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Publisher's Summary

A Horus Heresy audiobook anthology

When Horus rebelled against the Emperor, the ensuing civil war nearly destroyed the Imperium. War raged across galaxy, resulting in a struggle where death was the only victor.

Listen to it because:

Events from the Great Crusade and the early days of the Heresy are explored in a series of short stories covering the Space Wolves, Word Bearers, World Eaters, Dark Angels, Sisters of Silence, Custodian Guard...and the Emperor himself in a unique tale that will you have questioning all your assumptions about the Master of Mankind.

When Horus the Warmaster rebelled against the Emperor, the ensuing civil war nearly destroyed the Imperium. War raged across galaxy, pitting Astartes against their battle-brothers in a struggle where death was the only victor. But long before that, the Legions struggled with their identities and the demands of the Great Crusade. From battles with alien invaders to conflicts within a Legion, and even dealing with a wayward primarch, these stories show the battles fought as the Great Crusade draws to a close and the Horus Heresy begins....

Contents:

  • "Blood Games" by Dan Abnett
  • "Wolf at the Door" by Mike Lee
  • "Scions of the Storm" by Anthony Reynolds
  • "The Voice" by James Swallow
  • "Call of the Lion" by Gav Thorpe
  • "The Last Church" by Graham McNeill
  • "After Desh'ea" by Matthew Farrer

Narrated by Gareth Armstrong, Emma Gregory, Jonathan Keeble, Toby Longworth and Peter Whickam

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about Tales of Heresy

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Two Greats, Three Average and Two Stinkers

TLDR: "After De'shea" and "The Last Church" are amazing; "Blood Games", "Wolf at the Door", and "Scions of the Storm" are okay; and "Call of the Lion" and "The Voice" are painfully bad.

As with most music albums, frequently compilations of short stories tend to have a couple of good works that buoy the lackluster ones. Let's cover each of the stories in a quick paragraph.

Blood Games: One of Dan Abnett's weaker works, the main merit of it is that it gives insight to the Custodian Guard. The overall problem it has with it is that it is split into two story arcs, and neither is developed particularly well. Story works well enough, though Abnett's prose can get over-heavy at times. I do get the feeling he was trying to fill word count at times, which is not like him. The main draw is that it gives a bit of development to a character that will appear later in the Horus Heresy series.

Wolf at the Door: A reasonable entry into the series, but frankly unimportant to either the larger narrative or to give insight to the workings of the Space Wolves. Perhaps it served a better purpose before Prospero Burns, but as it stands now, it doesn't add anything. Story is entertaining enough, with some characters you find interesting. I could not imagine anyone recommending this story to someone else, however, or remembering it long enough to recommend.

Scions of the Storm: I get the impression that Anthony Reynolds is a fan of Dan Abnett works, because the story seems to have borrowed elements of First and Only and Horus Rising, but doesn't make very good use of either. Like all of the first five stories in this compilation, a lot of repeated narrative and dead language is used, seemingly to fill space until the last leg of the story which is where it really shines. The conversation with Lorgar is handled very well and paints a vivid picture of who Lorgar really is. Pretty much the rest of the story is forgettable.

The Voice: Easily the worst story on the compilation, it combines problems that people have with extended universe books with problems people have with sci fi books. Action is frequently interrupted for in depth "who cares" description. The author calls back to another book he wrote far more than he should (Flight of the Eisenstein). And the main idea of the story is self enclosed, so it doesn't matter to the larger narrative of the Horus Heresy. Completely skippable unless you're really interested in what happened to the Sisters of Silence after Flight of the Eisenstein.

Call of the Lion: A very weak story with a very weak premise. The conflict in the story is predictable and not very interesting. Rather than trying to demonstrate an ideological struggle (which should be the centerpoint of the Dark Angels) it instead has two captains bickering with one mostly correct, and the other unambiguously wrong. It's just friction for the sake of friction and reminds me of some of the worst moments in the Garro series.

