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Know No Fear (The Horus Heresy #19)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,920 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Unaware of the wider Heresy and following the Warmaster’s increasingly cryptic orders, Roboute Guilliman returns to Ultramar to muster his Legion for war against the orks massing in the Veridian system. Without warning, their supposed allies in the Word Bearers Legion launch a devastating invasion of Calth, scattering the Ultramarines fleet and slaughtering all who stand i ...more
Paperback, 412 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Black Library (first published January 31st 2012)
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Emil Söderman
This is a fairly simple, yet entertaining book: Basically one huge set-piece battle as the Word Bearers tries to get revenge for the stuff at the beginning of The First Heretic, and thus attacks the Ultramarines.

It's basically balls-to-the-wall action, with everything a good 40K arsenal has: Giant robots, spaceships, computer hacking, daemon summoning... The works. It features incredibly improbably stunts (ROBOUTE GUILLIMAN CAN BREATHE IN SPACE!) and simply unequalled amounts of sheer testostero
Andrew Ziegler
Sep 20, 2012 Andrew Ziegler rated it really liked it
I really hate Dan Abnett. He pours so much reality into character and relationships when he writes that it rips you up when you finish a book. Abnett breathed new life in the Ultramarines for me in this book, a Space Marine Legion that I was quite happy to have had fleshed out so well by the masterful G McNeill in his Ultramarines series.

Know No Fear was a uniquely written book, with a coherent narrative throughout, but broken into stages of the Battle of Calth, and further sub divided by times
Feb 07, 2012 Damien rated it really liked it
Know No Fear is VERY different to the usual styler for Dan Abnett. Full of turns, twists, and the occasional suprise.

I suggest reading this book directly after Battle for the Abyss. You lose nothing in continuity, but gain a little in the actual Heresy, as it unfolds, rather than Legion jumping if you follow published order. Saying that, you could also read The First Heretic Before ALL other Horus Heresy books, as I believe that sets the Series up correctly.

Any other Ideas on reading order?
Jun 21, 2012 Lexicanum rated it liked it
Shelves: warhammer-40-000
Quite nice read. Bit pissed off how "quick" the Ultramarines' counterstrike was wrapped up in the end. I mean come on, 90% of the book Dan does his best to make you hate the Word Bearers with all your heart and then we get so little "revenge"? :(
Richard Stuart
Jun 20, 2012 Richard Stuart rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 40k-horus-heresy
Brilliant! What a great book. There are so many 'oh shit' moments in this book I stopped counting. Abnett's storytelling prowess is phenomenal. I don't usually say this, but, JUST READ IT. You will not be disappointed!
Dean Boulton
Mar 13, 2017 Dean Boulton rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Milo (BOK)
Original Post:

The Horus Heresy is one of my favourite novel series, and bar a couple of exceptions (Descent of Angels, Fallen Angels and Battle for the Abyss), I’ve enjoyed every single novel that the series had to offer me, from Horus Rising, the fantastic series opener, to Deliverance Lost, Gav Thorpe’s first entry of this mighty series, and the latest novel that is available in the series (in stores) to date. Know No Fear is the next novel on the marke
Sean McGovern
Sep 09, 2012 Sean McGovern rated it really liked it
There is so much to like about this novel. I mean it - from the style to the slow burn pacing has almost everything going for it that, if it weren't for one character in the MetaNarrative, I'd have to give it five stars. So this review is in two parts - the actual "Should you read this book" portion, and then the fanboy bitching and moaning portion.

"Know No Fear" is a masterstroke by Dan Abnett - from presentation (it's written as an after action report, with the chapters done as a count
Mar 12, 2012 Tim rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Ultramarines have long stood in my book as "your generic Space Marine", in so far even that I've come to pick on them as boring or even sissy, because there's no Big Story behind them.

They certainly became more BadAss with the new installment of the Horus Heresy, a lot more than their performance in Battle for the Abyss.

For the occasion, Dan Abnett uses a style of writing and a style of organising the sub stories that is akin to a battle report. Everything is organised around the Calth Mark 00:0
Sep 02, 2012 Jeff rated it really liked it
A fantastic read. Definitely in my Top 5 for the Horus Heresy and across all of Black Library. Ultramarines. Everyone loves to hate them. The "golden boys" of Games Workshop. Template for all Codex Chapters. Ultra-smurfs. Vanilla marines. Dan Abnett puts that to the test and knocks it out of the park.

