to impart to him the knowledge and material that may accelerate the rebuilding of his Legion. The second part of the novel describes the effort to reconstitute the Raven Guard, undertaken on Deliverance (its home world in Warhammer 40,000 fiction), and the pursuit of opposite objectives by the Alpha Legion. The novel features the reappearance of The Cabal (Book 7), and of other well-known characters; it also adds information about the developing strategies and subterfuge applied by the opposing sides, including reasons for Horus' timetable and for the Emperor's actions during the initial stages of the Heresy.
19. Know No Fear: the battle of Calth
Know No Fear documents the rebels' surprise assault on Calth, an ascendant Ultramar system world. It is planned and led by the Traitor Word Bearers Legion, now fully and openly committed to the spread of the Primordial Truth. The narrative starts close to where the timelines of Book 8 and Book 14 converge (in their respective conclusions), with the invasion force en route to, or near the planet. The rebel mission has aims beyond just delivering a crippling blow to the Ultramarines Legion and their home system; its objectives may affect the entire Heresy campaign. The story tracks the Calth assault from its opening covert phases, and the actions of several characters. Unaware of the developing rebellion and the Word Bearers' true role and allegiance, Primarch Roboute Guilliman and his Ultramarines are unprepared for the underhand invasion: it is total, bloody war, with ritualistic undertones, scorched earth tactics, decisive use of technology, and the considerable involvement of Chaos; the inconceivable treachery and its implications forever change the Loyalists' view of reality.
20. The Primarchs
The Primarchs is a compilation of four novellas by different authors, each story starring one of the "sons" of the Emperor. The novellas further develop these characters, who make multiple appearances in the series: following the Dropsite Massacre (Book 5), Fulgrim, perversely empowered by his own corruption, reveals his true nature and future plans to top officers of his compromised Legion; during a Great Crusade campaign against the enigmatic Eldar, Ferrus Manus, already beset by unsettling dreams, is subjected by alien sorcerers to stark, portentous visions and warnings about his future and role in the soon to be revealed Heresy; with Horus' rebellion in full swing after the events of Isstvan V, a suspicious and isolated Lion El'Jonson accepts the newly revealed realities of the Warp and decides on an independent course of action for the Dark Angels in the unfolding conflict; around the same time, and plotting a typically indecipherable course in the expanding war, the twinned Primarch of the Alpha Legion is involved in a unique counterintelligence operation that extends the Legion's customary deceptions inwards.
Book 21 to Book 30
21. Fear to Tread: the Angel falls
Fear to Tread describes an operation by the forces of Chaos that is supposed to turn Primarch Sanguinius and the 9th Space Marine Legion, the "Blood Angels", to their cause. To succeed, Chaos plans to take advantage of a genetic flaw in Sanguinius' and the Legion's DNA. As the Heresy is getting under way, the outwardly still loyal Warmaster orders the entire 9th Legion and their unsuspecting Primarch to a remote star system. There they find themselves isolated and ambushed, fighting a new kind of war – against Chaos entities and daemons – designed to trigger the Legion's flaw. The plan almost succeeds; yet conflicting agendas among anti-Imperial protagonists, as well as the fortitude and unorthodox tactics of quick-to-adapt Blood Angels, narrowly result in Loyalist victory. In the meantime Horus' rebellion erupts openly and the Loyalists suffer catastrophic losses in the Dropsite Massacre (Book 5). Sanguinius and his Legion, now fully aware of the great betrayal and the reality of Chaos, race to the defense of Terra and the Emperor while buffeted by unprecedented navigational difficulties; it is hinted that these are related to the action in the Ultramar system of Calth (Books 19 and 24).
22. Shadows of Treachery
Shadows of Treachery is a compilation that collects five short stories previously published in limited editions, art books, or other formats, and also contains two new novellas. Most of the stories involve the 7th or 8th Space Marine Legions, respectively the Loyalist "Imperial Fists" and Traitor "Night Lords", and their Primarchs Rogal Dorn and Konrad Curze. Other Legions and Primarchs are also featured, while one short story takes place on Mars and illuminates an aspect of the Traitor Mechanicum's conspiracy. One of the novellas is mainly about an all-out close-quarters space battle, between a Loyalist Retribution Fleet sent to punish Horus following the events of Isstvan III (Book 3) and the Traitor fleet that ambushes it; the other new novella deals with the aftermath of another naval engagement in space that cripples the Night Lords Legion. The narratives of all stories fill gaps in the series or add further details about the Heresy and its actors; they cover periods that range from several decades before the conflict to around the time frame of Book 18 (one short story is a prequel to that novel).
