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The Founding (Gaunt's Ghosts #1-3)

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  2,988 Ratings  ·  84 Reviews

This omnibus edition of the first three Gaunt's Ghosts novels follows the story of the Tanith First-and-Only regiment (nicknamed the Ghosts) and their charismatic commissar, Ibram Gaunt. As they travel from warzone to warzone in the Chaos-infested Sabbat Worlds system, the Ghosts must not only carry out the most dangerous of missions but also survive the deady politics of
Paperback, 768 pages
Published December 19th 2008 by Black Library Publishing (first published 2007)
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Aug 18, 2009 added it
Shelves: read2009
I read this book not as a warhammer fan, but as a spouse to one. Keep that in mind as you read this review.[return][return]Gaunt's Ghosts, for those unfamiliar is about a regiment of Imperial Guard, led by a colonel commissar. What makes this band special is that the night they were commissioned, their commander saved them from the destruction of their homeworld. Viewed as homeless, barbaric and useless, this band is the underdog, striving through each war to win a new planet for themselves, usu ...more
Oct 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Warmaster Slaydo is dead. The man wrangled as many different bureaucracies, and herded as many cats as he could, in order to raise a crusade to take back the Sabbat Worlds from the forces of Chaos. He slew the Archenemy @ Balhaut, but was mortally wounded in the process. As he lay dying, Slaydo promoted one of his favorite subordinates, Ibram Gaunt, and ordered him to raise an Imperial Guard unit of his own. What should've been a mopping up action @ Balhaut was bungled by the new warmaster, Maca ...more
John Scott
Mar 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
First & Only was the book that got me interested in writing in general and sci-fi particularly. It was an amazing (and brilliantly graphic) portrayal of war in a sci-fi setting. I absolutely loved Colm Corbec, and the fight through the tunnels underneath Menazoid Epsilon was incredibly harrowing and nerve-wracking, even now after having read it twenty times! Ghostmaker was just as superb, collecting the original awesome short stories together; my personal favourite is the original "pilot" st ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was ok
06/04/10: Finished "First and Only" number 1 of the 3 books in this Omnibus.

Dan Abnett writes some good action scenes; although some of the actual warfare, weapons and tactics seem a bit out of place in a SF setting (it opens with a set piece that's more or less out of WW I trench warfare, complete with poison gas...)

Very little about the Warhammer 40K background, setting and tech level is explained - which mostly doesn't matter to the story, but is a bit frustrating as a Warhammer uninitiated r
Bradley Olson
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This series of which I have read 17 novels regards the exploits of a military officer in the far future. He attempts to hold together the last remains of the population of a ravaged world, honing them as a military force and forwarding the constant fight against the enemies of man kind. The setting of this series deviates from both reality and other fiction novels so much that its full description could take an hour or more. Needless to say I found the complexity of the world to be delightful an ...more
Ethan Mckenzie
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing

If you are a Warhammer 40k fan, then basically anythig Dan Abnett writes should be automatically added to your library. Gaunt's Ghosts, in particular, is an excellent series, better than any other in Warhammer, from my point of view. When it comes to fiction, I have come to be in the habbit of judging extended series based on how many characters from it I remember the names and personalities of-in short, how many the author makes me give a damn about. For this.....the list is enormous. By the o
Jul 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm gonna review this one as whole, so I don't have to go and click for all the 3 books from the founding. First and Third books are masterpiece. Necropolis is my second favorite book in the series, second only to Traitor General - which is from The Lost series.
Jun 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Intense, vivid, detailed, pure-play, big on story structure. Characters, ensemble, three books together, great map. Dense words, not one wasted. Memorable. Mozart effect. I got smarter, and out of breath. I had the best time! Next!
Apr 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Lots of action, Military Sci-fi
Not much on extended charcter descriptions, most development is done through the action and the way the characters act throughout action sequences.

Can be somewhat confusing if you aren't familiar with the Warhammer 40k universe.
Kenneth Bjerhof
Jun 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best Warhammer 40k novel series in existence!
Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is a omnibus containing three Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Gaunt himself being a Commissar in the 40k universe. These took me a while to get through, and I'm going to cover them one by one.

First and Only: According to the introduction, at one point this was the best-selling book published by Black Library. I get the sense this book came out quite early in the Black Library's run, or at least in Abnett's career, as it's marred by some weird issues - The Guard is all male, Chaos Space Marines are k
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
So, here I am back to the world of Warhammer 40K. This time, my victims were the Imperial Guard sweethearts: Gaunts' Ghosts.

