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Age of Darkness (The Horus Heresy #16)

3.75  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,390 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
After the betrayal at Isstvan, Horus begins his campaign against the Emperor, a galaxy-wide war that can lead only to Terra. But the road to the final confrontation between father and son is a long one – seven years filled with secrecy and silence, plans and foundations being formed across distant stars. An unknown history is about to be unveiled as light is shed on the da ...more
Paperback, 416 pages
Published April 26th 2011 by Black Library (first published January 1st 2011)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,293)
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Apr 13, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it
Some bad, others excellent. Worth it for the Iron Hands short story alone.
Aug 12, 2014 Gateacre rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer
This anthology doesn't push the overall plot forward; rather it is a series of vignettes set in the period between the drop site massacre and the invasion of Terra - or as it calls itself "the age of darkness".

1) Rules of Engagement (McNeill) gives further insight into the Ultramarines and makes a good points about doctrine and the role of the Primarchs. Nothing special but well written 3/5

2) Liar's Due (Swallow) is one of the most inventive and best written 40k short stories I've read. Swallow
May 01, 2011 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
A bundle of short stories to fill in the blanks on what happened in the decades between the Istvaan V dropship massacre, and the conquest of Terra:

- Rules of Engagement -- Graham McNeill: I'm not a fan of Ultramarines, and the story didn't bring anything new
- Liar's Due -- James Swallow: very nice story on how small 'executions' can lead to a truly Galactic Conquest
- Forgotten Sons -- Nick Kyme: also very nice, albeit not really contributing to the big story
- The Last Remembrancer -- John French
Josef Turner
Nov 30, 2015 Josef Turner rated it really liked it
Shelves: warhammer
3.5/5 (rounding up to 4/5)

Rules of Engagement (1.5/5) : Probably the least enjoyable story I've read so far in the heresy. Are we sure the same guy who wrote "A Thousand Sons" wrote this? Please don't let Mr. Mcneill near the Ultramarines moving forward. Uninteresting characters, actions scenes are boring, and Guilliman comes across as a pompous arse instead of a brilliant tactician.

Liar's due (3/5) : James Swallow writes enjoyable prose, and I certainly enjoyed this story. However, the whole th
Sep 27, 2014 Nick rated it really liked it
Age of Darkness? Well, this is a 40k novel, so while you're reading it it's more like an Age of Dorkness, am I right??

*ahem* Normally I'm not one for short story collections, but when all the short stories are pretty good even I don't have anything to complain about. In fact, my only issue is with the first short story, which is by the usually dependable Graham McNeill, ends with a horrible, cliched, excusable ending where - uh, big spoilers -

IT'S ALL A DREAM. Well, a simulation, but still, a m
May 31, 2015 Jacob rated it really liked it
Shelves: horusheresy
Some very quality short stories that bring back characters and storylines that have been missed. Truly enjoyed this one!
Lee Herridge
Nov 24, 2015 Lee Herridge rated it really liked it
I really really enjoyed Age of Darkness. The first Horus Heresy short story collection, Tales of Heresy, had a few dud stories amongst the gold but I found Age of Darkness to be pretty evenly interesting, with a couple of outstanding stories. The highlights for me were Liar's Due, The Face of Treachery and The Last Remembrancer.

Liar's Due manages to give insight into how the plebs of the 30k universe experience life in the face of the uncertainty of civil war, which is a perspective almost unhea
Robert McCarroll
Being an anthology, I can speak on each of the constituent tales as I finish them. I will try not to let a lack of quality in one yarn sour me to the others.

That first sour point is the opening story. "Rules of Engagement" where the Ultramarines go through training exercises to test out the strategms in the still in-progress Codex Astartes. They come off as extra-smurfy and unsympathetic in this story. By the end, I wanted to have the Captain of the 4th flogged for being a whiny emo fool.

Feb 06, 2013 Matias rated it really liked it
As an average: a lot more cooler short stories than was in Tales of Heresy; which also has lots of cool stuff.

Rules of Engagement: Happens after the events of some other Horus Heresy books you might've read. Not so exciting in itself, but points out some cool stuff at the end.

Liar's Due: A different way to conquer a planet/system/.. Cool story, especially if you're interested in one particular force that fights "differently" than others.

The Last Remembrancer: Very cool story and shows familiar f
Jun 01, 2011 Kyle rated it liked it
Overall, the anthology was stronger, more interesting, and more gripping than the previous Tales of Heresy. Although that is perhaps down to the 'Age of Darkness' setting appealing more to me than the Crusade-era stories of Tales of Heresy.

Rules of Engagement was terrible. No, it was atrocious. The theme of the story is interesting - the Ultramarines Legion conducting trials for the Codex Astartes in their utopia of Ultramar. However, certain mistakes, such as the skirmish against faux Salamande
Andy Blake
Aug 11, 2012 Andy Blake rated it really liked it
A collection of tales covering the dark years of the Horus Heresy, between the Isstvan Dropsite Massacre and the Siege of Terra.

I suppose the most important thing to say is that there are no bad stories in this collection. Black Library's authors excel themselves, some of them upping their game significantly.

There are a couple of duds, tales that fall a little flat or don't really go anywhere, but they are not badly written: Rules of Engagement was a clever story but seemed a little unlikely; Th
Stephen Cumiskey
Jan 08, 2014 Stephen Cumiskey rated it liked it
The Horus Heresy series started out as a master class in how to do a prequel, showing established characters from the history of the Warhammer 40,000 universe in an unexpected light, showing the Imperium itself as more enlightened and portraying previously cartoonish villains with subtly and depth.

