The armour of contempt1

The Armour of Contempt is the tenth Gaunt's Ghosts book from Dan Abnett, and the second in The Lost series. The main plot of which maily revolve around the Imperial campaign to retake the Chaos held Agri-world of Gereon-the setting of the prior novel "Traitor General". It was first published in December 2007.

Black Library Summary
Still haunted by his lengthy mission behind enemy lines on Gereon, Commissar Ibram Gaunt heads back with the Imperial crusade army to liberate the Chaos-held planet. Having made contact with the local elite guerilla forces, Gaunt and the Tanith First-and-Only find that the brutality of the 'liberation' pitches them into opposition with their commanders, who believe victory must be achieved at any price, no matter how cruel. All bets are off as Gaunt and his men are pitched into direct opposition to his commanders!

Plot SummaryEdit



Act OneEdit


Act TwoEdit


Act ThreeEdit


Act FourEdit


Act FiveEdit




Analysis & ExtrasEdit

Main CharactersEdit

  • Gaunt
  • Caffran
  • Criid
  • Eszrah
  • Ludd
  • Sabbatine Cirk
  • Dalin Criid
  • Merrt

Narrative StructureEdit

The Armour of Contempt follows a varied narrative, including the use of the mysterious protagonist from the start to introduce a new main character, Dalin Criid. Upon the commencing of the invasion of Gereon, the novel spilts its focus between Gaunt and his Untill team, the members of the regiment searching a liberated town, and Dalin and Rhen Merrt's part in a vanguard assault on a Chaos held city. These swaps in narrative are divided by chapters, similar to Honour Guard.

Title MeaningEdit

The title is taken directly from a quote by legendary Inquisitor Ravenor, which is stated both here by Welt and by Gaunt himself during his trial in His Last Command. It refers to the spiritual manner in which the Gereon 12 held of Chaos taint during their previous spell on the planet.

"Chaos claims the unwary or the incomplete. A true man may flinch away from its embrace, if he is stalwart, and he girds his soul with the armour of contempt"

- Ravenor, The Spheres of Longing

Themes & TropesEdit

  • Unfinished Business (Gaunt, Balshin, Welt and the ramifications of the trial)
  • Ghosts of Ghosts (Dalin and Caffran)
  • Bitter Irony (The Gereon Resistance remain active, this time against the Inquisition)

(Full list of Gaunt's Ghosts Themes and Tropes)


  • Merrt's first appearance since Straight Silver, and the beginning of his arc that ran until the end of Salvation's Reach.
  • Dalin Criid's first appearance since The Guns of Tanith, and his first as an adult.
  • At the end of the novel, Dalin graduates into the Tanith 1st, creating the first family tie within the regiment since Mikal Dorden's death in Necropolis.
  • During the battle of K'ethdrac'att Shet Magir, Dalin experiences a metaphysical phenomenen in which he is warned of danger by a phatom Caffran, and later, in a deeply fatigued state, has a conversation with him. Depending on how linear the book's chronology is (the frontline assault and the Tanith's operation may not be occuring simaltaneously as read), it is possible that Caffran had already died when Dalin had these interactions, putting a different spin on them completely.
  • The decision to kill off Caffran at the book's conclusion was spurr of the moment. It is rumoured that Dan Abnett initally had chosen Daur to die.