Warhammer 40,000 Legends Issue Three – Warriors of Ultramar by Graham McNeill

The Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection from Hachette continues with Issue Three, featuring Warriors of Ultramar by Graham McNeill. First published way back in 2003, it sees Captain Uriel Ventris of the Ultramarines 4th Company leading his men in defence of Tarsis Ultra against the numberless monstrosities of Hive Fleet Leviathan. While not quite such a classic as Issue Two’s Xenos, it’s a popular title from a much-loved series, although there’s one oddity immediately obvious about choosing this for Issue Three…

It’s the second book in the Uriel Ventris series! The series opens with 2002’s Nightbringer, which introduces the main characters of Uriel, Pasanius and Learchus and sees Uriel slowly coming to terms with his new role as Captain of the 4th Company. As such you might have expected Nightbringer to be included in this collection first, but no – book two in the series instead. Still, Warriors of Ultramar is a fine book and a good addition to the collection. Long term fans who are buying into this collection for the opportunity to own nice hardback editions of books they’ve already read will be fine as they will probably have read the whole Uriel Ventris series already, but I’m not entirely certain that I’d ever recommend new readers to start with the second book in the series…

nightbringer

The first book in the Uriel Ventris series

Second book or not, one thing that does make sense is to include this particular series early on in the collection – it’s a well-established and popular series featuring the quintessential Space Marines, from one of the most successful authors in the Black Library stable. It might not be to everyone’s taste (and what is?) but it’s a series that would work well for new readers looking for a good route into 40k novels – not only does it cover the Ultramarines well but also the Tyranids, who are about as 40k as anything!

As with the previous issues the standard of presentation is really good, in the same format hardback that’s undoubtedly good value – £9.99 for a nice hardback is considerably cheaper than most you’ll find in bookshops. As with Xenos this uses the original cover art from the first edition of the book, Alex Boyd’s artwork once again looking pretty damn good in moody black and white. The endpapers are the same as well, and it includes the usual internal artwork section with full-colour versions of both sets of cover art (including Hardy Fowler’s lovely new version), some really nice Ultramarines and Tyranids art from Paul Dainton and Alex Boyd, the same 40k timeline and a little additional text on the Tyranids. This time the number on the spine is 10, so we’ve now got numbers 01, 69 and 10.

warriors-of-ultramar-hardy

Hardy Fowler’s newer cover art

Overall then it continues the trend so far of these books being impressive additions to any fan’s collection. Whether this is the right place to start in the Uriel Ventris series is open to debate, but as the curator’s introduction points out the idea of a small number of Space Marines facing desperate odds against the numberless hordes of the Tyranids is very 40k-appropriate.

Click here for the main Warhammer 40,000 Legends Collection page.

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