Top 6 Best Warhammer 40K Books You Need in 2021

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It can be quite intimidating to find the best Warhammer 40K book to read. Perhaps there never is just one good Warhammer 40K book to read as a new reader. There are plenty and that’s so exciting!

There’s Yarrick: The Omnibus by David Annandale which is the perfect example of the best Warhammer 40K books. It holds a special place in every 40K enthusiasts’ heart. Trust me; you won’t feel left out or confused with regards to the 40K universe.

Below, you’ll find the best of the best Warhammer 40K books to read. Based on character arcs, plot designs, and the overall architecture of the 40K universe. This is the ultimate list for good Warhammer 40K books. It simplifies everything for you.

See also:

  1. Top 6 Best D&D Novels to Read

Quick Summary

BEST FOR NEW READERS
Yarrick: The Omnibus
BEST FOR HISTORY AND STORY ARC
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus
BEST FOR WARHAMMER 40K ENTHUSIASTS
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
BEST FOR ACTION AND FANTASY ELEMENTS
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One
BEST FOR SCIENCE AND MYSTERY
Winter World
BEST FOR ADVENTURE AND SUSPENSE ELEMENTS
Ravenor: The Omnibus
Yarrick: The Omnibus
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook (Warhammer 40,000)
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One (Warhammer 40,000)
Winter World (The Long Winter)
Ravenor: The Omnibus: The Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$76.40
$29.28
Price not available
$21.12
$10.99
$29.52
-
-
-
-
-
BEST FOR NEW READERS
Yarrick: The Omnibus
Yarrick: The Omnibus
$76.40
-
BEST FOR HISTORY AND STORY ARC
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$29.28
-
BEST FOR WARHAMMER 40K ENTHUSIASTS
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook (Warhammer 40,000)
Price not available
-
BEST FOR ACTION AND FANTASY ELEMENTS
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One (Warhammer 40,000)
$21.12
-
BEST FOR SCIENCE AND MYSTERY
Winter World
Winter World (The Long Winter)
$10.99
BEST FOR ADVENTURE AND SUSPENSE ELEMENTS
Ravenor: The Omnibus
Ravenor: The Omnibus: The Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$29.52
-

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

BEST FOR NEW READERS
Yarrick: The Omnibus
BEST FOR HISTORY AND STORY ARC
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus
BEST FOR WARHAMMER 40K ENTHUSIASTS
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
BEST FOR ACTION AND FANTASY ELEMENTS
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One
BEST FOR SCIENCE AND MYSTERY
Winter World
BEST FOR ADVENTURE AND SUSPENSE ELEMENTS
Ravenor: The Omnibus
Yarrick: The Omnibus
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook (Warhammer 40,000)
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One (Warhammer 40,000)
Winter World (The Long Winter)
Ravenor: The Omnibus: The Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$76.40
$29.28
Price not available
$21.12
$10.99
$29.52
-
-
-
-
-
BEST FOR NEW READERS
Yarrick: The Omnibus
Yarrick: The Omnibus
$76.40
-
BEST FOR HISTORY AND STORY ARC
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus
Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$29.28
-
BEST FOR WARHAMMER 40K ENTHUSIASTS
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook
The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook (Warhammer 40,000)
Price not available
-
BEST FOR ACTION AND FANTASY ELEMENTS
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One
The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One (Warhammer 40,000)
$21.12
-
BEST FOR SCIENCE AND MYSTERY
Winter World
Winter World (The Long Winter)
$10.99
BEST FOR ADVENTURE AND SUSPENSE ELEMENTS
Ravenor: The Omnibus
Ravenor: The Omnibus: The Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
$29.52
-

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Top 6 Best Warhammer 40K Books to Buy Right Away

#1, Yarrick: The Omnibus by David Annandale – Best for new readers

Yarrick: The Omnibus
  • Annandale, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 816 Pages - 06/26/2018 (Publication Date) - Games Workshop (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re new to the world of Warhammer 40K books, then you need something that is great for starters. The 40K universe is vast and diverse. And this book will get you acquainted with everything that you need to know about it.

