Ghostmaker is the second Gaunt's Ghosts novel by Dan Abnett, and the second part of the Founding trilogy. It was published in 2000.

The book consists of a series of previously published short stories from Abnett regarding earlier exploits of the Ghosts, and focussing on Gaunt, Corbec, Rawne, Larkin, Bragg, Caffran, Mkoll, Milo and Dorden. These stories are anchored into flashbacks by the present day events, in which the Ghosts wait in the overbearing deathworld of Monthax for the order to advance.

Black Library Summary
The tide of war begins to turn in the Sabbat Worlds Crusade as the beleaguered Imperial forces begin a fierce counter offensive against the dark armies of Chaos. For Commissar Ibram Gaunt and the Tanith First-and-Only it is the beginning of a battle that may force them to sacrifice not only their lives, but their very souls.

Plot Summary Edit

Full Articles on Ghostmaker Short Stories:

Some Dark and Secret PurposeEdit

Ghostmaker sees the regiment holed up in billets on the mysterious deathworld of Monthax, sodden by heavy rainfall and sweltering heat, three days after their dispersal, awaiting the order to engage advancing ruinous forces. While dug in, Gaunt does the rounds around the regiment, speaking in turn to Mkoll, Corbec, Larkin, Bragg, Rawne, Dorden and Caffran. Mkoll reports spotting some ruins in the Monthax jungle that weren't previously mapped, which Gaunt tells him to investigate if he gets the chance. He remostrates with Milo in his command shed over his adjutant's 'predictions'. Milo asks for the first time whether he can be given a battlefield placement, which Gaunt refuses untill Milo informs him that he turned 18 two weeks prior. After a moment, Gaunt agrees to put Milo in Corbec's platoon with a brevet rank only if Milo stops his 'predictions'. Milo agrees and leaves.

Gaunt awakens the next morning and finds that the awaited arch-enemy advance has begun, and quickly calls up his officers for a briefing, having read the hasty preliminary reports. He informs them that Lord-General Bulledin has ordered the regiment and the rest of the Imperial strengths to begin a systematic assault on the flanks of the enemy offensive, the target for whom is not clear. After making it clear that the Tanith are to play to their strengths, he takes Mkoll aside, knowing his scout has a hunch as to the enemy's target. Mkoll reports that he believes they are heading to the ruins he saw, but also mentions that his attempts to re-find it have been unsuccessful. Gaunt tells him that locating the structure is his personal primary mission, and that if he is right finding them is vital. He then informs Milo that he is moving him and Larkin into Rawne's 3rd Platoon, stating that they are the most likely to break and that they require 'supervision'.

As the platoons spread out into the Monthax jungles, they quickly come upon enemy elements who seem to have splintered, and soon all of the units are engaging. Merrt, in Corbec's platoon, is shot in the mouth and presumed dead as the men are pinned down, outnumbered, by the foe. Lerod's unit is ground to a halt and the Sergeant miraculously escapes death at the hands of two point blank shots, which quickly rouses him. Mkoll breaks away from 9th Platoon, giving command to Domor, and heads off alone in search of the ruins. Only Rawne's platoon fail to engage, and in the midst of the move the men begin to feel an unusual sense of deja vu. Caffran, previously wary of Milo, looks out for him, and during their sweep begin to sense a change in the terrain and smell nalwood. Gaunt has a phantom memory of Tanith, one that takes him aback, before concentrating on the battle surrounding him. He links up with Corbec's platoon, and notes with some concertation that Rawne has not engaged, openly speculating that they may not "be trying".

Analysis & Extras Edit

Main Characters Edit

Narrative Structure Edit

Ghostmaker features the most unusual structure of the series, which chronicles in current time the men of the regiment dug in on Monthax, while inserting in chapter form 'flashbacks' which follows each relevant character using previously published short stories. The last of these is Witch Hunt, at which point the narrative returns to a regular chronilogical 'real time' structure. At this point, it features the battle in the jungles of Monthax and at the Eldar ruins, and is broken up between various members of the regiment, Lilith and the Eldar themselves. This section of the book is covered by one continuos long chapter broken into sub-chapters.

Title Meaning Edit

The term 'Ghostmaker' is an unofficial, slight slur of a nickname for Gaunt as given by certain members of the regiment. It refers to how Gaunt's decision to abandon Tanith and take it's soldiers clear made them all 'ghosts', which by extension resulted in the regiment being called 'Gaunt's Ghosts'.

It is also the title of the first used 'flashback', depicting Gaunt's first meeting with the First and the fall of Tanith. The title therefor is an extension of this.

Themes Edit

  • One Last Stand (Rawne and his men 'defending the Elictor'
  • Trust No One (Larkin)
  • Revenge for the Dead (Corbec/Merrt)
  • Destiny (Lilith)

Memorable QuotesEdit

Caffran: We're all waiting for the word. Itching for action. This waiting...

Gaunt: It's the worst part, I know. Until the killing starts and you realise the waiting wasn't all that bad after all.


Trivia Edit

  • Second of three encounters the regiment has with an Inquisitor (after Heldane, prior to Welt)

Unanswered Questions Edit

For fan theories on Ghostmaker, link here:

  • If the final battle was entirely false, what happened to the genuine enemy on Monthax?
  • What happened to the rest of the regiment?