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Know No Fear: Book 19

Know No Fear: Book 19

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"I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that Know No Fear is definitely one of my favourite Horus Heresy novels. Considering that the series had already been going for eighteen volumes before that, it's really saying something that Dan Abnett managed to find a new and even more impactful style to retell one of the greatest battles of the Age of Darkness…

It's a sobering vignette of betrayal that perfectly encapsulates what the Horus Heresy is all about – Space Marines fighting Space Marines. It starts off so calmly, with the Ultramarines so bogged down in the mundane, domestic aspects of Crusade and empire, that the juxtaposition with the bloodshed and carnage of the Word Bearers' attack is all the more upsetting for it. Again, like the Horus Heresy itself, we know what's going to happen, and yet we have to watch as the protagonists become victims in an atrocity that they could never have anticipated.

Dan's master stroke here is the use of the present tense, rather than the past – now often imitated, but never bettered. These events are happening NOW, not being recounted later. The reader is a (sometimes unwilling!) witness to the gut-wrenching, despair-inducing horror of these events as they unfold in apparent realtime, and that immediacy is what makes it feel so painfully real.

Even for people who haven't read any other book in the series, I'd recommend Know No Fear as an absolute must."

– L J Goulding
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