Anarch (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #15) ★★★☆☆

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Title: Anarch
Series: WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #15
Author: Dan Abnett
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Genre: SF
Pages: 372
Words: 137.5K


From Wikipedia & Me

On the forge world of Urdesh, the massed forces of the Imperial Crusade engage in a final bloody battle with the Archenemy commander known as the Anarch, and his elite warriors – the barbaric Sons of Sek. A victory for either side will decide more than just the fate of Urdesh… it will determine the outcome of the entire Sabbat Worlds Crusade. Ibram Gaunt – now serving at the right hand of Warmaster Macaroth – finds himself at the very heart of the struggle. His regiment, the Tanith First “Ghosts”, holds the vital key to ultimate success. But as the forces of the Imperium and Chaos square up for the final, large-scale confrontation, Gaunt discovers that the greatest threat of all may come from inside rather than out.

Mkoll, the Ghost’s top scout, is captured by the enemy and frees himself and 3 others. They make their way to where Sek himself is giving the final orders for the fight and ambush him. He escapes using the warp, but Mkoll follows and kills him. He makes sure to take his head as proof.

While this is going on, The Tanith are trapped in their barracks by one of the children who turns out to be a Woe Machine and a creature of chaos able to control physical reality. It’s a blood bath but Gaunt and an Inquisitor manage to defeat her. Only to find out that her older brother is also a plant. Neither of the kids realized what they were and so the older boy, now a Ghost himself, goes insane and gives in to his nature. He goes after War Master Macaroth himself and is barely stopped from destroying the whole leadership of the Crusade.

With Sek’s death and Macaroth’s survival, the Army of Humanity wins the Sabbath Crusade. Gaunt is now a big time officer and the Ghosts are his special regiment. No more little fights for them.

My Thoughts:

This was a good ending to the series. Gaunt is now a Big Cheese and as such won’t be leading from the front anymore. The Ghosts are a real mix of actual Ghosts, Vergastites and Belladons so them becoming Gaunt’s fist is good so they don’t get ground up and spit out like most of the Army of Humanity.

I did NOT like the little girl and the young Ghost being Woe Machines. They were never human, were simply in disguise but thought they were human the entire time. Having that ripped away from them was unpleasant to read about and even worse to contemplate. It definitely put the “grimdark” into this book. It was one of the main reasons I was glad this series ended here. I didn’t want to read more of this type of thing.

Overall, I have enjoyed this Gaunt’s Ghosts series. It has been great ground pounder action with almost no space ship battles. It was a fantastic entry for me into the Warhmmer40k universe since the Horus Heresy series left me dead cold. Gaunt himself was a good character to root for even while not hogging the spotlight. Plenty of other Ghosts survive each book for us to get attached to, but at the same time Abnett has no problem killing them off. That’s war for you after all.

My next WH40K series will be the Ciaphas Cain series. Cain is another Commisar, so I’m hoping it will be all ground pounder action as well. But with how this Gaunt’s Ghosts series ended, I need a breather from the bleakness of Warhammer40k and so am going to start a different Mil-SF series altogether. Probably get back to the Warhammer40k universe some time in late ’22 or early ’23. Preventing burn out is every book blogger’s duty after all.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

32 thoughts on “Anarch (WH40K: Gaunt’s Ghosts #15) ★★★☆☆

  1. Wow, you finished the whole series, and you liked it till the very end! Good for you, Booky! 😁 I’m still on book 2 of Gaunt, can’t seem to find time for this series as the first book was an okay read but nothing to write home about. Maybe after I finish Asher’s available novels I’ll consider returning to this 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I feel pretty happy about it all overall, thanks 🙂
      Definitely was pushing the boundaries of reading from start to finish though. One more step in my growth as a reader. I’ve got the Caiaphas Cain series as my next and when I dive into that I’ll be splitting that series up.

      Speaking of Asher, I saw he has a new one out, called Jack Four. It sounds like a standalone, so I’m definitely getting that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad that this ended on a good note for you man. Soon as you feel like tackling Cain, send me a shout as I have the omnibus now thanks to NG and we could do a read along?… Your reviews have made me feel like getting back to the Ghosts every time your posts went up, but being bogged down with other stuff has kept me from starting up. Thank you for sticking with the series even though it is grimmer than your normal scifi. I am really happy that at least a different series worked out where another had failed you.
    Also really cool to know that i also have a 40K review coming up in a bit

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was pretty pleased with this series overall. After my disastrous reading of HH, I just figured WH40K wasn’t going to be for me. So thanks yet again for stepping in and giving me some guidance.

      When my time comes to read Cain, I’d definitely be interested in a buddy read. I’ll keep you posted.

      Looking forward to it 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. My apologies, I thought you would. Flashman was a set of novels about a cowardly army officer who nevertheless managed to appear brave through some unlikely circumstances – Cain is a similar character, although perhaps more pragmatic than cowardly once the series gets going.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Warhammer 40K (40,000 for the 41st Millenium) started out as a tabletop and miniatures game. People pay outrageous sums of money to buy the minis, then they have to assemble them themselves AND paint them, then they can play the game.
      I’m sticking with just the books….


    1. Warhammer itself was, and will continue to be, on a very short leash. If it weren’t for Dave, even this wouldn’t have happened. After the next series I suspect I’ll be done with the franchise as a whole and leave it to those who really enjoy it.

      It’s definitely not a series, or even a franchise, that I can recommend in general.

      Liked by 1 person

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