Omnibus cover image

The Story

You can be there, the day that Horus slays the Emperor. The end of the beginning, the beginning of the end. The final toll of the funeral bell for the Great Crusade, the conclusion to the Heresy of Horus, the fulcrum in which the future of the 41st millenium will be forged. Heroes and villains, angels and daemons, prophecies and portents, they all converge on the soil of the Birthworld.

This is what it has all been leading up to. Horus has arrayed the nine Legions that have thrown their lot in with him and, bolstered by the Gods of the Immaterium, breaks into the house of his father. Awaiting the Warmaster and their traitorous kin are the Praetorian of Terra, the Angel of Baal and the Great Khan. Manning the walls alongside the sons of the Emperor are their respective Legions as well as everything and everyone that Rogal Dorn could muster in his years of preparation for this very moment.

After the long years of waiting for the war between the stars to reach back to its birthplace, the billions of people inhabiting the planets of humanity’s cradle are about to awaken to the reality of their nightmares: apocalypse.

Reading Order

Legend: Novels; Novellas (anthology); Short Stories (anthology)
  1. The Solar War
  2. Sons of the Selenar
  3. The Lost and the Damned
  4. The First Wall
  5. Saturnine
  6. Fury of Magnus
  7. Mortis
  8. Garro: Knight of Grey
  9. Warhawk
  10. Echoes of Eternity
  11. The End and the Death - Volume I
  12. The End and the Death - Volume II
  13. The End and the Death - Volume III

The eight novels tell the continuous story of the Siege of Terra. The final book 'The End and the Death' is being published in three seperate Volumes, which brings the total number of Siege novels up to ten instead.

The novellas are interspersed side-stories that conclude certain storylines from the Heresy that didn't fit into the mainline novels. Reading the novellas is not necessary for following the main arc of the Siege.

Why this Reading Order?

After 54 books published under the Horus Heresy label, it’s time for the big finale. The Siege of Terra, the long-awaited climax that the whole Heresy has been building up to, begins.

Jubal Khan & Abaddon

The Siege of Terra was published as its own mini-series, starting with 2019s The Solar War. It consists of eight novels, all respectively written by John French (twice), Guy Haley, Gav Thorpe, Dan Abnett (also twice), Chris Wraight and Aaron Dembski-Bowden. The eighth and final book, The End and the Death by Dan Abnett, turned out to be so massive that it was released in three seperate Volumes. This brings the total number of Siege-books up to ten instead of eight, although Dan Abnett stresses that The End and the Death is a single novel that just happens to be so long that it needed to be split into several releases. With the release of The End and the Death Volume III in Januar 2024, the final curtain fell on the Horus Heresy, almost eighteen years after Horus Rising had started it.

Raldoron & 'The Painted Count'

The books tell the epic story of the traitorous Legions finally reaching the Sol System and besieging the Imperial Palace itself. The first one, Solar War, is about the naval warfare across the whole Sol System, while the rest of the books are about the ever-escalating siege of the Imperial Palace on Terra. They end with the legendary duel of the Emperor and Horus on the bridge of the Vengeful Spirit, culminating in the internment of the Emperor on the Golden Throne and the birth of the Imperium of Warhammer 40.000.

Fafnir Rann & Kroeger

Three novellas have been released between the mainline novels.

Graham McNeill has (so far?) added two novellas to the eight novels. Sons of the Selenar finishes the story of the crew of the Sisypheum, a rag-tag band of Shattered Legionnaires that finally reach the Sol System after their journey across Shattersong and The Truth of Iron.

Fury of Magnus functions as the final entry in McNeill's Thousand Sons-”trilogy” after A Thousand Sons and The Crimson King (see The Burning of Prospero and Through the Neath) and provides a bookend to the story of Magnus and the sorcerers of Prospero.

A third novella was announced in July 2022 and saw release in January 2023: Garro: Knight of Grey by James Swallow, which brings the arc of Nathaniel Garro to a final conclusion. The events of this novella are set between Mortis and Warhawk.

Cerberus & Horus Aximand

There's nothing fancy about the reading order here. Once you're done with the Heresy, start with The Solar War, then proceed along books II to X. The novellas are optional and are optimally read at the positions marked out in the Reading Order above.

John Grammaticus & Oll Persson

You can find more information about the Siege on the Siege of Terra website. A cool feature of the website is a collection of the various maps of the Sol System and the Imperial Palace drawn by artist Francesca Baerald. Each of the maps was originally published as part of one of the premium Limited Editions of the novels, but have since been made available online as well. The maps are really helpful to orient oneself and to get a bearing on where is what while reading the respective Siege-novel that the map was printed for. The website also features interviews with the six authors as well as editor Nick Kyme and cover artist Neil Roberts.

Sigismund & Kharn

The Siege of Terra has been part of the Warhammer 40.000 canon since the early 90s. The Horus Heresy as a concept had been invented for the 1988 release of the game 'Titanicus' and had been embellished with much more detail (like naming Horus as the Warmaster) in the background-books Realm of Chaos: Slaves to Darkness (1988) and Realm of Chaos: The Lost and the Damned (1990).

