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This book starts back on Isstvan. Over a month since the massacre, the Raven Guard are shattered but not destroyed. Thanks to the timely arrival of a ship from their home world, the Raven Guard and their Primarch are lifted from the surface and return to a galaxy changed forever.
With his legion reduced from tens of thousands to just a few thousand, Corax must still conder himself fortunate compared with the Salamanders and Iron Warriors chapters who have been reduced by a greater amount still. Of the three loyal Primarch on Isstvan one is dead, the other missing. Corax decides to return to earth rather than his legion’s homeworld.
Corax has vengeance in mind, and seeks technology never before granted to the legions in order to rebuild the Raven Guard and take the fight back to enemy. While Dorn sees four thousand more Astartes to guard the walls of the Imperial Palace, Corax sees the core a legion soon to be reborn.
The Emperor intervenes on the side of Corax, and he returns in triumph to begin his work. Unfortunately for him, the Alpha Legion are two steps ahead. Having replaced some of the dead on Isstvan with their own number the Alpha Legion are quick to see the possibilities in what Corax has brought from earth. The possibilities for the Alpha Legion, that is.
While the Raven Guard enjoy some initial success, the machinations of the Alpha Legion soon take their toll across the veterans and new recruits of the legion. Corax must choose how to take the war back to the traitors in the best way to reward the Emperor’s trust in him.
Trust is something Horus does not have for the Alpha Legion, and they too must decide how best to put his mind at rest.
rating: 2.5 golden thrones