This is an interesting collection of stories. Highlighting Yarrick, as a legend, who is the hero of the stories. His character development and the visually-appealing excursions make the book unique and powerful in its narration.

If you’ve ever been curious about the war for Armageddon, then this book is for you. In some ways, it’s also a biography written from Yarrick’s point of view. The book is structured well. It’s engaging and readable from cover to cover. And what’s really astonishing about how well it’s written is that for a newbie, you can read about the evolution of Yarrick through various conquests.

David Annandale does a great job of detailing the charismatic nature of Yarrick. There’s never a dragging or dull moment in the book. It’s crisp, clever, and incredibly detailed through and through. That is why I think that this is one of the best entry-level Warhammer 40K books.

What I Like
  • Easy writing style.
  • Descriptive characters and conflicts.
  • Ideal short stories collection for beginners.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Some of the stories are not as action-packed.
  • The book ends abruptly and half-finished.

#2, Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus by James Swallow – Best for history and story arc

Blood Angels – The Complete Rafen Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
  • Swallow, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 960 Pages - 01/22/2019 (Publication Date) - Games Workshop (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re a hardcore Warhammer 40K enthusiast or someone who’s still new to the world. Blood Angels by James Swallow is for you. This is a special edition that includes all of the prominent Blood Angels novels. To top it all, it also includes some bonus short stories.

If I were you, I would buy this Warhammer 40K book for that reason alone. But if you need a little more convincing, this review will definitely help. Being a compilation of sorts, it includes major novels and short stories. Offering you a complete tableau of Sergeant Rafen’s gripping story.

The stories occur at a time that’s quite historical in the history of the Blood Angels. When you read about Rafen and all his conquests while also imagining his character evolve and rekindle. It’s an irresistible read for newbies and fanatics alike.

The way James Swallow shapes up the character and narrative are also worth noting. The story arc is quite enjoyable and gripping. The entire collection will not only keep you occupied for more than a month. But it’s so hard to put down that you’ll probably finish it sooner than you think.

This book has everything; action, adventure, character development, politics, and most importantly, ambition. Simply said, this is the ultimate Warhammer 40K book you should read.

What I Like
  • Easy writing style.
  • Descriptive characters and conflicts.
  • Ideal short stories collection for beginners.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Some of the stories are not as action-packed.
  • The book ends abruptly and half-finished.

#3, The Imperial Infantryman’s Handbook by Graham McNeil – Best for Warhammer 40K enthusiasts

The Imperial Infantryman's Handbook (Warhammer 40,000)
  • McNeill, Graham (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 09/29/2020 (Publication Date) - Games Workshop (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The best kind of Warhammer 40K books are those that offer a touch of realism. And The Imperial Infantryman’s Handbook is one of the best Warhammer 40K books. Every reader has a sweet spot. And this book really hits you in that phantasmagorical sweet spot!

Truth be told, this is a serious and intense book. It’s not for the faint-hearted. You will read cover to cover for the impressively intelligent writing alone. Guardsman or Warhammer fanatic? This book is for you.

Think of it like a “handbook” which is exactly how this book is written. It’s structured to the bone. If you want a deep dive into the workings of the Imperial Guard. There’s no better book on any shelf than this one. It’s immersive to a whole new degree.

Graham McNeil’s writing allows you to become an Imperial Guard. And he’ll instruct you in the ways of one. I bet that once you’re done reading the book, you’ll find reality a bit more boring and dull. Because that’s what every Warhammer fanatic needs, right? A great book to immerse yourself in and step out of reality for a change.

What I Like
  • Plenty of litanies, tactics, and benedictions of the Imperial Guard.
  • The ideal book for a die-hard Imperial Guardsman fan.
  • Solid, sturdy, and convenient.
What I Didn’t Like
  • The writing is a bit difficult to read (for a beginner).
  • The narration may feel a bit dragging or dull.

