I read a lot of the books that GW puts out. I probably have 6 linear feet of paperbacks I have kept in addition to those I have sold over the years. I had some credit at the local Hastings bookstore and picked these up in one fell swoop. Since they were done by three of my favorite authors in the GW stables I figured I’d probably enjoy them. The series takes on the questions of how the Heresy occurred, who were the main players, and how Emperor worship came about.
The authors are good about keeping the story firmly planted in the 40K environment that the game GW produces develops. As a reader, you’ll see how the space marines interact with one another, what weapons and armor they use, and get a good feel for the combat of the 41st Millennium. Those who have played GW games know how the story turns out (of course, the final title Galaxy in Flames ought to give you a heads up!)
The authors use several characters to develop the story, both military and civilian, but I wish there had been more development of how lower level marines had reacted to Horus’ rebellion. The battle scenes are well written and convey the mammoth scale of war conducted by each legion on behalf of mankind yet you rarely get to see how individual marines were affected by the operations.
Overall I’d rate this series a B+ and one that I’d buy again. I don’t play 40K any longer as I enjoy Warhammer Fantasy more, but these add to the 40K timeline. Moreover, they provide a good starting point for anyone who wants to go “back” to the era and create their own legions with the Primarchs as leaders. Just use the current 40K rules and write up your own codexes. I’d like to see GW devote some time to developing this era as a gaming system other than the one they have in the Card Game. Because it does have violence and imagery devoted to some pretty evil baddies, this is probably not suitable for those 14 and under.