With the release of the Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine and Ultramarines: Warhammer 40,000 movie I thought I would be a good idea to give my readers an introduction to the novels of the 40K universe.
Warhammer 40K novels have a reputation of being too obscure or inaccessible, there is such a rich and vast back-story (spanning well over 10,000 years) from the start of the Horus Heresy, which is on the New York bestseller list to Cain’s Last Stand that is set towards the end of the 41-century. It can be hard to know where to start.
Ciaphas Cain’s novels are a great place to start.
The Chronicles of Ciaphas Cain tells the story of The Hero of The Imperium and is trusty aid Jorgen and their illustrious career battling the Emperor’s enemies, or at least Jurgen does the fighting, Cain cowers behind cover and drinks a lot of tea, a true hero.
Sandy Mitchell the author of the Ciaphas Cain novels has help make Warhammer 40,000 accessible. The roguish Anti-hero, he created in Ciaphas Cain the Hero of the Imperium has proved that Warhammer 40k can be exciting, compelling and above all amusing.
Mitchell has written seven Ciaphas Cain Novels to date, as well as several other short stories some featuring Cain while others don’t. It is his Cain novels that have made him a fan favorite and also marked his work as a very compelling and readable introduction to the Warhammer 40k universe.
Mitchell has proved that it is possible to write a funny and thrilling 40k novel; in fact he has done so several times. So if you want to start reading Warhammer 40K then given Cain a go, you can buy the first three novels in the Hero of the Imperium omnibus.
His writing style is amusing, and idiosyncratic and yet while he may not write in the most direct way, his style complements Cain’s character. The novels, set in 1st person, recount Cain’s commission as a Commissar (discipline and political officer) in the Imperial Guard. They are told in a style much like an old veteran who wishes to set the record straight. Mitchell tells Cain’s story, he uses his rambling style to create a sense of sympathy between the reader and Cain, no easy feat considering Cain’s loose morals.