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The Beast Arises is a novel series published by Black Library. Described as the biggest literary event of Games Workshop since The Horus Heresy, the series consists of 12 novels that were released over the course of a year describing the War of the Beast, the desperate Imperial war against the powerful Ork Warlord known simply as The Beast.

Series Description

1,500 Terran years have passed since the end of the Horus Heresy, and the Imperium is at peace. The Space Marines keep the galaxy safe and the High Lords of Terra busy themselves with politicking and infighting. But something has been out there in the darkness, waiting...The Orks have returned, and they are more powerful than ever before. Can the Imperium hope to survive when The Beast arises?


The following is a list of the current titles in the main Beast Arises novels series:

Released Titles
# Title Author
1 I Am Slaughter Dan Abnett
2 Predator, Prey Rob Sanders
3 The Emperor Expects Gav Thorpe
4 The Last Wall David Annandale
5 Throneworld Guy Haley
6 Echoes of the Long War David Guymer
7 The Hunt for Vulkan David Annandale
8 The Beast Must Die Gav Thorpe
9 Watchers in Death David Annandale
10 The Last Son of Dorn David Guymer
11 Shadow of Ullanor Rob Sanders
12 The Beheading Guy Haley


The novelisation of the War of the Beast was published in sequential order, from Book 1 I Am Slaughter to Book 12, The Beheading.


1. I Am Slaughter

I Am Slaughter is the first novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Dan Abnett. It is the 32nd Millennium and the Imperium is at peace. The Traitor Legions of Chaos are but a distant memory and the many xenos races that have long plagued mankind are held in check by the Space Marines. When a mission to exterminate one such xenos breed on the world of Ardamantua draws in more of their forces, the Imperial Fists abandon the walls of Terra for the first time in more than a thousand years. And when another, greater, foe strikes, even the heroic sons of Rogal Dorn may be powerless against it. The Beast Arises... and it is mighty.


2. Predator, Prey

Predator, Prey is the second novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Rob Sanders. After centuries of peace, the Imperium is thrown into panic as human worlds everywhere are menaced by Orks. In a relentless tide of slaughter, Ork Attack Moons destroy planet after planet with gravity weapons of unstoppable power. On Terra, the High Lords are paralysed by the scale of the threat, and fail to take any effective action. With entire Space Marine Chapters missing, or known to have been wiped out, does anyone have the will and the power to rise to the Imperium’s defence?


3. The Emperor Expects

The Emperor Expects is the third novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Gav Thorpe. As Ork ships lay waste to world after world, heading inexorably towards Terra, Imperial citizens are in despair despair. The High Lords become desperate to prove that victory is possible, no matter the cost. A massive Imperial Navy fleet is assembled – their mission to make a definitive strike against the Orks at Port Sanctus, an area of enemy-held space. But when the Imperial armada arrives, they find themselves outclassed and outmanoeuvred – can human courage and faith possibly prevail against such terrible odds?


4. The Last Wall

The Last Wall is the fourth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by David Annandale. Despite the Imperium’s best attempts to forestall the Ork plague that is wreaking havoc in human space, an Ork Attack Moon now hangs over Terra. As its malevolent presence gazes down at the Imperial Palace, terrified citizens run riot in the streets. In a last-ditch attempt to destroy the attack moon, the Proletarian Crusade is launched. Thousands of ships large and small head to the moon carrying billions of citizens, all eager to take the fight to the enemy. It seems the attack has a chance of success as the invasion force lands safely, but the Orks have yet to spring their trap...


5. Throneworld

Throneworld is the fifth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Guy Haley. The Imperium’s situation has never been more grim – an Ork Attack Moon hangs over Terra, and Ork armadas ravage human space. To make matters even worse, Eldar strike at the heart of the Imperial Palace, forcing humanity’s defenders to fight on two fronts at once. Though it seems nothing can stop the Orks – neither brute force, science, nor faith – an unlikely alliance in the furthest reaches of space uncovers the first clue how to defeat the Greenskins. The Adeptus Astartes now face an almost impossible task - taking news of this discovery back to Terra through a Galaxy teeming with Orks.


