Scent of a Gamer

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Book review: Legion (Horus Heresy VII)

The Alpha Legion are known as being the most secretive of all Astartes. We have seen this legion once so far; at the end of Fulgrim, participating in the Isstvan V massacre as one of the traitor legions. But what led them there?

Legion answers that question. The book also gives us an insight into the inner workings of this secretive legion. Long story short; they make extensive use of human field agents. This is useful for us readers as it gives us normal human viewpoints through which to observe the Alpha Legion.

At first this seems similar to Fulgrim, a loyal legion find itself fighting on a planet against an enemy in thrall to chaos. However the Alpha Legion are better-informed than their compatriots in the Emperor’s Children, having at least a rudimentary knowledge of chaos.

In addition to their knowledge of chaos, the Alpha Legion have given thought to the purpose of the ‘great crusade’ and the Emperor’s vision for human rule of the galaxy. They have found it wanting, but seem content to participate for the lack of any better option for the human species.

This book also introduces the Cabal, a shadowly alien group with their own designs on humanity, and their own human agents. The Cabal and the Alpha Legion spend their time trying to out-maneuver one another, until eventually the Cabal deliver a compelling message to the twin Primarchs, Alpharius and Omegon. This message sets them on a path to that will take them to the Warmaster’s side.

The Cabal’s agent, John Grammaticus, is an unusual man who has lives several separate lifetimes already. We will be seeing more of him. The Alpha Legion have always been devoted to secrets and conspiracies, and so it is fitting that their novel is filled with them.

rating: 4 golden thrones


6 comments on “Book review: Legion (Horus Heresy VII)

  1. backtothehammer
    July 31, 2022

    I enjoyed this book and ‘spoiler alert’ for anyone who hasn’t’,

    I can’t remember if it comes up again later in the series. But the premise is that the cabal say that by joining the warmaster, the alpha legion will cause chaos to win but that will bring about the downfall of chaos, rather than causing a war of attrition lasting a millennium dragging everything down. It strikes me that the cabal were utterly wrong and by joining they in fact caused that 2nd scenario! I’m not sure if my memory is clouded as I read it a good few years back but if correct it makes this the most tragic tail in the series and this Legion either the biggest dupes or the most self sacrificing of them all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • backtothehammer
      July 31, 2022

      They are also my favourite traitor legion, mainly because of the legion colour but I also love their iconography.

      Liked by 1 person

      • davekay
        July 31, 2022

        With the advent of contrast paint over metallic as a painting method, I think this legion has gone from being tricky to paint to being quite straightforward.

        Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      July 31, 2022

      As with the best Alpha Legion books, it keeps you guessing, though by the time the Alpha Legion primarchs meet the Cabal they have already decided the ‘great crusade’ is doomed, and they have a greater loyalty to the species.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Argentbadger
    August 2, 2022

    I really enjoyed this book, especially the details about the IG regiments at the start. The Cabal stuff was quite hammy but fit nicely with the wider setting of people prophesying doom then having happen anyway despite the warning.

    Liked by 1 person

    • davekay
      August 2, 2022

      Yes, I thought the author provided a good balance of interesting things that matter now (the IG regiments) and seeds that will pay off down the line – John and the cabal.


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This entry was posted on July 28, 2022 by in Books, horus heresy, Review and tagged , , , .
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