The subsequent instalments haven’t always managed to maintain that standard, with some lurching back to cod-fantasy dialogue and posturing villains (Battle for the Abyss being the series low watermark)
Jun 04, 2011 Billthebloody rated it liked it
Shelves: warhammer, sci-fi
Age of Darkness is the second collection of short stories in Black Library's Horus Heresy series of novels. There are 9 stories in the collection by the various luminaries of BL and as usual with this kind of book there are highs and relative lows;

Rules of Engagement by Graham McNeil
Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines Legion perfects his treatise on military strategy and organisation and Remus Ventanus, an astartes of the 4th company, implements it's teachings in a myriad of escaltin
Dylan Murphy
Jun 30, 2014 Dylan Murphy rated it really liked it
Shelves: horus-heresy
Ruels of Engagement by Graham McNeill

Liar's Due by James Swallow

Forgotten Sons by Nick Kyme

The Last Remembrancer by John French

Rebirth by Chris Wraight

The Face of Treachery by Gav Thorpe

Little Horus by Dan Abnett
Nov 02, 2012 Martin rated it really liked it
"Age of Darkness is a compilation of nine short stories by various authors. They take place during the seven-year period between the Dropsite Massacre on Isstvan V (Book 5), and the conclusion of Horus' campaign. The stories present various facets of the unfolding conflict, as suspicion, insecurity, and paranoia spread through the galaxy on the wake of the Great Betrayal. Subjects include: a Primarch prepares for the end of the Imperium; a Traitor topples an Imperial planet; an unusual diplomati ...more
May 16, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of Horus Heresy Series
A decent set of short stories. Probably not quite as good as Tales of Heresy, but still a respectable showing. The overall story does not move on significantly in any of the short stories, but it opens a small window to hint at a larger-scale conflict other than Horus simply massacring the legions at Istvaan and simply striking at Terra immediately.

The Last Remembrancer and Savage Weapons both bring up intriguing questions such as "which side is right?", "are the heroes any different from the vi
Sep 19, 2014 Andy rated it really liked it
Collection of Horus Heresy related short stories to somewhat further the Heresy timeline. The Iron Within and Savage Weapons stand out to me, but I do feel that some of the short stories could have been fleshed out to full length novels, leaving these feeling somewhat rushed and contrived. Overall a fun read, but try to enjoy it for what it is: a small window into the overall Heresy saga.
Dec 30, 2011 James rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Another short story edition, which sheds light on some of the arcs that haven't been covered yet in the series, and/or more detail into some that have. Once again, I really like the short stories in these volumes, probably because it forces the authors to get to the point and write a condensed and concise story that is both entertaining and enlightening as to the "fluff". Not quite as good as the "Tales of Heresy" short stories though, but still very enjoyable.
May 04, 2011 Brody rated it it was ok
For a collection of shorts including one by Abnett, this is not a very bright effort. It's not terrible but it's not fantastic either.

However, there *is* one story that redeems the book - The Iron Within by Sanders. It's a classic iteration of any Iron Warriors story. It recalls the incredible Honsu stories from nearly 100 centuries later. It has these things and other important and meaningful tie-ins to other legions and the traitorous march to Terra.
Alex Ujueta
Feb 07, 2014 Alex Ujueta rated it liked it
Jun 15, 2015 Martin rated it it was ok
A bit hit and miss I guess. Half alright, half not-so-good. No story that stood out for me like the last collection.

Best story would be Abnett's. That man can do no wrong.
Jun 24, 2011 Nathan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, reviewed-2011
The recurring theme of the stories in this book is "deception". I really enjoyed a lot of the stories, especially the one featuring the Alpha Legion. On a larger scale, the stories serve nicely to fill in some of the gaps in the story of the greater universe.

Well constructed and worth the read.
Graham Bailey
Aug 08, 2011 Graham Bailey rated it really liked it
Shelves: 40k, horus-heresy
Some really excellent short stories in here and one from Nick Kyme which I wouldn't use as toilet paper if I was desperate. Highlights include 'The Last Remembrancer' by John French, 'Liar's Due' by James Swallow and the always reliable offerings from messers Abnett, McNeill and Dembski-Bowden.
Jan 05, 2014 Biscuitz rated it really liked it
A nice collection of stories set with in the Heresy era better suited to the fans rather than a must read.
Jan 26, 2013 Richard rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Buy this cheap, second hand, and start halfway through. The first half of this collection of short stories is dross; arguably indicative of the tone this over-stretched series has taken. However the latter half represents what the series has been and should be.
Jun 14, 2011 Mhoram rated it liked it
Wasn't bad. Better than Tales of Heresy, I thought. Still, I'm less interested in short stories than I am in the overarching plot. Looking forward to the next REAL Heresy novel being released.
Michael Brookes
Nov 15, 2012 Michael Brookes rated it it was ok
The 40K universe is one of my guilty pleasures. This is a collection of short stories set during the Horus Heresy. The stories are ok, but lack the weight of the other novels in the series.
Jul 06, 2015 Jussi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The 16th Horus Heresy book and the 2nd short story collection, 2011. I suppose this is another "readable" book. Only for Warhammer 40,000 people.
Keamy Loken
Jan 06, 2012 Keamy Loken rated it really liked it
Decent read, only story I didn't really like was 'Rebirth' the rest where very interesting and defiantly fun...but at the same time nothing extremely special.
Feb 07, 2013 Brad rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
Great set of short stories. This collection allows for avenues to be explored in the overall story that wouldn't fit elsewhere in the continuity.
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  • Deliverance Lost
  • The Outcast Dead
  • Nemesis
  • Tales of Heresy
  • Know No Fear
  • The First Heretic
  • Fallen Angels
  • Battle for the Abyss
  • Mark of Calth
  • Descent of Angels
  • Scars

Other Books in the Series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 107 books)
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  • 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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