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  • The Solar War

  • Siege of Terra: The Horus Heresy, Book 1
  • By: John French
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (437 ratings)

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The Solar War cover art

The Solar War

By: John French
Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
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Publisher's Summary

The Siege of Terra Book 1

After years of devastating war, Horus and his forces have arrived at Terra. But before they can set foot on the Throneworld, they must first break the defences of the Sol System. 

Powerful fleets and cunning defences bar their path - but can anything hope to halt the advance of the Traitor armada?  

Listen to it because:

The final act of the long-running, best-selling series starts here, with a brutal and uncompromising look at the first stage of the Siege of Terra, the war to conquer the solar system. Armies will fall, heroes will rise and legends will be written....

The Story

After seven years of bitter war, the end has come at last for the conflict known infamously as the Horus Heresy. Terra now lies within the Warmaster’s sights, the Throneworld and the seat of his father’s rule. Horus’ desire is nothing less than the death of the Emperor of Mankind and the utter subjugation of the Imperium. He has become the ascendant vessel of Chaos and amassed a terrible army with which to enact his will and vengeance. 

But the way to the Throne will be hard as the primarch Rogal Dorn, the Praetorian and protector of Terra, marshals the defences. First and foremost, Horus must challenge the might of the Sol System itself and the many fleets and bulwarks arrayed there. 

To gain even a foothold on Terran soil, he must first contend the Solar War. Thus the first stage of the greatest conflict in the history of all mankind begins. 

©2019 Games Workshop Limited (P)2019 Games Workshop Limited

What listeners say about The Solar War

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boring and confusing

I loved HellsReach and The Betrayor but this was a mess to me. No idea what was going on or who I was meant to be following.

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Had to DNF

Might come back and finish at some point but honestly the books abundance of action actually makes it more boring as there isn’t must in the way of politics or intrigue

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Does what it says on the box

It’s more of the Horus Heresy, what’s not to love? It’s particularly nice to see Rogal Dorn and his Imperial Fists in the setting since they’re often absent from other Horus Heresy books being on Terra and all. I highly recommend listening to this while you’re painting or if you just want to hear about ludicrously big space battles.

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1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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first of many

enjoyed the beginning of the horus heresy and will be looking forward to the next.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply amazing

This book is by far the best book in the Horus Heresy series to date

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What you expect.

This is a warhammer novel through and through.

The narration is fantastic, possibly the one of the best throughout all the warhammer novels.

The story is quite dull, slow and it takes forever to get rolling, when it finally does you're still waiting for... something, to happen.
It's pretty much what you'd come to expect from a 40k novel, the characters are mostly humans, who don't really do much, the main protags (the big boys on the covers) are sidelined, despite being way more important and way more interesting.

If you're excited to learn what is going on during the siege of terra, then you should read this, it's the beginning, but don't expect much more than that. This is the first book in the siege of terra, nothing more, nothing less.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Gets really good eventually

Stick with this one, it takes a few hours to get interesting but it’s worth the wait. All of it is a very necessary set up for the rest of the Siege of Terra.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Absolutely Boss.

Keeble nails the narration as always, his ability to change his voice acting as Daemons is something to awe at.
Loved the story and happy to hear some more action from Dorn as it's been too long! Bring on the epic HH battles as Terra is around the corner!

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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EPIC!!!

The writer and narrator have managed to scale an levity of action into the beginning of a Heresy period I would not thought possible...well done.

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Amazing

listen to this one multiple times. Great book loved every minute.
different one for due hard fans

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-07-2019

Too Much of Too Much

This is a deep, thorough, and breathtaking book and Keeble does his usual superb job. That says, the narration contains many more mistakes than I usually expect from Keeble and the whole book feels rushed. It has three serious narrative problems and one significant flavor problem.

***minor spoilers***

First, it feels like two books in one. There are two very clear halves to the narrative and it would have been more effective to cut it in half and give each equal weight. Since there are already going to be 8 books in the series, one more would not have killed it. As this book stands, the second half, which is really the money half, feels very rushed. It’s power is hamstrung because it happens too fast.

