Dan Abnett has revealed that The End and the Death, the final entry in the epic Horus Heresy book series, is split into three volumes, not two as fans had been expecting. In an interview with Warhammer Community on Wednesday, the prolific Warhammer 40k author says that “the story will conclude” in Volume 3, bringing an end to a saga he started 17 years ago.
According to the interview, Volume 2 “will be available soon in hardback”. Abnett says that “The centrepiece of part two is Sanguinius vs Horus”, while part three focuses on Warmaster Horus against the Emperor of Mankind. “There was a very deliberate attempt on my part to make sure those things didn’t just become just more of the same”, Abnett says.
Abnett not only started the Horus Heresy series, he has an unparalleled grip on the deep lore of the setting. This interview with Ars Technica is full of his answers – and speculation – on some of the deep mysteries of 40k.
The outcome of The End and the Death is not in doubt; the fate of Sanguinius was written into the Blood Angels’ first ever Warhammer 40k Codex, back in the 90s, and the duel between Horus and the Emperor was worked into the lore early in the first edition of Warhammer 40k. That doesn’t mean these books can’t surprise us, as the information available to the Warhammer 40k factions about the Horus Heresy is little better than myth.
Abnett says that The End and the Death will provide “a snapshot of what really happened, where the myth grew from. What the myth becomes is probably more important to Warhammer as that’s what people have come to believe, 10,000 years later. But this is a moment of being there at ground zero and seeing these things as they actually play out from numerous perspectives… it almost tells you too many versions!”
The Horus Heresy saga is something of a nesting doll; there are 54 main Horus Heresy books, which lead into eight main books of the Siege of Terra series, of which The End and the Death is the last. Abnett says that though it’s delivered in three volumes, it really is a single book: “It had to be published in sections simply because we simply mechanically can’t print books that big!”
If you want to speedrun the Horus Heresy saga, our Horus Heresy book reading order guide will give you some strong suggestions on which books you can skim or skip to get up to speed. If you’re more interested in Warhammer lore than stories, and you have a Warhammer Plus subscription, you could check out the loremasters series on Warhammer TV for deep dive videos on a variety of topics.