As with all the Heresy books if you are a fan; the subject matter sells itself. This instalment starts well introducing more of the Emperors Children and digging deeper into their ethos of perfection and thus their terrible flaw.
However I found as the book went on, the writing became frantic and rushed; it's narrative bloated and excessive. It was almost as if McNeill, in writing about the 'Children', was being tainted by them; there is a sense of arrogance in his writing here. I read another review which said and I quote 'McNeill if only you were as good as you think you are.' That's more than a little unkind, but not without basis in this instance.
The author layers on overused descriptive passages to cover an apparent lack of original thought and crams so much of it into the final chapters as to make you wade through it in search of the end of the book. I also got the feeling he may have taken some personal offence at not getting to write Galaxy in Flames and took it upon himself to insert his version of the Isstvan campaign in at the end. As I was reading this as a bridge between False Gods and Flames, it kind of spoiled the plot for Flames.
All in all its an 'ok' addition to the series, but McNeill, like his chosen subject, succumbs to mad excess and destroys his art.