6. Echoes of the Long War

Echoes of the Long War is the sixth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by David Guymer. Paralysed by the continued Ork invasion of Imperial space, the rulers of Terra continue to fight among themselves. Finally losing patience with the High Council, Koorland – the last surviving Imperial Fist – ousts the Lord Commander of the Imperium and seizes control. Elsewhere, the Fists Exemplar are forced by circumstance to fight alongside the Iron Warriors. Where will such an alliance lead – can a Traitor Legion ever be trusted?


7. The Hunt for Vulkan

The Hunt for Vulkan is the seventh novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by David Annandale. Tearing itself apart from within, the Imperium is still virtually powerless to resist the Ork advance. When the Adeptus Mechanicus reveal they have discovered the Orks' point of origin, the Adeptus Astartes start to gather their forces for a massive assault on their enemy's home world. But what the Imperial forces need is a figurehead, a hero from legend to lead them - a Primarch. Meanwhile, on the planet Caldera, a mighty armoured warrior fights tirelessly against the Orks - is he the saviour the Imperium seeks?


8. The Beast Must Die

The Beast Must Die is the eighth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Gav Thorpe. The Imperium has been brought to the edge of extinction by an Ork invasion of unprecedented scale and depth. Piecemeal strikes against the invaders prove ineffective - for every Ork fleet destroyed, five more appear. The only solution is to find and kill the Orks' warlord - the Great Beast. Surely if its leader is killed, the Greenskins' empire will fall apart in agony of infighting and confusion. Lord Commander of the Imperium Koorland assembles a mighty army, but when they arrives on the Orks home world, the forces of the Imperium discover they have disastrously underestimated the might and ingenuity of their enemy.


9. Watchers in Death

Watchers in Death is the ninth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by David Annandale. The attempt to hunt down and kill the Orks’ leader has ended in catastrophe. The Imperium is reeling from the loss of so many beloved heroes, and the military forces of mankind have been reduced to tatters. Koorland now knows that brute force is not the answer – but how else can the Orks be fought? In a radical move, he creates small, mixed Chapter units of Adeptus Astartes – compact teams that will hit the enemy hard and fast, and with deadly accuracy. With armour painted the black of mourning, the new strike teams become known as the Deathwatch. But will this be enough to tip the balance, or does the Imperium need to discover other new means to defeat the Orks?


10. The Last Son of Dorn

The Last Son of Dorn is the tenth novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by David Guymer. As the Ork menace ravages the Galaxy, the Imperium faces its darkest hour. Its fleets are in ruins, its armies devastated – amongst them the noble Imperial Fists – and even a Primarch of myth has fallen against The Beast. As brute force fails, Koorland resorts to increasingly desperate tactics against the Greenskins. A final hope lies in deploying the controversial Deathwatch and the Sisters of Silence in a deft strike at the heart of the Ork empire. As the situation grows more dire, Koorland must live up to the symbol he has become as the last son of Rogal Dorn or all of humanity will be doomed.


11. Shadow of Ullanor

Shadow of Ullanor is the eleventh novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Rob Sanders. The Imperium’s attempts to defeat the Ork menace seem doomed to failure; it is only a matter of time before the Greenskins triumph, and mankind is wiped from the face of the Galaxy. Yet there is some cause for hope – the psychic weakness of the Orks has been discovered, and a few Sisters of Silence yet survive. Supported by the full military might and technology of the Adeptus Mechanicus, the Space Marines head to the Orks’ home world one final time. This time there will be no retreat, no surrender. They must succeed... or die in the attempt.


12. The Beheading

The Beheading is the twelfth and final novel in The Beast Arises series and is written by Guy Haley. Across the length and breadth of the Galaxy, humankind celebrates its salvation, and relishes the prospect of a return to peace. But the war against the Orks has riven the political bedrock of the Imperium, exposing its rotten core. One man, one powerful man, decides he has the solution, and launches a campaign of destruction so terrible that thousands of years later his actions will still be viewed with horror.