23. Angel Exterminatus: flesh and iron
Angel Exterminatus covers a Traitor operation in uncharted and dangerous galactic space, that may purportedly decide the war in favour of the rebels. The story provides further glimpses of disparate motivations and conflicting objectives among traitor factions as the Heresy campaign continues. It is taking place some time after the Dropsite Massacre (Book 5), shortly following the events described by two novellas (Books 20 and 22). Featured are the 4th Legion of Space Marines, the "Iron Warriors", renowned siege masters of the Great Crusade, and their Primarch Perturabo. However the core plot is set in motion by Fulgrim and the Emperor's Children, who share the spotlight. The embittered Iron Warriors have aligned with Horus out of frustration with the ignominious and unheralded role assigned them by the Imperium; before the story begins, they lash out in unforgivable genocide. In the story, they are invited to the freelance operation (which is unknown to the Warmaster) by Fulgrim and his Legion, who have their own agenda. The operation's true goal is kept secret from Perturabo and his Space Marines, who come to realise that not all fellow rebels can be trusted. A side thread involves Fabius Bile, the chief medical officer of the Emperor's Children, and the Traitors' top geneticist; he is on a no-holds-barred quest to exceed the Emperor's genetic achievements.
24. Betrayer: blood for the Blood God
Betrayer returns the series to the action in the Ultramar theatre; it starts around the time the events of Book 19 begin to unfold. Unlike that story, Betrayer is presented from the perspective of the rebels, in this case the World Eaters and Word Bearers Legions, and often through the particular viewpoint of Khârn, Captain of the 8th Company of the World Eaters and Equerry to Primarch Angron. In tenuous and fragile cooperation, the two very different Traitor Legions lay waste to worlds across Ultramar; it is a "Shadow Crusade" meticulously planned by Primarch Lorgar of the Word Bearers, who deploys Abyss-class spaceships. The campaign's strategic goal is the destruction or isolation of the powerful Ultramarines Legion, its home star system, and the system's considerable resources; removing Ultramar as a factor in the war is one of Horus' primary objectives. The scheming Primarch of the Word Bearers orchestrates genocide in unprecedented scale, as a way to summon the powers of Chaos. With their help, he hopes to generate the so-called Ruinstorm, an immense interdimensional disturbance that will create an impenetrable veil around Ultramar. As the final piece of his plan, Lorgar engineers the "ascension" into daemonhood of the increasingly unstable Angron: the event is to act as the conduit for the unnatural storm.
25. Mark of Calth
Mark of Calth is the fifth compilation to appear in the series; it contains seven short stories and one novella, each by a different author. The stories further describe aspects of the rebels' Ultramar campaign, as close prequels or sequels of Books 19 and 24. "Premium" editions and the e‑audiobook version were released April 2013; text-based general release editions were expected mid-to-late 2013.[dated info]
26. Vulkan Lives : Unto the Anvil
In the wake of the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvan V, the survivors of the Salamanders Legion searched long and hard for their fallen primarch, but to no avail. Little did they know that while Vulkan might have wished himself dead, he lives still. As the war continues without him, all eyes turn to Ultramar and Guilliman's new empire there, and Vulkan's sons are drawn into an insidious plot to end the Heresy by the most underhand means imaginable.
27. The Unremembered Empire : Imperium Secundus
The unthinkable has happened - Terra has fallen to the traitor forces of Warmaster Horus! Nothing else could explain the sudden disappearance of the Astronomican's guiding light at the heart of the Imperium, or so Roboute Guilliman would believe. Ever the pragmatist, he has drawn all his forces to Ultramar and begun construction of the new empire known as Imperium Secundus. Even with many of his primarch brothers at his side, he still faces war from without and intrigue from within - with the best of intentions, were the full truth to be known it would likely damn them all as traitors for all eternity.
28. Scars : A Legion divided
Of all the Legiones Astartes, the White Scars of Jaghatai Khan remain the most enigmatic and elusive. Born of a civilisation that prizes honour, speed and fearsome loyalty, their allegiance has yet remained unclear even as the galaxy is torn apart by Horus’s treachery, and both sides have apparently counted them among their potential allies in the war to come. But when the Alpha Legion launch an unexplained and simultaneous attack against the White Scars and Space Wolves, the Khan must decide once and for all whether he will stand with the Emperor or the Warmaster... or neither.
29. Vengeful Spirit : the Battle of Molech
Once the brightest star in the Imperium and always first among his primarch brothers, Horus has dragged the Space Marine Legions into the bloodiest conflict that the galaxy has ever seen. While their allies wage war on a thousand different fronts, the XVIth Legion descend upon the Knight world of Molech – home to the ruling House Devine, and a principal stronghold of the Imperial Army. The forces loyal to the Emperor stand ready to defy the Warmaster, but just what could have drawn Horus to attack such a well defended planet, and what might he be willing to sacrifice to fulfill his own dark destiny?
