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Roboute Guilliman, the Battle King of Macragge, leads his Legion, the mighty Ultramarines, in conquest of the galaxy as part of his father's Great Crusade. Faced with an alien empire, all his dreams of a shining galaxy of peace threaten to fall into ruin... Long before the coming of the Imperium, the realm of Ultramar was ruled by Roboute Guilliman, the last Battle King of Roboute Guilliman, the Battle King of Macragge, leads his Legion, the mighty Ultramarines, in conquest of the galaxy as part of his father's Great Crusade. Faced with an alien empire, all his dreams of a shining galaxy of peace threaten to fall into ruin... Long before the coming of the Imperium, the realm of Ultramar was ruled by Roboute Guilliman, the last Battle King of Macragge. Even after learning of his true heritage as a primarch son of the Emperor of Mankind, he strove to expand his domain as efficiently and benevolently as possible, with the XIII Legion Ultramarines as his alone to command. Now, facing a rival empire on the ork-held world of Thoas, Guilliman must choose his weapons carefully – otherwise his dream of a brighter future could be lost forever. It's the start of a brand new series of 18 books focusing on the greatest of heroes, the primarchs themselves. This volume kicks it all off with a tale of Roboute Guilliman at the height of his powers, leading his legion into battle at the apex of the Great Crusade.


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Roboute Guilliman, the Battle King of Macragge, leads his Legion, the mighty Ultramarines, in conquest of the galaxy as part of his father's Great Crusade. Faced with an alien empire, all his dreams of a shining galaxy of peace threaten to fall into ruin... Long before the coming of the Imperium, the realm of Ultramar was ruled by Roboute Guilliman, the last Battle King of Roboute Guilliman, the Battle King of Macragge, leads his Legion, the mighty Ultramarines, in conquest of the galaxy as part of his father's Great Crusade. Faced with an alien empire, all his dreams of a shining galaxy of peace threaten to fall into ruin... Long before the coming of the Imperium, the realm of Ultramar was ruled by Roboute Guilliman, the last Battle King of Macragge. Even after learning of his true heritage as a primarch son of the Emperor of Mankind, he strove to expand his domain as efficiently and benevolently as possible, with the XIII Legion Ultramarines as his alone to command. Now, facing a rival empire on the ork-held world of Thoas, Guilliman must choose his weapons carefully – otherwise his dream of a brighter future could be lost forever. It's the start of a brand new series of 18 books focusing on the greatest of heroes, the primarchs themselves. This volume kicks it all off with a tale of Roboute Guilliman at the height of his powers, leading his legion into battle at the apex of the Great Crusade.

30 review for Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar

  1. 5 out of 5

    Gianfranco Mancini

    The armies raced towards each other. The brutish shrieking of the enemy became ecstatic as the orks caught sight of the Ultramarines. 'Someone should tell them they've lost their empire', Gage said. 'I doubt they even know what they had,' said Guilliman. The greenskins understood battle and the joy of pillage. He doubted their comprehension extended much beyond the frenzy of the moment. They were worthy foes if all one sought was the contest of strength. But they did not have true empires. They we The armies raced towards each other. The brutish shrieking of the enemy became ecstatic as the orks caught sight of the Ultramarines. 'Someone should tell them they've lost their empire', Gage said. 'I doubt they even know what they had,' said Guilliman. The greenskins understood battle and the joy of pillage. He doubted their comprehension extended much beyond the frenzy of the moment. They were worthy foes if all one sought was the contest of strength. But they did not have true empires. They were infestations that spread across worlds. The Ultramarines had quarantined this particular multi-system disease. Now they were going to wipe out the final infection. Vote:☆☆☆1/2 Not bad at all, but I was expecting from this book a story about Guilliman's past on Ultramar, his relationship with his adoptive father and his reunion with the Emperor, not another "Ultramarines smash puny Orks" tale like so many others. Besides that I liked very much the storyline, the Great Crusade setting, the interactions between characters and the insights about the 22nd Chapter's Destroyers. I'm just more fond of Annandale's space/horror themed stories like The Damnation of Pythos.

