Galaxy in Flames (Horus Heresy #3)

Another generic Warhammer science fantasy that is MANDATORY reading for those of us who already have read the first 2 books of the Horus Heresy trilogy (Horus Rising & False Gods). I am being overly critical but it is rightfully so. When you start a trilogy, you expect the quality to stay the same, or drop a little bit, but not drop so substantially that it feels you’re reading another book.

But again, I’m being too harsh, because after all, I’ve finished reading it, and it kept me going. I almost forgot what sleep is reading this book, even if I was rolling my eyes so much they almost fell from my orbits.

What I’m saying is that the Warhammer we all know and love (and sometimes hate but still love) is back. Gone are the subtle philosophical topics, gone are the conflicted characters, all that is left is war. And I know many of you come to these books with the expectation of light reading, so this should prove to be what you expect, a very light action-filled reading with gruesome scenes of violence.

Why am I so disappointed then?

The story of Garviel Loken is over but in the end, I couldn’t care less about him because he was mostly absent for the events of this book.

Okay, so what happens?

In the Galaxy in Flames, the Warmaster’s treachery is in the open and we watch the civil war within different Astartes legions on Istvaan III: Luna Wolves, World Eaters, Emperor’s Children, Death Guard. On the other more subtle front, some remembrancers seek to warn the Emperor of Horus’s betrayal.

This is what makes this book great. I didn’t expect the events of the battle to be so destructive. If you think you can betray someone, well, Horus proved that there is a right way to do it, on an epic scale.

And then we have the fragile humans running from Astartes. This makes for such unbelievable tense moments. It’s obvious they don’t stand a chance but I was still curious how will they manage to do it.

So Galaxy in Flames is a good book, but a book focused on large-scale conflict, and not on particular characters. I’m not big on Warhammer lore, I prefer to just read the books and piece things together from novels and stories, but even I knew how the conflict of this book was going to end. Still, this didn’t affect the pace of my reading. The important part was not what happens but how it happens.

Galaxy in Flames delivers. It’s a light read, that picks up in the second half and takes you on a journey that is only just beginning.

Read it because:

You’re a fan of the following legions: Sons of Horus (Luna Wolves), Emperor’s Children, World Eaters, Death Guard.

The following Primarchs make an appearance: Horus, Mortarion, Angron.

Key events in the Warhammer 40K History: Istvaan III

*All artwork belongs to warhammerart.com and Games Workshop and their respective authors, unless otherwise stated.

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