I know I’m late to the party, but I finally decided to start reading the “Horus Heresy,” a huge series of novels set in the universe of Warhammer 40,000 (though it is set much earlier than the year 40,000). I thought it would be awesome to blog the series as I go. With more than 50 novels and many, many short stories, there will be a lot of posts in this series (I doubt I’ll get to all the short stories). I’m reading the series in publication order unless otherwise noted. There will be SPOILERS from the books discussed as well as previous books in the series. Please DO NOT SPOIL later books in the series.
Deliverance Lost by Gav Thorpe
One question that looms large so far in the Horus Heresy series is what happens to all these legions that have been betrayed–what’s their perspective? Deliverance Lost er, delivers the goods on that question, as Gav Thorpe goes on a deep dive into the Raven Guard in the aftermath of the battle of Isstvan III. Along the way, Thorpe provides a ton of action along with quite a bit of background material beyond the basics.
The novel starts with the Raven Guard in tatters, barely escaping with any remnants as they retreat to fight another day. Corax, the Primarch, is one of the primary actors throughout the story, which is a refreshing change from how often the Primarchs are basically just giving orders from on high through most of the other books. Early on, though, we discover that the Alpha Legion has infiltrated the Raven Guard and are attempting to discover more about the defenses of Terra, among other things, with their presence. The Guard are sent to recover some technology to make more Astartes (I think–I may have misread what exactly was going on here) and then fight through a labyrinth with some pretty awesome ideas backing it up. One such is the notion that the defenses are randomized based on computations from the melting cycle of a local glacier, which makes no sense but is hella metal and awesome.
Afterwards, Corax uses the gene-seed to make more super soldiers, but the heretic Alpha Legion works against this and battle breaks out. Corax raises the Raven Guard from the ashes by rooting out the Alpha Legionnaires and then attacks the Emperor’s Children in a lengthy series of action scenes. The action scenes, though, still contain story and world-building, as Thorpe continues the exposition throughout.
Deliverance Lost is an excellent entry in the Horus Heresy series. We get to see the ramifications of the Horus’s rebellion in a more intimate way, while also getting one of the deepest looks at any Primarch or Legion so far with the Raven Guard.
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