  2. 5 out of 5

    DarkChaplain

    Review also published here Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar is pretty much what I expected and wanted out of the Primarchs series. It offers a closer look on Guilliman, pre-Heresy, giving him time with his Legion before the events of Calth and Imperium Secundus - something that was sorely lacking up to this point. First off, the book is structured in a very neat way. Each of the nine chapters is presented with an interlude, taken from Roboute Guilliman's treatises and reflections on war Review also published here Roboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar is pretty much what I expected and wanted out of the Primarchs series. It offers a closer look on Guilliman, pre-Heresy, giving him time with his Legion before the events of Calth and Imperium Secundus - something that was sorely lacking up to this point. First off, the book is structured in a very neat way. Each of the nine chapters is presented with an interlude, taken from Roboute Guilliman's treatises and reflections on war, cultural upheaval and morale. These interludes put an interesting spin on their chapters, as Annandale attempts to explore these disparate themes in the ongoing storyline. In my eyes, he succeeded in making the Primarch's actions consistent and sensible, and fully in line with his belief system. Obviously, Roboute Guilliman is the star here. Unlike his pencil-pusher presence in the Horus Heresy series, with few actual personal engagements to speak of, here he kicks serious ork backside. He is a god of war, shown the way you'd expect a Primarch to act, slaughtering xenos and being a symbol to his Legion. If you've been bored of bean-counter Guilliman during the Imperium Secundus arc, this is for you. This doesn't mean that the book isn't full of introspection on Roboute's end, however. He reflects on history-changing events such as the humbling of Lorgar and the Word Bearers at Monarchia, and the need to show his Legion that they are not just destroyers, but also creators during the Great Crusade. That is a theme that goes through the whole book, putting the Ultramarines in a tough spot. The plot comes down to a simple premise: The Ultramarines are busy eradicating an ork empire around Ultramar, and on the brink of utter victory they come across an infested world which shows signs of human civilization. While no humans are still alive, Guilliman wants to preserve the remaining architecture and raise the world up as an example of human indurance and reincorporate their findings into the Imperium and resettle the planet. This means that Guilliman compromises his Legion's heavy weapon usage and has no desire to utilize the Destroyer companies of the Legion, serving with the Nemesis Chapter. Unhappy with the divide between the heavily terran Destroyers and the rest of the Legion, and unsettled by the resentment they have for their idleness during the Great Crusade, the Primarch attempts to shake things up by appointing a captain from a different Chapter as their new Chapter Master, in spite of tradition and the Destroyers' prefered candidate. Loyalty is questioned and disobedience considered, throwing a wrench or two in the campaign, on top of the greenskins' dominance. The Destroyer forces within the Legion were relative latecomers to the Horus Heresy series; it is safe to say that ForgeWorld's work on the tabletop system were the driving force behind their inclusion. So to me, this novel did a good job rationalizing their relative absence from at least the Ultramarines and by extension other Legions, and shows very well just how contradictory the devastating tactics of the forces are when the Legions are supposed to bring worlds into compliance. It is difficult to bring worlds into compliance after you nuke them and poison the ecosystem for decades if not centuries to come. Guilliman's distaste is fully justified, and also echoes forward to Gav Thorpe's Angels of Caliban , where Lion El'Johnson lets his own Dreadwing loose on potential traitors and terrorists on Macragge. In my opinion, the biggest draw of the novel is Guilliman's characterization and his interactions with his Legion commanders. It is a great book to give you a feel of his style of leadership, and how his famed pragmatism is contrasted by his idealistic streak. He rationalizes various decisions throughout the campaign, despite some doubts remaining, and is willing to make concessions for idealistic goals. He is utterly competent, but not infallible. Additionally, he also reflects on a few of his brothers and their ideologies, especially Fulgrim's search for perfect warfare, or Angron's brutality. There are some good nuggets here that are as of yet untouched by the Heresy, and I appreciate them. It also shows his distaste of what the XIIIth Legion had to do on Monarchia, and the wounds that left for the Legion; we had plenty of examples of how it affected the Word Bearers, including Annandale's own The Unburdened , but the Ultramarines had little on that front, as the treachery of the sons of Lorgar almost immediately overshadowed it. Readers shouldn't go in expecting big revelations, however. The war itself isn't vital in itself, and the stakes seem relatively low early on; they do shoot up sky high about halfway through, however, resulting in some big, bombastic scenes and massive risks to the Ultramarines. But the real worth is in Annandale's characterizations of established and new characters alike, and showcasing the spirit of the Legion. It feels like an Ultramarines book at the core, with interesting implications and well-handled characters that iconify the Legion's philosophy and way of war. That is all I wanted, and I am happy that Roboute Guilliman delivered.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dylan Murphy

    Ah the Primarchs! Such hugely iconic figures that the Heresy really brought to life for the first time, and now they have their own spin-off series, in which this is the first book. Now, initially, I thought it a bit of an odd choice, considering the overall "vanilla flavor" the Ultramarines have in general, but having finished it, I think it works out pretty Damn Well. Why not start with the poster boys of the 41st millennium? Here we get to see the Ultramarines really at their prime, conquering Ah the Primarchs! Such hugely iconic figures that the Heresy really brought to life for the first time, and now they have their own spin-off series, in which this is the first book. Now, initially, I thought it a bit of an odd choice, considering the overall "vanilla flavor" the Ultramarines have in general, but having finished it, I think it works out pretty Damn Well. Why not start with the poster boys of the 41st millennium? Here we get to see the Ultramarines really at their prime, conquering the galaxy and annihilating mankind's enemies as they were designed to.We really get to see the STC of Space Marines, as far as personality and methods of war go. And we get to see their Lord marching at the front of that idea. The story itself was great, if a little unimaginative. Orks control a once human world and the Ultramarines are there to take it back. We have a few storylines following a few different characters in the XIII Legion, from New Chapter Masters to the big man his-self, though we definitely spend most of our time with Roboute. I think the Destoryer's plotline really deserves a mention as being particularly fun. Of course any part of the overall story with Roboute was a blast, and getting to see inside his head during a hard fought war of the Great Crusade was probably my favourite thing about the novel. We didn't only see angry papa-smurf being betrayed or angry papa-smurf angry/worried about his second Imperium. The characters of the story were pretty awesome as well. Some fury I didn't expect from the Ultramarines, and a Roboute who was such a patronising ass I literally laughed, as well as seeing how the Ultramarines reacted to some unthinkable events. It was all pretty Damn good. He really did a phenomenal job with the Destroyer's characters as well, and I found myself honestly rooting for some or groaning at others! The action really shines as well, which is something I was midly worried about since I normally prefer Annandale's more "ideals/horror" focused stuff, but it really was a blast here. All in all, it was a very strong first entry for the series, and I can't wait to see where it goes!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    I was expecting more. Plus I felt that some of it didn't really add up especially with how I understand the Ultramarines act and behave in concern toward order and most especially their primarch. I was expecting more. Plus I felt that some of it didn't really add up especially with how I understand the Ultramarines act and behave in concern toward order and most especially their primarch.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alina Zabiyaka

    “What kind of a culture was he rediscovering for Imperial history?” In my humble opinion, no matter how alluring it may be to regard this first novel in the Primarchs sub-series as just another ‘bolterporn’ sample, it’s really far more than that. The entire Ultramarines vs. Orks planetary campaign – the clash of civilisation vs. barbarity in the 30K setting – actually presents only the outer layer of the story. In truth, ‘Roboute Guilliman’ is an instructive and much intriguing parable about the “What kind of a culture was he rediscovering for Imperial history?” In my humble opinion, no matter how alluring it may be to regard this first novel in the Primarchs sub-series as just another ‘bolterporn’ sample, it’s really far more than that. The entire Ultramarines vs. Orks planetary campaign – the clash of civilisation vs. barbarity in the 30K setting – actually presents only the outer layer of the story. In truth, ‘Roboute Guilliman’ is an instructive and much intriguing parable about the aftermath of a long-forgotten fratricidal war that obviously and cleverly foreshadows the grim events of one particular Heresy which, at the time, is just beginning to brew on the distant horizon. And, perhaps in a much greater measure, about what the human Imperium – this seemingly indomitable bastion of ultimate progress and radiant reason – shall one day become. The story takes place during the Emperor’s Great Crusade whose primary goal is to make a decisive end to all wars and bring Mankind peace and prosperity. And this is when Primarch Guilliman and his sons discover the last traces of an extinct, obscure but once undeniably powerful human empire. Soon the master of the 13th Legion gets to learn much from those discoveries, vividly testifying to the sheer degree of atrocities that the very people the Adeptus Astartes were created to protect and glorify are capable of… The many little hints and cues appearing throughout the story all work to contribute to the narrative in subtle and significant ways, linking this standalone tale to the greater history of the ascending Imperium of Man – and to the inevitable beginning of its end. The greenskins, these filthy xenos beasts, are deservedly and mercilessly wiped out in a proper Space Marine way. (Intentionally or not, the heart of their brutish ‘empire’ looks uncannily like a direct opposite to the golden throne of the Imperium…) However, as the warriors of the 13th Legion eventually understand in the cyclopean ruins of Thoas, it is the sheer innate brutality of Mankind itself that is the direst threat to its own Great Crusade – and, as the certain uprising of an embittered demigod shall soon reveal, to the humanity en masse.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marc Collins