30. The Damnation of Pythos : Thinning the veil
In the aftermath of the Dropsite Massacre at Isstvan V, a battered and bloodied force of Iron Hands, Raven Guard and Salamanders regroups on a seemingly insignificant death world. Fending off attacks from all manner of monstrous creatures, the fractious allies find hope in the form of human refugees fleeing from the growing war, and cast adrift upon the tides of the warp. But even as the Space Marines carve out a sanctuary for them in the jungles of Pythos, a darkness gathers that threatens to consume them all…
Book 31 and above
31. Legacies of Betrayal : Let the galaxy burn
Only from out of great conflict can true heroes arise. With the galaxy aflame and war on an unimaginable scale tearing the Imperium apart, champions of light and darkness venture onto countless fields of battle in service to their masters. They ask not for remembrance or reward - simply to meet their destiny head-on, and only by embracing that destiny will they come to learn what the unseen future may yet hold for them. This Horus Heresy anthology contains eighteen short stories by authors such as Graham McNeill, Aaron Dembski-Bowden, Nick Kyme and many more.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2014)|
Media and editions
Series titles are released in multiple versions: in print as paperbacks and hardcovers (with paperback editions printed in mass-market and trade formats); as e-books; and as either abridged or unabridged audiobooks and e‑audiobooks (respectively, in compact disc and audio file formats – the Black Library has partnered with specialist UK company Heavy Entertainment for audio production).
As of April 2013[update], print editions were generally between 400 and 500 pages, though some mass market versions have rendered in more; total series length in first paperback edition was about 10,600 print pages (24 titles). Digital editions ranged in size from less than a megabyte (some e‑book releases) to over a gigabyte (some e‑audiobook releases); the totals run from a low of about 10 MB (for 22 e-book titles, in EPUB format) to a high of about 11 GB (for 13 unabridged titles, in MP3 format). Durations of audio versions spread from about 6 hours for the abridged editions to anywhere between 11 and 19 hours for the unabridged editions; the total length of the unabridged edition was about 168 hours, divided among 13 titles. CD audiobooks were published in packages of 5 discs per abridged title; two unabridged titles were available on CD, with the longest packaged in 13 discs.
Outside the UK, series titles are published in several countries and languages by Black Library divisions or as co-editions with local associates. As of April 2013[update], other-language renditions lagged the English-language series in the number of released titles, and had followed distinct publication schedules and release sequences. Also as of April 2013[update], editions in other languages were published in paperback and e‑book formats.
Starting November 2010, new titles have often been released simultaneously in multiple media; occasionally since then, new titles' digital or audio releases have preceded the print versions, in reverse of previous practice (see table "Published" above). Stories in series compilations have also been published individually, as e‑books, and as MP3 or CD "audio shorts".
Series stories have appeared in whole or in part in other Black Library publications, sometimes before the corresponding series books have become generally available; prepublications have included stand-alone releases of compilation stories. "Prerelease" copies of series volumes have been regularly offered months before official publication, in Games Workshop- and Black Library‑sponsored events such as the various Games Days.
There have been a number of special editions and bundles published in a variety of media; bundles have included the "Horus Heresy Collections", which mix editions and media of the same or different titles. In concert with established industry practice, certain special editions are available in limited distribution months before the release of the corresponding regular, or wider-release, versions.
English-language series releases include publishing of the titles in special "premium" editions: "Premium Hardback" (print) and "Enhanced Ebook" (digital). These versions contain additional material and artwork, and are published several months before their general-availability or regular edition counterparts. The first title to appear in "premium" editions, in October 2012, was Angel Exterminatus (Book 23). The earlier catalogue of the series is also republished in these editions, again beginning October 2012 with the series-opening novel trilogy.
Other special editions (selections)
- Horus Rising – Dan Abnett. "5th Anniversary Edition" to mark the 5‑year publishing history of the series. With "'titanium blue' foil treatment on the cover" and it includes "an exclusive new introduction by author Dan Abnett" – April 2011
- Limited Edition Horus Heresy Audio Boxset – Dan Abnett, Ben Counter, Graham McNeill. Contains the abridged CD‑audio versions of the series' opening trilogy narrated by Martyn Ellis. Abridged by Christian Dunn. Includes an exclusive bonus CD containing the short story "Little Horus" by Abnett, from the Age of Darkness compilation, also read by Ellis. Total duration is about 18 hours, contained in 16 discs. Edition limited to 2,000 copies worldwide – November 2011
- Xmas 2011 Horus Heresy eBundle – Series authors. E‑book edition of the first 17 Books in the series. One of several series bundles, this was offered as a "Christmas 2011 Special" – November 2011
Several[clarification needed] novels in The Horus Heresy series have appeared in UK and US science fiction charts, have occupied high positions in Nielsen BookScan genre lists, and since early 2010 have often charted in The New York Times Bestseller List for mass-market paperbacks.
Critical reception of individual titles has been mixed, yet the general tone of reviews has been mostly positive. Although the series overall has been viewed favourably, there have been complaints about its length, the multitude of characters and narrative threads, and the timeline jumps or repetitions caused by the nonlinear storytelling. The evolving series is said to have gradually acquired a backstory and terminology of its own; this has led reviewers to question the accessibility of individual stories to new or casual readers.
