[Top 10] Best Warhammer Books to Start With

Best Warhammer Books
A Black Templar continues his crusade

10. Ultramarines 

An Ultramarine fires his bolter point blink into the face of a Chaos Space Marine.

The Ultramarines are the poster boys for Space Marines in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. They’re the most familiar Space Marine faction and considered to be boring by many, but Graham Mcneill does a great job with the Ultramarine books by covering the exploits of Captain Uriel Ventris, who questions the bureaucratic ways that have stagnated the Imperium. Ultramarines are great novels to introduce you to one area of the 40k universe.

9. The Beast Arises 

Orks blaze across a desert in their shoddy machine in a Mad Max-like scene of chaos.

The Beast Arises is a Warhammer 40k series taking place in the year 31,000 covering humanity’s efforts to stave off the savage and brutal Orks. The Orks have parked an assault moon near Terra. The Imperium’s depleted military forces, plagued by in-fighting, must deal with this Ork invasion while simultaneously confronting threats from within.

8. Gaunt Ghosts

Imperial Guardsmen assault a shrine to the Chaos Gods.

Gaunt Ghosts assumes the perspective of humble Imperial Guardsmen, equipped with las rifles and forced to face off against the great horrors of the universe. Weak Humans must face off against terrifying foes like the perverse Dark Eldar, Vicious Orks, Merciless Tyranids, and terrifyingly unpredictable Chaos Space Marines.

7. Space Wolves

A Space Wolf tracks his prey across a snowy tundra.

In Space Wolves, the reader develops an understanding that the Space Wolves, despite their savage appearances, are a complex society of noble savages capable of displaying both brutal combat prowess and depth of character. Space Wolves is a great way to introduce you to just how different the Space Marine chapters are from one another.

6. Eisenhorn

Inquisitor Eisenhorn brandishes his pistol.

Eisenhorn is a series full of action and intrigue that covers the dark political machinations of the Imperium of Man. It follows the exploits of the inquisitor Eisenhorn and is a refreshing break from the usual theme of demigods pitted against gods in the universe of Warhammer 40,000.

5. Night Lords

Conrad Kurze flexes his bloody claws and grits his teeth.

Night Lords is universally accepted as one of the best series in Warhammer 40,000 covering Chaos. The Nightlords are one of the most despicable traitor legions, being sadists who delight in torturing and terrorizing their foes. It’s interesting and exciting to experience the perspective of characters like Apothecary Talos and their warped sense of honor.

4. The Horus Heresy

The former Lunar Wolves assault a fortress with their mighty weapons.

The Horus Heresy is probably the most iconic series of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. If there is any series you want to read, it is this one. Set in the year 30,000, the Horus Heresy series details the fracturing of relations between brother Primarchs and their legions and the downfall of the Emperor of Man to his modern state of being a stagnant corpse-king.

3. Ciaphas Cain

Ciaphas Cain poses with a cocky smile.

Ciaphus Cain is a wonderfully refreshing series, mixing notes of dark comedy with the usual grimdark mood of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It follows the exploits of a cowardly Commissar of the Imperium who, mostly by chance, is revered as a hero among his comrades. This series charms you with its bits of comedic relief while captivating you with the uncanny luck of Ciaphas Cain so that you can’t help but laugh even during the tensest of moments.

2. Betrayer

World Eaters attempt to gore an Ultramarine force with their chain axes.

Betrayer is the 24th entry in the Horus Heresy series. It’s a story of loss, anger and betrayal. This novel expands the backstory of the traitor World Eaters legion, and their very angry Primarch, Angron. Aaron Demski-Bowden does a remarkable job of adding flavor and depth to this brutally violent novel.

1. Legion


An Alpha Legonaire brandishes his psychic might, stave in hand.

Legion is another novel from the extensive Horus Heresy series. It focuses on the Space Marines of the secretive and mysterious Alpha Legion. Told from the perspective of ordinary humans, this novel details how the Alpha legion came to be considered traitors to the Imperium of Man. This Sci-fi Thriller is packed with secrets, lies, and twists, you could compare it to a spy novel like those of the James Bond series. 

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Hailing from the far-east Cape of Cods, I've spent my life traveling between fantastic worlds, observing villains, heroes, tragedy and triumph. Now I find myself here, eager to recount my stories.
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