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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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A solid read

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

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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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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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An excellent compilation of short tales.

This has many great stories in it. I would highly recommend as a standout in the series when it comes to quality of shorts. The voice acting is also up to a high standard. There may be a recording error during Blood Games to watch out for near the climax.

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An Excellent Horus Heresy Anthology

This is a solid collection of short stories set in the Horus Heresy series.

I loved every one of these.

The Last Church was my favorite (and probably my favorite HH short story altogether). Almost the entire story is just a really interesting conversation. Jonathan Keeble did a great job with the voices, but made one so familiar that I figured out part of the twist a little early.

The Voice packs a punch, especially with the narration by Emma Gregory. It's nice to see more of the Silent Sisters.

Blood Games was a really fun story with an unexpected turn.

Wolf at the Door broke my heart for our Space Wolves.

Scions of the Storm is honestly an interesting look at the Word Bearers. I don't love that legion but this was a good little window into why they are like they are.

Call of the Lion is a bit of a sad tale about two different ways to handle a situation.

And After Desh'ea. After Desh'ea is right behind The Last Church for me. I have such a soft spot for characters like Angron and I love how this one explores him more than others I've read. Usually he's presented as this silly, nearly-mindless ball of anger but this is the loveliest little peek into who he is. And it's from when he and his legion get to meet one another. It may actually be tied with The Last Church for me; I'll have to process it a little more.

If you love Science Fantasy (or love Science Fiction and Fantasy and, like me, didn't know there was a crossover genre before) I cannot recommend the Horus Heresy series enough.

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some filler

it almost felt like some was a filler , but some of the stories were great looks into the imperium like "last Church"

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  • CD
  • 08-04-21

Great short stories, well, for the most part

There are some treasures in here. Particularly the last church. There is unfortunately a Dark Angels story to slog through, but as I said, great stories for the most part.

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so many good stories!!!!

every single story kept my attention so well!!! voice acting was so well done and the characters were very well hashed out

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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!

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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.

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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  • SKB
  • 08-29-21

Surprisingly disappointing

This is the worst collection of short stories I've read or listened to. And I'm not limiting that to Warhammer books.

Most of the short stories have such a weird cut-off. It's not about a cliffhanger-esque sort of feel, or a even within a million miles of something that feels like a satisfying, succinct little mini-tale. A lot of them feel like nothing more than than an extended preview to a book - one that you'll never be able to listen to the rest of.

There are two exceptions, which is what earned the second star: The Voice, and to a bit of a lesser extent, The Last Church. Though that latter one isn't as good as everybody falls over themselves to tell you that it is. It's a bit of a unique story for 40K, but that doesn't mean it's all that well-written.

As for the voice performances: acceptable for the most part, annoying in two ways. (1) Surprisingly common and basic mispronunciation issues; which take you out of the story a. it, each time. (2) But worse: several of the characters that are supposed to be nuanced, morally grey characters are given the most obviously weedy, petty, moustache-twirling voices, time and again; regardless of whether they're built like that, or whether they're a hulking Space Marine chapter master. Silly. And not in the fun way.

Honestly: You'll want to return this title. I did. And I nearly did so before I'd even finished it. That last story is not a strong note to end on.

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  • Richard Moscone
  • 06-30-21

Superb collection of stories

Most notable was the excellent story about Angron. It was a perfect coupling of incredible writing and a masterful narrator. Really captured the madness and frustration.

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  • DarkFox
  • 05-22-21

A superb selection of Horus Heresy short stories

All of the short stories here are relevant, highly interesting and as usual superbly performed by the narrator's.
A worthy addition for any WH40K/Horus Heresy fan.

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  • Alec
  • 02-23-21

Interesting stories

This anthology has been fairly interesting, a few great stories, others a bit less but still interesting.

- Blood Games: A nice view on the Custodes and at the beginning of the Heresy. Nothing fantastic, but a few good surprises.

- Wolf at the Door: One of the best of this book. The pride and honour of the Space Wolves is greatly portrayed, and the struggle of the Crusade it's well represented. The end really makes you feel the heaviness of the Imperium impossible task.

- Scions of the Storm: Unfortunately one of the weakest. The Word Bearer are a fascinating legion but in this tale they are not greatly represented. A decent plot but nothing extremely interesting.

- The Voice: The worst in my opinion. I listened to it 2 days ago and I barely remember what happened as it never caught my attention.

- Call of the Lion: Even though I love Dark Angels lore this story was a bit disappointing. It gives a great insight on the internal division in the legion between Terran and Calibanite brothers, but the development is a bit rushed. A good plot which unfortunately lacks a bit of character.

- The Last Church: Definitely the best, it is worth the whole anthology. A great look at the last days of religion on Terra and the painful irony of the Imperium in 40k as we get to know it.

- After Desh'ea: A very unexpected story about the most brutal legion, all based in a starhip (with the only exception of memories). I am not a great fan of the World Eaters, but this "prequel" into their birth really gives a lot of depth to this legion, and even more to Khârn.

Overall an interesting book. It slows the momentum of the Heresy a bit, but it is a great focus on a few elements of the lore which would go unnoticed in the great scheme.

The narration is great in all the stories, a pleasure to listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-20

worth a listen

These stories are well worth a listen mainly because they flesh out the 40k setting

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-05-20

Love it

Top book great stories fantastic tales of the heresy war well worth the subscription aa+

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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

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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.

1 person found this helpful