Omnibus cover image

The Story

The Ravenlord and the Great Wolf were each caught in altogether different kinds of traps. Corax found the guns of his supposed allies aimed at his back and had to flee the slaughter of the Dropsite Massacre with the few of his sons that managed to survive. Russ broke the defences of Prospero, but suffered severe losses and the dawning realisation that he might have been used as an unwilling pawn in the Warmaster's game.

Ravens and wolves are now being haunted by the snakes of the Alpha Legion and seek ways to rebuild their strength and find new purpose amongst the ruins of the Great Crusade. Both will go on winding paths on their journeys, striding into an unknown future of blood and ashes...

Reading Order

Legend: Novels; Novellas (anthology); Short Stories (anthology)
  1. Raven's Flight (SoT)
  2. The Face of Treachery (AoD)
  3. The Divine Word (LoB)
  4. Deliverance Lost
  5. Soulforge (Corax)
  6. Wolf King (TBoL)
  7. Bjorn Lone Wolf (LoB or LW)
  8. Wolf's Claw (LoB)
  9. The Shadowmasters (Corax)
  10. Ravenlord (Corax)
  11. The Value of Fear (Corax)
  12. Raptor (Corax)
  13. Two Metaphysical Blades (eShort)
  14. Wolfsbane
  15. Weregeld (Corax)
  16. The Grey Raven (HotS or LW)
  17. Shadow of the Past (Primarchs short story)

* Shadow of the Past is a Primarchs short story that is available as a stand-alone eShort or as part of the Loyal Sons anthology

Why this Reading Order?

Why collect the Raven Guard and the Space Wolves together?

I originally planned for the Raven Guard to simply have their own Omnibus that just tells their story from Issvan until the end of the Heresy. They’re somewhat similar to the White Scars in that they’re basically off to do their own thing over wide parts of the Heresy, staying away from story-knots like Imperium Secundus or big battles like Molech. After Isstvan, Corax is busy fighting his own guerilla war against the traitors and the matter of the restored/enhanced/monstrous Raptor Marines is also mostly dealt with internally.

XIXth and VIth Legion

While shuffling around stories with regards to the storyline of Russ’ attempt to assassinate Horus (Wolfsbane), the Warmaster's subsequent wounding and his final ascension (Slaves to Darkness), I took a closer look at Weregeld, the novella in which Corax’ and Russ’ storylines cross in the aftermath of Wolfsbane. Looking at Weregeld made me realise how many parallels, inversions and thematic links there were between the Raven Guard and the Space Wolves on their way towards that point.

Agapito Nev & Gherith Arendi

Without giving two many spoilers, the Legions basically follow inverted arcs. Both come from some kind of defeat. The Raven Guard barely escaped from the slaughter of Isstvan, which reduced them to a shadow of their former strength. The Wolves nominally achieved victory at Prospero, but that could also be viewed as a spiritual kind of defeat because it turned them into unaware pawns for the long game of Chaos. In the wake of these defeats, both are being haunted by the Alpha Legion, the Raven Guard by their saboteurs (Deliverance Lost) and the Wolves by their guns and blades (Wolf King et al.) While the Raven Guard rise up afterwards, getting a second wind through Corax’ genius and the inclusion of the Raptor Marines, the Wolves are nearly destroyed at Alaxxis.

Grimnir Blackblood, Bjorn the Fell-Handed & Gunnar Gunnhilt

Both primarchs go through major personal crises, struggling with their relationship to their father, their place in the Imperium and the role they want to assume going forward. Both primarchs decide against joining the defenders on the walls of Terra, but with different reasoning behind it. In a final inversion, Russ gets a grip and decides to walk a path fueled by hope, while Corax eventually falls into despair and depression. Finally, both Legions are connected through their secret struggle with monstrous gene-strands and the tragedy of dealing with sons and brothers that they might have to abandon…or worse.

Navar Hef, the Raptor

In sum, I realized that the two story arcs work really well interwoven with each other, despite the actual characters not meeting until the very end. Both the Raven Guard as well as the Wolves’ stories post-Isstvan/post-Prospero are quite compelling arcs by themselves, and I feel that their respective themes are enhanced by being read closely to each other, leading up to the events of Weregeld.

