Horus Hearsay is dedicated to Keri’s journey through the Horus Heresy saga. The chronicling of the Horus Heresy began over ten years ago, with currently 54 books in total, not counting The Primarchs series or the various short stories. Horus Hearsay will only cover the main novels.
Six days. I read [easyazon_link identifier=”184970743X” locale=”US” tag=”chocoboyoga-20″]Horus Rising[/easyazon_link] in just six days. It would have been far quicker if I didn’t have T-ball games to attend. But six days is still huge for me, especially with how little time I actually do have to read these days. That’s how captivating Dan Abnett’s introduction to the 31st millennium was. I didn’t know what to expect, but it most certainly wasn’t this tale of how likable Horus was. Or even Abaddon. ABADDON. You know, the guy who finally [easyazon_link identifier=”B0757YFKB2″ locale=”US” tag=”chocoboyoga-20″]broke Cadia[/easyazon_link] (but not the guard)?
First and foremost, I have to thank Jen for harping on me years ago to NOT read any of the Horus Heresy novels until I read a few omnibuses of the WH40k universe. Horus Heresy takes place in the 31st millennium, and things are vastly different than how they are in the 41st. Yes, there is a ten thousand year difference, but it’s more than that. You won’t fully understand the true devastation of the Horus Heresy until you understand how the 41st millennium is. When I first started to get into reading about WH40k, a friend loaned me copies of the first four Horus Heresy novels. I mentioned to Jen that I had them, and she strongly cautioned me to read either Eisenhorn or the Ultramarines omnibuses first. She never once told me not to read HH, but she said I probably wouldn’t appreciate it fully without understanding the present day Imperium of Man.
So I am here to say that anyone getting into this universe should take her guides seriously. Read a few omnibuses in her Getting Started guide before even looking at her HH guide. That said, however, her HH guide suggests reading books out of order. You see, I can’t do that. I have to do things in order. It’s why it takes me so long to get through a series, whether it’s books, movies, or video games. I will start from the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start) and go through each book one by one. I’m aware some are very bad. I do not care.
About Dat Horus Rising Doe…
So. Horus Rising. I kind of expected Horus to be this big schemer in a rise for power to possibly overthrow the Emperor. I also expected Abaddon to be as worthless as he is in the 41st. Well, I was unbelievably wrong about both things, and this is going to destroy me when the fall actually happens.
The book starts not long after the Emperor designates Horus as the Warmaster and his proxy. His XVII Legion of Luna Wolves are strategic geniuses when it comes to planning offensive attacks. Horus himself is both a military and political genius. He’s not even a fake politician. He genuinely cares and he genuinely knows how to persuade people without being a forceful ass about it. (That’s what his Mournival is for, to be the bad cop.) There is no one more capable of leading the Great Crusade in the Emperor’s absence than he.
In fact, if I didn’t already know better, I’d think he’s the least likely of the primarchs to betray the Imperium. He wasn’t even the one who set the seeds of heresy in motion! Not to mention, he was staunchly against the idea of any religion, including daemons. Even when one of the Luna Wolves was possessed by a daemon and nearly killed everyone in Captain Loken’s company, including civilian remembrancers, Horus insisted it was not a daemon. He explained to Loken that it was the warp that affected Jubal and caused him to transform. The Emperor is studying the warp to learn more about it other than using it for fast space travel. And he’s accepting the Emperor’s explanation, because surely his own father wouldn’t lie to him.
Well according to Roboute Guilliman from Dark Imperium, that’s exactly what Daddy-o did.
The subtitle of Horus Rising is “The seeds of heresy are sown,” and the ending leads you to believe that it was [redacted] who sowed those seeds, but I’m not sure that is the case at all. Horus was too fiercely loyal, including many of his captains, to let the betrayal of one Chaplain bring about his own downfall. But when someone you genuinely trust lies to you, like your father, of course you’re going to turn your back on him.
Maybe not to the point of turning to the gods of Chaos, of course. That was a bit of an extreme reaction. Or was it just Horus going through a teenage rebellious phase? Well, just 53 more books to go (and counting) before I can truly find out.