    When embarking on a new series, the first step is always the most difficult. Luckily David Annandale leaps to it with gusto. For an age, fans have clamoured for a Primarchs series; a concept which is laden with its own potential pitfalls. Would they be simple origin stories, when we've already touched on them so repeatedly in the main narrative? Would they be blown up versions of classic lore and errata? These issues are sidestepped with an opening that is both novel and traditional, acknowledgi When embarking on a new series, the first step is always the most difficult. Luckily David Annandale leaps to it with gusto. For an age, fans have clamoured for a Primarchs series; a concept which is laden with its own potential pitfalls. Would they be simple origin stories, when we've already touched on them so repeatedly in the main narrative? Would they be blown up versions of classic lore and errata? These issues are sidestepped with an opening that is both novel and traditional, acknowledging the past while hinting tantalisingly at the future. The short sharp sentences of Annandale propel us through a story that is equal parts action and meditation. Guilliman's insights pepper the novel and act as chapter breaks. The constant flick between practical and theoretical, the idea of what it means to be a superior culture fighting a superior form of warfare- and what comes after. Annandale adds to the humanity and depth granted to Guilliman by Know No Fear, portraying a man caught between past mistake and future concerns. The supporting cast of characters are reasonably well developed, giving the XIII Legion an increasingly organic feel and fit. All in all, this was an enjoyable and engaging story that showcases Annandale's fundamental understanding: that 30k/40k have always acted as mirrors to brutal past and impossible future.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Monsour

    Guilliman is one of the most iconic character in the Warhammer 30-40k universe and giving him a spin-off novel to show him what his role in this grim dark future is huge treat. Setting this novel before the heresy and showing the capability of his legion the "Utramarines" during there prime is something I was wanting to read for a long time. Specially that there basically the poster boys of the entire franchise (but I still prefer the blood angels.. wink. wink) and his back in the main storyline Guilliman is one of the most iconic character in the Warhammer 30-40k universe and giving him a spin-off novel to show him what his role in this grim dark future is huge treat. Setting this novel before the heresy and showing the capability of his legion the "Utramarines" during there prime is something I was wanting to read for a long time. Specially that there basically the poster boys of the entire franchise (but I still prefer the blood angels.. wink. wink) and his back in the main storyline (spoilers from Gathering Storm 3) The book is structure really well done. For example, every chapter starts with a point of view of Guilliman on his written codex and that interlude is the main focus of that specific chapter. But for a big warhammer fan. This is also disappointing (don't worry it's a "It's me not you" thing). The story is little bit boring. Basically the main focus of the story is to retake a city from a horde of orks and showing the psyche of the ultramarine during a heat battle. But all and all. The book was good written, had really good phasing and not hard hard to read at all. 3.5-4 purity seals out of 5 :) May the emperor protec

  8. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    You likely already know if you'll enjoy this book before even reading my (or any) review. Not having read any Warhammer 40k fiction before, but knowing how ridiculous and over-the-top the universe is (in a fun way, usually) I was fully expecting this to be filled to the brim with testosterone-infused macho bullshit. I wasn't entirely wrong: "He sprayed a wide arc of the ground before the Proteus with the double-timed hammering of his shells. Mass-reactive warheads punched into the bodies of the g You likely already know if you'll enjoy this book before even reading my (or any) review. Not having read any Warhammer 40k fiction before, but knowing how ridiculous and over-the-top the universe is (in a fun way, usually) I was fully expecting this to be filled to the brim with testosterone-infused macho bullshit. I wasn't entirely wrong: "He sprayed a wide arc of the ground before the Proteus with the double-timed hammering of his shells. Mass-reactive warheads punched into the bodies of the greenskins and exploded. They vaporised blood. They turned bone into shrapnel. Fountains of ruptured flesh and xenos blood sprayed upwards on all sides of the Proteus. It rained down on Guilliman. His face was soaked with the death of the foe." - p 69 Additionally, at novella length, the focus of this entry is narrow enough that I think only readers already familiar with (and fans of) Warhammer 40k will find much to latch onto here. That said, the dialogue (when they're not fighting) is surprisingly solid, and the story hints enough at interesting bits of lore elsewhere in the universe, that I didn't dislike my time spent reading. In fact, I had enough mindless fun here (while often rolling my eyes) that I'll likely pick up the more substantive (in page count, if nothing else) first book of the main Horus Heresy series to see how that is. God help me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michel

    I was sooo excited about this book , I expected it to give more insight into the character of Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines. My expectations were not met, the book is mostly about the battles on Thoas and eradicating the green skins and that didn't add anything to my knowledge about the primarch and boy that was disappointing. I was hoping for more events from his previous life, his human father, maybe some interaction with the Emperor which is always welcome ( in my opinion ) Another th I was sooo excited about this book , I expected it to give more insight into the character of Roboute Guilliman of the Ultramarines. My expectations were not met, the book is mostly about the battles on Thoas and eradicating the green skins and that didn't add anything to my knowledge about the primarch and boy that was disappointing. I was hoping for more events from his previous life, his human father, maybe some interaction with the Emperor which is always welcome ( in my opinion ) Another thing is the repetitiveness of words. I noticed the author used the same words almost consecutively which I find weird.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Chris Dennison

