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I have begun reading the Horus Heresy stories in the recommended order:

  1. Horus Rising
  2. False Gods
  3. Galaxy in Flames
  4. Flight of the Eisenstein

I've also read Fulgrim where the story moves onto Isstan V and a few of the Thousand Sons/Space Wolves arcs.

I want to catch up with the most recent books however I'm daunted by the remaining 40+ novels in the way (at £9.99 each the entire series would cost about £500 to buy). I know that many of these cover other arcs such as the Ultramarines and Imperial Fists stories.

I want to read the books as they come out but I'm happy to leave the other arcs for the time being. Are there any books which are essential reading between the opening five and the newest one (at the time of writing #49 called Wolfsbane)?

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    Reading all the books once and only once. – Edlothiad Aug 15 '18 at 12:03
  • I’ve added the additional reason that the entire series would cost about £500 to buy – Liath Aug 15 '18 at 12:35
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    I've been doing the same, @Liath. Because the overall arc is very meandering, I've found what works best for me is to just read whatever books feature stuff I like (e.g., Alpha Legion, Nathaniel Garro, The Mechanicum) and read those. The connecting details I fill in by reading the Lexicanum Wiki and other "fluff" resources. – Vanguard3000 Aug 15 '18 at 13:14
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    @Liath - I am with Vanguard. Pick up the books with the topics you are really interested in and then use Lexicanum to get the gist of the books you are missing... see what we all really need to do is get a community audible account and each buy 2 books... – Odin1806 Aug 15 '18 at 13:23
  • Spoiler alert: Horus dies. Now you don't have to read anything. As @Vanguard3000 suggested - just read things that you are interested in, otherwise you can read the short version of the Heresy on wiki – Yasskier Aug 15 '18 at 23:19
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Understand that the Horus Heresy series is not so much a single linear progression, but rather an intertwined set of books covering different events occurring during this era of Warhammer 40K lore.

What I've been doing to get through the series is:

1) Check out the core rulebooks and other fluff sources (e.g. Index Astartes entries) for the games. Fluff basically refers to any lore or background information on the game, as opposed to game rules. These sources are great general primers for the 40K universe, the history of the Imperium, and the Horus Heresy. Find topics that may interest you. Examples might include:

  • The Great Crusade/years leading up to the Heresy
  • The "Shattered Legions" (Space marine legions decimated at the onset of the Heresy)
  • Nathaniel Garro
  • The Mechanicum
  • The Imperium Secundus

2) Look up those topics on Lexicanum. This is one of several Warhammer 40K wikis, and the one I find to be the most responsible as far as citing sources. This will give you a general overview of your selected topic, and basically list the books that feature significant events for said topic.

  • For example, Lexicanum's entry for the Alpha Legion references Dan Abnett's Legion (Horus Heresy #7), so that's probably a great book to read if you want to learn more about those guys.

2a) Lexicanum is a great source to find new topics of interest as well. Rather than using the rulebooks as a starting point, you may find yourself simply meandering from page to page until you find something really neat and go from there.

3) Once you've found a book fitting your topic, give it a read. The basic info you've gathered previously should give you enough to figure out most of what's going on without having to read the entire novel series. If there is anything you're unsure of, head back to Lexicanum to fill in the gaps.

BONUS: While writing this, I came across a neat chart detailing the major story arcs during the series, which map out what novels and short stories to read, and in what order, to follow these arcs. It seems to be up to date as of the release of Master of Mankind in June 2017.

Hope this helps. Happy reading!

Horus Heresy Roadmap

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