Fear To Tread: The Angel Falls (The Horus Heresy) – James Swallow (Black Library Publications)
In the Warhammer universe there’s one 40,000 story every fan knows, That of the fallen Primarch Horus, a take not dissimilar to another well known story involving angels. Horus is the shining example of a space marine Primarch, most loved and honoured by the Emperor, Warmaster and shining beacon of the Imperium. Eventually succumbing to the forces of Chaos, turning his cloak and bringing civil war to the galaxy, he is finally stopped by his maker but at great cost, the battle nearly destroys the Emperor and things are never quite the same again…
Although we all know this story, I’m fairly sure we all wondered ‘how that all went down’ This has been addressed by The Black Library’s series chronicling the events of the the Horus Heresy.
In ‘Fear To Tread’, Horus has already turned to Chaos but his agenda is still hidden, and he is still trusted by all, none more so than his battle brother Sanguinius, Primarch of the Blood Angels, but Sanguinius has his own problems to deal with and when Horus discovers The Blood Angels secret, he uses it to spring a trap, hoping to deal a blow to the Imperium and take out a dangerous rival in the process.
In Terms of 40,000 history, the events in ‘Fear…’ are crucial, this is the point where Horus finally reveals his hand…This is where the civil war begins. It is worth making a note here that if you are not already familiar with Warhammer history then this isn’t the book to start with, stories and characters have already been established, and although not strictly sequential in series of events the first three books at least deliver the set up in terms of the who’s, where’s and why’s.
However chances are (if you’re reading this) that you do know Warhammer history and if that’s the case you know what’s coming…Which doesn’t mean this is any less of an engaging read, Swallow has weaved a series of intense and deeply personal stories, and you’re right there with the characters, you feel every doubt, hear every bit of gunfire and witness every horror with them and even though you know the eventual outcome you desperately want the tide to turn.
All in all, Swallow has done a great job of fleshing out a much loved and well known piece of Warhammer history. Carrie