Nassir 'Flesh Tearer' Amit & Kargos 'Bloodspitter'

In 1993, William King's short-story Assault on Holy Terra was released in issue No. 161 of the UK-magazine White Dwarf. While not overly long, this short-story detailed the apocalyptic battle on the Throneworld and laid out many of the epic moments that have ever since been told and retold by fans of the setting. I'm not aware of official sources where the story is still accessible, but one can still find versions of Assault on Holy Terra as well as the follow-up story Aboard Horus' Battle Barge (which detailed the final duel of the Emperor with Horus) on some forums.

Sanguinius, the Great Angel, primarch of the IX. Legion

Now, over 30 years later and seen in relation to the Horus Heresy novel series, King's short-stories about the Siege read almost like in-universe accounts of a distant historical event - glorifying the defenders, demonizing the attackers, embellishing certain details while being fuzzy around the edges (with a healthy dose of Imperial propaganda). A myth forged out of half-forgotten reality.

The authors of the Siege of Terra novels, now, have the task of telling 'the true story' that this myth is based on, the history that the final gospel of the legend of the Horus Heresy was wrought from.

So let's find out what really happened the day that Horus slew the Emperor.

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

Nothing to add that I haven't mentioned before. Man the walls. Enjoy the ride.

Required and Recommended Reading

This is the finale that the whole series has been leading up to. It's full of call-backs and culminations to stories from all across the Heresy. While you really don't need to have read every single Heresy story to get what's going on, the more you've read, the more you'll enjoy it.


This is the end.

Required Books

Novels (in order of appearance)

  1. The Solar War
  2. The Lost and the Damned
  3. The First Wall
  4. Saturnine
  5. Mortis
  6. Warhawk
  7. Echoes of Eternity
  8. The End and the Death - Volume I
  9. The End and the Death - Volume II

Novellas (in order of appearance)

  1. Sons of the Selenar
  2. Fury of Magnus
  3. Garro: Knight of Grey

The three Siege-novellas Sons of the Selenar, Fury of Magnus and Garro: Knight of Grey are (so far) only available as stand-alone books and haven't been included in any kind of anthology or collection.

Beyond the Heresy

You made it! Sixty-two books of transhumans murdering each other in the most epic conflict ever. I mean, you probably didn't read all of the sixty-two books, but even if you only read a fraction of them, that's still a lot of hot Astartes-on-Astartes-action. And while I used this space under the other omnibuses to recommend stories that link to the factions and themes of their respective portion of the Heresy, for this final section of 'Beyond the Heresy' I'll do something different and indulge myself a bit: By recommending some books have nothing to do with the Horus Heresy or the Emperor's Finest - they're just great 40k novels that I really love. Here we go:

  • The Dark Coil by Peter Fehervari, starting (for example) with Requiem Infernal

    • 'The Dark Coil' is an umbrella term for the interconnected web of 40k-stories that Peter Fehervari has written for Black Library. So far, the Coil consists of four novels, one novella and eleven short stories. The stories are all dark and twisted, often close to or straight into the genre of horror, but full of mysteries, secrets and poetic phrasings. You could start with any of the stories (there's no linear reading order), I just chose to mention Requiem Infernal as a starting point because it's an excellent book and introduces many of the themes and concepts of the Dark Coil, especially Fehervari's distinct take on Chaos. Here's Peter Fehervari talking in length about all this and more. I wrote an extensive analysis of Fehervari's work through the lens of Gestalt therapy, which you can read on this website.
  • Mark of Faith by Rachel Harrison

    • This book is about a grief-stricken warrior of the Adepta Sororitas, a Sister of Battle, on her journey to retrieve a holy artifact from a Shrine World lost behind the Great Rift. Her story is interwoven with that of an Inquisitor on her own road to redemption. Beautifully written, this novel intertwines kick-ass action with an almost musical sense for pacing and deals with themes of trauma, love, loss and grief.
  • Ghazghkull Thraka: Prophet of the Waaagh by Nate Crowley

  • The Infinite and the Divine by Robert Rath

    • If you're for something truly different from the Horus Heresy or the Imperium-centric Black Library stories (which most of them are), this novel is for you. It's about two Necrons, immortal alien robots who got robbed of their souls millions of years ago by their scheming star-gods, but who are still quarreling scientists at heart that spend several millenia on a personal feud with each other that's fought out across planetary systems, manipulated timelines and the occasional Necron court room. The Necrons play by altogether different rules than Imperial humans or transhumans and even their Chaos-corrupted archenemies, and Robert Rath really leans into this expanded playbook to tell a tale that's refreshing and fun, thoroughly entertaining and at times oddly moving. Here's Robert Rath talking about The Infinite and the Divine
  • Spear of the Emperor by Aaron Dembski-Bowden

    • Okay, I lied - this one is definitely about Space Marines. It's strictly told from a human perspective, though, that of a Chapter thrall who's writing her memoirs about her time at the side of her Space Marine master. The book is about their fateful mission to travel into Imperium Nihilus and uncover the fate of one of the Chapters that's holding the line beyond the Great Rift: the Emperor's Spears. It's a dark, tragic and well-written story that managed to make me cry - twice. Here's my review of the book

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