Omnibus cover image

The Story

For the Salamanders and Thousand Sons, their fathers seem lost. After his gift of rebirth had been abused by his insane brother Curze, Vulkan seems to have died a heroic, but final death on Macragge. Magnus managed to save his sons from total obliteration on Prospero, but it soon became apparent that something essential in him was broken during the battle.

In the wake of these tragedies, both of their sons will go on arduous voyages across the void between the stars and the world behind the veil to forge a new destiny for themselves. They're not the only ones venturing through the underworld, and for all those travellers, one destination looms above all others: the Throneworld awaits...

Reading Order

Legend: Novels; Novellas (anthology); Short Stories (anthology)
  1. Athame (MoC)
  2. Unmarked (MoC)
  3. Deathfire
  4. The Crimson King
  5. Immortal Duty (BoF or ShLg or LW)
  6. Artefacts (BoF or WwE or LW)
  7. Sons of the Forge (BoF)
  8. Old Earth
  9. Perpetual (TBoL)
  10. The Board is Set (HotS)
  11. Now Peals Midnight (HotS)

*Perpetual was originally realeased as an audio drama and only later published as a short-story.

Why this Reading Order?

It's one minute to midnight.

In our reading order this omnibus is, alongside Shadow of the Warmaster IV: The Dead and the Dying, the closing chapter of the Heresy, followed only by the finale of The Siege of Terra. Both omnibuses are, each in their own way, about moving the chosen pieces of the scattered board of the galactic civil war in position for the fated conclusion of the Siege.

Through the Neath combines the final parts of the stories of the Salamanders post-Imperium Secundus with the Thousand Sons post-Prospero as well as various other characters and factions during the transition from the Heresy to the Siege and beyond.

It is one of the omnibuses that I reverse-engineered from a “crossover-novel”, in this case the Siege of Terra novella Fury of Magnus, in which Magnus and Vulkan meet basically at the feet of the Golden Throne. The novella made me take a closer look at the respective stories about the Crimson King and the Lord of Drakes that led up to the novella and realize how many thematic parallels (restoring their primarchs; a noble soul; sacrifice; a final journey towards Terra) and little connections (like Magnus’ involvement in the events of Deathfire) there were between them. From that point onwards, the omnibus at hand started to take shape.

Salamanders: Forgefather T'kell & Atok Abidemi

The theme of this Omnibus is the “journey through the underworld”. It tracks three of these: in Deathfire, The Salamanders go on a pilgrimage from Macragge to their homeworld, Nocturne, to bury their dead father and maybe find a final spark of hope. Later, in Old Earth, they travel along their very own road towards the Throneworld.

Amon, Equerry of Magnus & Sanakht, the Athanaean swordsman

The Thousand Sons have been crushed at Prospero and realize that for all his apparent might, Magnus himself seems to have been shattered as well. They subsequently go on a quest to save their dying father in The Crimson King.

Oll Persson

Thirdly there’s Oll Persson and his rag-tag crew of survivors on their flight from Calth, cutting through space and time on their journey towards an unknown fate. These three arcs seem disparate at first glance, but are actually connected by a web of themes, concepts and characters.

Shadrak Meduson

Other threads from the stories contained in this omnibus fit these themes in their own way. The stories from this omnibus, especially Old Earth, contain the final chapter of the arc of the Iron Hands. The scattered sons of the late Ferrus Manus have been on their own journey of self-discovery all this time, being caught in the waking hell of their father's loss. Different elements of the Legion have been wrestling for control over their destiny, to decide how they want to react to their father's death and who they want to be in the future. This psychological and spiritual journey through a personal underworld will find its conclusion here.

Each on their own elusive hunt: Bodvar Bjarki & Eldrad Ulthan

Old Earth also tracks, beside the Salamanders' and the Iron Hands', a third arc that's another closing chapter to a long-winded story that was started early in the series.

In the end, all these arcs point to a single location: Terra, which awaits the final assault of the Warmaster. The Board is Set and Now Peals Midnight, the closing short-stories collected here, are the "One Minute to Midnight"-stories that were released immediately before the Horus Heresy as a book series was closed and the final mini-series was launched. The Siege of Terra awaits...

