Review: Horus Rising by Dan Abnett

Horus RisingAuthor: Dan Abnett
Series: The Horus Heresy #1
Released: April 25th, 2006
Received: Own
Rating: 4 1/2 kitties

Horus Rising is the first novel in the Horus Heresy series from the world of Warhammer 40,000. And yes, it is a massive series in an even larger world. That being said, I think that Horus Rising makes for a perfect introductory novel. There’s really no need to know more about the lore within this world, as it’ll make a point of teaching you everything you need to know about it.

The Horus Heresy is arguably one of the biggest events to happen in the lore of Warhammer 40,000. And no, I’m not just talking about the number of books in the series (though there is that). This was an event (or rather, series of events) that impacted a massive amount of the universe. And the effects are long-lasting.

And it all begins here, with Horus Rising. Horus and the Luna Wolves are the focus of attention in this novel, which collects three different events. All of these events are dramatic in nature – as they should be, since it required the Luna Wolves to respond.


“There was a great tragedy implicit in the tale of the Emperor’s murder, a tragedy that Loken always wanted his listeners to appreciate.”

Spoiler Warning

Horus Rising was a surprisingly complex and elegantly written novel. While it was full of beefy men tearing through their enemies, it also carried with it a certain amount of complexity and elegance. I was surprised by the depth of it all. And by how charmed I was by it.

I’ll confess that I was a little bit intimidated to start Horus Rising. That’s partially because I was concerned that I wouldn’t know enough about the setting or characters, and partially because of how massive this series is. But I am so glad that I’ve started down this path.

I had zero problems following along with the lore, setting, or characters. Dan Abnett did a fantastic job of making the world approachable for everyone, it feels like. And now I’m looking forward to getting onto to the next novel in the series (but more on that later).

One of the things I love about all Black Library novels is that they include a list of all of the important characters right upfront. This includes their names, their ranks, and a general idea of what that all means. It’s perfect for new fans, or fans with horrible memories (like myself).

I feel like I have a better grasp of the basic lore now. Before reading this novel, I had heard snippets from players about the Horus Heresy. But I can already tell that I’m getting the full picture by going forward and diving in. And I strongly recommend that others do the same, because it is worth it.

Horus Rising was actually broken into three parts, with each part entailing a whole different series of events. It was fascinating to see how these events unfolded. And I’ll confess that I’m more than a little bit curious to see what their long term impact is going to be – because there’s no doubt in my mind that this is what will happen.

I rather enjoyed that it was split into three parts. It gave us multiple examples of what the Luna Wolves were up to, and of the events leading up to the actual start of the Horus Heresy. It’s been fascinating so far. And I’m looking forward to picking up False Gods next. (I have a reading plan in mind, but I’m always open to suggestions or comments, to feel free to reach out!)


About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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