Thoughts on Roboute Guilliman: Lord Of Ultramar by David Annandale
I’ve always been a fan of the Ultramarines since I’ve been in to W40k back in the early 90s, and I’ve been a huge fan of the Horus Heresy series. My favourite HH book to date as been Know No Fear so I was excited to receive Roboute Guillimam: Lord Of Ultramar as a Christmas present.
I must admit that I didn’t quite know what to expect. When I first heard about the Primarchs series I originally thought it was going to be going to be about their origins and stories about their ‘home’ worlds; this is definitely not the case! Instead, if the first book is anything to go by, the series will give greater insights in to the personalities of the Primarchs and almost explaining their future decisions during the Heresy.
The Book Itself
I’ve really enjoyed David Annandale’s recent work, particularly on the Beast Arises series and he hasn’t disappointed with this book either. The main premise of the book is the Ultramarines invading the planet Thoas to finish off an Ork Empire. Obviously the fighting is important but it mainly provides a backdrop to the main themes across the story.
The first main theme is the relationship between Guilliman and Marius Gage, the Chapter Master Primus. They have an interesting relationship that veers between father-son and brotherly. Guilliman is always trying to teach Marius, with the implication that he won’t always be around and Marius may need to lead them in the future. It is also revealed that this campaign takes place not long after the humbling of the Word Bearers, giving further insight in to Guilliman’s actions throughout the campaign.
The second theme, although very much tied in to the first, is the question of leadership in the 22nd Chapter and that Chapter’s component of Destroyers; last-resort troops that practice chemical and biological warfare. The 22nd is a chapter with a high component of Terran-born and Guilliman feels it is not integrated in the legion as much as it should be. This leads to some controversial choices but ultimately a satisfactory conclusion.
The third theme for me was a more blunt one – Guilliman in combat. There is no other way to describe him in combat other than awesome and every passage involving it was enjoyable. The Orks were pretty good as well, though I think I’m feeling a bit orked-out at the moment after the Beast Arises.
Favourite Part – Fighting – Guilliman charging in to the middle of the Ork horde
Favourite Part – Other – Guilliman and Marius’ exchanges
An enjoyable book if you don’t misunderstand what the book is in the first place. What it is, is an insight in to Guilliman and further backstory to why he is the way he is. From my point of view – Recommended