Apologies for getting Day 4 of my seasonal blog post late, it took me some time to edit this post right before deadline schedule!
After four months of reading The Founding Omnibus for the Gaunts Ghost series, I felt like I’d achieved not only that I had read three books in a short space of time (very rare of me to do that). Ive also learned a lot more about the Warhammer 40k universe even more through the eyes of mortal characters. Dan Abnett is truly a master at writing very engaging and unique characters and stories that are relatable.
I’ve decided that I wanted to do my own top ten books I’d recommend reading for new and old readers. I’m a bookworm by heart, reading is one of my many hobbies in my past time.
My rules for picking this list goes like this:
- Only one author per slot and only one book that they’ve written, if it’s in a anthology, I’ll mention where the book.
- Can’t be multiple books/ series in one slot, for example, Gaunts Ghosts, Horus Heresy, The Beast Arises and etc. Only one title in the series can be chosen.
- Must be books I’ve read and finished.
So with the rules set, I’ll now reveal my chosen top ten Black Library books I’d recommend. Enjoy!
10) Space Marine Battles: Slaughter at Giants Coffin, by L.J Goulding
My first pick is this novella story by L.J Goulding, featuring the near decimated chapter of the Scythes of the Emperor. This story is very action packed with one of the best Space marine vs Tyranids I’ve read so far. Following the fall of their home world of Sotha, the Scythes of the Emperor arrive on a Death world, where they prepare to rebuild their numbers after narrowly surviving the clutches of Hive Kraken.
This story is a sad tale of loss to he eyes of the space marines, what it truly means to be a space marine during times of darkness.
If your interested in reading more action packed stories with Tyranids involved, this book is certainly one to read.
9) The Dance of the Skulls, By David Annandale
A short Age of Sigmar story about Neferata and her ways of politics, this story focuses more on character motivation and discovering how the undead aristocracy functions. It’s an interesting insight into the lives of the living and dead celebrating and dine in the realm of death.
This short story is a great read if your keen to know more about the Soul Blight vampires, as well as the Neferatas personality and actions when dealing with obstacles from rival houses.
8) The Emperors Architect, by Guy Haley
One of my favourite traitor Primarchs got his own pre Heresy books a few years ago as part of the Primarchs Horus Heresy book series. Then about year ago or so, a short story Written by Guy Haley about Perturabo was included in the Sons of the Emperor Anthology.
It adds onto the early years of Perturabo and how the people of Olympia view him as either a monster or a saviour. Personally, this short story was by far the best one out of all of the stories in the anthology, as it added more mythos to character that isn’t widely known.
The Emperors Architect is a fascinating story about Olympia after Perturabo reunited with his father, the world now in imperial compliance. I’d recommend this book to anyone who wants to see what life was like during the Great Crusade.
7) Time of Legends: Malekith (part of The Sundering trilogy series), by Gav Thorpe
My first Black Library book was Time of Legends: Malekith, The Sundering Trilogy. This book got me started in the world of Warhammer and it’s fictional setting, a tale that grips me still to this day.
It’s a tragic story that not only shows what Malekith was like before he was corrupted, but it also showed the Warhammer World before the time of men.
I recommend reading the whole trilogy if your keen to learn more about the Durchii’s past, and what started the whole elven civil war.
6) The Labyrinth, by Peter
Need a horror story to read that’s not Genestealers? Well, The Labyrinth reads like an unfolding nightmare as it plunged one Sons of Malice marine into a nightmarish battle for survival.
I really liked the flow of this story as it unravels mysteries about the horrors that the Sons of Malice will face, the end twist is jaw dropping! I can’t spoil the story here, but I’d recommend reading it if your into horror/ Sci Fi Horror.
5) Fifteen Hours, by Mitchel Scanlon
This book to me feels very much like a Sci Fi story that is inspired by WWI, a young adult at a very young age joins the army to fight a war far away from his home. If I could describe this book in one word, it would be “tragic”. You see the Imperium not as a glorious force like the propaganda would have you believe, but instead a disorganised power that is slowly crumbling away.
Take my advice when reading this book, skip the first chapter and read on, and stop before the last chapter and read the first one. Trust me, it’ll make the story worth reading without spoilers, as it ruins the story by revealing too early the main protagonists fate.
4) The Horus Heresy- Vengeful Spirit, by Graham McNeill
I have many favourite books from the Horus Heresy series which I can’t include them all here, but I picked my personal favourite which is Vengeful Spirit. Drawing story lines from many books (by the same author and others) into a plot that would be epic in scale and drama that unfold.
Want full on Astarte action? Imperial knights? Titans? Lore? Mystery? Well this book has it all, as the battle of Molech sees the Sons of Horus take on the loyalist in a full on warfare.
3) The End Times: Return of Nagash by Josh Reynolds
It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include the End Times onto my top ten list, even if I haven’t read many books from the series. This book is arguably my favourite so far, with unexpected deaths, more deaths and probably my favourite team up of Arkhan the Black and Mannfred Von Carstein.
It’s sad that the End Times (supplement gaming books) didn’t do well with the community, with only five books that hardly covered every faction and story plots. However, BL did the best it could to make the End Times enjoyable to read, with Josh Reynolds writing a the rise of Nagash.
Interestingly enough, Josh Reynolds had the opportunity to return to writing the undead in several AoS stories including the Realmgate Wars, Soul Wars and short stories.
2) Into the Malestom (part of the anthology book by the same name), by Chris Pramas
Now you may be wondering why I’ve picked this short story for second place. It’s a story that not only shows what Warhammer 40k is like in the grim darkness of the far future, but also how loyalty means nothing in a galaxy that neither cares nor remembers your sacrifices.
A lone Astarte named Sartak returns to his chapter after years of absence, that chapter is none other than the Red Corsairs. With a White Scar marine in on the plan, they attempt to take down Huron Blackheart!
Sartak considers himself to still be an Astral Claw, disowning his legions new identity. But his loyalty is tested as gradually the story takes a turn for the worse. The ending (which I won’t spoil) has got to be one of favourite endings where it really sticks with the theme of Warhammer 40k.
1) Necropolis, A Gaunts Ghost novel, by Dan Abnett
You’ll have already gussed I would put a Gaunts Ghost novel as my number one recommended book. I’ve chosen Necropolis as my chosen book due to it’s sheer gripping rollercoaster ride of a story of Hive city siege warfare, as Gaunt and his ghosts most defend a city against a vast chaos military might.
Dan not only writes characters that we already get aquatinted with in previous books, but also adds new characters that are funny, tragic, strong, intelligent and some being complete aresholes.
If your into grand scale siege warfare and want to see what Hive society is like when war hits home, I’d recommend reading this book!
With that, my top ten book recommendation is done! I hope you have enjoyed this post and maybe interested reading a sample or two of the books I’ve mentioned. I haven’t read every single BL book and popular books, so I’m still reading so many books!
I’ll be back again today with day 5 of 12 days of Winter. See you soon!