    Pretty good! Not what I was expecting but enjoyable because of it. Any one interested in Ultramarines needs to read this.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bruce Burhans

    I have mixed feelings about this book. This is a prequel spin-off series that focuses on the Primarchs, and I had assumed Roboute Guilliman's book would've gone in-depth on his backstory that leads to him meeting the Emperor. Instead, we got what is essentially 200 pages of non-stop action. While there are some very interesting journal sequences from Guilliman that flesh his character out, the whole book is more or less a bloody battle with Orks. This is what confused me. Black Library had the pe I have mixed feelings about this book. This is a prequel spin-off series that focuses on the Primarchs, and I had assumed Roboute Guilliman's book would've gone in-depth on his backstory that leads to him meeting the Emperor. Instead, we got what is essentially 200 pages of non-stop action. While there are some very interesting journal sequences from Guilliman that flesh his character out, the whole book is more or less a bloody battle with Orks. This is what confused me. Black Library had the perfect opportunity to explore the past of this character but instead gave us a big battle sequence. However, David Annandale worked with what he had and wrote just fantastic action setpieces. Seriously, I had so much fun listening to this for that mindless fun Warhammer delivers. The book nor writing style is bad. In fact, I'm thankful Annandale tried to incorporate journal entries throughout because otherwise there would have been no soul to this story. I feel like I understand Roboute Guilliman and the Ultramarines a bit more as I steadily push through the mainline Horus Heresy novels. If you're looking for some in-depth characterization and complex plot growth, look elsewhere. Specifically, the Horus Heresy from which this spun-off from. Otherwise, I can only suggest checking this out if you want something quite short (you could finish this in a day, easily) or just want to read bolter porn.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Ziegler

    Good. In fact, wonderful. I loved that clearly DA read other DA’s novel - Know No Fear, and modeled his Ultramarines after Abnett’s. I loved their Theoreticala and Practical speech patterns and thought process. Something I thought Abnett added to the sons of Ultramar that gave them a little more personality. This novel and hopefully this series proved to be a great side or companion piece to the HH series. I am excited about Russ. Recommend if you like the Horus Heresy, Ultramarines, bolter porn Good. In fact, wonderful. I loved that clearly DA read other DA’s novel - Know No Fear, and modeled his Ultramarines after Abnett’s. I loved their Theoreticala and Practical speech patterns and thought process. Something I thought Abnett added to the sons of Ultramar that gave them a little more personality. This novel and hopefully this series proved to be a great side or companion piece to the HH series. I am excited about Russ. Recommend if you like the Horus Heresy, Ultramarines, bolter porn, and thoughtful irony.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Hipsher

    It's.....meh. And I'm an Ultramarine fanboy. I was hoping for some insight into the mind of Guilliman, but what I got was a battle against the orks. It's a fine story, but I don't think it deserves the title of importance it got, and it doesn't develop Guilliman as a character in any way. You do get a lot of "theoretical" and "practical" snippets though...... It's.....meh. And I'm an Ultramarine fanboy. I was hoping for some insight into the mind of Guilliman, but what I got was a battle against the orks. It's a fine story, but I don't think it deserves the title of importance it got, and it doesn't develop Guilliman as a character in any way. You do get a lot of "theoretical" and "practical" snippets though......

  14. 5 out of 5

    Osku

    I was hoping for a WH40k novel with a lot of combat and action so I guess I got what I wanted. Most of the book is just battle. But there is an issue, the language. I understand short sentences can be used as an effect when lots of things are happening and it is very hectic (like in battle). But reading so many very short sentences is just annoying. Without this excessive use of short sentences I think the book would have been amongst the average WH40k novels I have read (nothing exceptional, ni I was hoping for a WH40k novel with a lot of combat and action so I guess I got what I wanted. Most of the book is just battle. But there is an issue, the language. I understand short sentences can be used as an effect when lots of things are happening and it is very hectic (like in battle). But reading so many very short sentences is just annoying. Without this excessive use of short sentences I think the book would have been amongst the average WH40k novels I have read (nothing exceptional, nice to read) but I must admit it was now the weakest so far.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pavle

    Roboute Guilliman, Lord of Ultramar by David Annandale. I read this book last month, and after re-reading it, I can confidently write a review on it. This is one of my top two favorites, thus far, from the 'The Horus Heresy' Primarch series. No Spoilers... Annandale deserves an applause for the world he developed in this book. The literary richness that is found within is exceptional. The ability to manifest a realm of reality, for the Ultramarine Legion, in a light that does not portray them as Roboute Guilliman, Lord of Ultramar by David Annandale. I read this book last month, and after re-reading it, I can confidently write a review on it. This is one of my top two favorites, thus far, from the 'The Horus Heresy' Primarch series. No Spoilers... Annandale deserves an applause for the world he developed in this book. The literary richness that is found within is exceptional. The ability to manifest a realm of reality, for the Ultramarine Legion, in a light that does not portray them as the vanilla, poster-boy saviors of the Imperium. The book follows the legion through a rocky patch during the, Horus Heresy and picks up with Guilliman leading the fight against the Orks on the world of Thoas. The conflict, although fictional, is all too real to ignore. It is as much a campaign of physiological discourse and evolution from start to finish; as it is a military campaign to liberate the world from Orkish control. The narrative also elaborates more closely and paints in vivid detail the inner workings of the Primarch Roboute Guilliman. It creates new dimensions that up to this point arguably were left untapped and waiting to be explored. Furthermore, Annandale applies the philosophy of Guilliman in a multitude of varying circumstances that offers a consistent, yet unique, outlook onto the challenged Primarch. To conclude, this is definitely worth the read. Whether you are a fan of the Ultramarines, Guilliman, 40k or just a good adventure. This book stands alone and really portrays a true-human perception of this beautiful universe. Best.

