Omnibus cover image

The Story

Scholars of the Great Ocean, masters of the mystical arts, explorers of the ephemeral - Magnus and his Thousand Sons are that and more. The sorcerers of Prospero see themselves as shepherds to humanity on their way into the future as a psychically evolved race.

But when the greatest psyker of all, the Emperor Himself, forbids the use of these powers, the Thousand Sons are thrown into crisis. When Magnus learns of an existential threat to his father and the Imperium itself, he is at a crossroads: obey and ignore his supernatural senses or defy his father's decree and risk censure?

This Omnibus delves into the culture and spirit of two contrastive Legions - the Thousand Sons and the Wolves of Fenris - and shows their opposed perspectives on one of the greatest tragedies of the Heresy: the Burning of Prospero.

Reading Order

Legend: Novels; Novellas (anthology); Short Stories (anthology)
  1. Wolf at the Door (ToH)
  2. A Thousand Sons
  3. Prospero Burns
  4. Howl of the Hearthworld (WwE)
  5. Rebirth (AoD or LW)
  6. Hunter's Moon (LoB)
  7. Thief of Revelations (LoB)
  8. The Thirteenth Wolf (TBoL)
  9. Bloodhowl (LW)

Why this Reading Order?

Magnus did nothing wrong. Or did he?

This is a question that fans of Warhammer 40.000 and the Horus Heresy are discussing to this day, both in jest or heated seriousness. The Burning of Prospero, the homeworld of Magnus the Read and the XVth Legion Thousand Sons, ist one of my favourite events of the whole Heresy because it lends itself so well to actual discussions of the subject matter. It’s a real tragedy, with two arguably utterly loyal Legions turned upon each other by - depending who you ask - hateful enmity, mistakes made out of good intentions or outright manipulation by powers beyond their comprehension.

XVth versus VIth

Graham McNeill and Dan Abnett wrote A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns as a complementary pairing of novels to cover this most crucial event of the Heresy both from the perspective of the defenders as well as the eventual attackers. Black Library later released the omnibus The Razing of Prospero as a convenient collection of the two novels alongside half a dozen accompanying short-stories.

Hathor Maat, Ahzek Ahriman & Amon

Despite nominally covering the same event from different angles, McNeill and Abnett wrote two stylistically very different novels: A Thousand Sons is a classic three act Legion novel, painting a vivid picture of the culture of the Thousand Sons and their almost paradisiacal homeworld. Events build up until the Council of Nikaea, from which point onwards tragedy takes its course, culminating in a final third that is all-out battle for Prospero. Prospero Burns, on the other hand, is, despite its title, mostly not about the Burning of Prospero itself (that happens only at the very end), but mostly a patient exploration of the VIth Legion Space Wolves/Vlka Fenryka through the eyes of an outsider; think The 13th Warrior in space. Both novels are wonderful reads, in my opinion, and are both high on my personal Top Lists of Horus Heresy novels. The added short-stories work mostly as epilogues to the endings of the novels as well as bridges to future stories.

Grimnir Blackblood, Bjorn the Fell-Handed & Gunnar Gunnhilt

For conveniences (and money-savings) sake I originally planned to keep reading order for this omnibus simply as it was so readers could just buy The Razing of Prospero and enjoy the stories collected within, but when I realised that Black Library had stopped selling the omnibuses, I felt free to tweak my own version of it a bit. I added the two short-stories about the Wolves' Thirteenth Company as bookends to the Omnibus, as they are fitting additions to the overall arc: Wolf At The Door is a grim look at the day-to-day business of the Great Crusade and The Thirteenth Wolf is as good a place as any to finally leave the ashes of Prospero behind (pun intended - see Beyond the Heresy below).

Talons of the Emperor: Amon Tauromachian & 'The Oblivion Queen' Jenetia Krole

A late addition to the omnibus was Bloodhowl by Chris Forrester. The story is, like Wolf at the Door and The Thirteenth Wolf, also about 'Dekk-Tra', the 13th Company of the Space Wolves. To be honest, I wasn't aware of the story's existence until recently because it was only available as an eShort for a long time. I only became aware of it through the release of Lupercal's War (see the note beneath 'Required Books' below), in which it was included as one of the three included short stories that weren't pulled from the numbered Horus Heresy anthologies. So for all of you who bought Lupercal's War for one reason or other, I figured I should look for decent spots to slot these three stories in, and I think Bloodhowl makes for a fitting addition to the omnibus at hand.

Additions from 'The Primarchs' & 'Horus Heresy Characters'

Magnus the Red: Master of Prospero by Graham McNeill is another Primarchs-novel set at an early point during the Great Crusade. It shows Magnus and the Thousand Sons on a joint campaign with (yet much less bitter) Perturabo and the Iron Warriors...on a rescue mission for the population of a planet that is about to collapse. The book focuses on Magnus' morals and abilities and the question of what is more important to him: the safety of humanity or the accumulation and preservation of knowledge? If you like McNeill's take on Magnus and his Sons, you can read this as an expansion to their arc in the mainline Heresy stories.

