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4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 4 February 2015
My eldest son loves Horus Heresy books and this one was no exception
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on 3 May 2014
Aaron Dembski-Bowden once again shows why he is currently the best writer (in my opinion) with the Black Library. If youlike hs previous work, you will love this book.
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on 4 October 2015
just love the carnage in the heresy books.
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on 1 February 2014
I could write a lot about this novel but I'll keep it brief. I found this an extremely compelling, imaginative, well written and re-readable account of the strange pairing of a World Eaters and Word Bearers joint campaign to destroy as much of Ultramar as they can before the inevitable counter attack can be organised. But it's so much more than that. When reading a novel with Imperial characters, seeing the horror of the Chaos madness, you often wonder "what are they thinking?" Well this is it, page after page of insight into their motivations which I don't want to spoil but it's fascinating and appalling food for thought. Lorgar is well on his way to becoming lost in 10,000 years of contemplating the warp and the portrayal of Angron and the world eaters is a revelation. I'll never look at them in the stereotypical berserker-madman way again. The last few Heresy novels I read were "okay" but this is one of the standouts that's made excited about the series all over again.
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on 14 February 2015
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on 17 October 2013
First the bad. Black Library, please stop delaying the mass market paperback for so long. People who have followed and collected the series since the beginning are the ones missing out because of this. I'm close to giving up completely. I'm not going to start paying double and having the wrong sized book on my shelf just because you want to milk the fans even more.

Also, stop releasing short story collections and stories that don't move the story forward, just to make an extra few quid. Thanks!

That said, this is an excellent HH novel. One of the best, by in my opinion the best writer to work on the series. Lorgar and Angron are maybe two of the more interesting primarchs, and Angron in particular is characterised brilliantly in this book. You will be confused when you being to sypathise with a psychopathic beserker who is massacring everyone in sight.

The book also contains some of the most human and emotional writing to be found in the entire GW canon, and it really works.
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on 1 May 2013
Having read all of the Horus Heresy books to date I can vouch for the slightly hit and miss nature of the series...but they are very, very rarely a total bore.

This book sits in the top 20% easily, with some of that tantalising insight and revelations on the Primarch characters. The action is thick and fast, and the characters oddly likeable. The religious parrallels are delicately handled and the characters are believable and empathic.

My only criticism would be the pace, which sometimes feels like it gets bogged down in repeating things that were already obvious, but that is more than compensated for by the authors obvious skill: this is a master at work, make no mistake.

Amazing series, great addition, will most probably re-read!
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on 23 September 2013
I read this book with some trepidation given previous reviews and its true that it's not the best book in the series, especially given the now high expectations everyone has for ADB's work. However it was still an enjoyable read and does advance the plot given that ultimately we do need to know the evolution of the Primarchs and how they reached the state they were in for the battle on Terra. So for me this filled in some gaps that I've pondered for over a decade. It's also a tough story to write as the World Eaters are possibly the hardest chapter to really write about.
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on 30 May 2014
Note: I'm not the previous Alpharius. Seems we share more than a name. Warning, some SPOILERS below.

What a far cry from The First Heretic, which showcased some of the best writing in the Horus Heresy and is proof that ADB can be a great writer. Why then one star for Betrayer? Because the actions it describes just do not hang together with what we know of the W30K universe.

1) Bigged up, can't fail characters such as Lotara, the human ship captain. Not happy about a World Eater captain going off on a jaunt? Shoot him in the face. Bolter return fire would have pulped her except, what da y'know, there's a librarian handy who deflects the shots.

2) Overimportance of human characters (in the W30K universe) such as the Syrgalah crew. They're so feted that Kharn directs Argel Tal to save them ... so the Angron's equerry values a Warhound crew so much, he gets an elite Word Bearer captain to leave the battlefield for them? Really?

3) Unconventional take on Astartes discipline. Argel Tal becomes Kharn's tag team buddy, abandoning his fellow Word Bearers to watch his bro's back for long stretches of time. Can believe this of the Emperor's Children but the Word Bearers? Also, everyone seemed to be operating solo with little in the way of squad discipline

4) Lack of direction and the Lucius treatment. Cyrene gets resurrected (this is turning into the Marvel universe) and promptly falls off the map again?

5) Main character's lack of appeal. Ok, I get it. Kharn and the World Eaters are not the easiest to write about but there wasn't much in the way of character development going on. Both Argel Tal and Kharn felt same-y. Kharn was supposed to be this unstable and crazed warrior with a love of bloodshed but this did not show through (yes he goes nuts when the Nails bite but appears to be Everyman in the quieter moments).

6) Too much fanboy mine's better than yours. In the arena with Delvarius and Sigismund, Kharn and Argel Tal, etc. Primarch-wise with Guilliman vs. Angron and Lorgar.

7) Treatment of Erebus. Guy who fought Lucius to a standstill gets one-shotted (or three-shotted really but the battle's over way before then) by Kharn only to whisk himself away at the last moment?

8) Too much primarch first person perspective. Sometimes it's good to have a little mystery and ambiguity.
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on 17 June 2013
Tides of blood sunder from the fallen as Angron's bloodlust knows no limits. Working with Lorgar's legion his ultimate destiny becomes manifest.
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