Warhammer 40K Books Where to Start

Warhammer 40K Books: Where to Start

Warhammer 40,000, or Warhammer 40K, is a popular tabletop miniature wargame set in a dystopian future. This rich and expansive universe has captivated fans for decades, and its lore has been expanded through various mediums, including books. With so many novels available, it can be daunting for newcomers to find a starting point. In this article, we will explore the best entry points into the world of Warhammer 40K books and answer some frequently asked questions.

Where to Begin: The Horus Heresy

If you’re new to the Warhammer 40K universe, a great starting point is the Horus Heresy series. This epic story serves as a prequel to the events of Warhammer 40K and delves into the origins of the Imperium of Man, the Space Marines, and the Chaos Space Marines. The series consists of over fifty novels, making it a perfect starting point for those looking to immerse themselves in the lore.

The first book in the Horus Heresy series, “Horus Rising” by Dan Abnett, sets the stage for the entire saga. It introduces the main characters, including the Primarchs, genetically enhanced superhuman beings who lead the Space Marine Legions. From there, the series takes readers on a journey through the galaxy, exploring the political intrigue and battles that led to the betrayal of Horus, the Warmaster of the Imperium.

Other Entry Points

If the vastness of the Horus Heresy series seems a bit overwhelming, there are other entry points to consider. Many standalone novels and series within the Warhammer 40K universe offer self-contained stories that can be enjoyed without prior knowledge of the lore.

One such series is the Eisenhorn trilogy by Dan Abnett. Set in the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, it follows the adventures of Inquisitor Gregor Eisenhorn as he battles heresy and corruption within the Imperium. This series provides a great introduction to the darker aspects of the Warhammer 40K universe and showcases the moral dilemmas faced by those tasked with defending humanity.

Another recommended starting point is the Gaunt’s Ghosts series by Dan Abnett. This series follows the Tanith First and Only, a regiment of Imperial Guard soldiers, as they fight in various campaigns across the galaxy. It offers a gritty and realistic portrayal of the horrors of war in the 41st millennium and provides a different perspective from the Space Marines.


Q: Do I need to have played the tabletop game to enjoy the Warhammer 40K books?

A: Not at all! While familiarity with the tabletop game can enhance your understanding and appreciation of the lore, the books are written in a way that allows newcomers to easily dive into the universe without any prior gaming experience.

Q: Are the Warhammer 40K books suitable for younger readers?

A: The Warhammer 40K universe is known for its dark and violent themes, so the books are generally geared towards older readers. However, there are some young adult novels available that provide a more accessible entry point for younger readers.

Q: Are the Warhammer 40K books interconnected?

A: Yes, the various series and standalone novels within the Warhammer 40K universe are interconnected, often referencing events and characters from other books. However, most novels can be enjoyed on their own, as authors provide enough context to understand the story.

Q: Can I start with any book or series?

A: While you can technically start with any book or series, some knowledge of the overall lore will enhance your reading experience. Starting with the Horus Heresy series or one of the recommended entry points mentioned earlier will provide a solid foundation for understanding the universe.

In conclusion, Warhammer 40K books offer an immersive and expansive journey into a dystopian future. Whether you choose to start with the Horus Heresy series or one of the standalone novels, there are plenty of entry points to suit your interests. So grab a book, dive into the grim darkness of the 41st millennium, and prepare for epic battles and tales of heroism in a universe where there is only war.

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