Top 6 Best Horus Heresy Books in 2021

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The Horus Heresy books deal with sci-fi, fantasy, and space exploration. It even has biological, psychological, and psycho-spiritual elements. This against the backdrop of half-alien, half-human, genetically-enhanced super soldiers. 

Are you finally convinced that you need to read the Horus Heresy books right away? Start with the most valuable and rewarding of Heresy’s books, the False Gods by Graham McNeill and Toby Longworth. 

Whether you do or don’t, you need to follow this list to understand the Warhammer universe better. This is where you’ll know where the seeds of heresy were sown. And what come out as both an uprising, outbreak, and revelation. 

If you’re really interested in reading about the best Horus Heresy books, do not elsewhere but right here.

See also:

  1. Top 6 Best Warhammer 40K Books You Need
  2. Top 6 Best D&D Novels You’ll Want to Read

Quick Summary

Best for beginners
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
Most recommended of all the Horus Heresy series
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
Best space action sequences
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
Best writing style and characterization
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
Best narration and descriptive writing style
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
Best classic Horus Heresy book
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
$28.99
$28.99
$27.99
$27.99
$21.99
$28.99
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Best for beginners
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
$28.99
-
Most recommended of all the Horus Heresy series
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
$28.99
-
Best space action sequences
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
$27.99
-
Best writing style and characterization
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
$27.99
-
Best narration and descriptive writing style
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
$21.99
-
Best classic Horus Heresy book
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
$28.99
-

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Best for beginners
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
Most recommended of all the Horus Heresy series
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
Best space action sequences
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
Best writing style and characterization
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
Best narration and descriptive writing style
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
Best classic Horus Heresy book
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
$28.99
$28.99
$27.99
$27.99
$21.99
$28.99
-
-
-
-
-
-
Best for beginners
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
$28.99
-
Most recommended of all the Horus Heresy series
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
$28.99
-
Best space action sequences
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
$27.99
-
Best writing style and characterization
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
$27.99
-
Best narration and descriptive writing style
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
$21.99
-
Best classic Horus Heresy book
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
$28.99
-

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 6 Best Horus Heresy Books

#1, Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy Book 1 by Dan Abnett and Toby Longworth – Best for beginners

Sale
Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Dan Abnett (Author) - Toby Longworth (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Horus Rising is a good book for getting introduced to the Warhammer 40K universe. The way Abnett and Longworth have narrated the story is simply superb. It’s about leadership, self-discovery, conquest, and valor all wrapped up in one. 

If you’re looking for a classic and timeless Horus Heresy book, this is the one for you. The writing style is descriptive and smooth. But the reading, for the reader, is a bit fast-paced. That’s good if you love reading and want a book that’s super hard to put down.

And this book most definitely is! It has grim and soaring action sequences. You are introduced to humanity’s greatest weapon and danger and victory. It has science fiction, mystery, and fantasy. 

The series of the Horus Heresy books is, itself, quite appealing. A lot of people continue to have this book in their collection. Just by the writing, you can tell it’s a good Warhammer 40K magnum opus here. 

Why should you read this book? If you like fast-paced action, military fiction, and a dark meta-fiction series. And if you’ve ever read David Weber’s fiction, you’ll definitely fall in love with this. 

What I Like
  • It deals with multiple character arcs.
  • Science-fiction warfare at its best.
  • Crafty and immersive battles.
What I Didn’t Like
  • The first act is quite slow.

#2, False Gods: The Horus Heresy Book 2 by Graham McNeill and Toby Longworth – Most recommended of all the Horus Heresy series

Sale
False Gods: The Horus Heresy, Book 2
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Graham McNeill (Author) - Toby Longworth (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This is the origin of the fall of Horus Heresy. It takes on a slightly different tone of writing. And that isn’t a bad thing because Graham brings a new set of literary genius to his books. Since this is one of the first books in the series, it’s highly recommended by most readers.

The writing style is fantastic. It’s packed with emotion and dialogue. The characters and the setting they are placed in are also well-described. False Gods is more relatable out of the best Horus Heresy books. The reason being it’s the most important book in the series. So you don’t want to miss even a single word uttered or action performed. 