Leman Russ: The Great Wolf by Chris Wraight is anchored around a famous event from the Great Crusade-erahistory of the Space Wolves: the campaign of Dulan, at the end of which Leman Russ and his brother the Lion came to blows in a duel (which would afterwards become a tradition for champions of the Wolves and Dark Angels). Altough some scenes are set post-Heresy, you're probably fine to read this whenever you want. Jorin Bloodhowl of 'Dekk Tra' is one of the primary PoV characters in The Great Wolf, so the novel additionally links up with Wolf at the Door, The Thirteenth Wolf and Bloodhowl.

Required and Recommended Reading

As a Phase II Omnibus, this can be read as soon as one is finished with the opening Omnibus Heresy Rising, depending on where you started). The Burning of Prospero is one of the most important events of the Heresy and shouldn't be skipped by any reader.


The Burning Of Prospero is a defining moment for the Heresy and has major consequences for many arcs that follow. The direct sequels are all set in later Phases (V-VII) and should be read with some other Omnibuses inbetween.

What happened with Magnus and the Thousand Sons in the aftermath of Prospero's fall gets told in Through the Neath. Beware, though: Neath is one of the two latest Omnibuses and ties in a lot of story-arcs that cover a lot of ground over all of the Heresy. Do not read this immediately after Prospero.

A natural sequel (and “in-between-quel” on the road to Neath) to Prospero would be Ordu of the Khan, which has close ties to the events on Prospero.  Ordu also picks up a thread from one of the short-stories from Prospero, which results in an arc that's almost a spiritual sequel to Magnus' arc from A Thousand Sons.

In Omnissiah II:  End of Empires, we witness the full scope of the fallout of Magnus' decisions for the plans of the Emperor on Terra.

The Wolves' story continues in Shadow of the Warmaster III: Jaws of Defeat.

In general, I’d recommend reading all of the four Phase II Omnibuses (Shadow of the Warmaster I; Shattersong; Shadow Crusade I; The Burning of Prospero) at some point before proceeding into the later Phases, no matter what road you'd like to pursue. All of them cover important events for the series (the flight of the Eisenstein and the formation of the Knights-Errant; the Dropsite Massacre of Isstvan V and its fall-out; the corruption of the Word Bearers and the Battle of Calth; the destruction of Prospero) and introduce characters that will be recurring players all across the series.

Once you've read all of them, you can either proceed to one of their Follow-up omnibuses or jump into one of the Phase III-omnibuses that don't have a direct prequel: Omnissiah I: Death of Innocence, Angels of Darkness or Anvil of War.

Required Books

Novels (in order of appearance)

  1. A Thousand Sons
  2. Prospero Burns

Anthologies (in order of appearance)

  1. Tales of Heresy (ToH)
  2. War Without End (WwE)
  3. Age of Darkness (AoD)
  4. Legacies of Betrayal (LoB)
  5. The Burden of Loyalty (TBoL)
  6. ALTERNATIVE: Lupercal's War (LW) (s. notes below)

A note on anthologies: These are the anthologies that together contain every short-story and novella listed under “Reading Order” above. Instead of buying whole anthologies, you can also buy each of the individual stories as an individual eBook. The price per story is way higher when buying individual eBooks compared to buying them as part of an anthology, though.

An alternative source for Rebirth and Bloodhowl is the anthology Lupercal's War (LW). It was released as a "Start Here" option for readers alongside the 2nd edition of the Horus Heresy tabletop game in 2022. The collection contains 18 short stories picked from across the numbered Horus Heresy anthologies as well as 3 stories that were previously only available as eShorts (Child of Chaos, Bloodhowl & Champion of Oaths).

Beyond the Heresy

The following are recommendations from other series and the wider Black Library canon. If you are interested in the characters, factions or themes that were part this omnibus, the following books might also be to your liking.

Books from the 41st millenium:

  • The Ahriman-series by John French, starting with Ahriman: Exile

    • This series is a personal favorite of mine and follows the journeys of Ahzek Ahriman, former Chief-Librarian of the Thousand Sons, on his eternal journey to find redemption and a solution for the mistakes of his past. The trilogy of novels is bolstered by a fantastic range of short stories ('The Tales of Ctesias' and others). The Ahriman Omnibus contains all three novels as well as the short stories, despite the Black Library homepage only mentioning the novels. John French returned to the series in 2022 with a fourth novel, Ahriman: Eternal.
  • Battle of the Fang by Chris Wraight

    • This novel is basically a sequel to the duology of A Thousand Sons and Prospero Burns, when the Thousand Sons return one thousand years after the end of the Heresy to take revenge on the Space Wolves by attacking Fenris itself.
  • Ashes of Prospero by Gav Thorpe

    • Ten thousand years after the Heresy, grim portents lead a disparate group of Space Wolves on a journey to the ruins of Prospero to finally untangle the fate of Dekk Tra, the lost Thirteenth Company.
  • Ragnar Blackmane series by William King, starting with Space Wolf (1999)

    • This classic series details the adventures of Ragnar Blackmane, an up-and-coming warrior of the Wolves that fights his way across the galaxy against aliens, sorcerers and daemons. This was written in the early days of Black Library and is a bit out-of-sync with current lore, but is still a lot of fun. The first three novels are available in the Space Wolf Omnibus

Videos (for more video suggestions, visit the Additional References)

  • The Burning of Prospero, a six-part video series by Oculus Imperia: "Being a record of the events that would lead to the censure of the primarch Magnus the Red and the XV Legion Thousand Sons, and inevitably, to the Burning of Prospero."

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