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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-13, 09:21 AM Thread Starter
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Default What to read first?

Greetings librarians of forbidden knowledge and untold clashes,

As I'm thinking about starting to read the lore books and stories in the Black Library I come to you for help.

My main interest currently is the Chaos evolution and the Horus Heresy. Everything about the faction (Chaos Daemons and Space Marines) that I play. My question is then; Where do I start?

With so many books and so much back'n'forth in the story, which books and in which sequence would you recommend that I read them?

I look forward to your answers!
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-13, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Nordicus View Post
Greetings librarians of forbidden knowledge and untold clashes,

As I'm thinking about starting to read the lore books and stories in the Black Library I come to you for help.

My main interest currently is the Chaos evolution and the Horus Heresy. Everything about the faction (Chaos Daemons and Space Marines) that I play. My question is then; Where do I start?

With so many books and so much back'n'forth in the story, which books and in which sequence would you recommend that I read them?

I look forward to your answers!
I also am a Chaos lover, so hopefully I will be able to help you some lol.
There are plenty of AWESOME Chaos(40K) books out there, such as the Word Bearers trilogy, Ahriman: Exile, the Iron Warriors omnibus, the Night Lords trilogy, and a bunch of other ones TBH.

Now, you will hear different things from different people when it comes to the HH.
I, personally, recommend reading the series in order of publication. That is how I am doing it, as I don't want to jump around in the series and I think that is how the guys at BL meant it to be read.
However, there really isn't a problem if you jump around in the series a bit, it is really just preference.
So I started the HH series with Horus Rising, False Gods, Galaxy in Flames, Flight of the Eisenstein, Fulgrim, etc.


Now for a different bit, that I think EVERYONE will disagree with:

I personally think you should read a decent amount of 40K and understand A LOT of the setting before you go into the HH series. To me, it makes the HH series a lot more exciting.
The first BL book I read was Horus Rising, and I only knew the basics of 40K then.
When Abnett would introduce a character, such as Abaddon or Lucius, it didn't really mean anything to me. They were just normal characters to me.
I then moved on and read other 40K stuff(it has now been like 2-3 years since I read HR, and I haven't touched much other HH), and now when I look back and am blown away that I had just read about ABADDON before he was who he is today. Or Lucius before he was the Eternal.

To me, the HH books have a LOT more impact if you read them after having a pretty good understanding of 40K lore.

Hope that helps!
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-13, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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That is an awesome start - Thanks alot!
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-13, 03:23 PM
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To me, the HH books have a LOT more impact if you read them after having a pretty good understanding of 40K lore.
I agree totally. However, in the last couple of years I've managed to get 2 mates with no previous 40k/BL experience into the HH series, and they are loving it, so don't be afraid to jump in if the mood takes you. As Chemos says, it might be better to read them in order, and not just concentrating on the ones dealing with the future chaos legions. Most of them cross over between legions anyway.

Of the 40k books, Ahriman:Exile is one of my favourites at the moment, with the Iron Warriors books by McNeill also worth a look. The Night Lords trilogy by ADB are widely thought of as some of the best novels BL have done in some years. There's no shortage of material for you to sink your teeth into.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 07-31-13, 05:59 PM
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The Word Bearer (Dark Apostle, Dark Disciple, and Dark Creed) and Night Lord (Soul Hunter, Blood Reaver and Void Stalker) trilogies would be a good place to start.

The Heresy series in itself is quite slow in actually getting to the nitty gritty Chaos stuff. So it depends if you want to dive straight into the Chaos stuff or actually want a comprehensive view of how it all went to pot.



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I do love how we don't even need CotE to comment anymore, chances are he has already said something intelligent before that can be re-applied to the current situation.
Heresy's Background FAQ. (Fluff Project)
CotE Reviews: Prospero Burns (HH Review), Age of Darkness (HH Review).
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-13, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm those are some good thoughts CotE and Khornes Fist. Knowing the basic outline of the heresy, before it came to pass, might be a good idea. Gives it more meaning in the end.

Very well, I will look into the Word Bearer and Night Lord trilogies to start.
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-13, 09:31 AM Thread Starter
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Hmm on GW shop I can only find the Void Stalker book from the Night Lords trilogy - Are the others out of print or?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-13, 12:50 PM
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Hmm on GW shop I can only find the Void Stalker book from the Night Lords trilogy - Are the others out of print or?
Sometimes they are tricky to find, try ebay or some second hand book sites.

As to recommandations for Chaos books, there needs to be more of them!! But seriously I would recommend the following;

CotE has already suggested the Night Lords and I couldn't agree more. These are my favourite books, period. I've never enjoyed a series more and not just because i'm a big Night Lords fan, but because they are brilliantly written and each and every character was interesting, flawed and in many cases somebody you can root for despite the knowledge they are brutal monsters. Void Stalker is the best followed by Blood Reaver and Soul Hunter as the back runner, it's still excellent of course but the second and third novels just surpass the first entirely.

Ahriman: Exile is another superb choice for any Chaos fan. John French's visuals are the best in Black Library, no other author immerses you in the world like he does, and his take on the infamous Azhek Ahriman is a very interesting one, he isn't at all what you'd expect when you look at his two incarnations, the kindly and sage-like Ahriman in A Thousand Sons and the rapacious god-in-genesis Ahriman from Atlas Infernal. And Ahriman is supported by a very good secondary cast with some characters with a lot of mystery behind them that i'm really looking forward to finding out more about in book two, whenever that is due.

Two books that I have not seen recommended here. The Siege of Castellax, the only CSM Battles book, is a great read with something that no other BL book has done with CSMs as protagonists, C.L Werner's Iron Warriors are truly unrepentantly evil characters. There are no good guys in that book or even just grey-area characters, each and every CSM is a pure evil bastard, the guys who like to skin slaves because it's mildly amusing and burn worlds because their bored. And his Orks were great as well, the perfect mix of imposing threat that demands your respect if not fear and madcap humour that gives you a few absurd laughs.

And Blood Gorgons, a really enjoyable CSM novel about a renegade Chapter the titular Blood Gorgons, and their quest for survival in the face of an implacable enemy. I really liked Henry Zou's unique ideas with this Chapter, a group of marines like no other, and seeing CSMs who follow the maxim of using Chaos as a tool like Horus did rather than worshipping it as the majority of CSMs do now. Some people dislike Zou but i'm not one of them, he writes powerful and exciting action scenes and his narrative and take on 40k feels markedly different to any other authors, in a good way.


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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-13, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input LotN!

Question though; The Night Lords and Wordbearers trilogi, for the Ahriman book for that matter; They take place after the Horus heresy correct? I mean the heresy established the traitor legions in the first place.

My question would be what makes more sense to read first, in terms of getting the bigger picture. And seeing as there are so many Heresy books, is there anywhere to find a chronological order of them or the like? Just to make sure I get everything in a right timeline.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 08-01-13, 02:50 PM
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Thanks for the input LotN!

Question though; The Night Lords and Word Bearers trilogies, or the Ahriman book for that matter; They take place after the Horus heresy correct? I mean the heresy established the traitor legions in the first place.

My question would be what makes more sense to read first, in terms of getting the bigger picture. And seeing as there are so many Heresy books, is there anywhere to find a chronological order of them or the like? Just to make sure I get everything in a right timeline.
Both the Night Lords and Word Bearer trilogies take place in M41, but the Ahriman trilogy takes place after the Rubric of Ahriman so around M31-M32.


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