Roboute Guilliman and his Ultramarines are the very model of efficiency. They think in terms of practical experience and theoretical knowledge, balance the two then act. They also have a big blindsi
Dylan Murphy
Apr 27, 2013 Dylan Murphy rated it it was amazing
Oh man, Know No Fear. A truly amazing book. I think it is probably my favourite of any Abnett has written. Better than Legion(Which I LOVED) better than the Ravenor series(Which I loved even more than Legion). The pacing of the novel was superb, and the whole "mark" thing really made each and every scene so intense and heavy. Amazing work.
Also getting to see the Word Bearers from the perspective of the loyalists was awesome. The betrayal was perfect, the way they carried out the attack was jaw-
Michael Alexander Henke
The 19th book in Horus Heresy series, and I think it's the best so far. That's not really surprising to me, it's written by Dan Abnett, and I find him to be one of the best writers that the Black Library has.
Know No Fear deals with the Battle of Calth, the epic battle between the XIII and XVII legions. The Ultramarines and the Word Bearers respectively. From the word go, this book is non stop, fast paced action. This is a huge, epic battle between two legions, and the book definitely expresses t
Mar 29, 2012 Mark rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer, sci-fi
After the relative disappointment that was Gav Thorpe's Deliverance Lost, the previous Horus Heresy book I read, I knew I could trust Abnett to bring the series back up to form. Know No Fear is simply stunning - intelligent, visceral and immensely compelling.

The depiction of the destruction unleashed by the treacherous Word Bearers on the Ultramarines is by turns jaw dropping and gut wrenching. Following the catastrophe through betrayals, massacres and atrocities is as heart rending as world sh
Nov 04, 2012 Nathan rated it really liked it
The story is elevated beyond it's simplistic premise by the author's unusual stylistic choices.
Every few sentences is something unexpected, a reveal, a smart piece of foreshadowing - the author uses metaphor to describe violence and battle in the most massive and visceral ways.
He uses poetic phrases that can only exist in an epic sci-fi setting. He creates words and concepts in order to describe the physics and the atmosphere of futuristic war in impossible detail. It brings the universe to li
Uriah Mach
Sep 07, 2013 Uriah Mach rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorites of the Horus Heresy series, Know No Feat combines imagery from the fall of the Towers on 9/11 with the last redoubt feeling of notable military events. When starships start falling out of the sky on to a populated world from a grand betrayal, things are about to get crazy fast.

Know No Fear also creates a more impressive vision of the Ultramarines, who I always considered generic. They are shown as not being that way. They are rather ideal versions of what the imperium desired
Ben Harrison
Jul 05, 2013 Ben Harrison rated it really liked it
A ship is falling backwards across the sky. A grand cruiser. It's immense. To see something so big and space-borne in scale comparison with a world's surface is fundamentally shocking. It makes the ship look like the biggest object any of them has ever seen. It is falling so slowly. It is sliding down the sky, spilling clouds of debris, trailing the disintegrating remains of its drydock. It's as though Calth's atmosphere is a deep lake and the ship is a tree truck sticking gracefully into it. Th ...more
Jun 03, 2013 Yohann rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horus-heresy
J'ai trouvé que dans ce livre on retrouvait beaucoup de ce qui avait fait la force Galaxy in Flames c'est à dire une image forte de toute l'ampleur de la trahison. Le meilleur moment de ce livre et, pour moi un des meilleurs moment de toute la série reste l'attaque par surprise des Word Bearer's. C'est vraiment superbement décrit !
De plus je note aussi que c'est un des rares roman ou les ultramarine ne passe pas pour des imbéciles et ça c'est quand même fort !
Edoardo Albert
Apr 19, 2013 Edoardo Albert rated it really liked it
There really is no one better at writing military science fiction than Dan Abnett, and there is something about the grim future of the Warhammer 40k universe that brings out the best in him as a writer. I've been trying to analyse what he brings to the genre, and, apart from a gift for storylines and tight dialogue and writing, I think he has a genius for conveying place, information and strangeness in a single, carefully chosen word. 'Scrapcode' is a good example. The computer chatter of the fo ...more
Mar 14, 2012 Marc rated it really liked it
I was skeptical given Abnett's latest works, but I must say, he came back blazing out of the gate like he did in his older books. The build up to betrayal was great, as was the Word Bearer's devastating plans. Abnett's description of the attack had unique elements that set it apart from the normal 40k fare, and his constant cliff-hangers kept you turning those pages.

