Originally meant to be book 13, directly following up A Thousand Sons (which tells the counterpoint tale of the battle between the two legions), illness meant Dan Abnett had to release this a little late- but the wait was worth it!
Beginning almost a century before the fateful battle that saw the 6th and 15th legions of Adeptus Astartes, the Space Marines, go head to head. This tale follows the life of Kasper Hawser, the man most directly responsible for the order later known as The Remembrancers.
A historian and archeologist, Hawser attempts to study the secretive 6th legion of Space Marines, known as The Space Wolves, on their homeworld of Fenris. An inhospitable 'deathworld' that runs extremes of planetwide winters that last over a year in Earth terms and destructively hot summers that see the very surface landscape reshaped by volcanic activty forced upon it by the tidal forces of gravity and its eccentric orbit. A world to which passage is forbidden unless invited.
In doing so he finds himself transformed in both body and mind as he learns many things:
Are there truly No Wolves On Fenris like the old fable says?
How do the Vlka Fenryka see themselves and their role in the Great Crusade?
Who is really behind this confilct?
And why does Hawser keep dreaming about a certain seemingly inauspicious event in his life when there are so many more significant ones he can recall in greater detail?
For fans of the series who don't yet know the rest of the background and the final outcome of the war, this book offers further details of The Horus Heresy and its origins.
For those who just want to read a good story, then it can also stand on its own and be read out of sequence -though it is a good idea to have done books 1 to 3 first if you don't want any spoilers when you get round to them.
And for those (like myself) who have been following the background of the Warhammer 40,000 universe for a long time, and who know many more facets of the tale of the Heresy than has yet been committed to the novels, there are some lovely little gems and tidbits to pick up on.
All in all this is a highly enjoyable book that I am sure the vast majority of fans of the genre will enjoy.