Blood Pact is the twelth Gaunt's Ghosts novel, and the first part of The Victory series. It was published in November 2009.
Exhausted from twelve consecutive years of fighting on the frontline of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, Gaunt and the Tanith First are withdrawn to reserve postings on the funeral world of Balhaut. While the men grow bored and lazy enjoying easy life, Gaunt finds himself into a battle of intrigue when an enemy prisoner is captured who wants to share information which could bring an end to the crusade. However, he will only speak to Gaunt...
|Pulled back from the front line of the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the men of the Tanith First-and-Only await news of their next deployment. But when an enemy prisoner is brought in for interrogation, Gaunt is drawn into a web of intrigue. Who can be trusted, and exactly what does the prisoner know that makes him so valuable? The fate of the crusade rests upon the answers, and Gaunt must find them out before he is eliminated.|
Plot Summary Edit
"At length, the beast fell upon the hunter and devoured him too. But the hunter had an open knife in his pocket, and the knife slit the beast's belly open from the inside, and all of the villagers were spilled out and saved."
- from the Nihtgane legend of the hunter and the beast
E.F. Montvelt, an importer/exporter overseeing Pier Thirty-One of Balhaut's Orbital Platform, Highstation, collates and observes data being processed to him regarding ships being routed while in his office. He contemplates how most of the exports are the dead, and that he hopes his performance will make his uncle proud. While processing, he notices that the registered Captain of the incoming vessel Solace is not the man he expected, Placket, but Jonas, after a children's book character Devil Jonas. Realising the significance of using this name as an obvious alias, Montvelt proceedes down to the ship to investigate.
After attempting to question a crew member as to the Captain's location, he is directed to a Ulryke Eyl who tells him that the master "is dead". As Montvelt attempts to question this, he is interrupted by the widow's brother, Eyl, who dismisses his sister's claims as being nonsense, and offers to lead the shaken Montvelt to the Captain. Eyl takes Montvelt to a storage bay, which appears to be empty. Montvelt scans the containers with a wand, and is shocked to find that they betray heat signatures despite supposedly containing preserved corpses. He shows Eyl, who calmly notes this and reveals severe scarring on his hands, which he explains as a "proclamation to my master". Montvelt, terrified, states that he will not tell anyone about Eyl because he fears that Eyl will kill him. Eyl confirms these fears, and throws Montvelt off the Solace to his death.
Act Two Edit
Act Three Edit
Act Four Edit
Analysis & Extras Edit
Main Characters Edit
Narrative Structure Edit
Excluding for the book's final paragraph, Blood Pact follows a strictly chronologically linear structure which consists of four main subplots and a vareity of minor ones. These three are Gaunt and Etogaur on the run, Eyl and his team's pursuit, the Tanith 1st and Rime investigate, and Rawne and his team escaping prison.
Title Meaning Edit
Blood Pact ostensibly referrs to the Chaos worshipping militant organisation of the same name, but has a number of other potential explanations. Chief of these is the proverbial pact of blood made by the soldiers of the Imperium on the battlefield, and in particular Gaunt who at this stage is somewhat weary of his military life.
- Revenge - Eyl hunting Mabbon
- Regimental Feud - Tanith 1st vs Inquisition
- One Last Stand - Tower of the Plutocrat
Memorable Quotes Edit
- A reference is made to a children's book character, Devil Jonas, who in Imperial literature drags the dead into his "locker". This is a direct allusion to the legend of Davy Jones's Locker.
- First appearance by Vaynom Blenner since First and Only.
- First reference to Neskon possessing a prosphetic leg, despite the injury taking place in Straight Silver.
- Not a single member of the Tanith 1st is killed, even during the final battle at the Tower of the Plutocrat, the only time this has occured in the series. Wes Maggs is the only member to be wounded.
Unanswered Questions Edit
- How did Rime infiltrate the Inquisition?
- Does Zweil think he is dying?