Book Review – First and Only

Gaunt’s Ghosts – 1 – By Dan Abnett

I read Gaunts Ghost’s on their first release, but lost track of the books after a while. When Black Library offered the first trilogy on ebook at a discount I picked them up and have started to re-read them. Having finished the first book, let’s have a look at it:

In the Chaos-infested Sabbat system, Imperial Commissar Gaunt must lead his men through as much in-fighting amongst rival regiments as against the forces of Chaos.

For a thousand years, the Sabbat Worlds have been lost to the Imperium, claimed by the dread powers of Chaos. Now, a mighty crusade seeks to return the sector to Imperial rule. And at the forefront of that crusade are Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt and the Tanith First and Only – better known as Gaunt’s Ghosts. Trapped in the grinding trench warfare of Fortis Binary, the Ghosts find themselves drawn into a conspiracy to assassinate the crusade’s leader, Warmaster Macaroth. With enemies all around them and no one to trust, Gaunt and his men must find a way to save the warmaster and prevent the Sabbat Worlds Crusade from falling into anarchy – even if it means waging war on their supposed allies.

Dan Abnett’s classic series of Sharpe in the Warhammer 40k universe starts here, with Ibram Gaunt and the Tanith First and Only regiment.

The men of Tanith are forced to leave their homeworld when Chaos attacks and Gaunt takes the regiments off world to save them for the Emperor… to die later!

This is essentially a collection of short stories / novellas with the characters and regiment introduced slowly. The stories are also ordered in a non-chronological order, but this just means you find out information as Abnett intended. Whilst there is a not a lot of character development here – apart from Gaunt – there is a lot of information about the Tanith First and Only and about their world. You get the impression of what Tanith is like, and a view into how the scouts are able to contribute to the fighting of the Imperial Guard / Astra Militarum.

A classic in the Warhammer 40k Universe.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

— Declan

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