The beauty of the story is what keeps you glued to your chair and to never book this book down. You’ll enjoy the progression of the story the most. At least that is what stood out for me. If you love Warhammer, you’ll have nothing to complain about while reading this book.

The sequences are well-described, researched, and executed. You have descriptions of various rituals, creative inventions, and the overall Warhammer 40K universe – which is great!

What I Like
  • Ideal for every Warhammer enthusiast.
  • Complex, dark, and engaging.
  • Relatable characters and expressive dialogue.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Some plot twists are confusing.

#3, Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy Book 3 by Ben Counter and Toby Longworth – Best space action sequences 

Sale
Galaxy in Flames: The Horus Heresy, Book 3
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Ben Counter (Author) - Toby Longworth (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/10/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

 Next in line is the Galaxy in Flames. It’s more immersive, compelling, and fast-paced. However, if I could change one thing about this third book, it’s to reduce the number of plot repetitions in the story.

For every fan of the Warhammer 40K universe, this book is great. It shows battles, conquests, character development, and uncompromising turning points. It’s a more action-driven counterpart of the first two books. And that is precisely why so many people read this one.

It brings into its narrative the False God context. But with more paraphernalia, Chaos marines, and longer and deeper battles. One great thing about this book is that it prepares you for what’s to come. Not that it spills the beans but continues the story fluently and eloquently. 

For an impressive parallel story between the loyal marines and the traitors of the legion. The Galaxy in Flames offers the best of the best plot. What happens in this book is quite pivotal in the entire Horus Heresy books. So if you’re buying the best Horus Heresy books, you can’t miss out on this one.

What I Like
  • Well-written and entertaining from cover to cover.
  • Detailed portrayal of injustice, betrayal, and conflict.
  • Good blend of history, fantasy, and sci-fi.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Not as immersive enough as the other Heresy books.
  • The last act’s writing is a bit tedious.

#4, The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy Book 4 by James Swallow and Toby Longworth – Best writing style and characterization

Sale
The Flight of The Eisenstein: The Horus Heresy, Book 4
  • Audible Audiobook
  • James Swallow (Author) - Jonathan Keeble (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 01/01/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you thought the previous book didn’t show enough ambition, then you will love moving on to this Flight of The Eisenstein. It is one of the most recognizable works of the Horus Heresy books. Co-authored by James Swallow who has also written a couple of famous Warhammer 40K books. 

So his voice in the context of Warhammer books is quite relevant and appealing. For a lot of new readers, The Flight of The Eisenstein is a classic choice. It has a phenomenal start. The Death Guard, Earth-born Space Marine, and so much more.

Even though this book is about conflicts, battles, and conquests. It doesn’t feel violent or disturbing. You’re reading about a character encountering their ultimate enemy. In a setting, in a world infested by plagues, pests, and fires. 

The Flight of The Eisenstein is a collection of war stories. Brutal, unforgettable, and fantasy-like. Once you’re in it, getting out of the book without finishing the complete Horus Heresy stories is impossible. And that is why I recommend you to read this book.

What I Like
  • Gripping story arc and descriptions.
  • One of the best books in the Horus Heresy series.
  • Not too overly-dramatic or heavily-handed action scenes.
What I Didn’t Like
  • The first part is a bit slow and vague.

#5, Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy by Graham McNeill and Toby Longworth – Best narration and descriptive writing style

Sale
Mechanicum: The Horus Heresy, Book 9
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Graham McNeill (Author) - Toby Longworth (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/10/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Mechanicum is a more intense and compelling book from the Horus Heresy series. It has all the makings of an engaging and immersive fantasy book. Great plot, striking story arc, detailed character development, and finally, a grand ending.

The Mechanicum also introduces some backstory to give a broader context to the Warhammer universe. Even if you’ve never read other Horus Heresy books, is a great place to start.

It all comes together pretty well and accurately. While Warhammer, and especially Horus Heresy enthusiasts, think that Mechanicum might be dry reading. But the fair opinion is that it leaves you wanting for more. 

The writing is fast-paced, vivid, and wanting of the reader’s attention. Graham and Longworth break down the essential routes of the Horus Heresy series. And highlights the most interesting and gripping parts of the story. The kind that once you read, you’ll never forget. 

