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This book continues the trend of Flight of the Eisenstein, with much of the story running concurrent to False Gods and Galaxy in Flames.
As the title suggests, Fulgrim is centred on the Primarch of the Emperor’s Children, a formerly loyal legion who side with Horus. But why? This book also suggests the counterfactual – what is the Emperor had warned his Primarchs of the true nature of the warp and chaos? Would knowledge have protected them better than ignorance?
In their ignorance, the Emperor’s Children enter a temple dedicated to one of the chaos gods, and those who remain there are corrupted. In his ignorance, Fulgrim takes the centrepiece of this temple, a sword inhabited by a chaos daemon. He falls victim to the corrupt thoughts whispered to him until he trusts no one. No one except Horus.
The Emperor’s Children legion doesn’t so much fall to corruption as leap enthusiastically into it, enervated by their experience in the chaos temple. The legion and its remembrancers are soon divided into those who entered the temple and those who did not. Fulgrim’s purge of the loyalists in his legion starts long before Isstvan III.
The story moves forward to the infamous moment of the Horus Heresy – the drop site massacre. Three loyalist legions are almost obliterated by the seven legions which have sided with Horus. Fulgrim, bearing his daemon sword, takes centre stage in the massacre. Here Fulgrim commits his most terrible act, slaying a fellow Primarch and presenting his head to Horus as a symbol of loyalty.
By the end of the book Fulgrim has realised too late the cost of siding with chaos, of listening to the warp. Imprisoned by the daemon who now controls his body, Fulgrim can only watch on as his legion plunges further into corruption.
Rating: 4 and a half golden thrones