  16. 4 out of 5

    75338

    Forgettable, formulaic, stereotype characters, forced drama, some genuine character development, shoe-horned product placements in the form of specific unit types. In short, if you want a good Annandale 30/40K story, look elsewhere. This is just a cash cow at this point. Hope he made good money filling a slot that BL had open. Any book about any primarch will sell to a now-captive audience.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    This is a Horus Heresy novel, and is set before the events of the actual betrayal. I read this in one sitting because it is not a large book. The Ultramarines are my favorite Space Marine chapter and they are represented well in this book. This novel starts off with Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines leading his sons to the Ork held planet of Thoas, to destroy the greenskins. The full might of the legion is brought to bear here, with the exception of a single deployment chapter, cal This is a Horus Heresy novel, and is set before the events of the actual betrayal. I read this in one sitting because it is not a large book. The Ultramarines are my favorite Space Marine chapter and they are represented well in this book. This novel starts off with Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines leading his sons to the Ork held planet of Thoas, to destroy the greenskins. The full might of the legion is brought to bear here, with the exception of a single deployment chapter, called the Destroyers. Guilliman has a plan for Thoas that involves a full scale war, but yet structures have been discovered on the planet, therefore Guilliman wants to not destroy thoroughly, just remove the Orks. The war goes as Guilliman plans it and the forces of the Ultramarines enter the structures, finding them as vast pyramids that are built as parallel complexes, mountain-sized and connected. The Orks rally and start fighting back into the pyramids, now known as some form of military complex. In addition, there are vast amounts of Orks that come up from the depths of the structure to attack the legionnaires. What the reason for the Orks occupying the complex is, is unknown until the Chapter Master of the Destroyers, still undeployed in the battle barge above realizes there is a vast radiation siganture in the lower heart of the complex. Guilliman leads his sons to the crux of the Orks power and the battle that ensues there is legendary. After all is said and done, Guilliman realizes that the inhabitants of Thoas rad-bombed themselves to extinction. This is a cautionary tale for humanity according to Guilliman, and something he will refer to his father, The Emperor of Mankind. This was a great book and a really awesome read! Danny

  18. 5 out of 5

    Heinz Reinhardt

    As was my habit not all that long ago, I voraciously purchased most everything Black Library published in a fan boy fueled frenzy. As I worked my way through my purchases(not all of them full price, thankfully), I began to realize that I may have made an error. As such I was hesitant to start the Primarchs series. This first volume, while not a bad read, was along the lines of what I was fearing, though pleasantly there was just enough of introspective foreshadowing of the dark future to come on As was my habit not all that long ago, I voraciously purchased most everything Black Library published in a fan boy fueled frenzy. As I worked my way through my purchases(not all of them full price, thankfully), I began to realize that I may have made an error. As such I was hesitant to start the Primarchs series. This first volume, while not a bad read, was along the lines of what I was fearing, though pleasantly there was just enough of introspective foreshadowing of the dark future to come on the part of Guilliman himself towards the end, that made it worthwhile. In the main, this was a very straight forward Ultramarines waging war against an empire of Orks on a former human world. Replete with internal tension within the XIII Legion, and valid discussions of strategy and tactics (I give Annandale a passing grade on those, maybe he has read some real military history and not just other fantasy war fiction?), it hits all the standard marks for an Ultramarines novella. Which is why only three stars. The Primarch's philosophical realization at the end is not original enough (he made similar statements in Unremembered Empire) to truly rescue this one beyond that of a merely average Space Marines Battles book. It was still enjoyable, to an extent, as an escape. But I don't think it will be high on anyone's reread list. Still good enough to justify me sticking with the rest of the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Hawke Embers

    A disappointing first outing for the Primarch novella series, I would describe this tale as clunky at best. The Ultramarines as depicted in the Horus Heresy are a surprisingly relateable bunch when compared to their descendants. Sadly, here however they stray back into the clicky and quite frankly, un-relatable mindset of playing by the book and never straying from the book. Codex Astartes flashbacks anyone? Indeed, perhaps that is the idea by Annandale, to remind us of the future the Ultramarine A disappointing first outing for the Primarch novella series, I would describe this tale as clunky at best. The Ultramarines as depicted in the Horus Heresy are a surprisingly relateable bunch when compared to their descendants. Sadly, here however they stray back into the clicky and quite frankly, un-relatable mindset of playing by the book and never straying from the book. Codex Astartes flashbacks anyone? Indeed, perhaps that is the idea by Annandale, to remind us of the future the Ultramarines will inevitably go down but it was boring to read with the constant talk to "practicals" and "assessments,' what, are these guys robots or something? Uuuugh, sleepy inducing. Positive note, I found it interesting to get a narrative that focuses on the Destoryers and their role within the story, it is the only positive that I can think of but it gives us some much needed elaboration on these soldiers of Terran origin. Sadly though, with a title of Roboute Guilliman, this book sure goes out of its way to not focus on him. Overall a disappointing venture.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Nick Ohrn

    I enjoyed this book immensely - the pacing was great, the characters were well thought out, and it fits well into the larger WH40K universe. The battle scenes were in line with my high expectations for a Space Marine focused novel / novella. The real star is obviously the titular character and I feel like the work takes his persona and runs with it. Having only been previously exposed to Guilliman in Know No Fear, I was excited to learn more about the character and I feel like the author did a gr I enjoyed this book immensely - the pacing was great, the characters were well thought out, and it fits well into the larger WH40K universe. The battle scenes were in line with my high expectations for a Space Marine focused novel / novella. The real star is obviously the titular character and I feel like the work takes his persona and runs with it. Having only been previously exposed to Guilliman in Know No Fear, I was excited to learn more about the character and I feel like the author did a great job carrying him forward. There's some very obvious foreshadowing to the Heresy but I think that is to be expected with these books. In short, I can't wait to get the next Primarchs book if it is anything like this one.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Alexander Draganov

    Theoretical: This was a pretty formulaic Warhammer book, with a typical plot - Ultramarines vs Orks - with a hint of grimdark, which a trademark for the setting and some interesting insights about the legendary primarch Guilliman. Practical: It was tons of fun, with lots and lots of awesome action, short and sweet and I enjoyed it tremendously. Four stars. Review in Bulgarian here: http://citadelata.com/lord-of-ultramar/ Theoretical: This was a pretty formulaic Warhammer book, with a typical plot - Ultramarines vs Orks - with a hint of grimdark, which a trademark for the setting and some interesting insights about the legendary primarch Guilliman. Practical: It was tons of fun, with lots and lots of awesome action, short and sweet and I enjoyed it tremendously. Four stars. Review in Bulgarian here: http://citadelata.com/lord-of-ultramar/