At the end of the day, sci-fi enthusiasts read Horus Heresy for its grim, intense, and space military fiction. And that’s exactly what a book like the Mechanicum delivers. Crisp, terrorizing, and fun. 

What I Like
  • Epic novelization of war, fantasy, and legend.
  • Amazing space military science-fiction thriller.
  • Good pace, detailed scenes, and memorable characters.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Lack of imaginative elements in the story.
  • Not as immersive as the other books.

$6, The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy by Aaron Dembski-Bowden and Gareth Armstrong – Best classic Horus Heresy book

Sale
The First Heretic: The Horus Heresy, Book 14
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Aaron Dembski-Bowden (Author) - Gareth Armstrong (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 10/03/2017 (Publication Date) - Black Library (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-06-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This book brings Chaos and the very first heretics into the Warhammer 40K universe. And that is why it’s so universally loved because of it. The First Heretic bridges together the most common epic tale of the Horus Heresy series. And that is the fall from grace.

And what’s most compelling about this book is how well is it narrated. Combining elements of relatable emotions, fantasy, and betrayal. The story is well-crafted, structured, and it ends just as effectively.

It also brings all the essential elements of the story into context. The tragic sequence of events takes place right from the fall of grace. The betrayal, struggle of faith, and a heart-wrenching and moving arc about Lorgar and the legion. 

You want to keep reading this because it’s so good and well-written. I would recommend you to read this book for its writing alone. Even if you’re not such a huge fan of the Warhammer books. The Great Crusade, Word Bearers, and shattered beliefs of the Emperor. The First Heretic blends imagination with fantasy and sci-fi in the most convincing manner.

What I Like
  • Good mix of action and fantasy.
  • Impressive storyline and character arcs.
  • Amazing battle descriptions and serialization.
What I Didn’t Like
  • The second half feels a bit complex.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What’s the recommended Horus Heresy reading order?

The reading order of the Horus Heresy is known by every Warhammer 40K enthusiast. And now you will do too. 
There are multiple ways to go about it. You can start from the release date of the Horus Heresy books. But that would not be 100% accurate because there are new editions coming out of even old books every year. 
Next, you can look for the ideal pick by the author. You have the most popular Warhammer sci-fi writers like Dan Abnett, Graham McNeill, James Swallow, Toby Longworth. 
For the best Horus Heresy books, you have co-authors who bring their personal tone of writing into the mix. In the case of some books, like Horus Rising: The Horus Heresy by Dan Abnett and Toby Longworth. It’s a clear winner. It’s one of the best books for new readers and enthusiasts. 
Having said that, I would recommend you start by context and then proceed to the timeline.
You can follow the order in which I have recommended the best Horus Heresy book in this article. Each brings their own voice and essence to the table. And it’s the ideal way to read Horus Heresy books online.

Which long are the Horus Heresy books?

The Horus Heresy is a collection of serialized novels about sci-fi, fantasy, and galaxy-spanning war. The timeline of which spans 9 Terran years. It started as treachery which turned to shattered belief systems and faiths, and finally to personal advancement and power. 
In lots of other places, the Horus Heresy books are even considered “the beginning of the current Age of the Imperium.” Where different colonies of the galaxy came under a single government.

What is the story setting of the Horus Heresy books?

Dating back to the 31st millennium, the entire galaxy was under the power and control of the Great Crusade. Being the sole and true owner of humankind, these scattered colonies all over the galaxy become subjects to the Imperium of Man. Leading armies, fleets, and military expeditions across the galaxy. 
Resulting in wars, infestations, plagues, bloodsheds, pests, and much more.
The result, which includes witchcraft, fantasy, sorcery, paraphernalia, and other sci-fi elements, is the Horus Heresy books. The book includes space marines, the imperial army, Chao corruption, heretic legions, and so many more fantastical story arcs.

Final Thoughts

What if I told you that whatever you’ve read about the Horus Heresy books before this is incomplete? If there is one thing you need to know about the Horus Heresy books, it’s right here. 

The complete and correct reading order, storyline, and the good and bad. If you want to be loyal to the Warhammer 40K universe, Horus Heresy is where it all starts. I hope that after reading this article, you can make an informed and wise decision about buying these amazing sci-fi and fantasy books. 

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