This is one of the longest Omnibuses in the whole collection, taking the reader in its opening pages all the way back to the Dropsite Massacre, but I feel that this story is worth being told in as many pages as necessary.

I made an exception to include Shadow of the Past in this omnibus. Shadow of the Past is a short story from the Primarchs-range, which I so far haven't included in the reading orders for the various omnibuses (to avoid bloat). But for this omnibus, I feel like Grey Raven just isn't a story suitable as the final note to this over-arching story; I feel like Shadow of the Past works far better as a poignant epilogue to the arcs of this omnibus. It's optional, though - Weregeld already has quite the impactful ending on its own, in my opinion.

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

Corax: Lord of Shadows by Guy Haley takes a look at the primach of the Raven Guard before the fatal events of Isstvan V. A challenging campaing during the Great Crusade forces Corax to confront a question that has been haunting him: What makes him different to his cruel brothers? Or is he no better than the Night Haunter? Here's Guy Haley talking about the book. He recommends reading Lord of Shadows only after one has finished Gav Thorpe's Raven Guard stories, so only after Weregeld.

Required and Recommended Reading

Two Omnibuses should have been read before a reader dives into this one:

The first, most pressing one, is The Burning of Prospero, which is the first half of the Wolves’ story and the direct prequel to their story told in here. Do not skip this.

As the title implies, this Omnibus sits in line with the other Shadow of the Warmaster-omnibuses. Russ' attempt to assassinate Horus happens in the wake of the events on Molech from II: Lords of Death. While not as essential as Prospero, this nevertheless sets the stage for the state in which Horus is in when he’s confronted by Russ. Jaws works on its own as long as one has read Prospero, but it should be noted that both Jaws and Lords are required reading for their shared follow-up Shadow of the Warmaster IV: The Dead and the Dying. It makes sense to read them both in their numeral order.

A reader should at this point already be familiar with the Dropsite Massacre on Isstvan V either by having read Fulgrim (from Heresy Rising or Shattersong) or The First Heretic (from Shadow Crusade I: Only the Faithful). The early short-stories from Jaws revisit the events from the Raven Guard's perspective and give some additional background of their own.


As the title implies, Shadow of the Warmaster IV: The Dead and the Dying is the direct sequel to this. It deals with the effect of Russ’ assassination attempt on Horus and ultimately concludes the Warmasters’ arc, ringing the final bell for The Siege of Terra to begin. Some characters from Jaws also make their way to Beta-Garmon in Titandeath."

Required Books

Novels (in order of appearance)

  1. Deliverance Lost
  2. Wolfsbane

Anthologies (in order of appearance)

  1. Corax (Corax)
  2. Legacies of Betrayal (LoB)
  3. Age of Darkness (AoD)
  4. The Burden of Loyalty (TBoL)
  5. Heralds of the Siege (HotS)
  6. ALTERNATIVE: Lupercal's War (LW) (s. notes below)

eShorts (in order of appearance)

  1. Two Metaphysical Blades (eShort)
  2. Shadow of the Past (Primarchs short story)

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 Bjorn Lone Wolf and The Grey Raven 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:

  • Shrike by George Mann

    • A novel about the legendary Chapter Master of the Raven Guard in the 41st millennium. As described by the author: 'Shrike epitomises everything that's cool about the Raven Guard – their abiding excellence at precise, systematic warfare; their adaptability; their obsession with ritual; their ability to walk unseen in the shadows. This book, for me, was an opportunity to explore some of that, to show how it has shaped and moulded their newest Chapter Master, and how he, in turn, shapes those around him.'
  • Lukas the Trickster by Josh Reynolds

    • I've already recommended a few Space Wolf novels under the preceding omnibus, but there are a lot of stories about them, so here's another recommendation. This book is about the 'Loki' of the current era Wolves and how he clashes with and enriches the culture of the Fenrisians while taking on a raiding force of Dark Eldar. Here's Josh Reynolds talking about the book
  • Járnhamar Space Wolves trilogy by Chris Wraight, starting with Blood of Asaheim

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