"The truth lies within"

—Book's tag-line

The Outcast Dead is the seventeenth volume in the Horus Heresy series of novels.


This is the first story in the series to take place entirely on Terra. It covers a relatively short period, from shortly before the Drop Site Massacre at Istvaan V (Book 5), to shortly after Primarch Magnus's catastrophic psychic visit to the Imperial Palace (Book 12), an event that is central to the tale. The main character is Kai Zulane, previously a gifted Astropath attached to the Ultramarines Voidship Argo. He unwittingly becomes the keeper of a secret -- how the Horus Heresy will end -- that could decide the victor in the developing galactic civil war. The Outcast Dead are a small, disparate group of Space Marines drawn from several different Legions who are suspected to be Traitors, with whom Zulane falls in during the second half of the story. In the end, the secret kept by Zulane is revealed to the one person it is actually intended for, which provides one explanation for the post-Heresy scientific and cultural stagnation of the Imperium of Man.


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