The Last Church: Speaking as someone who hates Graham McNeill's works, I was astonished at how good this story really was. The focus of the story does a great job explaining and uncovering what the Imperial Truth is from two different perspectives. It really builds up the pre-heresy narrative in a way that rarely is done through the Horus Heresy novels. The characters in the story are both excellent as well. My favorite work by McNeill.

After Desh'ea: Though it doesn't measure up to the later World Eaters stories, it does a great job introducing Angron and Kharn to the Horus Heresy narrative apart from the Sons of Horus stories. Though everything in here is covered in Betrayer, and this story is skippable, it really helps walking through the situation in Kharn's shoes and seeing the events unfolding through his eyes.

In closing, this compilation may be worth it for "The Last Church" and "After Desh'ea" if you're a Horus Heresy fan. Perhaps if you're really into Space Wolves, the Custodian Guard or Word Bearers, you may be more forgiving of those three stories than I was. If you are a casual reader of the Horus Heresy series, pass this one up. It contains nothing relevant to the rest of the stories. If you have not read any of the Horus Heresy books, do not start here.

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A solid read

The last church was awesome story, and the book as a whole is real good too

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Short Stories are the best stories

Luetin09 was absolutely right when he said that 40k short stories are the best place to start. They are succinct, and full of facts about the Imperium of Mankind. I wish I had known about them when I got started because they would have answered so many of my questions.

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Not worth an Audible Credit

Gareth Armstrong, Toby Longworth and Jonathan Keeble should be the only narrator's used by the Black Library. everyone else? Not a fan. The stories were, in my opinion not the best in the Horus Heresy series.

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A total oddity in the series, a tossup in quality

Abnett surprisingly doesn't have the best work here as he does the previous 9 novels, Mike Lee's Space Wolves story was the standout. It seems Abnett works better in the long form, and Lee makes a better short form story. Frankly, I liked Lee's brief story more than about half of the previous 9 full novels. McNeill is still the worst writer of the bunch, with the story of 14-year-old reddit atheist Emperor making me cringe repeatedly. I liked the brief descriptions of the unification wars and the fact this wasn't very long to listen to. The Sisters of Silence story had some good depictions of the warp messing with reality.

At this point I think I am making a sunk cost fallacy to continue forward in the series. I would strongly suggest if you aren't as driven by stupidity as I am you pick and choose from here on what you listen to; there's some tremendous gaps in quality between the best and worst of the series, and this series has ultimately painted a very negative light on the 40k IP for me.

1 person found this helpful

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fun to get the short stories that fill in the gaps

the last church is easily one of my favorite pieces of lore from the entire 40K universe. it really showcases how much of a benevolent dick the emperor of mankind truly is. Also it would be very interesting to see an alternate history where angron never receives the nails.

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Great collection of short stories

This series of novels and compilations of short stories are all excellent. Here are a collection of several short stories from the age of primarchs and like all others has been brought to life with such excellent voice acting that truly immersed you in the world created by the authors. A great listen and like many I agree that the short story compilations might be a good place to start to give you a flavor of the warhammer world if you do not wish to start at the beginning of the Horus heresy series this is a great place to start. For new and experienced readers of the series these short stories are great.

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Well done

"The last church" had to be one of my favorite stories so far, well done.

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Nice short stories

Good short stories to listen to. The last church was by far the best followed by the world eaters reuniting with their Primarch.

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A bunch of short stories

Honestly the short stories were okay, but nothing too spectacular. Since they’re so short, you don’t have enough time to have any emotional bond to the characters.

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  • Moriarty
  • 07-25-19

Great little collection of short stories.

Really loved it. Great little collection. And for the first time a female narrator for the horus heresy at least. really gets you immersed in the story of the sisterhood. also by God I loved the wolf story so much I listen to it on repeat 3 times.

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  • JacksUsername
  • 06-29-20

Interesting anthology.

The contents of this anthology are as follows;

Blood Games by Dan Abnett
Wolf at the Door by Mike Lee
Scions of the Storm by Anthony Reynolds
The Voice by James Swallow
Call of the Lion by Gav Thorpe
The Last Church by Graham McNeill
After Desh'ea by Matthew Farrer

A very interesting selection of stories, from various times of the Imperium.
A couple I found to be weaker than others, but none were bad. It will come down to personal preference as to how the listener rates each tale. For the record, I think The Last Church was a wonderfully crafted story, and possibly my favourite.

