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Fear to Tread

(The Horus Heresy #21)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  1,766 ratings  ·  92 reviews
Since the earliest days of the Great Crusade, Sanguinius – angelic primarch of the IXth Legion – was ever among the closest and most loyal of Horus’s brothers. But the Blood Angels have long kept their true nature hidden from the rest of the Imperium, and when the Warmaster hints that the key to their salvation may lie in the ruins of a conquered world, the sons of Sanguin ...more
Paperback, 508 pages
Published August 28th 2012 by Games Workshop (first published August 1st 2012)
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3.91  · 
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 ·  1,766 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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Sep 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
As I said to a friend of mine: "it's as awesome as Know No Fear, only with the infinitisimally cooler Blood Angels instead of Ultramarines".

In the first chapters of the book it already becomes clear that the Blood Angels' Black Rage is NOT, as lore implicitly led us to believe, a condition that only manifested in the Blood Angels after their Primarch died... it already existed before that. Which immediatly begs the question: what causes it... (hint: it's quite easy to imagine once you consider t
Sean McGovern
Aug 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the problem with a series - any series: usually, they aren't planned out at the start. This leads from whatever beginning (good, bad, otherwise) to most often a strong middle - and then the end could go either way. And God help you if you're dealing with a trilogy with an amazing second act.

"Warhammer 40,000: The Horus Heresy" isn't under the restraints of a trilogy. It now spans 18 novels (plus 3 more announced - and we're just reaching the end of the Second Act), 8 collections of novel
Nov 12, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
So, needless to say, I'm going to keep reading this unending series (I've come to terms with the fact that it never will). However, I definitely have my favorite installments (which tend to go over extremely well with me) and my let downs. Sadly, this chapter falls into the second category. I really was looking forward to this particular take on the Blood Angels (a personal favorite), and was sadly disappointed.

This books dragged like no other, for everything execpt the last 50-100 pages or so.
You can find the full review over at The Founding Fields:

Shadowhawk reviews the latest Horus Heresy novel, by New York Times Bestseller and long-time genre writer, James Swallow as he tackles the noble warriors of the Ninth Legiones Astartes, the Blood Angels.

“Fear To Tread is the definitive Blood Angels novel, and without a doubt the best Horus Heresy story yet told.“ ~The Founding Fields

Blood Angels, Blood Angels, Blood Angels. They are tied at the momen
Keamy Loken
In all blunt honesty I have not been a huge fan of James Swallow's other Horus Heresy novels, this book however reminded me. Black Library doesn't hire crappy writers for Horus Heresy (40k and fantasy I'm told there are some...but I'm not to expert there.)James Swallow took a stand beside my favorite writers in the series, (Graham McNeill, Dan Abnett and Aaron the guy who's last name I'm to lazy to look up and spell).

This book probably had the most flash backs of any heresy novel so far but it w
Dean Boulton
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is without a doubt the dopest shit I have ever read. The Blood Angels are put to the ultimate test, as angels are thematically pitted against vile demons of the warp. I frequently grew spontaneous erections as battle scenes involving Sanguinius were portrayed, and wept tears of joy at depictions of his undying love for his sons. Many times I felt a warmth come over me as I imagined that I was a Bloof Angel and Dopeguinius was talking to me personally. I was travelling at the time of finishi ...more
Matthew Hipsher
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So far in this series, this book brings the treachery of Horus into focus and aligns all of the story lines to a point.

The character sketches of Sanguinas and post heresy Horus help us to see just how the heresy was able to spread and involve all of the Primarchs now.

This is a great book and I highly recommend it to any 40K for or anyone who likes the stories of the Blood Angels.
Sep 11, 2012 rated it liked it
"Fear to Tread describes an operation by the forces of Chaos that is meant to turn Primarch Sanguinius and the 9th Space Marine Legion, the so-called Blood Angels, to their cause. To succeed, Chaos plans to take advantage of a genetic flaw in Sanguinius' and the Legion's DNA. As the Heresy is getting under way, the outwardly still loyal Warmaster orders the entire 9th Legion and their unsuspecting Primarch to a remote star system. There they find themselves isolated and ambushed, fighting a new ...more
Dylan Murphy
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh man, I have always been a fan of Mr. Swallow's, especially his Blood Angels, but this novel left me speechless. Now that it has been a few hours, I can really put into words how and why I loved it.
Firstly, the variety of character within the Blood Angels was remarkable. From First Captain Ral. and Fifth Captain Amit, to Sargent Cessiel and his squad, and the dozens of Blood Angels I didn't mention, they all had their own unique character. Which was a blessing for the noble boys in Red.
I rea
Justin Castro
Feb 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: warhammer-40k
While I've read a majority of the current Horus Heresy novels and I am interested in Warhammer 40k's lore I feel as if the further I've delved into the world the more it breaks down and becomes harder to read. This book epitomized that in that it was actually painful trying to continue. It's been a running theme that the Adeptus Astartes and their primarchs are enormously incompetent, which has aggravated me to no end. Time and again the Astartes are so absolutely close minded as to be shockingl ...more
Oct 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
There are good Warhammer 40k books and bad Warhammer 40k books. This was a good one. The Horus Heresy novels recently have been poignant, if you can really use that word to describe this series, because you know that all of these stories about the Legions are moving inevitably towards Horus, Sanguinius and the Emperor all having their showdown at the Throne of Terra.