  22. 4 out of 5

    Veronica Anrathi

    This was okay. Good enough for a filler story you'd casually read in between the major ones. Not good enough for something titled with a Primarch's name. I believe these books should've let us look closer at each Primarch and show us exactly who they are, I don't think this one really does that. It was not bad though. This was okay. Good enough for a filler story you'd casually read in between the major ones. Not good enough for something titled with a Primarch's name. I believe these books should've let us look closer at each Primarch and show us exactly who they are, I don't think this one really does that. It was not bad though.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tepintzin

    If this very average novella is indicative of what the Primarchs series of novels will be, they won't be worth the money or the hype. If this very average novella is indicative of what the Primarchs series of novels will be, they won't be worth the money or the hype.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Wes

    Bolter porn... 😴 I enjoy bolter porn as much as the next 40K junkie, but I'd expected something with a lot more substance for the first book in a series on the Primarchs' pre-heresy days. Bolter porn... 😴 I enjoy bolter porn as much as the next 40K junkie, but I'd expected something with a lot more substance for the first book in a series on the Primarchs' pre-heresy days.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Lord of Ultramar follows the Utramarines as they purge the world of Thaos of the last remnants of an Ork infestation that has settled on its surface and in the ruins of its previous civilisation underneath. The battle is as the tide of greenskins grows around them; waging war with the Orks on an epic scale. Roboute Guilliman, at this point, has been leading the Ultramarines for some time and has come to know their workings intimately; to the point that some of the tactics employed by one of the Lord of Ultramar follows the Utramarines as they purge the world of Thaos of the last remnants of an Ork infestation that has settled on its surface and in the ruins of its previous civilisation underneath. The battle is as the tide of greenskins grows around them; waging war with the Orks on an epic scale. Roboute Guilliman, at this point, has been leading the Ultramarines for some time and has come to know their workings intimately; to the point that some of the tactics employed by one of the Chapters unsettles him. A dilemma that he is to overcome as the novel progresses. Sadly, this book didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had placed on it. For a new series that centres on the Primarchs (Or, so you would assume from the titles) Roboute Guilliman didn’t seem to be the central feature of this particular novel. After reading Angron: Slave of Nuceria and Vulkan: Lord of Drakes, I was looking forward to reading into the back story of the fabled leader of the Ultramarines; sadly, instead I got a lack-lustre novel of combat against a race with the personality of a dried bread-crumb. When it comes to Ultramarines, I actually know very little, so I was looking forward to learning more about their past and what drives them. They are the standard that all other Space Marine Chapters are measured by, so I was eager to discover more about them. Unfortunately, Lord of Ultramar, didn’t deliver on this front. I found the taste of the book rather dry and lacking in personality, the Ultramarines themselves weren’t the entirely of the problem. There is tension within the 22nd Chapter as they receive their new Chapter Master, Iasus, in an attempt to temper the Destroyers, in a new direction. I confess, I liked these parts of the novel, the dialogue was well written and the inner conflict within the members of this Chapter were sublime. The drama of how certain individuals reacted to the breaking of their Chapters traditions was well-played and it fed back into how the story progressed as a whole. However, this is where, for me, the fun ended. I’ve already expressed a disappointment in the lack of depth in the Roboute Guilliman department. More tragic however is how the Orks were portrayed; as a mindless drones. Not a single word is uttered by the Orks in this book. There’s nothing to them except an exceptionally high number. I am disgusted by this portrayal of the faction as it does them a huge dis-service. I know Orks seek war for the sake of seeking it, they take great pleasure in proving themselves superior in combat, they sure aren’t master tacticians, but there is certainly more to them than sheer numbers – which is all they are portrayed as here. In Lord of Ultramar, the Orks are being drawn to something within the ruins of Thoas. This was the plot hook that keeps the reader guessing. A civilisation prior to the Orks, a human one, grasps the attention of Roboute Guilliman, causing him to question the requirement of the Destroyers Chapters methods of war. There are arising questions in the conflict between perfection and precision, art and destruction. Questions that I would have enjoyed being given more development; especially over the uninspiring antagonists and the disjointed writing. However, there seems to have been a favour towards these drab elements over those that could have made Lord of Ultramar shine. The writing to Lord of Ultramar is often clipped. Using very short sentences to emphasise the action at certain points, however, more often than not it felt too staccato, re-establishing the same elements over and over. Making the book feel like I was reading bullet-points rather than an actual novel. I understand that the use of shorter sentences is to make the action feel faster paced, erratic and of a swifter-pace, but there was very little flow to advance the narrative between some of these bullet-point statements The manner in which the Ultramarines rationalised their thoughts and actions was of interest to me. It took me a few attempts to get used to the Theoretical/Practical aspects of their speech-patterns, but once I warmed up to it, I found it a fascinating concept and well presented. It highlighted how the Ultramarines are encouraged to think; coming up with their preferred method of strategy – precision while in the heat of combat. This part of the writing, while I understand can come across as unusual, really worked for me and I am happy to have received, at least, this insight into the Ultramarines. I’ll continue to read through the rest of this series as I have highly enjoyed other novels in it; and unlike the Horus Heresy series (of which these are attached) there isn’t any benefit to the reading order.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Liam Brack