Very recommended for fans of 40k books.

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  • Luke T.
  • 07-22-20

An excellent selection of short stories!

I really enjoyed every one of these short stories. However, I particularly enjoyed Blood Games, Wolf at the Door, The Last Church & After Desh'ea.

There's such a wide and dynamic range of storytelling here which opened my eyes to a lot of how the early days of the Imperium, as well as the many sub divisions of administrations and chapters all work cogs within the greater Imperium of Man. I found this to be a nice little palette cleanser and semi-conclusion to the first 10 books of the Horus Heresy series and am eagerly loading up book 11 to carry on my journey into the Heresy.

Highly recommended - especially for Space Wolves fans - Wolf at the Door is a must!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-09-19

Good collection of stories

I like the books made up of short stories, although I wasn't that keen on one of them the rest more than made up for it.

1 person found this helpful

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  • matthew robertson
  • 06-27-22

A mixed bag of goodies

while all the stories are interesting in regards to furthering 40K lore I found the the change in tempo of the different writers and narrators sometimes jarring.
still there are some classic and worthwhile moments to make this compendium worth a listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-22

Amazing!!!!!

Holy fk... Those were amazing. I don't know how every single book of the series so far manages to make my skin crawl at the very end.

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  • zack cadman
  • 06-10-22

Short stories, BIG info

these may be short stories but you gain a sense of who these different characters are. Angrim for instance, more beast than man.

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  • Alex
  • 02-27-22

Mostly very good

Performance: very good all around

1. The Blood Games - 4.0 - a little bit insight into Custodes and political situation on Terra after the betrayal

2.The wolf at the door - 5.0 - story about Space Wolfs and their 13th company led by captain Boulveye. Although I am not at all a big fan of SW, I enjoyed this story immensely. It was the longest ~3h~ and the best.

3. Scions of a storm - 2.0 - this was definitely the weakest, nothing memorable about it. It was about Word Bearers

4. The Voice - 4 - a story about the sisters of silence, we met here again with Amandera Khendal (she made an appearance in Flight of Eisenstein and Garro)

5. Call of the lion - 3 - two Dark Angels captains, 1 OG and 1 from Caliban try to assure compliance of a new world. Both have different ideals and they often clash

6. The Last Church - 5.0 - a story about the last church on Terra. Its priest gets an unexpected visit from a stranger and they have a battle of ideals and teology

7. After De'shea - 3 - average story about how World Eaters met their primarch Angron

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  • John P Bruce
  • 02-23-22

Qualified like

Sister's book was odd, not sure who was on which side. Gav gets in some multi lasers, which he should know better and Angron equals stupid Hulk. Surprisingly I enjoyed most of it.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-10-22

Nice collection of stories

Nice collection of short stories. Well performed as always and clearly spoken. Mix of both loyalist and traitor sides.

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  • nick
  • 06-12-19

EPIC

excellent stories, erotic almost, my warhammer hardon was strong with these short stories. I enjoy the bundles like this book rather than buying separately

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-20

So much lore you need to know!

From Sisters of silence to space wolves, emperors children and world eaters.

If you are looking for a book that has lore from the Horus Heresy that you want to know about, but haven't been able to find this is the book for you!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-31-20

Narrator

Few times narrator made mistakes example called the space wolves the 13th legion when they’re the sixth legion the ultramarines are the 13th legion but still love it

1 person found this helpful

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  • Kael
  • 01-16-20

All 7 stories were good

I really enjoyed all the stories, of course some were better than others but none were boring for me. The shortest was roughly 1hr and the longest roughly 2hr45mins so none felt insubstantial or rushed. Every narrator did a wonderful job as always. This is a good anthology book to listen to.

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  • Anthony H
  • 05-12-22

So Good !

new to WH and been listening since book 1 and this had some excellent story's I really liked all of them the last church was very interesting to hear about Terra prior to the great crusade