The beginning of the end for the Horus Heresy, "The Solar War" kicks-off the new "Siege of Terra" series. The traitor forces of Horus finally launch their attack against the Sol system. French plays out the action steadily, with battles the scope of which we have rarely seen coming to pass. Characters from the very beginning of the Horus Heresy make return appearances and have important roles to play. In the end, we know what's going to happen, but this series is and has always very much been about the journey, and what a ride this book is.
Oooh the solar war! what an amazing world-building. This book is so rich that I will definitely reread it more than once.
Will definitely be looking out for this author again
Thanks netgalley for the arc copy
This was a brilliant read. There was so much action from the start that I couldn't put it down. It's definitely a real page turner. This was a fantastic fast paced novel that had me on the edge of my seat. I wasn't very familiar with the characters and this lead to me not connecting fully with the story. But I'm betting every other warhammer fan will know them in and out so this will be your 5 star read. It didn't affect my love of the story though. I loved that this book was set in space as the battleship fights are my favourite and this book disappoint in that department. This is the first book in siege of terra series. I definitely recommend reading this book especially if you love warhammer 40k. I just loved how the blood was flying everywhere it definitely made for exciting fight scenes. I also loved how there were female characters as most warriors are always men.
So much praise goes out to the author and publishers for creating such a brilliant, exciting and thrilling roller coaster ride of a story.
The above review has already been placed on goodreads, waterstones, Google books, Barnes&noble, kobo, amazon UK where found and my blog https://ladyreading365.wixsite.com/website/post/the-solar-war-by-john-french-black-library-4-stars either under my name or ladyreading365. Retail review links are on my blog
This is a 40k book to the core. The entirety of the novel is just one huge battle scene. The story jumps from character to character, with never ending action in each chapter.
For those familiar with 40k the story follows an entire slew of characters through the war for Terra during the times of the Horus Heresy. As one can imagine this story often involves the deaths of millions, possession by daemons, huge space battles, battles in tight corridors of ships and battle stations, plenty of space marines, and lots of warships. But it’s done in a way that isn’t boring. The motivations of each character, both good and bad, are explored. Their various backgrounds are somewhat explained, and sometimes how those warring on opposite sides are connected to one another is shown.
Considering it’s dealing with one of the darkest times in Warhammer lore, the overall feeling of hopelessness is achieved very well. The author sprinkles in moments that gives the reader hope only to realize a chapter later that the efforts of “the good guys” are in vain. I finished the book wanting to continue reading to find out what happened next, and luckily the siege of terra is it’s own series of we hammer novels so I’ll be picking those up eventually.
The battle scenes are excellently depicted as well. You can visualize the movements of ships in battle as French explains the events. The same can be said for the multiple gunfights and melee combat that occurs throughout.
If you aren’t a Warhammer fanatic but like science fiction warfare, and are looking for a decent series, I would recommend to start here. The books explains enough that non Warhammer fans won’t be left asking questions, and you’ll likely be able to read the series without feeling the need to dive into Warhammer lore in
Google to get certain things explained to you.
Overall French does an amazing job on depicting a major point in 40k lore in a way that even those unfamiliar with the source material can pick these books up and enjoy.
This is the first book I've read by this author, and, coincidentally, the first book in this series. It's fast paced and engaging and completely unique, all in all, I'm looking forward to more from both the author and the series.
This was my first John French book. It is a very ambitious book to say the least. There is a Solar War, That means there is war in space. There is enough action sequences to keep one locked into reading. I thank Black Library and Net Galley for giving me a chance to read this before hand.
The book is about about the battle for humanity, between the Emperor and his son. Battles take place in solar system and will mesmerize you with the detail of scenes.
This was my first French novel, and it is a good one. The author is very prolific and obviously very talented. There a lot of moving pieces, but he keeps it organized and interesting with plenty of action and crafted characters. I enjoyed the complexity and unpredictability of the plot. Recommended.
I really appreciate the copy for review!!
Great book! I've copied my goodreads review below:
Great start to the siege of terra series!
John French is a master at describing conflict in the warhammer universe. The book picked up quickly and held my interest throughout. His scenes with the emperor were particularly fascinating. I also want to give him a ton of credit for being one of the few authors that successfully captures the massive scale of the warhammer universe. This was a great sendoff for John French and all the great work he's done in the Horus Heresy.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing an ARC
This series has been a long time coming. The Horus Heresy series began with Dan Abnett’s Horus Rising, published back in 2006. After 53 more books, countless short stories, audio-dramas and more, the traitor forces of Warmaster Horus are knocking on the doors of the Solar system. This novel covers the opening moves of the end-stage, and French does a fantastic job of portraying this chaotic, brutal siege. If the rest of the Siege of Terra series is as strong (or stronger) than this, fans are in for one hell of a ride.
Many fan-favourite characters make an appearance. Horus himself, of course, as well as his staunchest, most loyal son Abaddon. Other key and interesting traitors are among those engineering the opening stages of the attack on Terra — including Ahriman, some of his fellow Thousand Sons sorcerers, and secretive and distrusted Word Bearer apostles, who are maneuvering to bring about certain Chaotic shenanigans to aid the traitors. The leaders of the Imperial Fists — Dorn, of course, as well as his stoic and dutiful commanders, holding the line against the opening waves of attackers. I enjoyed reading about the defenders’ attempts to tease out the Warmaster’s plan, not to mention his location (read the novel for more on that).
