The Flight of The Eisenstein: An epic spanning across planets


The Flight of The Eisenstein is the fourth book in The Horus Heresy, a prequel series to the larger Warhammer 40k universe that spans over 54 novels. War is the norm in this universe and humanity is in a constant back step to survive one day longer as inter-dimensional demons, aliens, and ancient forces fight to eradicate them. While the book is only the fourth in the series, it covers some of the most important figures, betrayals and moments in The Horus Heresy.

The odd situation that comes with reading The Horus Heresy is most fans of the Warhammer 40k universe as a whole, already know most of the most important events that will happen in the books. Above all else, the books give me immensely in-depth looks into those events from the perspectives of the characters who survived or died as it unfolded. 

The books so far have all been part of one continuous arc, with different angles and sides being shown in every book. Many of the characters from the first book still show up in this book, including the first protagonist, Gavriel Loken, who returns for the first few chapters to wrap up his character arc, in a way, passing the torch to the new main character, Nathaniel Garro. 

Nathaniel Garro is one of the many captains of the Death Guard, a legion of 100,000 genetically enhanced super soldiers known for their resilience to all forms of warfare. Chemical, Psychological, and many other forms of degrading tactics meant to stop any foe. Yet as the book progresses, Garro has all his beliefs challenged as outside influences threaten to collapse his comprehension of brotherhood, family, duty and honor. He’s subjected to a challenge of faith as the empire he serves has disbanded all religion as a whole, yet the man who rules known as the “God Emperor” has a cult formed around him with some legitimate proof of his godhood. 

Fight scenes are a common within the book, with pages dedicated to the smaller duels and fights, entire chapters describing intense skirmishes and even entire books dedicated to wars that spanned planets. In the case of these duels and fights, the scene is often multiple pages that takes a while to read as characters cross swords and duck from oncoming gunfire in a flurry of action. 

As fun as the books are to read, going into these books looking for a light-hearted story is going to leave the reader let down. The books are incredibly depressing at times, with entire planets of people being eradicated from orbit in explicit detail. The books are collectively an epic all about war and death with about as much humor as you’d expect from such topics.

The books are enjoyable to read if the idea of an excessively Grimdark sounds appealing to the reader. Most characters, while overly masculine at times, are likable when meant to be, and vile in other cases. The book excels in giving the reader a sense of dread as characters hit yet another dead end. Lucky for the heroes of this overly intense science fiction universe these problems can be solved through one of three ways; a big gun, a big sword, or both.

Overall, I would recommend the books to fans of dark fantasy, sci-fi and the Warhammer fictional universe if the idea of massive super soldiers fighting demons and aliens sounds like an appealing premise. A rock solid 4/5 stars from me.