Still, the ending was a little bit disappointing in BL's usual anti-climatic and "feels rushed" aspects. But why the Word Bearers d
Jan 09, 2014 Darkcharade rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After his last heresy entry this was a very welcome novel for Dan. This actually did what other ultramarines novels couldn't and made me love the chapter. It was fast paced and informative with plenty of insights all around. It was actually able to make me feel like the treachery was personal. Overall I would give the book 4.5 stars out of 5 with the only negatives being the massive amount of characters. Even for a heresy novel. The first half of the book is character introduction with the secon ...more
Ross Falcone
Aug 14, 2012 Ross Falcone rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-horus-heresy
The Horus Heresey finally gets back on track. It feels like the last 10 books or so in the series have done nothing to more the war forward and have dealt with meaningless side missions carried out by various legions and/or government administrations. This book moves the conflict between the forces loyal to the Emperor and forces loyal towards Horus forward and does it in a grand scale.

I won't go into specifics but if you enjoy the Horus Heresy books or books that describe large scale combat on
Jessie B.
I enjoyed this book a lot more than I was expecting to. Despite the enormous scale of events that it depicts, it managed to focus on personal stories which gave the events a human feel and it did a good job of weaving some of them together keeping up suspense until the very end. It also made the ultra marines , which have always seemed to me like generic space marines , interesting and compelling.
Feb 16, 2012 Jared rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Any fan of the Horus Heresy.
In depth and in some cases horrifying look into the Battle of Calth.

Initially, I had some difficulty keeping track of the myriad characters but the main players stepped into the light, the story unfolded well.

The one thing in this book that I think struck me the most was the Ultramarines' initial inability to comprehend exactly what was happening. Until the Word Bearers actually showed their hands, treachery from within was something that simply wasn't considered a possibility.
Feb 06, 2012 Rene rated it it was amazing
Dan Abnett's a great writer, and after reading his non-40K book Embedded I couldn't wait to see how he'd handle a full-on planetary assault. This book did not disappoint at all. Abnett keeps you on the edge of your seat with camera angle-style writing that puts you onto a planet's surface as city-sized ships fall earthwards. Great read.
Robbie Laney
Feb 01, 2012 Robbie Laney rated it really liked it
Overall I was really surprised about the book. I figured I would hate it because I am not a fan of the Ultramarines, but this book painted them in a different light for me and was enjoyable to read. I also will say I thought the cover was really stupid (unhelmeted marine in vacuum space fighting) but made sense when you read the book.
May 16, 2012 Vincent rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Horus Heresy is a great series and Dan Abnett is one of its best authors. He doesn't disappoint in this installment of the series. Looking for ships falling into planets, fights in space and betrayal on an epic scale this is for you. Abnett does a great job in continuing the story line, introducing new elements into the plot line and keeping the reader interested in the next one.
Dec 08, 2016 Bryn rated it really liked it
One of the strongest Horus Heresy books I've read, the action kept me engrossed and the characters were sufficiently fleshed-out to invest me in their stories. My only gripe with the book is that the ending felt a little contrived and rushed. Altogether a very solid entry into the series and a must-read for fans of the Ultramarines.
Mar 19, 2012 Brody rated it it was amazing
Best Horus Heresy title of All Time. Abnett simply cannot be stopped. The Imperium of his Great Crusade is more majestic, more intelligent and more noble than any other author's. And his civil war is more crushing, more tragic and more of a fist pumping grind than any other author's. This is the Imperium at its best. This is the betrayal at its worst.
James Whitbread
Right, I really do not like Ultramarines. Pompous, arrogant...that said, this book changed all that.
Dan Abnett has been my favourite Black Library author for some time as he is able to paint such a vivid picture and none come more vivid than this. The characters are well written, the plot is solid. An amazing read which leaves you feeling for the boys in blue.
Mar 18, 2012 Notquiteallhere rated it it was amazing
Dan Abnett is back on his game in imperious fashion, as evidenced by this epic account of the Battle of Calth. The only way this could be improved is if there was an illustrated edition somewhere down the line, similar to the Battle for Armageddon.
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  • The Outcast Dead
  • Deliverance Lost
  • Fear to Tread
  • The Primarchs
  • Betrayer
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Fallen Angels
  • Mark of Calth
  • Scars
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Horus Heresy: Collected Visions

Other Books in the Series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 87 books)
  • Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy #1)
  • False Gods
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Fulgrim
  • Descent of Angels
  • Legion
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Mechanicum
  • Tales of Heresy

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