#4, The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One by Graham McNeil – Best for action and fantasy elements

The Uriel Ventris Chronicles: Volume One (Warhammer 40,000)
  • McNeill, Graham (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 960 Pages - 01/08/2019 (Publication Date) - Games Workshop (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Who doesn’t love a trilogy? The Uriel Ventris Chronicles captures legend and Space Marines all in one. This is the most intriguing of Warhammer 40K books to buy right now. But it isn’t anything new. It’s legendary precisely because it’s one of the oldest Space Marine stories.

Graham McNeil writes masterfully about the gory and brutality of the enemies of mankind. It’s a compilation of Nightbringer, Warriors of Ultramar, Dead Sky, Black Sun, and much more. A true Ultramarine at heart will cherish this book forever. It’s a timeless and popular omnibus.

In the entire universe of Warhammer 40K stories, you will find the Space Marines and everyone else. So a book that highlights the lives of such legendary characters is worth keeping. The writing, narration, and plot design all make these genetically-modified super soldiers a delight to read about. And the best part of it all is that you wouldn’t want to stop.

The tone of the book is crisp and inviting. Since this is the first volume, it offers an intense and hefty tone. Each book in the collection has a unique voice and setting. So it features a splash of diverse characters and excellent detailing and development.

What I Like
  • Great action scenes, dialogue, and settings.
  • Accurate descriptions, vivid imagery.
  • Great starting book for Warhammer 40K universe.
What I Didn’t Like
  • You might need a reference book alongside this one.
  • Not the most insightful of Warhammer 40K books.

#5, Winter World (The Long Winter) by A. G. Riddle – Best for science and mystery

Winter World (The Long Winter)
  • Riddle, A.G. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 470 Pages - 06/09/2019 (Publication Date) - Legion Books (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For entertaining Warhmanner 40K classics, the Winter World by A. G. Riddle is a good choice. It’s a compelling thriller, post-apocalyptic, and sci-fi fantasy trilogy. You start reading a book like this for its imaginative elements. But you continue reading because of the impressive scientific setup.

You have two characters trying to save the Earth from extinction. There’s everything in this story that can possibly elevate the plot’s narrative. I said it once and I’ll say it again – it’s imaginative and a thrilling ride. Perhaps a good starting trilogy for someone who hasn’t read any of Riddle’s books.

The story cuts through many genres, moods, and settings. The point of view switches from the first person between the two characters. Engaging subplots and the dialogue is crisp and readable.

There are many aspects of the novel that might seem vague or even inconclusive. But that’s part of the fun when reading a thriller trilogy. You may not get all the answers for what’s happening all the way. But what Riddle’s writing does is he allows the reader to imagine the dark gaps of the story.

What I Like
  • Quick and fun to read.
  • Well-researched and entertaining.
  • A great blend of science and drama.
What I Didn’t Like
  • Not the best of Riddle’s books.
  • No distinction between the main characters.
  • Scientific logic is not always accurate.

#6, Ravenor: The Omnibus by Dan Abnett – Best for adventure and suspense elements

Ravenor: The Omnibus: The Omnibus (Warhammer 40,000)
  • Abnett, Dan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 880 Pages - 07/23/2019 (Publication Date) - Games Workshop (Publisher)

Last update on 2021-12-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for some page-turning reading time, go for the Ravenor: The Omnibus. This is a truly unstoppable and engaging book. It has everything that makes Warhammer 40K books famous. Detailed character descriptions, mouth-watering action sequences, and clever plots.

The Ravenor is one of those books that will evoke an emotion out of you. And if there’s one thing you should know about good Warhammer 40K books is that not every book can do that. The central characters in this pick are tempting and realistic. And contrary to the previous pick, each character follows a distinct arc.