Second, this book is the set-up for the siege of Terra, and we all know how that ends. The problem with this is the second half of Solar War is so rushed and the whole book is so one-sided that I can’t believe that this will even be a close fight. Instead of a close fight that leads to a final, desperate gambit, this looks like an absolute runaway. I want to see how the siege grinds on, but there’s a significant part of me that will have a very hard time believing that the sort of armada described can actually be stopped.

That leads to the third issue: there is no sense of scale. The Heresy has struggled with this throughout and most (most) of the time it hasn’t been too problematic. Horus sends four fleets, each of which seems to be thousands of ships strong. This is a scale the Imperium cannot match, even with Guilleman coming - earlier books don’t give the sense his fleet is *that* large. After all these years of war, with the set up this has, I find it hard to suspend my disbelief that there are just that many ships intact and astartes alive. Perhaps the one exception to this in the opposite direct is the number of Imperial Fists librarians. In a legion of c. 100,000 at the time of Nicea, how are there only 3 librarians? The only post-Heresy chapter I can think of that has a lower absolute number is the Black Templars because they will not suffer any librarians in their ranks. French needs to look at his numbers again.

Finally, the flavor problem. We know some things and people will survive. The Phalanx makes it through, as do Abbadon, Sigismund, etc. That said, there are still a lot of bodies left to hit the floor. For all the significant Imperial characters we had to say goodby to in this book (Jubal Khan in particular deserved a better death), Horus’s side lost no significant characters. This has been a running issue for me since early in the series. Imperial named characters die at a much higher rate than their opposite numbers. This tendency leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth and makes a lot of the set piece fights that are meant to ramp up the tension instead predictable and boring.

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28 people found this helpful

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  • Calvin Lippert
  • 03-06-2019

meh

too back and forth. it breaks interest when it starts too tell a story then stops to tell another story for a hundred pages.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-2019

Book jumps around

The action is good but the overall story jumps back and forth and does not flow very well

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  • Joey De La Torre
  • 20-10-2020

WOW! Warhammer 40K is nuts!

So this was the first Warhammer 40K novel I’ve read, and I’ll admit, the cover caught my eye. But honestly, how have I not read these before?! (Especially after owning a number of them)
Ridiculous amounts of action with a sense of scope and scale that can rival any epic space opera. And what legitimately might be the most extensive work of in-depth lore ever conceived, bar-none.

The downside is that the 40K universe is so vast and offers little to no ease of entry, often scaring away would-be fans and hindering its chances of appealing to a wider audience. It definitely caters more to its longtime fans.

But The Solar War has caught my interest and encouraged me to at least dive into The Horus Heresy. Now I have to go all the way back to the beginning of this 50+ book series and experience it in its full glory.

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7 people found this helpful

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  • Hector Marquez
  • 30-06-2019

Setting the Stage

This book sets the stage for a truly epic battle. With traitor forces entering the solar system, you see how bad the imperium really was for the invasion.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 14-10-2019

Insane, Epic, Telling and Allegorical

James Casbolt of the SSP introduced me to the series back in 2010. Truly the Siege of Terra brings to life the fact that high level free masons have composed this series to disclose some of the lesser known facts in history. The interstellar and very violent angel star wars are shown vividly in this highly imaginative series. So glad to be reading the climax.

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  • Suspect
  • 30-12-2019

Agree w other 3-4 star reviews

The Solar War had so much potential to be EPIC. After 50-something displays of pomp, power, and brutality by such God-like beings — especially in books 1-4 — one would assume Horus and his merry band of warped monster’s grande entrance into the sol system would be an exceptionally maleficent event. But it isn’t. I’m not throwing the towel in just yet, but I am doing so with the hope book two is better. Brilliant narration, as usual.

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  • matthew
  • 21-05-2019

a good start to the end it could have been better.

it jumps around a bit and is hard to follow sometimes. the characters you want to see you dont get to see.

