Plague War by Guy Haley (Dark Imperium #2) – A Book Review



Intent on rebuilding Ultramar, the returned primarch Roboute Guilliman wages war on the treacherous Death Guard – but the intervention of a greater power threatens all he works for.

In the void and upon the worlds of Greater Ultramar, the battle for the Imperium continues.

Intent on rebuilding his home realm and using it as base to reconstruct the ravaged stellar empire of mankind, the returned primarch Roboute Guilliman proceeds with his war to drive Mortarion and his Death Guard Traitor Legion from the domain of the Ultramarines.

But when Guilliman brings his brother to battle upon the diseased plains of Parmenio, the intervention of a greater power in their fraternal struggle threatens to upend the Imperial Regent’s understanding of the galaxy, and his place within it.

Primarchs and ideologies clash in this second, thrilling part of the Dark Imperium trilogy.


Author: Guy Haley

Publisher: Black Library

Pages: 400

Release Date: 02/05/2019

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating of ‘Plague War’: 5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon US



I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I recently finished the audio book for ‘Dark Imperium’ and when I saw the sequel for request on Netgalley (brought to my attention by Dave over at Wordaholics Anonymous) I had to snap it up as was keen to carry the series on. This was done as a buddy read with Dave, but I had literally no life during the time I got this so I read it far too fast. Dave’s review of Plague War will be up at some point in the future. Anyone who doesn’t follow him should go and check him out, really nice guy and a fun blog to follow/read.

Warning: May contain spoilers

I kind of got the sense, when listening to Dark Imperium, that the trilogy would be a big deal. But after finishing Plague War I have to revise that opinion and say that it has the potential to be one of the most important trilogies coming out of the Warhammer 40k universe since the original Horus Heresy trilogy. It literally has everything. From Primarchs to greater daemons, Primaris Marines to Sisters of Silence, Titan battles to a little thing that just could foreshadow the return of the Emperor in some way shape or form.

There are so many little cameos or big roles from named characters and other space marine chapters (I mean, at one point there’s a random reference to a squad of White Scars bikes just rolling on by … not sure why they were there and they were not mentioned before or after … but a cool name drop maybe?) that the entire thing just feels far too epic not to be something huge coming out of Black Library. I haven’t read too much 40k lore in recent years and the Dark Imperium series is the first time I have dipped my toes back in, but I am getting some serious ‘big fight feel’ moments emanating from this that I’m wondering if some massive revelations may come out of the final instalment. It really makes me wonder what GW/BL have planned going forward, especially as far as the Emperor of Mankind is concerned.

Roboute Guilliman’s character gets a lot more fleshing out in this offering and we see a side of him at times that we haven’t been shown before. The way Guy has handled the darker aspects of Guilliman is very compelling and is making me wish the next book was already in my hands. He also does wonderfully well at fleshing out Mortarion’s character, too. Not to mention a bit of history as to why the traitor Primarchs may have chosen the warp over the Imperium.

The novel literally has something for everyone but, in doing that, it always means it will have something that everyone dislikes. For instance, if you love titans going to war, you’ll really enjoy a certain part of the book. I find titans incredibly boring, so those parts were a massive chore for me.

One main problem I had was that the book started a little slow. It focuses way too much on lengthy chapters involving the priest that just don’t seem to deliver much pay-off. There was one character introduced near the start that I was quite fond of only to discover she didn’t really feature much at all. Hoping she gets more page time in the third book.

Even with my little drawbacks aside; I really feel this book was too powerful to score any lower than 5 out of 5. I have such high hopes for the third book and can only pray that it doesn’t fall short of what I hope it will be.



9 thoughts on “Plague War by Guy Haley (Dark Imperium #2) – A Book Review

  1. I’m currently deep in the Horus Heresy books now (have almost finished book 29 so am over halfway there😊 I have this book in my collection and after reading this I’m very much looking forward to starting in it (well…after I finish the Horus Heresy that is…only 25 more books to go😅😅). Great post! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, you are correct. That one is about the Alpha Marines 😊 I’m almost done with Vengeful Spirit. That one was slightly disappointing. A novel I expected more from. Not a bad read, but certainly could have been much better.
        Warhammer 40K is always cool. If you haven’t already I also highly recommend the Sisters of Battle omnibus and the Nightlords omnibus. Both were terrific reads 😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

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