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This book is the second in the series to focus on the Dark Angels chapter. This book picks up roughly 50 years after the end of Descent of Angels, which only shows how out of place that book was. This book takes place after Istvaan III but before Istvaan V.
Fallen Angels is a book split between two viewpoints; those of the Dark Angels sent back to Caliban, and those still involve in the great crusade with their Primarch. This split view works, with both stories are told well. Our point of view character from Descent is on Caliban, while his cousin remains with the Primarch, having risen to the rank of chaplain.
On Caliban, the Dark Angels chafe under an enforced exile on a home planet that is being inexorably changed and industrialised by an Imperium that cares only for output numbers. The old knights of Caliban find their loyalties split and feel they must ultimately choose between Caliban and the Imperium when an ancient evil arises to threaten them all.
Elsewhere, Lion El’Johnson reacts swiftly when he learns of Horus’ treachery in Istvann III. Realising that Horus must strike for Earth quickly to avoid the full strength of the Imperium being gathered against him, the Primarch heads for a Forge World that Horus must use to resupply and arm himself with siege weapons. This move proves prescient, as the Dark Angels expedition arrives at a world already under attack from a small force of the Sons of Horus.
The split nature of the book, with the action bouncing between Caliban and the Forge World, also neatly captures the reactions of people across the Imperium, divided as they are between loyalist who want to immediately fight back, and opportunists who look to gain what they can from the confusion.
rating: 3 golden thrones