Early in its publishing history, the series became a sales success in its category. Horus Rising by Dan Abnett, the opening title, set the pace shortly after its release, topping Locus magazine's "Locus Bestsellers: Gaming-Related" list of August 2006; as of Book 22 (September 2012),[update] practically every title in the series had achieved the same or similar performance on this chart. Horus Rising's January 2011 CD audiobook release also appeared in ranked sales lists: the (abridged) edition was number 15 in a related chart published by The Bookseller, covering 2011 UK sales up to September.
Legion by Abnett, and Battle for the Abyss by Ben Counter, were listed in Nielsen BookScan's list of top‑20 fictional works by small publishers for the year ending on 23 August 2008; the books appeared in eighth and sixteenth place respectively. The next published title, Mechanicum by Graham McNeill, entered The Bookseller's "Top 20 Fiction Heatseekers" chart of 5 December 2008, shortly after its release, at number 10; series titles have consistently appeared in this list.
A Thousand Sons by McNeill was released in February 2010 and arrived at number 22 on The New York Times Bestseller List, the first ever novel on the Black Library imprint to do so. Nemesis by James Swallow followed, reaching number 26 on the List in August 2010. The First Heretic, by Aaron Dembski‑Bowden, reached number 28 in the weekly chart in November 2010 and stayed on the List for a second week, at number 33. Abnett's Prospero Burns was next, reaching number 16 in January 2011; this title also topped a science fiction and fantasy book chart published by The Times (London) in March of the same year.
The compilation Age of Darkness, edited by Christian Dunn, also entered The New York Times Best Sellers List, in May 2011, at number 31. Book 19, Know No Fear, again by Abnett, continued the trend: it appeared at number 21 in March 2012. It was followed on the List by the next series title, The Primarchs, a compilation edited by Dunn, which occupied position 29 during the week of 17 June 2012; in addition, The Primarchs had placed first in Publishers Weekly's science fiction bestsellers listing for the week of 28 May 2012. In September 2012 Fear to Tread by Swallow entered The New York Times Best Sellers List at number 13, at the time the highest entry on that chart for a series novel; the book remained on the List the week after (week of 23 September), at number 33.
Between the late–1980s introduction of the Horus Heresy and the start of this series publication in 2006, Games Workshop and affiliates released Horus Heresy-branded products that expanded the concept's standing as Warhammer 40,000 background material. The release of such works, which include literature independent of this series, continued as of 2013[update]; the works may relate to it as prequels, sequels, or expansions of its stories.
Pre-series Horus Heresy literature and other related works may have been superseded or rendered obsolete, while other similar material may no longer be authoritative even as it remains in Horus Heresy and Warhammer 40,000 canons; still other non-series Horus Heresy material has been eventually incorporated into the work.
A significant development was the 2012 initial release of the Horus Heresy miniatures wargame expansion, which repositioned the concept as a foreground element within the Warhammer 40,000 gaming system – while highlighting the importance of the Horus Heresy to Games Workshop's product lineup and the related universe. The expansion is reputedly developed in coordination with the book series, and includes new material and information about the Horus Heresy and the fictional universe; it joins the series and other works as an authoritative source of Heresy material and Warhammer 40,000 background.
The Black Library and Games Workshop have released novels, game rulebooks, and other products not branded or classified as Horus Heresy, yet directly relating to story arcs or events described in the series. An example is listed in the section below.
- Collected Visions: Iconic Images of the Imperium, Betrayal and War – Alan Merrett (writer), John Blanche (conceptual art), Nick Kyme and Matt Ralphs (editors), and many additional contributors. Omnibus edition of the four-volume Horus Heresy art book series (2004–06); it outlines the entire Horus Heresy in art and prose. As of February 2013[update] it was partially superseded, amended, or expanded by the continuing book series and the newer Horus Heresy rulebook series (see below). As of the same month it remained the most comprehensive official roadmap for the complete Heresy storyline – June 2007
- Battle of the Fang – Chris Wraight. Warhammer 40,000 novel in the Space Marine Battles series. The story takes place a thousand years after the Horus Heresy, and is a continuation of the arc presented in Books 12 (A Thousand Sons), and 15 (Prospero Burns) – June 2011
- Aurelian – Aaron Dembski‑Bowden. Subtitled The Eye stares back, this "Horus Heresy novella" is part of a story arc along with The First Heretic, Book 14 in the series – October 2011
- Betrayal – Alan Bligh (writer), and Forge World artists and designers. "Volume One" in the Horus Heresy rulebook series. This series is part of the stand-alone Horus Heresy expansion for the Warhammer 40,000 game system; the expansion is produced by Games Workshop modelling subsidiary Forge World. Betrayal is centered on the events of Isstvan III, also described in Galaxy in Flames, Book 3 of the book series – September 2012
- Gronli Gronli (20 November 2008). "Horus Heresy novel series wrapup". Gamertell. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Merrett, Alan (2007). Kyme, Nick & Ralphs, Matt, eds. Collected visions: iconic images of the imperium, betrayal and war (hardcoverGraham McNeill; illustrations by Sabertooth Games staff artists (omnibus ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-1-84416-424-0.) (print). Horus Heresy [art book series] 1–4. Cover art & illustrations by Games Workshop staff artists & designers; includes short stories by
- McNish, Cliff (19 May 2011). "Cliff McNish's top 10 most frightening books for teenagers". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2013.
