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(The Horus Heresy #5)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  9,087 ratings  ·  448 reviews
It is the 31st millennium, and humanity is at the peak of its powers. As the Great Crusade, led by Warmaster Horus, continues to conquer the galaxy, Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, leads his warriors into battle against a vile alien foe. From the blood of this campaign are sown the seeds that will lead this proud Legion to treachery, taking them down the darke ...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published July 31st 2007 by Games Workshop (first published July 2007)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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 ·  9,087 ratings  ·  448 reviews

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Gianfranco Mancini

The tale about the fall to Slaanesh of the III Legion is not just a book.

It is a tragedy, an epic and morbid tale about brotherhood, weakness, corruption, depravity and betrayal, with echoes from Oscar Wilde's "The Picture of Dorian Gray" and Michael Moorcock's "Stormbringer" (Graham McNeill's love for Elric had been already shown for good in his Warhammer fantasy books, but here is just over the top).
Still one of the best Horus Heresy novels after years, and my second read was far more good tha
Sarah Davis
Aug 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Well other teenage girls obsess vampires or werewolves and are busy making their babies, I was busy making babies with pre-heresy Emperor's Children. (I don't think I'd live through it all after heresy...or it wouldn't matter.)

OK that off my mind, amazing book! Possibly a few spoilers.
Things I liked:

1. Fulgrim's personality. Reminds me of my younger sister, only she's probably not gonna fall for a demon sword talking to her.

2. Fulgrim's fall to chaos was well done, I once had a warhammer 40k fr
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
New primarch, new legion, new perspective. This is the third different viewpoint on the events transpiring in the Isstvan system, leading to the rebellion against the emperor. In a way, it feels like the final piece of the introduction to the Heresy.

Although this is probably more deserving of 3.5, Fulgrim is a solid iteration in a series that remains surprisingly high-calibre.
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
After a near-perfect run up until now, the fifth book In the Horus Heresy begins to show some cracks, chiefly around Graham McNeill's biggest stumbling block; Characterisation. At a whopping 512 pages, this is a story which is in no hurry to be told which would not be a problem if there was a central character to cling onto, instead there's absolutely no-one to match up to the previous books' heroes so we're stuck with Fulgrim. For 512 pages.
The further problem with the Emperor's Children as a l
Thomas Edmund
Aug 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Fulgrim was an odd installment of the H-Heresy for me. There was some really good scenes and moments, but ultimately the sprawl of events characters and events was just to disconnected and jarring for me to enjoy. There was little tension in Fulgrim's story as we mostly knew where it was going, and his 'corruption' was too on the nose even for the unsubtle 40K universe.

I had mixed feelings about Solomon, at first I thought "here we go another honourable captain to be the good-guy stand-in while
Oct 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: wh40k, horus-heresy
I really tried to like this book but for me it had a lot of things going against it. I've never been a big fan of Graham McNeill but I thought he did a good job with "False Gods". In Fulgrim nothing works for me. I think this book is about Fulgrim's fall into Chaos but since Fulgrim and the other Emperor's Children (with the exception of Saul Tarvitz) have been depicted as arrogant pricks in the previous stories they are not sympathetic characters. Without sympathetic characters this "fall from ...more
David Guymer
Aug 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
Similar to The Flight of the Eisenstein, which came before, Fulgrim begins some way prior to where the preceding novels ended, around the time of False Gods I believe, this time exploring the build-up to the Heresy from the perspective of the Emperor's Children.

This book achieved a number of spectacular things:

1) it gave me just a smidgeon of sympathy for Lord Commander Eidolon
2) those rather silly sonic weapons now seem perfectly sensible
3) the Emperor's Children are now number one in my Chapt
Chris Berko
Jan 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Remember that movie Fast Times at Ridgemont High at the end when Spicoli watches Hamilton foil that robbery at the gas station? Well I'm Spicoli right now with these Warhammer 40K novels because they are Awesome! Totally awesome! I'm five deep in the Horus Heresy saga and they are still going strong. In fact I might even say the experience is getting more enjoyable because I'm understanding more of the references then when I was a newbie and with each book read I'm getting to know the characters ...more
Alain DeWitt
Jun 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
I like the plot, the setting and the action, but the writing style is really starting to get on my nerves. I've mentioned this in previous reviews of volumes in this series, but the constant use of superlatives is really getting on my nerves. It makes the writing melodramatic and over the top. If everyone is perfect and everything is epic, then nothing is. Good thing these are quick reads. ...more
Jul 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well now... I enjoyed Graham McNeill's last outing in the Horus Heresy (False Gods), although found the pacing a little uneven at times. Fulgrim, for me, shows a writer with an enormous amount of confidence. McNeill has improved immeasurably on False Gods, and presents a novel that is truly epic in scope.

Fulgrim is structured brilliantly. We're shown the Emperor's Children before the fall - an exceptionally proud Legion searching for perfection in everything. There are strong characters showcase
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
McNeill delivers. As always. Well worth checking out.
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The best book in the series so far. A brilliant tragedy.
May 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
In other words, heresy is a value judgment, the expression of a view from within an established belief system.