    I’ve read many science fiction books that have quite high marks, but Guy Haley’s Rouboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar(Published 2016) was one of the best. It had blood and gore, weird technology, war, and a complex story arc. In high school, as I am, people go through many different books, classics that are written by old or dead people that have a relevant meaning but you have to learn all of the terms used at the time and the way they wrote the book. This book instead took the route of creati I’ve read many science fiction books that have quite high marks, but Guy Haley’s Rouboute Guilliman: Lord of Ultramar(Published 2016) was one of the best. It had blood and gore, weird technology, war, and a complex story arc. In high school, as I am, people go through many different books, classics that are written by old or dead people that have a relevant meaning but you have to learn all of the terms used at the time and the way they wrote the book. This book instead took the route of creating the words of the future and made it a little bit more general but that made it all that more interesting. (there are spoilers!!!!!!) Haley’s narration was from many perspectives. this was a very interesting choice to me and it fit the book. Haley did something similar to the Percy Jackson books where he moved where the narration to different places, which I found to be marvelous with his additions. Haley kept the third person point of view but we saw the different thoughts and actions from around the story. Many times it was around Guilliman and what he was doing but it had also shown the conflict in his chapter. This is shown when the chapters of the Ultramarines have to split up to overtake the orc’s **Spoiler Alert**, “There were more squads in the tunnels, and the 223rd was only in the network that led off the third level of the pyramid.”(98) While the 223rd was working their way through the tunnels Guilliman was with Marius Gage, the first chapter master, observing the pyramids, “Guilliman paused at the sight, gage at his side. The companies waited for him.”(106) This was right before the final battle between the orcs and Guilliman in the story when they are inspecting the pyramids. The book also was very complex with what was going on at times, mainly in battle. When Haley got to the battles he really increased the complexity of what was going on. The author would start with Guilliman, where the groundwork was laid of what the initial plan was for defeating the foe. An exquisite example of this **Spoiler Alert** is just before the first confrontation with the orcs after Guilliman sets up the formations of the Ultramarines, “Can you see it? We have lost nothing. Formations are flawless. Our strength is at its greatest potential.”(63) After that was established he took many points showing the full battle at a large scale with different points being shown and the separate conflicts of each company and their own issues. Like Sirras **Spoiler Alert** in the canyon when he is trying to navigate his company through safely, “Sirras blinked through levels of magnification of his helmet’s photolenses. The shadow was a chasm in the plain narrow canyon, perhaps five hundred yards across at its widest.”(83) Haley also had some mystery which the way it was incorporated into the storyline was masterful and appropriate for the story arc. The 221st is an ethical dilemma that is a reoccurrence in the book, throughout Guilliman struggles with what to do with some of his chapter’s and the command. This is where **Spoiler Alert** Hierax a veteran captain of the chapter and someone who thinks he should be the Chapter master but isn’t due to an “outsider” that they do not trust, “It should be me.”(30) Haley set this up for it to be stuck in your head and show some characterization of Guilliman, which was done adequately considering it kept me wondering what will happen until the very end. **Spoiler Alert** Guilliman nearing an end to the orcs making a large ethical decision, “By any means necessary, Guilliman thought. I have decreed what will happen now. I accept it.”(176) This book was a great book I loved it. Haley included a great amount of violence, but maintained a plot that created suspense. This book isn't great for everyone for starters it doesn't come close to being a romance novel in any part of the book. Is highly suggested for people familiar with the game and have an interest in space marines or for a good sci-fi book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Philip

    Of course, this relatively short novel was created with the intention to reveal Roboute Guillimans nature within the course of its pages. The Ultramarines are the advertisement of Games Workshops Warhammer 40k, and the iconographic hero-figures of the Empire of Menkind in a dark and unforgiving universe. Because of their reputation among fans and the briefness of the story, it can be regarded as quite a challenge to fulfill the initial intent. He took the planetside of Thoas, where Orks infested Of course, this relatively short novel was created with the intention to reveal Roboute Guillimans nature within the course of its pages. The Ultramarines are the advertisement of Games Workshops Warhammer 40k, and the iconographic hero-figures of the Empire of Menkind in a dark and unforgiving universe. Because of their reputation among fans and the briefness of the story, it can be regarded as quite a challenge to fulfill the initial intent. He took the planetside of Thoas, where Orks infested ruins of a human civilization far older than the current galactic empire. Guilliman is faced with the task to shape his legion with the idea of creation rather than destruction in mind. He must plan for a time when the Space Marines need to make do without him, for it is reason, the ultimate power of enlightenment, that guides him. At the same time, he is confronted with the bloody murderous necessities of war within his own legion. A whole chapter poses as the manifestation of annihilation and destruction - things anathema to Guillimans idea and ideals. David Annandale took such a conflicting setup, where the philosophies and principles of the superhuman are put to the test. In short: Errors are made, wounds taken. The idea to improve is a force of change that can be understood as reproach, or worse, rejection. And despite Guillimans greatest hopes and virtues, humankind has its ugly sides, too. I won't say that Annandale resolved the conflict completely within this narrative. After all, this story is but a fraction of the Horus Heresy series. But he played it out neatly, successfully illustrating the character, the human, within Roboute Guilliman. I mentioned the Ultramarines reputation among fans. I wondered if this book was yet another flashy glorification of them. It wasn't. Neither was it, in a assumed endeavor to contradict the reputation of spoiled paraders, overly dry or grim. Annandale managed to hold the balance, making this a fascinating story all the while staying true to the Ultramarines and Guillimans actual nature. Many 40k books have deep philosophies and messages, which they cover up with gore and exaggerated action. I usually spot them, or at least some. There is one of these within this book, too. I'll try to elaborate without much spoiler: Guilliman is one of those primarchs who inflicted a lasting, colossal change among the legions of Space Marines. This change is vastly debated among fans - and within the stories, too! Just recently I've seen it commented on a funny (meanwhile three years old) parody of the 40k universe. It's been merely hinted at within this story. But on the battlefield of Thoas, the observant reader will be rewarded with a micro version of said change. It was a nice play at how things would evolve in the long run, long past the Horus Heresy, and the outcome of this battle in conjunction with the little revelation may spark some hope for the dark, grim universe of 40k. All in all a memorable story. However, some rules of physics were ignored where it wasn't necessary for the 40k flair. To name the most prominent: Most of all that corpses don't pile up. Seriously, you've got hideous masses of casualties on both sides, I'd like to see them taken into account on the battlefield during movement and tactical analysis, rather than ignoring them into off-panel. It may seem harsh to subtract a whole star out of five for something as small as that. But it also reflects my general gut-instinct that Annandale has not yet reached the pinnacle of his potential - outstandingly good as he is already.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Simon