While the larger conflict is taking place, in The Solar War French also brings together some storylines that were seeded right at the start of the Horus Heresy series. (I’m going to do my best to avoid all spoilers, so some of this review may come across as rather vague.) Certain characters return, and French draws on events in Horus Rising and others to weave an impressive, twisty plot alongside that of the nascent siege and void war.
This novel could easily have just been 400~ pages of action and conflict. Thankfully, however, French provides readers with far more than wall-to-wall bolter action. Even well-established characters — Abaddon, for example — get a bit more background, their pasts fleshed out. Indeed, I was quite surprised how self-reflective Abaddon was, but I enjoyed learning more about his induction into the Luna Wolves (albeit only briefly). Certain characters are questioning their path and actions, if not their hoped-for outcome (Ahriman, for example). Others, on the other hand, are itching to get to grips with their enemies. French provides readers with plenty of new and interesting insights into his characters and their motives, in these final stages of the Heresy.
There were some surprising absences from the story, which leads me to assume they will be handled by other authors (for example, the Death Guard and Alpha Legion, to name but two). It’ll also be interesting to see how the Traitor Primarchs make themselves known in the siege and final battles to come.
Needless to say, I very much enjoyed The Solar War. It is clearly only the opening moves of the final attack, but French does a great job of providing certain conclusions for a handful of characters (new and old), as well as setting up what promises to be a truly epic confrontation between Horus and his traitors, and the Emperor and the embattled loyalists.
Very highly recommended, this is a must read for all fans of the Horus Heresy series and also WH40k in general. I really enjoyed it.
Solar War is a brilliant and absolutely mesmerising story told with the subtlety of a freight train. This tale grabs your heart and mind and just simply refuses to let go. Readers have waited years for the start of this moment, and French captures the immensity of it perfectly. The storytelling is fast, action packed, and brutal in sections. An absolute must read!
The Siege of Terra – the final chapter of the Horus Heresy – begins with John French’s The Solar War, which tells the story of the colossal void war that forms the opening stage of the Siege. To the backdrop of the largest void battles imaginable it weaves together a compelling, character-led tale of duty, honour, determination and even hope. While Mersadie Oliton desperately searches for a way back to Terra and Sigismund seeks out atonement in battle, Abaddon cleaves to the path laid out for him by Horus and even Ahriman diligently plays his part. As the war rages on multiple fronts, these and many other individual stories play out with the fate of Terra and the Imperium in the balance.
Make no mistake, this is a complex book. It’s bold and brave, a single coherent narrative which manages to be both action-packed and deeply characterful, with the trademark Heresy achievement of fulfilling expectations and answering key questions while throwing in a few surprises along the way. It’s the sort of book which demonstrates just how painstakingly well planned it must have been by virtue of just…working. After a slightly slow start while characters are (re)introduced and arcs established, it quickly develops into a fascinating exploration of a war taking place on multiple planes – the physical and metaphysical, body and mind, the void and Terra – as seen through largely human eyes, featuring numerous viewpoint characters both established and brand new, bringing together plot threads from across the breadth of the (50+ book strong) series…and it simply feels effortless.
It’s a book which gives Dorn the chance to shine, showing the pressures and requirements laid upon him – often self-imposed – and the tension in him between restraint and release. It’s also Mersadie Oliton’s story though, reaching back to the very beginning of the series and drawing upon themes of memory, dreams, faith and purpose, which feel like familiar John French territory. On top of that you’ve got Sigismund leading the first line of defence (and kicking ass), Admiral Su-Kassen in the thick of the logistics on Terra, Abaddon in surprisingly sombre mood and reliving his youth on Cthonia…and that barely scratches the surface. The actual void war is as explosive and all-encompassing as you’d imagine, but it’s carefully balanced against a lot of emotional character work as the key players try to find their places in the ongoing events, often putting aside their personal feelings in order to do their duty and see things through to the end.
As you might expect the overall tone is pretty bleak, with a powerful sense of scale as events proceed and the sheer scope of what’s taking place is hammered home. Even by Heresy standards the incredible cost of the war – both physically and psychologically – is really emphasised, and the mixture of wide-angle bombast and small-scale introspection does a great job of covering things from both perspectives. There are flashes of hope, however, even if they’re inevitably coloured by foreshadowing for the end of the Siege and the future of characters on both sides (including some neat links to a couple of 40k series). Crucially, despite its complexity this is as gripping and entertaining a book as you could want, perfectly balancing the need for a great story in its own right with the requirement to carefully connect back to previous stories and satisfy fans who’ve followed the Heresy every step of the way. After this as the opening scene of the Siege of Terra, the following instalments have a lot to live up to.
A very good start for a new series.
This book is fast paced, entertaining and engaging.
I appreciated how the writer developed the plots, being able to manage the complexity without any plot hole, the well developed characters and the world building.
It's the first book I read by this author and won't be the last.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.