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In the ‘modern day’ of Warhammer 40,000 the Blood Angels have a genetic flaw. This flaw send them into a ‘black rage’ from which death is the only outcome. This flaw is often related to receiving visions of the death of Sanguinius at the hands of Horus.
In Fear to Tread we learn that this flaw was always present in the legion. When Sanguinius first joined his legion, the flaw was there and he dealt with it in secret. None of the other Primarchs knew.
Horus uses his knowledge of the Blood Angels flaw – and his brother’s desperate attempts to find a cure – and sends Sanguinius and his legion on a fool’s errand at galaxy’s edge. The Blood Angels legion is then kept out of the way as he gets on with his betrayal.
The Blood Angels aren’t sent to any random location. The planet has been prepared by chaos as a trap for Sanguinius and his legion. The forces of chaos want him to be their ‘red angel’ a daemon of tremendous power.
Fear to Tread is the story of chaos’ failure, breaking with the run of successes they have been having so far. Unlike in Fulgrim, chaos is not dealing with a Primarch who was likely to fall anyway. Sanguinius emerges from his trials with his loyalty and most of his legion intact – a fearsome fighting force loyal to the Emperor. The tyranny of distance still threatens to be their undoing, as the Blood Angels find themselves far from the action, and unable to reach Horus’ forces.
Instead the Blood Angels arrive in the ravage empire of Ultramar, connecting with the Ultramarines after their recent trials in Know no Fear. The largest loyalist forces are gathering together, but can they makes a difference in this war?
rating: 3 golden thrones