Additional References

The following contains links to useful sources from all across the internet regarding the worlds of Warhammer 40,000 and the Horus Heresy


There are two main text-based sources for 40k lore on the internet: Lexicanum and Fandom’s Warhammer 40k Wiki.

Lexicanum is more thorough with sources and reads more like your classic Wikipedia article, but can read a bit dry sometimes. It’s still my go-to source whenever I want to look anything up that’s related to Warhammer 40,000.

The Warhammer 40k Wiki looks more lively and reads more engaging than Lexicanum, but isn’t as clear in the sourcing for its content. For example, it doesn’t specify sources for individual lines of information, it just summarizes all the sources for a given article at its bottom.

Both wikis are great ways to have a look throughout the worlds of Warhammer. Just go on a bender and click yourself through various articles. Just keep in mind that these are still second hand sources assembled by fans, so take them with a grain of salt. 40k lore also changes over time, and sometimes different official Games Workshop publications will give conflicting accounts of the same event or character.


There are dozens of places on the internet where people talk about their experiences with books. Goodreads and Amazon reviews come to mind. There are also a few review sites that are more or less dedicated to 40k literature. There’s also reddit, specifically r/40kLore, or dedicated 40k forums like The Bolter and Chainsword, on which 40k-fans from all across the world come together to talk about the hobby, the lore and the stories of Warhammer 40,000.

A note on dealing with reviews: Going by reviews always has the danger of putting someone else’s opinion over one’s own. Take them with a heavy grain of salt, especially about 40k literature, and especially from reddit or forums (people can be…salty on the internet).

From my own experience: Sometimes reviews are spot-on and wonderfully articulated mirrors to my own experience, but there are also plenty of books, especially from the Heresy, that got lacking or outright scathing reviews which I really enjoyed and there are fan-favourites with which I just didn’t have a good time or that I plain disliked. It all depends on personal taste and what you look for in a story. That’s why I refrained from picking and choosing stories to go into the reading order based on my own preferences or evaluation of which stories are “good” or “bad”, because I wouldn’t want to ostracise a story or an author just because I didn’t get along with them. Each to their own.

My advice would be to find a place or a reviewer that seems to share your taste in what you like in a story and use that as a first hint as to what books to look more closely into.

To give at least one recommendation, I can personally recommend is Track of Words (ToW for short). Michael, the London-based author behind Track of Words, has reviewed almost every Heresy novel, novella and even short story there is and regularly writes articles on the subject. What I like about the reviews of ToW especially is that they are more interested in looking at the qualities of a story rather than seeking out the negatives (which doesn’t mean that they don’t look critically at stories, mind you). My recommendation of ToW is of course also dependent on the fact that I found out over time that my own and the author of ToW’s taste in literature overlap, which makes his reviews a good fit for me. That might not be true for you, so just look around yourself!

Track of Words also wrote an extensive article on good choices for beginner books from the worlds of Warhammer 40,000: Getting Started with Black Library

Videos Started Videos by Luetin09

Feel lost while reading the first book(s) of the Heresy? Want to get some background first before you start/continue reading? Then Luetin09 has just the video for you (and plenty more where that came from).

It is a quick and engaging primer or “Beginner’s Guide” as to what Warhammer 40.000 at its core is all about.

To dig deeper into the lore of 40k, specifically the Imperium of Man and the story running up to the Horus Heresy, I can also recommend the following video. It’s about an hour long and gives a concise and immersive overview of the history of mankind until the times of the Horus Heresy, specifically told alongside the story of the being that would become known as the Emperor of Mankind.

Part 2 at some point starts to cover the events of the Horus Heresy itself, so if you want to avoid spoilers for the novel series altogether, you might want to pause at that point.

Lore Videos by Oculus Imperia

Oculus Imperia is a YouTube channel that covers the width and breadth of the lore of Warhammer 40.000. The videos are narrated from the perspective of an in-universe historian who is piecing together the various histories and stories from historical archives and forbidden knowledge. Because of this, the videos are very immersive and characterful. They’re also, in my opinion, incredibly well written and really capture the spirit of classic 40k lore texts from the likes of Alan Merrett and Alan Bligh. Also, Oculus’ soothing voice seems to be born for just this kind of narration. Highly recommended.

Oculus Imperia has done various videos about the Heresy itself as well as the ages and stories that preceded it. So if you want to dig deep into the history of humanity, the Imperium and the Emperor prior to the story of the Horus Heresy novels, here are some recommendations. None of these spoil events from the Heresy itself, so you’re safe to approach them at your own leisure.

Note: You do not have to watch any of these to enjoy the Horus Heresy novels. They’re not homework. They’re just great ways to further dig into the lore, expand on events and ages that are only mentioned in passing in the novels as well as discovering the abundance of lore that exists beyond the Heresy series.

Oculus Imperia has also done videos on almost all of the Legiones Astartes, digging into their history across the Unification Wars and the Great Crusade and giving an overview of their character, tactics of warfare and evolution prior to the Heresy.

There’re are also various videos in a similar style about the other forces of the Heresy era that aren’t the Legiones Astartes:

Beside his abundance of videos about the Heresy, the 31st millenium and before, Oculus has also done various videos about the “current times” of Warhammer 40.000 (the 41st millenium) and the various conflicts, wars and revolutions that were fought in the 10.000 years in between.

If you want to get a feeling for the Imperium that will grow from the ashes of the Heresy, especially if you’re reading the Heresy novels without being overly familiar with Warhammer 40.000, I can recommend his video “The Nightmare Truth of the Imperium of Man” which is an impressive and altogether damning account of why the Imperium is rightfully called “the cruellest and most bloody regime imaginable”.

Another great video to get a taste of the grim darkness of the far future is A Pilgrimage to Holy Terra, which really hammers home the sheer scale and mind-boggling grandiosity of the Imperium of M41.

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