Oct 13, 2019 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bart Tredway
Jul 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I am really having a hard time believing that so many people didn't like this book. While i can understand the perspective of others that said that this installment of the Horus Heresy series was "formulaic" and were otherwise disappointed in this book, i really think that this book is where the series evolves from a "shoot-'em-up" and intrigue-driven storyline, to unmask the truly sublime forces which are driving the entire Horus Heresy itself. Graham McNeill is at his very best here, being abl ...more
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another excellent book in the Horus Heresy series. This was possibly my favourite so far, but I could definitely see it as one that others may prefer to skip. It's a classic Faustian story that shows us the horrific effects Chaos can have on Mankind. The side-story focuses on the artists on-board the Emperor's Children's flagship, and uses the idea of the pursuit of the perfect piece of art and the extreme places this may lead to mirror the story of Fulgrim and his troops' own experiments with C ...more
Jan 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well that escalated quickly.

Review later
Mar 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fulgrim, the titular primarch of the III Legion (Emperor's Children), is supposed to be the aspect of The Emperor's perfection. But he is not The Emperor, so he is imperfect, but that won't stop him and the space marines he leads from trying to be. Stan Bush tells us "it's not the destination, it's what you find along the road", but neither the primarch nor the astartes of the Emperor's Children seem able to grasp this subtle truth. Their worldview contains a critical flaw, and all the overlappi ...more
Jan 06, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, warhammer-40k
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Unfortunately for the Horus Heresy series this is where it really starts to repeat itself. While The Flight of the Eisenstein was just the same story as in the previous books, it was still fresh because it was the first time we really stepped out of the established characters and followed some one totally new who really comes into his own at the end of the story. The plot and the writing was also good enough for it to still feel new.

Fulgrim, however, feels very much like the same story just told
Rob Hayes
Sep 13, 2019 rated it liked it
Not gonna be a long review on this one.

I'll start by saying the narration was mostly excellent with some pretty terrible female voices. Apart from that, very well done.

This is book 5, but should probably be book 4 in the series. It gives a lot of back story to the Emperor's Children and Fulgrim himself and does a great job of setting up the conflict inside of him. It also culminates in a section that follows on directly from book 3 in the series.

The book is chocked full of purple prose, self co
Jun 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The 'Maraviglia' chapter near the end of this excellent book..OMG!!
Graham McNeill certainly has a talent for writing Horror with a capital 'H'.

'My Emperor's Children,' said Fulgrim, 'what sweet music they make.'
Aug 30, 2021 rated it liked it
this universe, and this book in particular, are amazingly fucked up
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The perfect brother falls...

We have struggled for months to accomplish this task on our own when it should have been clear that we could not. In all things we strive to eradicate weakness, but it is not weakness to ask for help, my brothers. It is weakness to deny that help is needed.

Julius laughed and said, ‘Get some sleep, Solomon, you understand? Or did that crash scramble your brains too?’ ‘Sleep?’ said Solomon, slumping back onto the bed. ‘I’ll sleep when I’m dead.’

(...) a truth that is tol
Dylan Murphy
When I first read Fulgrim a few years ago, it cemented itself as my favourite book of all time. Reading it again in the glorious hardcover collector's edition complete with some awesome(and some ok) internal artwork as well as an author afterword was just as amazing as I remember.

The novel focuses on the Emperor's Children's fall to Slaanesh. The Emperor's Children just happen to my my all time favourite Legion and Warband(s) and Slaanesh is my Chaos God(dess) of choice! So naturally
Alexander Draganov
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really torn between giving this four stars or five, but this time I have decided not be generous, mainly because of the ending, which seems to contradict other sources of lore and the beginning, which is way to sluggish. Nevertheless this was a strong, insanely epic novel with some of the greatest scenes of action and of corruption I have read in the genre. Fulgrim is also probably the best character in the HH series so far. Overall, a great book which will please fans of the epic and savage tal ...more
Sep 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
I think that Fulgrim (and the Emperor's Children's) descent into hedonism and sadism is probably the most well-written book in the Horus Heresy series thus far, with some call-backs to the Poet William Blake, and allusions to the works of Oscar Wilde, Husymans, and de Sade. The unsettling creepiness and depravity of the legion's vanity and corruption gradually build throughout the book until it boils over in the build up to the battle at Isstvan V. ...more
This book was mad wild. Think picture of Dorian Gray, but 40k style.
Swords & Spectres
Apr 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
With 'Fulgrim' Back Library dives back into the frustrating 'we've got to a certain point so now we're going to go back and show you what other folk were doing before then' storytelling for the majority of the book. I get it, it's pretty cool to know what other factions were doing before the opening trilogy took us to a huge plot point. All I'm saying is, perhaps the opening trilogy shouldn't have been a trilogy. Get to that big plot point later on. Give these other books a chance to shine rathe ...more
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
This is my third or fourth time reading this book. The first time had been because I was reading the series, the other two or three times because I was looking for inspiration for an Emperor's Children army.

I have a love/hate relationship with this novel. Every time previous that I have read this novel, I was always amazed and impressed by McNeill's use of the normal human artists to help show the corruption of the legion with each step forward that they took down the path to damnation. On this
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Hailing from Scotland, Graham McNeill narrowly escaped a career in surveying to work for Games Workshop as a games designer. He has a strong following with his novels Nightbringer, Warriors of Ultramar, Dead Sky, Black Sun and Storm of Iron.

Other books in the series

The Horus Heresy (1 - 10 of 54 books)
  • Horus Rising (The Horus Heresy, #1)
  • False Gods (The Horus Heresy, #2)
  • Galaxy in Flames (The Horus Heresy, #3)
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein (The Horus Heresy, #4)
  • 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)
  • Fallen Angels (The Horus Heresy, #11)

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