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Gaunt's Ghosts: The Warmaster

Dan Abnett Warhammer 40k Gaunts Ghosts The Warmaster

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#1
JH79

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Carving out a small island in the sea of B&C discussions to gush over Dan Abnett's latest Gaunt's Ghosts novel, the highly delayed and much anticipated Warmaster! Available as ebook, Hardback, Audiobook and a swanky Limited Edition.

 

Has anyone else already read this / picked it up at the recent BL weekender? I've just nabbed the Audiobook from Audible (Emperor be praised for having a spare Credit!) and cannot wait to get started!



#2
grailkeeper

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He did say in the recent reading i ts not the last in the series. I had tbought till then it was to be the finale

#3
Never_born

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I picked it up at the Weekender - read it this week, and very much enjoyed it! I've got a couple of pieces about it on the Track of Words site if anyone fancies a read:

 

A quick interview with Dan: https://www.trackofw...-the-warmaster/

 

My review: https://www.trackofw...ter-dan-abnett/

 

Now I just can't wait for The Anarch...!


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#4
JH79

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Awesome, thanks for the links and as always the effort you put into your site is an inspiration... I just need to make sure I check it more regularly so I don't miss links like those!

 

So anyway, got the kids off to bed and Emperor be praised (twice in one evening!) the wife gave me leave to head out to the Gym for a few hours (gotta keep up those Astartes gains!) and by the time I got home an hour ago I was 5 chapters into The Warmaster. Now this is my first proper Gaunt's outing, having tried several times and failed badly to get through Salvation's Reach due to the narration by James MacPherson. There are alot of very obvious ties to that novel and I have a renewed drive to listen to it before I go any further.

 

Despite that huge disadvantage and complete lack of character background (I haven't read anything from the series before) the story so far is massively engaging! From the horrendous opening children's poem to the incredible depiction of a devastated ship (quite an important one it turns out!!) floating through real space, to a confused "ghost" realising he's not a ghost and trying to recall his name. Great stuff so far, think I can see why this series is so popular if all of the books are this well written! happy.png


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#5
DukeLeto69

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I picked it up at the Weekender - read it this week, and very much enjoyed it! I've got a couple of pieces about it on the Track of Words site if anyone fancies a read:
 
A quick interview with Dan: https://www.trackofw...-the-warmaster/
 
My review: https://www.trackofw...ter-dan-abnett/
 
Now I just can't wait for The Anarch...!


Great review that totally whetted my appetite. Cannot wait. Dan has been completely explicit that The Victory arc is more like a single book spread over four volumes so no worries (for me) that it isn't a fully self contained narrative.

#6
Never_born

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Awesome, thanks for the links and as always the effort you put into your site is an inspiration... I just need to make sure I check it more regularly so I don't miss links like those!

 

 

Thanks so much, man - that means a lot, I appreciate it!

 


Great review that totally whetted my appetite. Cannot wait. Dan has been completely explicit that The Victory arc is more like a single book spread over four volumes so no worries (for me) that it isn't a fully self contained narrative.

 

 

Glad you liked it!

 

I hope you both enjoy/enjoyed the book - I know I did smile.png


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#7
cheywood

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Absolutely fantastic read. I might post a review tomorrow, but I wanted to put a few spoiler-free sentences down while it's fresh in my mind.

This is the moment a large number of BL readers have been waiting years for. Even having finished the book I'm still a little in shock that it exists.

I read most all of the book with a smile on my face, both because it was wonderful to see the Ghosts again and because the prose is shot threw with engaging scenes and vivid imagery. There's a long passage to start Chapter 11 that's one of the most beautiful bits of description I've read in recent memory, for example.

The prose in general fits in perfectly with Abnett's previous works: fast, flowing, and punchy, with just the right amount of humor and abject misery alike. There's satisfying developments in pretty much all the ongoing plot threads introduced in Salvation's Reach or earlier novels, with a good mix of foreseeable moments that still manage to satisfy and a few plot twists that surprise, delight, and sadden in equal measure. I especially love the way Blenner's plot-line parallels aspects of Gaunt's. The way Abnett addresses the long wait between novels is quite fun, if not necessarily all that novel in the lore. There's a mistake or two of the kind Abnett sometimes makes. For instance Gaunt's eyes, described as having a 'flash of green fire' when they caught the light in Blood Pact, are described once as blue towards the end of the book. Abnett's also started using the new GW terms like Astra Militarum, but I found his usage blended in well enough that the change in terminology went down easily.

Reading some reviews before release had me a little worried that the book was just a giant prelude to Anarch. That's somewhat true for better or worse. The end of the book is very much setting the stage for another story. However, there's still more than enough progression for the characters and meta-plot for an immensely satisfying read.

