Book Review 120 // Fear to Tread - Horus Heresy

Here we are at book 21 of the Horus Heresy series. With this book, we get the long-overdue arrival of the Blood Angels. I've always been a fan of the Blood Angels, ever since I saw the box artwork for the second edition 40k game. Now I finally get to read some lore about them and see how the Crusade has affected them.

The book itself is 508 pages long and is a true beast of a novel. Written by James Swallow, here is the official Black Library write up:

Since the earliest days of the Great Crusade, Sanguinius – angelic primarch of the IXth Legion – was ever among the closest and most loyal of Horus’s brothers. But the Blood Angels have long kept their true nature hidden from the rest of the Imperium, and when the Warmaster hints that the key to their salvation may lie in the ruins of a conquered world, the sons of Sanguinius race to claim it. Now, as the revelation of their betrayal dawns and the traitors’ hand is revealed, the Blood Angels must face all the warp-spawned armies of Chaos, as well their own personal daemons, upon the blasted plains of Signus Prime...

Straight away I discovered this book was going to rewrite my knowledge base of the Blood Angels. For a while, I had been lead to believe like many that the Black Rage was a curse brought on by the death of their Primarch. When in fact it was a genetic error in the Blood Angel's make-up. It is this secret that Horus discovers and decides to use against his brother.

In the story, the original plan is to send the Blood Angels to the Signus Cluster, where they would face-off against a combined force of Khorne and Slaanesh daemons. Their goal is to tempt the Black Rage with the Angel and convert him into a champion of Chaos. Now unfortunately Horus fears that if Sanguinius falls to the lure of chaos the Gods may start to favour him instead, and so Horus sets in motion a plan to kill Sanguinius instead. It is this indecisive and cloak and dagger action that leads to the plan ultimately failing. There is a lot to enjoy in this novel, but it is a hard title to write about without spoilers. It is descriptive about the warp, the Blood Angels come across as true heroes, and some of the Black Rage moments are mind-blowing.

Fear to Tread did an amazing job of showcasing the Blood Angel Legion's strengths and weaknesses. It also finally introduced the Red Angel (not Angron), a character I had seen multiple times in artwork and it turns out he is even cooler than expected, but I can't tell you much without causing spoiler issues beyond repair.

The series seems to be on a high at the moment, these titles have really invigorated my reading and I am excited to dive into the next title Shadows of Treachery.

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Fear to Tread - Kindle Edition

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