BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Primarchs Lorgar and Angron lead their Legions deep into the realm of Ultramar, wreaking unthinkable havoc. Angron’s violent condition is worsening, he is dying, but Lorgar has a plan to save his savage brother. He will stop at nothing to bring that plan to fruition.
PROS: Heavy on the action but also heavy on the characterization, Dembski-Bowden adds unexpected depth to what may have otherwise been flat characters, tragic and compelling, furthers the Horus Heresy timeline.
CONS: None that come to mind, this was worth every dime of the hardcover price.
BOTTOM LINE: With Betrayer, Aaron Dembski-Bowden achieves the unexpected – giving depth to Angron and the World Eaters and topping his best novel to date, The First Heretic.
I wasn’t so sure what all the hype over Aaron Dembski-Bowden was about until I read The First Heretic, a New York Times bestselling novel I consider to be one of the best entries in the Horus Heresy series. Dembski-Bowden took a Legion I had little to no interest in, a Legion I sneered at as vile traitors, and painted them in a sympathetic light. With The First Heretic, he made me feel for the very first Primarch to turn away from the Imperium. It was not an action packed novel as far as the series goes, but instead a gut-wrenching, heart-rending character piece that showed the darkness of the future is even less black and white then believed. With Betrayer, Dembski-Bowden trumps his greatest accomplishment.
REVIEW SUMMARY: The Blood Angels make their debut in one of the best Horus Heresy books to date.
BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Warmaster Horus sends Sanguinius and the entirety of the Blood Angels legion on a mission to the Signus System. What the Angels find there will test the very mettle of the legion.
PROS: Epic set pieces, beautiful imagery, good characterization, sweeping battles, and dark revelations.
CONS: The series still seems to be stalled, though the author isn’t to blame for this.
BOTTOM LINE: Sanguinius and the Blood Angels get the book they deserve and fans of the Horus Heresy series will be treated to one of the Top 5 entries in the series thus far.
A dark secret haunts Sanguinius of the IX Legion, the proud and noble Blood Angels. It is a flaw he has kept from his father, the Emperor, for fear of his gene-legacy. Outside of a small band of his most trusted soldiers Sanguinius tells but one other, Warmaster Horus. The friendship between the two is a bond forged in the fires of battle but as Horus prepares to make the transformation from champion of the Imperium to arch-traitor, it is a bond that is about to be betrayed. Tempted with the prospect of salvation Sanguinius assembles the full force of his legion to prosecute a mission given by the Warmaster himself. It is not salvation that the Blood Angels find in the Signus System, instead they face an unknown enemy that will challenge the IX Legion to its core.