Which Horus Heresy Books to Read

Which Horus Heresy Books to Read

The Horus Heresy is a popular series of science fiction novels set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000. It depicts the events leading up to the civil war known as the Horus Heresy, a pivotal moment in the history of the Imperium of Man. With over 50 books in the series, it can be overwhelming for newcomers to know where to start. In this article, we will discuss some of the best Horus Heresy books to read and provide a brief FAQ section to help you navigate this vast universe.

1. Horus Rising by Dan Abnett
This is the first book in the series and serves as an excellent starting point. Horus Rising introduces the main characters and sets the stage for the events that will unfold. It provides a deep insight into the character of Horus, the Warmaster of the Imperium, and his descent into darkness.

2. False Gods by Graham McNeill
Following the events of Horus Rising, False Gods delves deeper into the corruption of Horus and his betrayal of the Emperor. This book is a thrilling exploration of the internal struggles faced by the Primarchs and the consequences of their choices.

3. Galaxy in Flames by Ben Counter
Galaxy in Flames captures the full-scale war that erupts as the Horus Heresy reaches its climax. The story follows the betrayal of Horus and the destruction of the once-glorious planet of Isstvan III. It is a brutal and action-packed installment that showcases the horrors of war.

4. The First Heretic by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
This book provides a unique perspective on the Horus Heresy as it focuses on the Word Bearers Legion. The First Heretic explores the reasons behind their fall to chaos and the events that led to their worship of the Chaos Gods. It is a dark and thought-provoking tale that adds depth to the overall narrative.

5. Betrayer by Aaron Dembski-Bowden
Betrayer delves into the World Eaters Legion and their descent into madness. This book explores the brutal nature of the World Eaters and their loyalty to their Primarch, Angron. It also showcases the conflict between the loyalist and traitor Space Marines, adding another layer of complexity to the overall story.


Q: Do I need to read all the books in the Horus Heresy series?
A: No, you do not need to read all the books to understand the overarching story. However, reading the core books will provide a comprehensive understanding of the events and characters involved.

Q: Can I start reading the Horus Heresy series without any prior knowledge of Warhammer 40,000?
A: Yes, the Horus Heresy series can be enjoyed as a standalone series. While some knowledge of the Warhammer 40,000 universe may enhance your reading experience, it is not necessary to fully enjoy the Horus Heresy books.

Q: Are there any recommended reading orders?
A: The Horus Heresy series can be read in publication order, as the books are generally released chronologically. However, there are also recommended reading orders available online that group the books by story arcs or character perspectives.

Q: Can I read the Horus Heresy books digitally?
A: Yes, the Horus Heresy series is available in various digital formats, including e-books and audiobooks. They can be purchased from online retailers or accessed through subscription-based services.

In conclusion, the Horus Heresy series offers a rich and expansive narrative that explores the origins of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Starting with Horus Rising and progressing through the core books will provide a solid foundation for understanding the events and characters involved. Whether you are a longtime fan of Warhammer 40,000 or a newcomer to the series, the Horus Heresy books are a must-read for any science fiction enthusiast.

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