Book Review 195// First & Only (Gaunt's Ghosts #1) by Dan Abnett

Finally, I am getting around to some more Dan Abnett and the Gaunt Ghosts. I have left this way too long. Which is truly a shame, and I plan on fixing this asap. So shut the feth up and get in it!

Title: First and Only
Author: Dan Abnett

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.

Publisher: Black Library

Format owned: 320 pages Hardback Omnibus.


Here we begin the re-read of the entire Gaunts Ghosts series. Returning to the first title is strange, as I was sure I remembered it well. I didn't and rereading it opened my eyes to so much I had missed.

First and Only came out hot on the heels of the stories from Inferno! Magazine. Mainly set on the Forge World of Fortis Binary, the men of Tanith face off against a chaotic, corrupted planet. The action is brutal throughout, and it soon becomes apparent that there is more to fear from their allies than the enemy.

Weirdly, this is book one, as Ghostmaker does a better job of introducing the characters. But I assume the nature of the short story reads was something Black Library wasn't willing to risk the series opener on. Luckily all the main characters are here, and all are starting to shine in this novel. We also get an obvious direction on how the stories will progress later. It is a classic underdog tale, and from book one, you are rooting for the Tanith, and I am already excited for the next title. Great start to a series that has brought me so much joy over the years.

As always, thanks for reading!

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