This is Sanguinius's novel. I liked it because the concept of the Blood Angels sounds like something designed to draw 16-year-old
Alexander Draganov
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
In the end, I have to say that this was one very strong book. It would have benefited if it was shorter, but despite its lenght, it is worthy of your attention. Sanguinius is the best of all primarchs and only angels can truly fly, indeed.
Detailed review in Bulgarian here:
Eldrad Ulthran
Dec 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
WOW...Wow...very just one of the best Wh40K `s so far and one of the best of the horus series...great...great Story and great Detail with very good characters ...more
Jonathan Strugnell
Oct 18, 2018 rated it liked it
Been thinking about how to write this review for a day since I finished the book. In summary although well written it just doesn't come together as a coherent book and is a little boring in places sadly.

It follows the blood angels and their fight against the demon in the Signis system but there is just so much extra stuff that didn't need to be in the book which slows it all down. There are Space Wolves... which could have been remove, similarly the Word Bearers. Some of the blood angels charac
Miles Drake
Feb 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This would be a 5* book if the mystery and sinister terror that the first portion of the book conveyed remained throughout the story. When the Blood Angels were first arriving, all of the cosmos defying witchery they bore witness to was absolutely awesome. The mystery was tense, and horror was ripe.

But then, alas, it gets dispelled when the enemy is revealed and the book turns into a more typical combat trudge as is common in 40k, or 30k books, and I lost some interest. The ending was still eng
Andrew Alvis
May 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tin Wee
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Warhammer 40K series has a long and complex backstory so newcomers might find this book a bit much to take in. Essentially the story is about a legion of Blood Angels space marines that get sent to a trap designed to bring out their primal bloodlust and turn them into servants of chaos. The trap is sprung, and a battle breaks out in space and planetside, with a small group racing to save their brothers. Was looking for an easy read with descriptions of epic battles and was not disappointed.
Brendan Davis
As always this is the rating for licensed fiction. If you're not not looking to read a 40k book, don't take this as a recommendation.

I went into this one not expecting much. But this is definitely among the best Horus Heresy novels, and the definitive Blood Angels novel. It also has the best Chaos scenes in any of the Warhammer novels I've read, and manages to maintain horror and dread throughout.
May 15, 2018 rated it liked it
It was good, but it wasn't really epic. Sanguinius is kind of a ridiculous impossible character to write for, so I can't really blame the author. I'm sure there's a good story in there, but I find it impossible to connect to any of the Primarchs. These books really need to be told more from the view of a grunt than anything else. Abnett and Dembski-Bowden do much better jobs. But this is already known.
Roberto Golović
Jul 30, 2018 rated it liked it
The first novel in the Horus Heresy series focusing entirely on the beloved Blood Angels legion. It is well written and entertaining but not among the best works in the series. The events covered by the book are isolated enough from the main-plot to make it feel like a detour.
Moishe the Beadle
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
At the very beginning of the Horus Heresy:

Sanguinius & the Blood Angels vs the Keeper of Secrets Kyriss the Perverse and the hordes of Slaanesh.

Sanguinius & the Blood Angels vs the Bloodthirster Ka'Bandha and the hordes of Khorne.
Lemuel CyroN Salubo
May 12, 2017 rated it liked it
It was a bit of a slog trying to finish the book, I'm not sure what it is but the pacing doesn't feel good. All in all, I wanted to read about the Blood Angels, and with their struggles and victories, I guess I've formed a decent view on them.

An average book but sheds light on the IX Legion.
ドミネーター トライアンベイト
the "origin" to where the blood angles got their "unique" traits such as black rage and the red thirst.
Claire Benham
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: my-library, warhammer
Very Very good. I felt like it started slow but that was part of the whole plot too... Once it sped up I couldn't put it down.
Mr. Yuk
Apr 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best of the Horus Heresy series so far. Brutal!
Lee Herridge
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: want-to-buy
The core concept is good but the execution is messy once it gets into the main battle of the book.
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
The story of Sanguinus‘ defiance, of Brothers Meros and Kano, is truly epic.
Russell Tassicker
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Heavy metal album covers in book form.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A brutal yet amazing book.
Milo (BOK)
Original Post: (Dual Review with Lord of the Night, fellow TFF member.)

"An epic tale that’s just what Blood Angels fans were waiting for. Explosive stuff.”

Fear to Tread is epic. Although it may not be as powerful as Know No Fear was, Swallow proves that he can write better novels then Nemesis. This is one of the upper-tier novels in the Horus Heresy series, for several reasons that I will go into below, after the blurb:

Since the earliest days of the Grea
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James Swallow is a New York Times, Sunday Times and Amazon bestselling author and scriptwriter, a BAFTA nominee, a former journalist and the award-winning writer of over fifty books, along with scripts for video games, radio and television.

His writing includes the Marc Dane action thriller series, the Sundowners steampunk Westerns and fiction from the worlds of Star Trek, Warhammer 40000, Doctor

Other books in the series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 91 books)
  • Horus Rising (Horus Heresy #1)
  • False Gods (Horus Heresy #2)
  • Galaxy in Flames (The Horus Heresy #3)
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein (The Horus Heresy #4)
  • Fulgrim (The Horus Heresy #5)
  • Descent of Angels (The Horus Heresy #6)
  • Legion (The Horus Heresy #7)
  • Battle for the Abyss (The Horus Heresy #8)
  • Mechanicum (The Horus Heresy #9)
  • Tales of Heresy (The Horus Heresy #10)
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