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

Both Magnus and Vulkan have Primarchs books written about them that I've mentioned before (Master of Prospero and Lord of Drakes), so if you want to learn more about either of these two, you can check them out.

Required and Recommended Reading

This is one of only two Phase VII Omnibuses, the final Phase of the series. You should have read most of the other Heresy omnibuses before diving into this one.

It ties together and concludes major arcs from The Burning of Prospero, the Salamanders' and the Cabal’s arc from Anvil of War and Imperium Secundus I: Hope’s Kindling as well as the Shattered Legions from The Truth of Iron.

Oll Persson's story began in the novel Know No Fear (included in Shadow Crusade I and/or II).

You should also have read Omnissiah II: End of Empires and preferably also Scale and Stone to be up-to-date about the status quo on Terra.

Needless to say, Through the Neath should be read as one of the final omnibuses. To be fully prepared for the Siege, you should also read the other Phase VII Omnibus, Shadow of the Warmaster IV: The Dead and the Dying.


This Omnibus ends literally at the doorstep of the Throneworld, counting the seconds to midnight. Have fun with The Siege of Terra I: The Solar War!

A direct follow-up to the stories in here would be the Siege of Terra novella Fury of Magnus, altough I'd recommend to read the novella in sequence with the other Siege of Terra stories.

Required Books

Novels (in order of appearance)

  1. Deathfire
  2. The Crimson King
  3. Old Earth

Anthologies (in order of appearance)

  1. Mark of Calth (MoC)
  2. Born of Flame (BoF)
  3. The Burden of Loyalty (TBoL)
  4. Heralds of the Siege (HotS)
  5. ALTERNATIVE: Lupercal's War (LW) (s. notes below)

The anthologies listed above together contain every short-story and novella assembled into the reading order for this omnibus. Instead of buying whole anthologies, you also have the option of buying any of the individual stories from the reading order as an individual eBook. The price per story is higher when buying individual eBooks compared to buying them as part of an anthology.

eShorts are stories that have so far only been made available as stand-alone digital products and are not included in any of the Horus Heresy anthologies.

An alternative source for Immortal Duty and Artefacts 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.

Because I have already recommended Thousand Sons- and Salamanders- literature in the preceding omnibuses, I'll take Eldrad Ulthan's role in Old Earth as a cue to instead use this space to recommend some books about the Aeldari (or Craftworld Eldar) as well as their dark kin, the Drukhari (or Dark Eldar).

Books about the Eldar:

  • Path of the Eldar-trilogy by Gav Thorpe, starting with Path of the Warrior

    • Each book of this trilogy focuses on the live and career of one of three different Aeldari, all spiralling around a single battle. The series delves into the culture, mindset and mythology of the Craftworld Eldar. Also available as an omnibus
  • Asurmen: Hand of Asuryan and Jain Zar: Storm of Silence by Gav Thorpe

    • These books were the first two in a burgeoning Phoenix Lord-series (which sadly never grew beyond that) about the legendary, reincarnating avatars of their warrior cults that aid the Aeldari race in dire straits. Both novels tell the stories of how one of the Phoenix Lords came to found their respective warrior shrine and interweaves that with boatloads of interesting insights into Aeldari history and mythology. They even include first-hand accounts of the Fall of the Eldar and the times that preceded it.
  • Rise of the Ynnari-series by Gav Thorpe (yes, he's basically the Eldar-guy), starting with Ghost Warrior

    • A younger series about the cult of the newly-awakend God of the Dead, Ynnead, and their struggles to unite the Aeldari race against the dying of the light. Sadly, this series was - again - abandoned before the planned third book could be finished; Eldar books just don't sell as well as Space Marines do. Still, Ghost Warrior and its sequel Wild Rider are hugely enjoyable books that refreshingly stay wide away from anything Imperium-related and each combine the Ynnari with a different Craftworld (Iyanden and Saim-Hann, respectively) to explore their respective character.
  • Path of the Dark Eldar-trilogy by Andy Chambers, starting with Path of the Renegade

    • Like a dark mirror to the Path of the Eldar books, this trilogy focuses instead on their cruel cousins, the Dark Eldar of Comorragh, and all their backstabbing, murdering, torturing, scheming and general unpleasantness. Needless to say that these books are a lot of fun. Also available as an omnibus

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