- Wolff 2009, p. 1. "[The series does] not adhere to a rigorously linear storyline between volumes. The vastness of the Warhammer 40K [40,000] universe ... offers more opportunities to non-traditional storytelling. In addition, it is easier to drag out a series when it is not the standard linear storyline."
- Troke, Adam; Vetock, Jeremy; Ward, Mat (2012). Warhammer 40,000 Rulebook (6th ed.). Nottingham: Games Workshop. ISBN 978-1-907964-79-4.
- "Paperback" may refer to either mass-market (mm) or trade paperback; "audiobook" may refer to either disc or audio file format (e‑audiobook) release. Sources: official series website (in § External links); Black Library website (Black Library Online "Horus Heresy"); British National Bibliography.
- Mass-market paperback approx. 17 cm × 10 cm (6.7 in × 3.9 in); trade paperback approx. 23 cm × 15 cm (9.1 in × 5.9 in). Sources: Amazon UK; British National Bibliography; digital media size range reflects decompressed readable/listenable formats. "Enhanced e‑book" editions not included in the indicated values (such versions may be substantially larger). Range values are extrapolated approximations, see Black Library Online (FAQ, "What size are the files?"); for audio edition information, see individual title listings under Black Library Online ("Horus Heresy").
- See comment under § References.
- Abnett 2006, (mm paperback), 2010a, (e‑book), 2011a, (audiobook).
- McNeill 2006, (mm paperback), 2010a, (e‑book), 2011b-1, (audiobook), 2011b-2, (e‑audiobook).
- Counter 2006, (mm paperback), 2010a, (e‑book), 2012, (audiobook).
- Swallow 2007, (mm paperback), 2010a, (e‑book), 2012b, (e‑audiobook).
- McNeill 2007, (mm paperback), 2010b, (e‑book), 2013b, (e‑audiobook).
- Scanlon 2007, (mm paperback), 2010, (e‑book).
- Abnett 2008, (mm paperback), 2010b, (e‑book).
- Counter 2008, (mm paperback), 2010b, (e‑book).
- McNeill 2008, (mm paperback), 2010c, (e‑book).
- Kyme & Priestley 2009, (mm paperback), 2010, (e‑book).
- Lee 2009, (mm paperback), 2010, (e‑book).
- McNeill 2010d-1, (mm paperback), 2010d-2, (e‑audiobook), 2010d-3, (e‑book).
- Swallow 2010b-1, (mm paperback), 2010b-2, (e‑book).
- Dembski-Bowden 2010-1, (e‑book), 2010-2, (mm paperback).
- Abnett 2010c-1, (e‑audiobook), 2010c-2, (e‑book), 2011b, (mm paperback).
- Dunn 2011-1, (e‑audiobook), 2011-2, (e‑book), 2011-3, (mm paperback).
- McNeill 2011c-1, (e‑audiobook), 2011c-2, (e‑book), 2011c-3, (mm paperback).
- Thorpe 2012a-1, (e‑audiobook), 2012a-2, (e‑book), 2012a-3, (mm paperback).
- Abnett 2012a-1, (e‑audiobook), 2012a-2, (e‑book), 2012a-3, (mm paperback).
- Dunn 2012-1, (e‑audiobook), 2012-2, (e‑book), 2012-3, (mm paperback).
- Swallow 2012a-1, (e‑audiobook), 2012a-2, (e‑book), 2012a-3, (mm paperback).
- Dunn & Kyme 2012-1, (e‑book), 2012-2, (mm paperback).
- McNeill 2012b-3, (e‑audiobook),  2013a-1, (e‑book),  2013a-2, (trade paperback).
- Dembski-Bowden 2012b, (e‑audiobook),  2013, (trade paperback).
- Goulding 2013, (e‑audiobook).
- Nick Kyme 2013, (hardback).
- Dan Abnett 2013, (paperback).
- Chris Wraight 2014, (paperback).
- As of Book 24 (originally published December 2012)[update]; for more information, see cited works under § References.
- For novella and short story information, see relevant footnote(s) at the synopsis of the containing title (the compilations are indicated in the "Published" titles table).
- Merrett 2007, pp. 9, 12, 15, 46; Abnett 2006, preamble, pp. 46–47; Ansell & Priestley 1990, pp. 174, 175; Rhoads 2010, ¶ 3. "[T]he zenith of the Imperium ..."
- Abnett 2006, pp. 59–63; Kyme & Priestley 2009, p. 160; McNeill 2009.
- Merrett 2007, pp. 34, 133, 322, 324; McNeill 2010d-1, p. 348; Dembski-Bowden 2010-2, pp. 187, 191–192; Thorpe 2012a-3, pp. 52, 166; Troke et al. 2012, pp. 144, 218, 222.
- Troke et al. 2012, pp. 163–164.
- Thorpe 2012a-3, preamble.