I also had a sneaking suspicion from reading early reviews that there wasn't going to be enough combat in the book. That's a subjective measure of course, but for me there was more than enough blood and gore. You get both personal and large scale battle scenes from the perspective of multiple Ghosts. The non-combat moments, as is often the case with Abnett, are the most satisfying for me personally.

A lot of people seem to have been considering a re-read of the entire series in advance of release. I'd say that's unnecessary if you have a decent recollection of the overall plot, but reading the two books previously released in the Victory arc would be worthwhile.

This accidentally turned into something of a review so to conclude: unless you have a severe allergy to cliffhangers this book is a brilliant example of why Gaunt's Ghosts is a beloved series. I'm already more than a little excited for Anarch.

Edited by cheywood, 06 December 2017 - 12:26 AM.

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#8
JH79

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I very much feel like I have missed a trick re Gaunt's Ghosts. I reluctantly decided to stop listening to Warmaster at the end of Chapter 6 and force myself through Salvation's Reach. It became blindingly obvious that I would get more from the book by having the slightest modicum of who everyone was and what in the hell was going on!

 

So here I am, 14 Chapters into Salvations Reach, enjoying the absolute hell out it and wondering why I have never touched this series before... wait, I'm a notoriously slow reader and have very little spare time! Regardless though I have just added The Founding Omnibus to my Christmas wish list, you're never too old for a Christmas list after all! I'm somehow going to make time to get up to speed on this series and hope that the back stories are all given the Audio treatment at some point soon.

 

Anyway, I think i'll be done with Salvation's Reach by tomorrow night and then I'll start Warmaster from the beginning again, already excited to see how those opening chapters compare with a little extra background information! happy.png



#9
cheywood

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I very much feel like I have missed a trick re Gaunt's Ghosts. I reluctantly decided to stop listening to Warmaster at the end of Chapter 6 and force myself through Salvation's Reach. It became blindingly obvious that I would get more from the book by having the slightest modicum of who everyone was and what in the hell was going on!

So here I am, 14 Chapters into Salvations Reach, enjoying the absolute hell out it and wondering why I have never touched this series before... wait, I'm a notoriously slow reader and have very little spare time! Regardless though I have just added The Founding Omnibus to my Christmas wish list, you're never too old for a Christmas list after all! I'm somehow going to make time to get up to speed on this series and hope that the back stories are all given the Audio treatment at some point soon.

Anyway, I think i'll be done with Salvation's Reach by tomorrow night and then I'll start Warmaster from the beginning again, already excited to see how those opening chapters compare with a little extra background information! happy.png

You might like Blood Pact before Warmaster as well. The first 11 novels in the series, while heavily connected, depict discrete campaigns with some element of closure at the end of each novel. Starting with Blood Pact and ending with the upcoming Anarch Abnett's decided he would tell one story in four books. Blood Pact's the start, Salvation's Reach and The Warmaster are the middle, and Anarch's the conclusion.

Edited by cheywood, 06 December 2017 - 10:59 PM.

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#10
JH79

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I very much feel like I have missed a trick re Gaunt's Ghosts. I reluctantly decided to stop listening to Warmaster at the end of Chapter 6 and force myself through Salvation's Reach. It became blindingly obvious that I would get more from the book by having the slightest modicum of who everyone was and what in the hell was going on!

So here I am, 14 Chapters into Salvations Reach, enjoying the absolute hell out it and wondering why I have never touched this series before... wait, I'm a notoriously slow reader and have very little spare time! Regardless though I have just added The Founding Omnibus to my Christmas wish list, you're never too old for a Christmas list after all! I'm somehow going to make time to get up to speed on this series and hope that the back stories are all given the Audio treatment at some point soon.

Anyway, I think i'll be done with Salvation's Reach by tomorrow night and then I'll start Warmaster from the beginning again, already excited to see how those opening chapters compare with a little extra background information! happy.png


You might like Blood Pact before Warmaster as well. The first 11 novels in the series, while heavily connected, depict discrete campaigns with some element of closure at the end of each novel. Starting with Blood Pact and ending with the upcoming Anarch Abnett's decided he would tell one story in four books. Blood Pact's the start, Salvation's Reach and The Warmaster the middle,and Anarch's the conclusion.

 

Appreciate the heads up there good sir! Interesting to know about the more singular nature of the earlier works. In the case of Salvations Reach you really do get the feeling that you're in the middle of something larger. It makes for a relaxed pace of story telling, something i enjoy a lot. It's clear that there are quite a few threads connecting Blood Pact to Salvations Reach, however I'm not feeling as in the dark as i was with Warmaster.

