Once again I'm going to come out of this brief review reeking of 'Danboyism' but the truth is that Dan Abnett is one of the best writers I have had the pleasure of reading works by for some time. I started a bit off track with Legion and then straight into Rising and as with Legion I just couldn't put it down. The detail and depth of the main players and the settings around them are fantastic.
Abnett uses words like paints on a canvas, the images he conjures are so clear; the book aptly captures the heady glories of this Renaissance period of the Imperium and gives a sense of the driving forces behind it. Warfare, science, art and of course religion all intrinsically linked and yet each creating friction with the others and causing cracks to appear in the Emperors master plan.
The potrayal of the Demigod like Primarchs and their superhuman 'sons' the Astartes as having very human qualities that are both a blessing and a curse, reminds me of the legends of ancient Greece; the development of their characters and the relationship with the 'normal' humans around them is very central to the tale and makes for riveting reading.
Oh and the book opens with the kind of twist that a Director such as Christopher Nolan would be proud of and has heaps of bolter banging action as any reader of a Warhammer 40k novel would expect.
Having been following the tales of the Heresy since it's first inclusion into 40K; what was once a simple tale of betrayal is shaping up to be a tragedy of epic proportions.