- The audience has a partially omniscient point-of-view, since a number of significant events, the general outline, and the ending of the Horus Heresy are known in advance. Story elements have been published by Games Workshop starting 1988 (Merrett 2007, p. 6 [not numbered]); a comprehensive outline, including the conclusion, was published in the four-volume Horus Heresy art book series between May 2004 and July 2006. This series was republished in a 2007 omnibus edition, see Collected Visions (in § Related works: Selections). Also, § Expansion and continuity (in Horus Heresy (fictional event)).
- Review of Horus Rising "5th Anniversary Edition": Rhoads 2011b; and of the "Premium Hardback Edition": Scholes 2013. (Both positive).
- Review: Gronli 2008a (mixed).
- Brief review of the abridged CD-audio edition: Internet Bookwatch 2012 (positive).
- Review: Rhoads 2012 (mostly positive).
- In some editions, Book 5 is subtitled The last Phoenix, see Fulgrim: the last phoenix in libraries (WorldCat catalog). Retrieved on 2012-02-07; the subtitle Visions of treachery is also the title of Book 3 in the Horus Heresy art book series.
- Review: Wolff 2009 (neutral).
- In some editions, Book 9 is subtitled Knowledge is power, see Mechanicum: [knowledge is power] in libraries (WorldCat catalog). Retrieved on 2012-02-07.
- Review: Wolff 2011 (positive).
- "Blood Games" by Dan Abnett; "Wolf at the Door" by Mike Lee; "Scions of the Storm" by Anthony Reynolds; "The Voice" by James Swallow; "Call of the Lion" by Gav Thorpe; "The Last Church" by Graham McNeill; and "After Desh’ea" by Matt Farrer (Kyme & Priestley 2009, § "Contents").
- Review: EIW 2010 (mostly positive).
- Combined review of A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns CD-audio editions: Fortune n.d. (positive).
- Review: Gronli 2010b (mixed).
- Review: Rudden 2012 (positive).
- "Rules of Engagement" by Graham McNeill; "Liar's Due" by James Swallow; "Forgotten Sons" by Nick Kyme; "The Last Remembrancer" by John French; "Rebirth" by Chris Wraight; "The Face of Treachery" by Gav Thorpe; "Little Horus" by Dan Abnett; "The Iron Within" by Rob Sanders; and "Savage Weapons" by Aaron Dembski‑Bowden (Dunn 2011-1, § "Contents"). One story, "The Iron Within", was prepublished in Hammer and Bolter, a Black Library e‑magazine, in February 2011 (Sanders 2011); "The Last Remembrancer" was included in the same magazine's May 2011 issue, published simultaneously with the series book (French 2011).
- McNeill, Graham (2011a). "Rules of Engagement". In Dunn 2011-3. pp. 9–63 (although published before Book 19, Know No Fear, it mainly deals with that novel's aftermath); Wraight, Chris (2011a). "Rebirth". In Dunn 2011-3. pp. 203–246 (sequel to Prospero Burns); Thorpe, Gav (2011). "The Face of Treachery". In Dunn 2011-3. pp. 247–276 (prequel to Deliverance Lost).
- Review: Flory 2011 (positive).
- Reputed continuity problems introduced in the series by story elements in The Outcast Dead have been the subject of discussion among the Warhammer 40,000 fan community (Antigonos et al. 2011); see also Dembski-Bowden (2012a, § "Author's Note", p. 9).
- Review of the e‑audio edition: Dean 2011 (mixed).
- Review: Fortune 2012 (positive).
- "The Reflection Crack'd" by Graham McNeill; "Feat of Iron" by Nick Kyme; "The Lion" by Gav Thorpe; and "The Serpent Beneath" by Rob Sanders (Dunn 2012-3, § "Contents"). "Feat of Iron" complements a non-series Horus Heresy novella by the same author (Kyme 2011b); "The Lion" was prepublished in digital format, as a Hammer and Bolter serial (Thorpe 2012b).
- Review: Dean 2012 (negative).
- Review: Sharps 2012 (positive).
- Short stories: "The Dark King", "The Kaban Project", and "Death of a Silversmith" by Graham McNeil; "The Lightning Tower" by Dan Abnett; "Raven's Flight" by Gav Thorpe (these stories were previously published; "Raven's Flight", a prequel to Book 18, is an adaptation of an original "Horus Heresy Audio Drama", the first such entry in this series). Novellas: "The Crimson Fist" by John French (prepublished as stand-alone e‑book, see French 2012); "The Prince of Crows", an original story by Aaron Dembski‑Bowden. (Dunn & Kyme 2012-2, edition notice [p. 6 (not numbered)], § "Contents").
- Review: Fergus 2012 (positive).
- "The Reflection Crack'd" by Graham McNeil (Dunn 2012-3, pp. 11–110), and "The Crimson Fist" by John French (Dunn & Kyme 2012-2, pp. 11–123).
- Review: Bosier 2013 (positive).
- Review of the "Premium Hardback" edition: Sharps 2013 (positive).
