Like every novel published so far in the Horus Heresy series by the Black Library (whose reputation is rising due to the popularity of these books, which are not considered mere merchandise anymore), the Flight of the Eisenstein recites the epic and tragic events in the Isstvan System, as Horus's treachery is finally revealed. Billions perish as the planet is razed with virusbombs and then literally set afire.
Although this plot seems strangely familiar, the fourth novel of the Horus Heresy still makes the - more or less - re-read of the last chapters of its prequel (from the Death Guard Legion's point of view) still worthwhile.
We encounter yet another alien race in the opening of the book, and the actions undertaken by the XVI. Legion remind of the more glorious days of the Great Crusade. Yet events after the termination of the alien 'world-ship' make the reality of the Warmaster's betrayal all too real.
In comparison to the previous novels of the Horus Heresy, 'The Flight of the Eisenstein' focuses more on character development rather than on the action. Needless to say, this book is packed with action, but this time, James Swallow brings the characters of the book closer to the reader, as one expects on a book based on an Age of brotherhood, honorable heroes and dark powers starting a series of events that would change the fate of humanity for the next ten thousand years.
Although the "Flight" of the Eisenstein itself does not envelop the majority of the book, the intense dialogues between characters who stand at the edge of total desperation after they witness the unspeakable horrors of the warp, with their ship stranded in starless space, reminds me of Solaris.
All in all, this book is very well written and prepares us for the inevitable coming storm when the legendary Horus Heresy will truly unfold in all its malice.