In an overall, Dan Abnett is a great amazing writer. I'm not a fan of eternal battles but Dan puts into his writing humanity. And that, I confess, saves the day. He doesn't describe a battle to the boring detail of how many soldiers go to the front, how many bullets are lost, how many tanks go meeting their creator. No. Dan writes about people, for people. You feel what the
Douglas Berry
Mar 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a re-reading, but it had been long enough that I had forgotten many of the details. Incredibly good science-fiction that sets the standard for gritty military SF.
Derek Weese
Aug 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
It was a friend who introduced me to the whole 40K universe several years ago, and I started slow. The first novel I ever read from the Black Library was the very first Ciaphas Cain novel by Sandy Mitchell, needless to say the good Commissar has a special place in my heart to this day. The second book I read was, ok two books, were the two Gothic War books by Gordon Remmie: loved them, sad the series was never finished. However, as much as I still love those old classics, and as much as I now lo ...more
Stephanie Jobe
Mar 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ibram Gaunt already was a rare man and then before Warmaster Slaydo died he made Gaunt the only colonel and commissar. Then he goes to gather his brand new troops. On the day of the founding of their regiments the planet is destroyed and only a fraction of the men make it off the planet.

First and Only: It was after I read this one and the second that I found out that the second was partially short stories originally published else where, merged into a novel. There is a bit of jumping around but
Sep 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Oh, Dan Abnett... You amuse me so with your endless list of soon-to-die red-shirt Guardsmen and constant head explosions.

So: The Founding. I read this back in the day, several years ago, when I was beginning to be somewhat remotely interested in the Warhammer 40k universe. I needed background and plot seed fodder for my newly-minted Dark Heresy roleplaying group and I thought, "Hey, why not? It's a collection of novels about some Imperial Guard, who I'm not really all that interested in, becaus
Mary Catelli
Jun 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An omnibus of military SF.

These works are military SF. Bad things happen in them. Good characters get killed. But they have very dramatic plots, and many vividly drawn characters. Filled with honor and friendship and valor. Ibram Gaunt is a deeply developed character, and at any time, a dozen or so Ghosts are major characters. He does a massively multi-POV that lets in him get in a large scope of the battles they are in.

(One trick he has is to develop a character in a short scene. Sometimes this
Sep 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
A fun Black Library author I just discovered. Lovely and dark reading. =)
Brett Ross
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The purpose of this book is to entertain 40k fans and to help inform new comers to the game and people who want to know more about the imperial guard it defiantly segseads at entertaining both groups of people and inform them but can be confusing sometimes so i give it a 7 out of 8

the theme of the book is well its science fiction so its probably not relevant to people that are not fans of the game but its vary clearly explained in the book and stays the same threw the book and still its not a l
Jun 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Gaunt's Ghost's by Dan Abnett is a thrilling book about how one colonel strives to prove himself to the men he is commanding. In the 40th millenium, Colonol Gaunt is issued to command a regiment on the planet of Tanith. A few days after meeting with the tanith 1st (his future regiment) the planet is attacked by the followers of Chaos. Gaunt is them given an uiltimatum:let his regiment fight and die for their home world or rescue the remnants of them and leave the planet to its doom. Gaunt decide ...more
Apr 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
'The Founding' is a mixed bag, but not in a bad way. It includes three books: First and Only, Ghostmaker and Necropolis, as well as a short story. Through it, not only do we see the evolution of an expansive cast of characters, but also a mythos which resounds within the 40K universe; the founding of the Tanith 1st regiment (Gaunt's Ghosts). It takes a while for Abnett to get into a rhythm and find a style to stick to, but when he does...