- The subtitle Blood for the Blood God is also the title of an unrelated 2008 Warhammer Fantasy novel. See Blood for the blood god in libraries (WorldCat catalog). Retrieved on 2013-02-26.
- "The Shards of Erebus" by Guy Haley; "Calth that Was" (novella) by Graham McNeill; "Dark Heart" by Anthony Reynolds; "The Traveller" by David Annandale; "A Deeper Darkness" by Rob Sanders; "The Underworld War" by Aaron Dembski‑Bowden; "Athame" by John French; and "Unmarked" by Dan Abnett (Goulding 2013, [track list, track intro]). "Dark Heart" was previously published in text, as an "e‑short" in January 2013 (Reynolds 2013).
- The Black Library Team 2013; Black Library Online "Horus Heresy". Books 1–22 originally printed as mass-market (mm) paperbacks. For Book 23 and following, first general-availability print edition is in trade format with fold-out cover. See also Black Library Facebook Page 2012, [post by Black Library, 7 December 2012 at 4:56 am]. Retrieved on 2012-01-04; imprints or editions of individual novels may have alternate subtitles and may also have variations in punctuation or capitalization of title or subtitle; for examples of compilation stories that have been published individually see: Black Library Online "Ebooks: Horus Heresy" (includes listing of short story e‑books). Kyme 2011a (downloadable "audio short"). Abnett et al. 2011 (audiobook bundle includes a short story extra on separate disc media); as of April 2013[update] the series as a whole was not assigned an official series or "set" ISBN, nor an ISSN. However unique ISBNs may be assigned to the publisher's bundle offers; publication details of series titles may not be presented uniformly across publisher communications, such as in the official series website (listed in § External links), and the Black Library webpages listed here; this article refers to UK releases and more generally to English-language editions, except where stated otherwise. For series titles published in other languages, see non-English editions in libraries (Worldcat catalog). Retrieved on 2012-03-18.
- As of April 2013[update][dated info], all digital media editions, the books' art, and the majority of special editions and bundles were offered exclusively through the publisher's online or physical outlets (Black Library Online FAQ); this included the "Horus Heresy Collections" (Black Library Online "Horus Heresy Collections"), and the titles' "Premium Hardback Edition" (The Black Library Team 2012b; "premium" editions are offered at a substantially higher price compared to regular versions, see Black Library Online "Horus Heresy" for price information); Todd 2013, ¶ 2. "[T]he traditional publishing model of 'hardback followed by paperback edition much later ....'"
- Prepublication examples: French 2011. Short story from the Age of Darkness compilation which was simultaneously published (in text and audio) in Black Library's Hammer and Bolter e‑magazine; Thorpe 2012b. A novella republished in The Primarchs compilation. It was serialized in Hammer and Bolter from February to April 2012; French 2012. Novella from the Shadows of Treachery compilation prepublished as an e‑book in July 2012; The Black Library Team 2010. Information about a Games Workshop event, with prerelease versions of series titles on offer; see also § Events (in Horus Heresy (fictional event)).
- Book 23 "premium" editions: McNeill 2012b-1, (hardcover), 2012b-2, (e‑book). Book 1 republished in same: Abnett  2012b-1, (hardcover),  2012b-2, (e‑book).
- The Black Library Team 2011 (publisher webpage).
- Abnett  2011c.
- Black Library Online "Horus Heresy Audio Boxset".
- Abnett et al. 2011.
- Series authors 2011 [estimated total size approx. 14 megabytes]. Limited-time offer expired 2012, see "The Black Library - Xmas Horus Heresy Complete Works" at WebCite (archived 2012-01-16) [Archive of a snapshot of the same page by the Wayback Machine (beta version)]. Retrieved on 2012-12-31.
- Critics' praise: Flory 2011, ¶ 2. "There have been a few little blips along the way ... but on the whole, the 'Horus Heresy' series has consistently demonstrated why it’s the flagship series for the Black Library" – and critics' complaint: Dean 2011, ¶ 1. "Here we go again, ... the [Horus Heresy] plot has been drawn out like over-stretched chewing gum"; Sobel 2010, ¶ 5. "Certain reviewers have criticised the glut of personalities ... and in some cases my experience has resonated with this critique"; Wolff 2011, ¶ 2. "[T]he Horus Heresy has had its ups ... and downs...."; Flory 2012, ¶ 7. "[The series] ... has already been proven to jump backwards and forwards along its own timeline and certain events ... have already been alluded to."
- Postulated creative constraints: Rhoads (2010, ¶ 1); Dean (2011, ¶ 4); fans vs. casual readers: Fortune (2012, ¶ 4); Rudden (2012, final paragraph).
- Locus Online 2006, 2013. [For listings of other series titles, search Locus Online's "Locus Bestsellers" category archives. Retrieved on 2013-04-26 ].
- Stone 2011b, § "Top 20 audiobooks fiction". Two related works from the Horus Heresy audio drama series Garro appeared in the same list: the Legion of One CD (Garro vol. 1) was in the top position; the CD for volume 2, Oath of Moment was at number 9.
