, I was in awe of the new level the 30k galaxy had been taken. The stakes were huge. But I was mildly disappointed at the relative lack of weight given to events on Isstvan V. Where Isstvan III was the “quiet” moment in which Horus revealed his revolt internally, Isstvan V was the “loud” moment, the moment it became known to the wider universe. Despite being larger in import, however, the story didn't seem to have the same respect for the battle. Know No Fear and its representation of a sub-battle delivered more weight to the Word Bearer's book-length attack on the Ultramarines than does Horus' betrayal of all humanity in Flames. I held out hope that perhaps future books/stories would explore it in more detail. I'm not sure Vulkan Lives by Nick Kyme (2013), twenty-sixth novel in the series, is my hope rewarded, but it certainly is a deeper dive into the events on the black sand planet and the primarchs involved.
Vulkan Lives is told through two storylines which alternate back and forth in the narrative. One is the time pre-Istvann V, the time when Horus' rebellion was unknown to the wider universe and all the primarchs and legions still think of themselves as brothers. The other is directly after the events of Istvann V, the time of the disappearance of Vulkan, primarch of the Salamanders. Thought dead by what remains of his Legion, he is, in fact, in the captivity of Konrad Curze, primarch of the Night Lords. A Groundhog's Day scenario playing out, Curze tortures Vulkan through death and back again, that is, until the cycle breaks. What breaks is of interest.