Fulgrim – Graham McNeill

Published: 31 July 2007
Publisher: Black Library
Pages: 512
Series: Horus Heresy #5
Format Read: Physical Copy


Under the command of the newly appointed Warmaster Horus, the Great Crusade continues. Fulgrim, Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, leads his warriors into battle against a vile alien foe, unaware of the darker forces that have already set their sights upon the Imperium of Man. Loyalties are tested, and every murderous whim indulged as the Emperor’s Children take their first steps down the road to true corruption – a road that will ultimately lead them to the killing fields of Isstvan V…


Before I start my review I would like to extend a shout out to fellow blogger Jenn  over at Eternal Bookcase, who has decided in partnering up with me on this journey through the Horus Heresy series. Check out her review as I believe it is a really well written piece. So far I believe our read along has gone well apart from the fact that I think I read so slow that I may be burned by cleansing fires for such an act of Heresy…
One of them fanatics has already been dispatched to find me…

Fulgrim is initially a book that deals with many things and did a great job of introducing me to a plethora of people that you will meet along the HH series as well as stand alone books within the Warhammer universe. Fulgrim also takes place before, during the first 4 books and initially ends up continuing the events leading up to the events of Isstvan V. The history and fall from grace that the Emperor’s Children underwent was fresh new lore to me and I was very interested in the scenes where Fulgrim took center stage. The guy had a pretty heavy hand to deal with. What was initially a venture into searching for perfection ultimately leads not only him but many of his legion into utter corruption, while others in his legion do not know how it happened. Said others were obviously away from home when the tragedy hit the main force. There was the bond between Ferrus Manus and Fulgrim that I never read about that was also kinda cool to have a glimpse of as well as how it ends in a fierce enmity between the two. Also the reading of how the two legions, that of the Iron Hands and Emperor’s Children’s strive to perfection in their own ways.

I have taken a lot in, in this novel and even had answers answered to questions I had regarding the 4 books that went before which was great. I believed I loved everything in this novel and there is a lot going on to touch up on and not give too many spoilers. I went into Fulgrim expecting it was going to deal with Fulgrim alone, but was totally taken by surprise as there are so many other points of view this novel takes. McNeill has been stated on a few of my posts to be one of my favorite BL authors and he deserves the spot I have for him wholeheartedly. The guy just knows how to tug on your feels at certain stages and it was as difficult for me reading some things as I had to imagine certain people going through the stuff they did, the book is that good.

Fulgrim was also the first book in this series where the Eldar featured, it was not a big part, yet it plays a big part in the Heresy series as things could have easily played out otherwise. The novel also showed me some of the Apothecary Fabius in the days before he became what many know him as today. Fulgrim gave me so many new insights into other primarchs, I do not care how little they were, they were more than welcome. It also included almost all the Legions I know of by heart, some playing a bigger role or receiving more page time than others, but that is ok, for I know they will get their books and page counts in future books to come.

This book, that spoke so much of perfection and being perfect is not a perfect book, yet it is not a shitty book either. There were some personal mistakes made that  I am willing to forgive as there was a lot of plots that McNeill had to weave together to make the Heresy novel he did. My one only problem is about how easy it was for Fulgrim to do what he did or turn into what he did. The guy had more than one chance to redeem or save himself a lot of trouble, yet he likes his drama. It was very disappointing to read about one of the best diplomats the Emperor had to be so easily swayed into doing another’s bidding, in most cases it seemed that it was not even to his own doing, as if he was already possessed from the get go, I found that a bitter pill to swallow, but one I can also forgive as Chaos is Chaos and we all know I eat that for breakfast…
Khorne-flakes Yummy

510 Pages for a January read is quite an ambitious start to the new year that is now almost 1 month old, but I am glad that I attempted it. Equally glad that the zoo is quiet at this time of the year and that we got more free time to do things like read. I have to admit that even though I had a lot of free time, I did not invest a lot of it into finishing this novel. I took it a few chapters a day and can honestly say that I am glad I did it the way I did for fear of early year burnout on all things WH related. I am not saying this as a snipe towards the book in a bad way. This book was everything but bad. It was an emotional horror fest at times and a good one at that. I believe it did the III Legion proud and was executed in such a good way and I am eager to pick up another book that features them, I might have to desensitize my brain a bit before that happens. I am interested in reading more about the legion that incorporates alien music into their battle arsenal and believe that Fulgrim saw the first mention of what will later be called the Noise Marines. I will be going on a music search to see if I can find a band that fit these guys’s description, wish me luck…

I gave Fulgrim a 4 out of 5 on GR and it will only come recommended to those people that have ventured into the Horus Heresy side of things as well as been able to sit through the first 4 books. It will not be for everyone, but Throne alive I loved my journey so far. As an added new feature to my blog, I will be starting to categorize the Horus books under their own Heading on my blog’s main page, if I can get it figured out somehow.

If you missed my previous Horus Heresy reviews, be sure to click on the links below. I can not say I will be doing this for all my reviews as Horus Hersey spans over 80 books. It might get a bit difficult to do that closer to the end of the series if there is ever going to be an end…

Horus Rising- Dan Abnett
False Gods – Graham McNeill
Galaxy In Flames – Ben Counter

12 thoughts on “Fulgrim – Graham McNeill

  1. Khorne Flakes, the Breakfast of Tainted Champions!

    Considering that this is book 5 of the series and you’re still enjoying it, I guess you and the Horus Heresy are going to get along for quite some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for the shout-out.
    I’m looking forward to doing more HH reads with you as it’s a really good incentive to get the series read through.
    It’s great to hear your opinions on Fulgrim and even better to see that there’s some overlap in our thoughts on it. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We will pick it up again in March. I just recently found out i do not have the sixth book🙈. I thought it was a different book altogether, so will mail you when we can start again.

      Also it is great to have some one i can read it with that has a lot more experience with WH.


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