 

I really do see what all the fuss is about now if the preceding novels are on par with what I've listened to so far!


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#11
Morovir

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The shorts in Sabbat Crusade would also really help, especially the ones by Abnett.
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ETL_2015_Banner_03d_Primus_Inter_Pares.jETL_2016_Banner_04_Primus_Inter_Pares.jp


#12
cheywood

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The shorts in Sabbat Crusade would also really help, especially the ones by Abnett.


They definitely help, but Abnett does a very nice job of summarizing the events they depict in The Warmaster.

#13
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I very much feel like I have missed a trick re Gaunt's Ghosts. I reluctantly decided to stop listening to Warmaster at the end of Chapter 6 and force myself through Salvation's Reach. It became blindingly obvious that I would get more from the book by having the slightest modicum of who everyone was and what in the hell was going on!

So here I am, 14 Chapters into Salvations Reach, enjoying the absolute hell out it and wondering why I have never touched this series before... wait, I'm a notoriously slow reader and have very little spare time! Regardless though I have just added The Founding Omnibus to my Christmas wish list, you're never too old for a Christmas list after all! I'm somehow going to make time to get up to speed on this series and hope that the back stories are all given the Audio treatment at some point soon.

Anyway, I think i'll be done with Salvation's Reach by tomorrow night and then I'll start Warmaster from the beginning again, already excited to see how those opening chapters compare with a little extra background information! happy.png


You might like Blood Pact before Warmaster as well. The first 11 novels in the series, while heavily connected, depict discrete campaigns with some element of closure at the end of each novel. Starting with Blood Pact and ending with the upcoming Anarch Abnett's decided he would tell one story in four books. Blood Pact's the start, Salvation's Reach and The Warmaster the middle,and Anarch's the conclusion.

 

Appreciate the heads up there good sir! Interesting to know about the more singular nature of the earlier works. In the case of Salvations Reach you really do get the feeling that you're in the middle of something larger. It makes for a relaxed pace of story telling, something i enjoy a lot. It's clear that there are quite a few threads connecting Blood Pact to Salvations Reach, however I'm not feeling as in the dark as i was with Warmaster.

 

I really do see what all the fuss is about now if the preceding novels are on par with what I've listened to so far!

 

Warmaster is one of the most amazing Abnett novels. But at the same time - it is horrible. Horrible - because now we need to wait a year at least to read how it will all concluded with 'Anarch'. That's one of the bad sides then novel has 'to be continue' ending, instead of a definite one we usually had with each Gaunt Ghosts novel


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#14
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Let me add this, too: while there are three novels between it and Blood Pact, Traitor General is the novel that sets up the basis for most of what you see in the Victory story ark. Mabbon Etogaur is introduced in that novel, as are the Sons of Sek.
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#15
RedDragon

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Some light spoilers;

 

Do you guys think we've seen the last of Mabbon Etogaur?


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#16
JH79

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Thanks for all of the pointers guys, I really do have quite a bit of catching up to do!! happy.png

 

I'm half way through chapter 21 of Salvations Reach and am so excited for Warmaster now! These latter chapters really do enforce the fact that life is measurable in days, weeks or months in the savage and unforgiving universe of 40k. But so fascinating at the same time, the scale of Salvations Reach for example is nuts, almost like a Space Hulk! It's the sort of thing that justifies short stories dedicated to it's exploration.

 

Anyways, while searching the BL site for some of the GG titles mentioned above I noticed that the opening trilogy is still available as a swanky Box Set... does anyone else on here have this? How's the quality of binding & paper grade? Omnibus's are good but quite cumbersome to hold at around 1k pages *looks over at Ahriman Omnibus*. Regardless of format I'm going to make the time to trawl through everything that's been released so far after I'm done with Warmaster.

 

On a completely separate note, I am a tad anal when it comes to brand consistency (that's part of my real life job taking over!) and I've been fretting over the completely different look of the Audiobook covers to Salvations Reach and Warmaster for a couple of days now. Assuming that Black Library will never re-work the Salvations Reach cover to march Warmaster I decided to do it myself during my lunch break today! If you're a continuity freak like me please feel free to use it to update your own version of the Audiobook too happy.png

 

25009713878_04f8fd76f1_b.jpg


Edited by JH79, 06 December 2017 - 11:35 PM.


#17
cheywood

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Some light spoilers;

Do you guys think we've seen the last of Mabbon Etogaur?

Spoiler

Edited by cheywood, 07 December 2017 - 02:29 AM.


#18
Phoebus

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I finished Warmaster a few days ago.