If I set my Warhammer 40K fanboy heart aside, 'The Foundin
May 08, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
So, a friend of mine recommended I read the Gaunt's Ghosts series many years ago and I think I read one. I liked it. Fluffy read. Good times. I stumbled across the omnibuses that collect all fourteen or so and thought, "I've got a new baby. I'll be reading a lot. Why not waste it on sci-fi fluff like this?"
I. Was. Blown. Away.
I've talked to others about this series now and they say it takes Mr. Abnett a little while to get rolling. I don't know d#$k about the Warhammer 40000 universe and I was u
Nathan Fayard
Oct 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: home-library
The Gaunt's Ghosts novels are fun, gritty, and compelling military sci-fi. The Warhammer 40k setting is an interesting one, and Abnett uses it to fair advantage, exploring different worlds, cultures, and races. One of the things that I most enjoyed about these books is that the heroes are, for the most part, men of character. Gaunt and his Ghosts may be hard edged, but they are honorable and just. Gaunt especially is a solider of heroic stature, fighting to be a virtuous man in a dark and troubl ...more
Thomas Smith
Jan 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A real favourite of mine.
As you would expect for a Warhammer 40,000 novel, Grimdark is an apt descriptive. But I flat-out read this entire omnibus in three days (arbitrarily rereading chapters on occasion) and I have to say - Dan Abnett is one of my favourite science fiction writers.
This omnibus is many things. Inspiring, sickening, horrific, funny and in some places even saddening - if you think George R.R. Martin kills people off whimsically I can not tell you the amount of times I have becom
Max Slama
Jan 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is in no way an official review, but I had to say something about this book after reading it. If you are into sci-fi and haven't read anything by Dan Abnett, first repent of your sins, then pick up anything he's written and read it. It's that simple. I don't say that about many authors, but Abnett stands out from the rest in my opinion.

As for First and Only, book one of many Gaunt's Ghosts novels, was great. I've read many different perspectives from the Warhammer 40k series, varying from
Jan 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The Warhammer 40k books have become something of a guilty pleasure (or, in the case of the James Swallows and Graham McNeil, just guilt), and this is basically the Sharpe books, but in space. Dan Abnett is a very entertaining writer, and his background in comics really tells; his visual descriptions are superb and bursting with imagination. The very silly and extremely crazy Warhammer universe is a real playground for a writer like Abnett, who knows that the background is silly and a bit stupid ...more
Ding Ong
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: warhammer-40k
I received the whole collection of Gaunt's Ghost from a friend of mine. I got started on them once i received it since i was already impressed by Dan Abnett's book thanks to Eisenhorn and Damnation Crusade. This book is about the founding the the First-and-only Tanith led by colonel-commissar Ibram Gaunt.

It was really fun to read about how the First-and-only Tanith manage to struggle though various warzones fighting against their archenemies while also managing their regimental rivalries with o
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection. This novel of the Imperial Guard collects the first three books of Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts series. If you are new to the Warhammer 40K universe, this is a good place start although you are thrown headlong into the mix without alot of exposition to the setting. Abnett does an excellent job developing the Tanith First and Only over the course of the series and by the end of these three books you will be looking for the next Omnibus (The Saint).

The Good: Great story arc, I
Arnie Pena
May 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Founding by Dan Abnett collects the first three novels of the Gaunt's Ghost series First and Only, Ghostmaker and Necropolis into this omnibus. If you are new to the Warhammer 40,000 world, this is a great starting point. Gritty, hard-edged, the stories are told from the infantryman's perspective. Humanity is under constant threat from the alien, the mutant, the heretic, and above all else, chaos. The Ghosts are among the countless billions serving as the Emperor's hammer in a universe inimi ...more
Andrew Ruhl
Mar 05, 2014 rated it liked it
A great read from Dan Abnet.

Growing up playing 40k on the tabletop this series was one of the first to surface and although I never read it at the time, it's been one I've always wanted to get to. And I'm glad I did. It's no wonder why this is one of the most printed 40k books of all time. It's well written and the characters are well fleshed out, literally.

My only criticism is that this book is starting to feel a bit dated, but considering this was first published in 2007 that's not a big deal
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Gaunt's Ghosts [Sept 2017] 30 30 Sep 28, 2017 10:57AM  
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it! 2 33 Apr 15, 2009 05:15PM  
an ok war story...if you like that sort of thing 1 13 Jan 21, 2008 07:09AM  
  • Ciaphas Cain: Hero of the Imperium
  • The Ultramarines Omnibus
  • Space Wolf: The First Omnibus
  • Soul Hunter
  • The Flight of the Eisenstein
  • Galaxy in Flames
  • Last Chancers
  • Imperial Guard Omnibus: Volume One

Other Books in the Series

Gaunt's Ghosts (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • First and Only (Gaunt's Ghosts, #1)
  • Ghostmaker (Gaunt's Ghosts, #2)
  • Necropolis
  • Honour Guard
  • The Guns of Tanith
  • Straight Silver
  • Sabbat Martyr
  • Traitor General
  • His Last Command
  • The Armour of Contempt

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