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Warhammer 40,000 is closing out the Horus Heresy story after 17 years, kind of

Sixty-ish books, one huge betrayal.

Cover art of The End and the Death, Vol. 1, the last book in the Horus Heresy series set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe.
Image credit: Games Workshop

Warhammer 40,000 maker Games Workshop has revealed the name and cover art for the final book in one of its longest running fiction series detailing an important and devastating civil war. The Horus Heresy narrative will begin its final act with The End and The Death, Vol. 1.

Yep, the massive Horus Heresy series, which first began in 2006 and now spans more than 60 titles from multiple authors, will need more than one book in order to pen a conclusion. The End and The Death, Vol. 1 will be written by Dan Abnett, who began telling the sprawling story with Horus Rising back in 2006.

For the unfamiliar, the Horus Heresy is the name given to a broad period of time set before the main action of the current Warhammer 40,000 storyline. The Immortal Emperor, rule of humanity, is just beginning to expand the Imperium, but the forces of Chaos muck up that plan by sowing discord between the Emperor's 18 genetically children, all of whom command their own battalion and very quickly find themselves choosing sides in a galactic-scale family conflict.

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The book series very quickly diverged from a straight retelling of historical events and instead chose to dive into dozens of characters, exploring side stories and sub-plots that help paint the larger picture of humanity within the Imperium - along with all the influences and factions vying for control and survival.

The End and The Death, Vol. 1 serves as both the capstone to the Siege of Terra septology for now) and the fated end of the whole Horus Heresy legacy. The setting was first created as the backdrop for the Warhammer 40,000 miniatures games in 1987, which didn’t really care much about delivering the story in a way that made sense for a series of books. So, when The Black Library began publishing the series, its authors were assigned the task of stitching together disparate and often contradictory lore tidbits and historical notes.

Longtime fans have known how this story was going to end since the beginning. The interest has been seeing how events led up to the Emperor’s son, Horus, eventually breaking with the Imperium and championing Chaos’ machinations for the solar system.

A close-up of Space Marine miniatures from the Warhammer: The Horus Heresy - Age of Darkness boxed set
Image credit: Games Workshop

The Horus Heresy recently returned to the forefront of the mage-popular miniatures wargame with a fresh boxed set called Warhammer: The Horus Heresy - Age of Darkness. A return to this normally niche setting, which fans colloquially call Warhammer 30,000, meant a more stripped-down version of the current core experience that focuses on Space Marines and plays more like a historical wargame for a very fictional sci-fi history.

Penultimate novel Echoes of Eternity will be released physically and as a digital e-book and audiobook this weekend, but Games Workshop hasn’t revealed any information on when to expect The End and the Death, Vol. 1 - or how many volumes it will take to reach the end of the end.

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