- Stone 2008, p. S6. "The Bookseller classifies a small publisher as any ... [with] revenue ... [in the] last year of less than 0.3% [of the Total Consumer Market] ...."
- Bookseller 2008; Stone 2009, "Titles from Games Workshop's Black Library publishing arm always hover around or in The Bookseller's weekly small publishers charts, and three titles make the 2009 Top 20." [The titles referred to were all series Books].
- Gronli 2010a.
- Eureka 2011, "[Ranking by] [s]ales, January 2011 Source: Nielsen.com".
- Publishers Weekly 2012, § "Top 10 Science Fiction", p. 18.
- At the New York Times Bestseller List (New York Times "Best Sellers"):
• A Thousand Sons 14 March 2010 • Nemesis 15 August 2010 • The First Heretic 14 November 2010 21 November 2010 • Prospero Burns 16 January 2011 • Age of Darkness 15 May 2011 • Know No Fear 18 March 2012 • The Primarchs 17 June 2012 • Fear to Tread 16 September 2012 23 September 2012
Retrieved on 2012-11-27 (all web links).
- Rundle 2010, p. 2. Retrieved on 2013-01-02. From an interview with series author Dan Abnett; Farley 2010. Interview with Neil Roberts, the series' main artist; Rhoads 2010, ¶ 1. From a reviewer's essay; for a creator's perspective on working within the overall Warhammer environment see Baxter (2003).
- Stone 2011a, "Special [mention] also go[es] to ... Black Library (thanks to the popularity of its Horus Heresy series) for growing [its] sales in a tough market."; Kirby et al. 2012, p. 3.
- Bickham 2012 (from a Games Workshop monthly publication).
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- —— (2008). Legion: secrets and lies (mm paperback ) (print). Horus Heresy [book series] 7. Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-1-84416-536-0;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-032-2.) (e‑book). 2010b.
- —— (2010c-1). Prospero burns: the wolves unleashed (MP3) (e‑audiobook). Horus Heresy [book series] 15. Read by Gareth Armstrong (unabridged ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-0-85787-122-0 ;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-125-1) (e‑book). 2010c-2. ;; (mm paperback ) (print). Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). 2011b. ISBN 978-1-84416-776-0.
- —— (2011c) [originally published 2006]. Horus rising: the seeds of heresy are sown (mm paperback ) (print). Horus Heresy [book series] 1. Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts ("5th anniversary" ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-1-84970-111-2.
- —— (2012a-1). Know no fear: the battle of Calth (MP3Gareth Armstrong (unabridged ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-0-85787-613-3) (e‑audiobook). Horus Heresy [book series] 19. Read by ;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-512-9) (e‑book). 2012a-2. ;; (mm paperback ) (print). Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). 2012a-3. ISBN 978-1-84970-134-1.
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- —— (2011). Aurelian: the eye stares back (hardcoverISBN 978-1-84970-106-8.) (print). Horus Heresy [novellas]. Cover art by Neil Roberts ("Collectors Editions: Gold" ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library.
- —— (2012a). Void stalker (mm paperback ) (print). Night Lords 3. Cover art by Jon Sullivan (1st UK ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-1-84970-148-8.
- —— (2012b). Betrayer: blood for the blood god (MP3ISBN 978-0-85787-642-3) (e‑audiobook). Horus Heresy [book series] 24. Cover art by Neil Roberts; read by Jonathan Keeble (unabridged ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ;; (trade paperback) (print) (1st UK trade ed.). 2013 . ISBN 978-1-84970-388-8.
- Dunn, Christian, ed. (2011-1). Age of darkness (MP3Gareth Armstrong, Martyn Ellis & Jonathan Keeble. Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-0-85787-154-1) (e‑audiobook). Horus Heresy [book series] 16. Contains short stories by series authors; read by ;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-153-4) (e‑book). 2011-2. ;; (mm paperback ) (print). Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). 2011-3. ISBN 978-1-84970-036-8.
- ——, ed. (2012-1). The primarchs (MP3Graham McNeill, Rob Sanders & Gav Thorpe; read by Gareth Armstrong, Sean Barrett, Jonathan Keeble & David Timpson (unabridged ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-0-85787-638-6) (e‑audiobook). Horus Heresy [book series] 20. Includes novellas by Nick Kyme, ;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-651-5) (e‑book). 2012-2. ;; (mm paperback ) (print). Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). 2012-3. ISBN 978-1-84970-207-2.
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- —— (2010d-1). A thousand sons: all is dust... (mm paperback ) (print). Horus Heresy [book series] 12. Cover art & illustration by Neil Roberts (1st UK ed.). Nottingham, UK: Black Library. ISBN 978-1-84416-808-8 ;; (MP3ISBN 978-0-85787-118-3) (e‑audiobook). Read by Martyn Ellis (unabridged ed.). 2010d-2. ;; (EPUB; mobiISBN 978-0-85787-051-3.) (e‑book). 2010d-3.
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