Though I enjoyed it throughout, it was a rather bittersweet experience: I don’t claim to know all the circumstances behind Dan Abnett’s sabbatical from the Ghosts, but I was left thinking that five years too many passed since we might have realistically expected this novel to be released. I found myself reading through the entire series in anticipation of this novel, wanting to get reacquainted with all the characters, to recall where their destinies were taking them and how they felt about each other and the lives they led together.

Warmaster really is a very good book, without necessarily being Abnett’s best work. Having gone back through the catalogue, it’s also a testament to how Abnett has grown as a novelist and a storyteller. The characters are almost universally strong, and the situations they find themselves are, for the most part, compelling. The pacing is breathless; even when the heroes aren’t racing to danger, there is intrigue and scheming enough to keep you hooked and turning pages. The action is very well apportioned and timed throughout the novel, and it has to be said once more how well Abnett portrays war in the 41st millennium. Is it perfect? No, of course not, but while Abnett doesn’t even bother trying to give you a complete picture of the war on Urdesh, what he does provide is riveting. Critics of Abnett’s have long had complained about his heroes overcoming impossible foes and opponents, but I challenge anyone to tell me they weren’t moved by ...

Spoiler


And will there be a sequel? Feth yes, there will be. The cliffhanger Abnett leaves us with demands it. Happily, Abnett has confirmed he’s writing Anarch already, but I’m not clear as to whether or not this final entry in the Victory arc will also serve as the series finale.

Does Warmaster have flaws? Yes... but they’re just as much a flaw of the series as they are of the novel. Feel free to click on the spoiler, but understand that it will give a way a massive part of the novel. I found out about it by mistake by doing a stupid search for the organizational structure of the regiment, so I would spare anyone the same grief.

Spoiler


Anyways, that’s too much text for something that ultimately will not detract from enjoyment of this novel. Bottom line? I recommend this novel wholeheartedly!

Edited by Phoebus, 11 December 2017 - 06:06 PM.

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#19
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I'm a sad little panda no one made a spoiltastic post about the novel :(.


vesper.png Lord Silas, Knight of Thorns, Lord of the Lions of the Despoiler.


#20
Donkey Kong

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I finished listening to The Warmaster last night. I solidly enjoyed about a third of it, mostly from the beginning, the end, and the high command politicking in between. But the rest of it really dragged for me and at the moment I think The Victory is the worst Ghosts Arc. After reading Blood Pact and Salvation's Reach, I though Gaunt's Ghosts would have been better ending with Only in Death, which I consider to be the series high note. The Warmaster hasn't changed my opinion. I'm hoping The Anarch proves me wrong, but I'm not holding my breath either.

 

I wouldn't recommend The Warmaster, but if you've read the series this far and can pick it up for cheap, it's okay, and it isn't the worst four dollars I've ever spent.

 

So here I am, 14 Chapters into Salvations Reach, enjoying the absolute hell out it and wondering why I have never touched this series before... wait, I'm a notoriously slow reader and have very little spare time! Regardless though I have just added The Founding Omnibus to my Christmas wish list, you're never too old for a Christmas list after all! I'm somehow going to make time to get up to speed on this series and hope that the back stories are all given the Audio treatment at some point soon.

If you prefer YouTube videos, A Border Prince has an ongoing series on the Sabbat Worlds Crusade. So far he's covered the background books, FIrst and Only, and Ghostmaker. If you want to start from the very beginning, I'd recommend skipping to Necropolis (third book) and working from there. I'll second your wish for getting the rest of the series on audible.

 

I'm a sad little panda no one made a spoiltastic post about the novel sad.png.

 
I'll try to oblige.
Spoiler
 

Things I liked.

Spoiler

Things I didn't like

Spoiler

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#21
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I'm a sad little panda no one made a spoiltastic post about the novel sad.png.


What do you want to know?

The book was pretty great, not the best Ghosts book but it's up there. It's main failing in my eyes is that it's so there to setup The Anarch. Totally understandable though and I reckon the novel will seem even better when the last book in the arc plays out some of the juicer plot lines teased in this book.

Pretty heavy spoilers from here on in.


Spoiler

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#22
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The only thing I would qualify about KingHongKong's post is this:

Spoiler


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#23
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The only thing I would qualify about KingHongKong's post is this:

Spoiler


Spoiler


#24
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The only thing I would qualify about KingHongKong's post is this:

Spoiler


Spoiler


Spoiler

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#25
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Any Sons of Sek screentime ? How are they portrayed ?

 

Do we also get some new info on Sek himself ?

 

How goes the war on Urdesh ?


Edited by Vesper, 13 December 2017 - 09:11 AM.

vesper.png Lord Silas, Knight of Thorns, Lord of the Lions of the Despoiler.






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