What really makes this a must-have pick for every reader is the final act. I won’t spoil anything for you. But I’ll just say that it is probably one of the most satisfying final acts I’ve read. And Dan Abnett writes so descriptively and vividly. It’s immersive without being dull or dragging.

The 40K universe is sketched to perfection. And there’s even an introduction by the author which makes the reader more aware of the story’s progression. So you can really get to the heart of the story rather than passively read about a war-torn future.

What I Like
  • Detailed investigations and gripping story.
  • Various character arcs with a deeper meaning.
  • Complex, inviting, and thoroughly-researched.
What I Didn’t Like
  • The second and third act is a slow read.
  • Includes some vague and overblown sequences.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are Warhammer 40K books?

The Warhammer 40,000 universe is dipped into the genres of science-fiction and fantasy. Where the timeline is set into the future and strewn with heroes, villains, and aliens. And at a time when human civilization is on the brink of extinction, supernatural domination, and other magical but hostile threats.
For a new reader of Warhammer 40K, you’ve read nothing like this before. Warhammer character arcs and plots are adapted into films, video games, and tabletop games. But it’s most famous for its UK miniature wargame at Games Workshop. There are hundreds of editions of the Warhammer 40K universe and benedictions, litanies, and rulebooks.
So to read the best Warhammer 40K books, you’re entering a world of warriors, supernatural monsters, magical powers, and epic tales.

Where to begin with Warhammer 40K books?

If you’ve never read a Warhammer 40K book before and you’re curious to know about it. Then you only have to look at the timeline to understand the 40K universe. As the name itself suggests, this is the 41st millennium.
You have different emperors, guardians, and masters sitting on the Golden Throne of the Earth. Starting from the Imperium of Man to the Space Marines, Adeptus Mechanics, Chaos, etc.
For some people, understanding the timeline itself can be intimidating. But that is where you will be able to find your true calling. To follow the correct timeless of the 40K universe is to read the Warhammer 40K the way it is supposed to be read.
Since there are plenty of stories already to fall back on in the Black Library’s catalog. Here’s where you need to start. Just a few words and you’ll finally get your answer:
Ravenor’s Omnibus by Dan Abnett
This is the ultimate place to start. And it is the best of the best. Dan Abnett’s books satisfy the hardcore Warhammer 40K fanatic. And so for a new reader, it sets the perfect tone. You won’t remember a time when you didn’t read a Warhammer 40K book once you begin. Because these books are just so immersive and mind-bending!

Who are the most powerful Warhammer 40K characters?

If you want to read about some of the strongest and baddest characters in the Warhammer 40K universe, then you should read these.
Ibram Gaunt is the seriously powerful leader of the Tanith First. The Tanith First is a legion of guardsmen. And Gaunt fights to protect their new world with the help of a sword that slices through literally anything – even a military tank!
Eisenhorn is another famously powerful character. He’s insane, radical, and a religious zealot. Chasing the daemon of chaos and master of heretical methods. Trust me; if you want to start reading about Warhammer 40K books, Eisdenhorn will get you obsessed with it in no time!
Other powerful Warhammer 40K characters like Angel Sanguinius, Kharn the Betrayer, and Eldrad Ulthran. These names come to mind as being the most loved and read about Warhammer characters. So if you want to start by reading character to character, nothing is better than these.

Conclusion

This list is no particular order of preference. Each and every Warhammer 40K is unique and interesting. The fact that you have so many options to pick from means you can find the one that suits your tastes the most.

The stories of the Warhammer 40K universe pushes your mind deeper into imagination and fantasy. And that is a satisfying place to be. You’ll find yourself wielding futuristic weaponry, training to be a Guardian, or defending a city from invading orks.

You can’t go wrong with the Warhammer 40K world to keep your mind engaged and satisfied. Much in the same way, you can’t go wrong with this list for the best of the best books for the Warhammer 40K universe.

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