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  • Dean D.
  • 24-10-2021

Amazing

loved it, they did an amazing job at telling the wider story of the battle for the Solar System. as usual the narrator was amazing.

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  • uns0cialized
  • 04-10-2023

Abaddon finally takes the lead

The best way to start the series let’s go Kill for the living kill for the dead love This book

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  • C D Lowe
  • 21-05-2019

Immersion spoiled by production

I’m enjoying the story, as with most WH30/40, but the sound artifacts which seem to result from echoes within the recording studio are driving me up the wall. There is a hissy background noise which makes it sound like either the narrator is in a small, hard walled, room; or that the treble filtering needs playing with. I’m about a third of the way through and going to stick with it but it really puts my teeth on edge and rather spoils my immersion in the story!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-08-2020

Another weak one...

Great narration (I feel that I could listen to Jonathan Keeble plosively say the word 'BOOMED' all day). Clunky and confused narrative. Characters felt shallow. Not sure how the culmination of such an epic saga can be so devoid of excitement or momentum. It seems that anything not written by Dembski Bowden or Abnett (bar a couple of exceptions) is likley to be a bit uninspiring - such a shame given the richness of the source material.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-07-2020

Such a great start to the siege of terra!

The Avengers of Warhammer 40,000! See all your favourite characters come together for a big aul scrap!

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  • D Lbenb
  • 23-05-2019

Worth The Wait!

Been looking forward to this book since it's release was first announced and I was not disappointed. Look forward to the next part of this epic tale.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-09-2021

How to make a collosal space battle boring

So many times ive found myself bored to tears. Very disappointing as I was looking forward to a long fierce battle filled with heroics. Instead, long, winding passages describing dreams, forced conversations, hopes and memories that aren't made interesting.

I enjoyed the attempt to vary the pace: long pauses between bursts of intense battles. It's just the pauses were too long, and too uninteresting. There's a whole passage there about refugees stranded and murdered on a ship. This is Warhammer. It's dark, gritty and terrible. You can't make my heart bleed for refugees.

Where are the heroes? Where are primarchs doing everything thry can to win? Halfway through you'll find they're mentioned 3 times without lifting a finger. The emperor? Barely a mention.

Narrator does a sterling job to attempt to bring this to life, but I'm sure he had to do many takes after drifting off to sleep.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 15-10-2019

the siege finally starts

in all a bit long winded but a good setting to lead the siege to its conclusion, gives just enough action to give a pleasant listen but then leaves all the important events to come . only downfall was that waiting for horus to show up took what seemed like forever . solid 4stars

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • "milk-dud"
  • 20-04-2023

Disappointing

Whilst Jonathan Keeble's narration is good (but not as good as Toby Longworth IMO), i found the story to be pretty bland and uninteresting.

It took me 2 attempts to get through this and to be brutally honest, apart from the traitors reaching Terra, I can't really tell you much else about what happened it was so uninspiring.

As others have said, if you happen to lose your place accidentally it is very difficult to find where you were as it's such a bland story.

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  • W. Littler
  • 21-05-2019

A great start to the climax of the Horus Heresy

An engaging story, well read. The fighting was not the strongest in the Black Library but the epic fleet combat was easy to follow for me at least!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Sodam Yat
  • 15-06-2022

Great Story, needed a female second reader

So I’m enjoying the story, but tbh limiting the performance to just the one narrator is a bad choice. Whoever he is (can’t be bothered to check) does a reasonable job, but he doesn’t have the power to portray someone like Dorn, or even Aximand. The REAL problem appears when the poor bloke has to voice females- - these are terrible, butchering immersion in the tale with a near-comedic attempt at femininity with characters like Oliton and Keeler. When the females have ACCENTS it becomes borderline offensive.

The story is great and I’m glad they are making it accessible for audio audiences, but if you’re going to do something, Black Library, for gods sake do it right.

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  • The Rollinsons
  • 12-02-2024

Gloomy but gripping story, captivating even for a novice

Came into this with only a rough knowledge of Warhammer. Found the story to be thoroughly captivating.

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