    Guilliman is one of the "good" guys in Warhammer 40k. Completely coincidentally, he's an extreme Ayran caricature. He has to be handled with care, otherwise you've written a pretty explicit white supremacist piece. I Want My Fantasies to be Accurate Guilliman is sold to the reader as a brilliant strategist/tactician/logician/management type. He and his soldiers operate on some "theoretical/practical" call and response style that loses its edge after the first five times and doesn't get it back o Guilliman is one of the "good" guys in Warhammer 40k. Completely coincidentally, he's an extreme Ayran caricature. He has to be handled with care, otherwise you've written a pretty explicit white supremacist piece. I Want My Fantasies to be Accurate Guilliman is sold to the reader as a brilliant strategist/tactician/logician/management type. He and his soldiers operate on some "theoretical/practical" call and response style that loses its edge after the first five times and doesn't get it back over the next fifty. Anyway, Guilliman is actually not very good... ...at all.  Even in the confusing Warhammer 40k universe, where close quarters combat intertwines with ranged, it's kind of obvious. Here, concepts of mass and envelopment are as fantastical as lasers. Guilliman deliberately surrenders the opportunity to use his most effective weapons because he has less patience than my two year old demanding Thomas the Tank Engine. When we read this exchange: 'You're not going to guess by how much, are you?' 'The attempt would be irresponsible' ...it doesn't come off as humble professionalism, instead it's an admission that after multiple battles the Ultramarines still haven't worked out how to count. If you've got seven bullets left, it's kind of important to know if you still have seven men to kill or seventy. This isn't me Monday morning quarterbacking about tactics in a fantasy universe. Rather it's about the basic concept of showing rather than telling. Magnus controlling a gigantic starship with his psychic energy is "accurate" to me, because it shows his psychic powers, and the strain it inflicts. Guilliman blundering round like he stepped on Lego in the dark while quoting from a codex about how brilliant he is shows me nothing. Triumph of the Will It was the difference between destructive instinct and purpose-led order. The difference between the monstrosity of the past and the infinite hope of the future. So there's a lot of awkward Deus Vult imagery in this book, shabbily covered with that go-to cultural concept of "Reason": 'The orks are unreason. They cannot hope to win. They have no defence against our most powerful weapon. Reason.' The space ork antagonists and their desire for battle can be portrayed in interesting ways. That is not the case here. They are a horde, brutish, animalistic, and unreason.  It doesn't matter who the orks particularly represent, just that they stand in opposition to this very white man and his very vanilla-heroic troops. Warhammer 40k isn't exactly politically correct, where diversity amongst the Primarchs devolves into a guy coloured black, a guy coloured red (as in red red), and a walking Asian stereotype, but I still shouldn't be reading spank bank material for the Fourth Reich. We are being lead to celebrate the aggressors in a war of extermination. If there's some deeper subversive meaning hidden in this, congrats on finding it, because I'm still scratching my head. There's some fluff at the end about Guilliman destroying traces of a civilisation devoted to war, because that's bad but in the context of him being on a Great Crusade, it's really a weak shrug of the shoulders, a mumble about how peace is good, then pressing the button to commence orbital bombardment. I feel like this book is an unambiguous miss. The writing is fine but I am unhappy with the direction it took.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Patrick

    Having only read the first two books in the 50+ HH books a couple of years ago, I decided to give it a go at reading the entire HH series in chronological order. Starting with the "Last Church" audiobook set in 30,800. I am using https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Tymell... as a guide on which books to read in chronological order. Unfortunately as I don't have the time to use my kindle, as a result I have had to skip number 21-27 on the above list for the moment. I will return to them shortly once I Having only read the first two books in the 50+ HH books a couple of years ago, I decided to give it a go at reading the entire HH series in chronological order. Starting with the "Last Church" audiobook set in 30,800. I am using https://rateyourmusic.com/list/Tymell... as a guide on which books to read in chronological order. Unfortunately as I don't have the time to use my kindle, as a result I have had to skip number 21-27 on the above list for the moment. I will return to them shortly once I have time to sit down and read again. I listened to the audiobook version of this story which takes place around 30,963 after the destruction of the Word Bearers homeworld Monarchia. At the hands of Roboute and the Ultramarines as commanded by the emperor. This story follows the pacification of the Ork held world of Thoas. On the world of Thoas the Ultramarines wage war against the never ending tidal wave of Ork's in a struggle to save what little culture remains of a long since destroyed terran military colony. If i'm honest the only character in this story that stood out for me was Roboute, the rest of the characters I found were un-intresting and bland. The action in the book I found was second rate compared to the Ork action in for example Vulkan's primarch book. It was still interesting as I discovered why the Ultramarines were the largest chapter thanks to this book, which is due to Roboute logistical prowess in his rebuilding of Macragge. Its a simple point but I found it very insightful. I enjoyed the audiobook and would recommend it to any Ultramarine fan boys, I found it easy to follow with some action which I found to be entertaining.

  30. 4 out of 5

    J

    This book was part of a Warhammer bundle I purchased because I wanted to learn more about the game and the deep history behind it. Had this been the very first book I read, I don't know that I would have continued through the others. I tried to become emotionally invested and couldn't. I don't know why; it had the earmarks of a good book in a universe that I have an interest in but I just couldn't find a reason to get invested. It reads like a military report with personal bits tossed in to try a This book was part of a Warhammer bundle I purchased because I wanted to learn more about the game and the deep history behind it. Had this been the very first book I read, I don't know that I would have continued through the others. I tried to become emotionally invested and couldn't. I don't know why; it had the earmarks of a good book in a universe that I have an interest in but I just couldn't find a reason to get invested. It reads like a military report with personal bits tossed in to try and balance it out, which I think was exactly the point that the author was going for. There's plenty of action and even a little bit of mystery and foreshadowing thrown in. Want a book that will give you firsthand accounts of Ultramarines in action? This is your book. Want a book that compares and contrasts the savagery of orks with the precision of the Ultramarines? This is your book. Want a book that gives you some idea of what happens in the mind of Roboute Guilliman, Primarch of the Ultramarines? This is probably your book. Want a book that takes a step back in time and acts as a primer on one of the greatest military leaders in the Warhammer universe? This is not your book. There is an assumption that you have some basic knowledge of the characters in this book. Being new to the lore, I didn't get most references and call outs to events in the past/future and that made the whole thing fall flat.

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