Guns of Tanith
The Guns of Tanith is the fifth Gaunt's Ghosts book from Dan Abnett and the second of The Saint series. It was first published in April 2002. It chronicles the efforts of the Crusade army, including the Tanith 1st, to retake the crucial skyborne vapour mills of Phantine through ambitious drop assaults, with the very reputation they have fought to earn putting them in great danger.
Black Library Summary
In the Sabbat Worlds Crusade, the heretical forces of Chaos are fighting back hard. Dangeroursly overstretched, their supply lines cut by degenerate enemy troops, the Imperial forces grind to a halt. Colonel-Commissar Gaunt and the Tanith First-and-Only must recapture Phantine, a world rich in promethium but so ruined by pollution that the only way to attack is via a dangerous - and untried - aerial assault. Pitted against deadly opposition and a lethal environment, how can Gaunt and his men possibly survive?

Plot Summary Edit


The regiment trains for night time rope drop attacks in a storage hanger, using low level energy lasguns to simulate gunfire. The attackers, led by Hark, are woefully cut down by Gaunt's defenders, leading to a re-try. During the initial exercise, Cuu grabs Larkin in a choke hold...

Act OneEdit

Act TwoEdit

Act ThreeEdit

Act FourEdit

Act FiveEdit


Analysis & Extras Edit

Main Characters Edit

  • Gaunt
  • Mkoll
  • Bonin
  • Milo
  • Vadim
  • Cuu
  • Kolea
  • Larkin

Narrative Structure Edit

The Guns of Tanith follows a chronilogically linear narrative that mainly focusses initially on the drop training the regiment undertakes, the multi-pronged assault on Cirenholm and the battle that follows, and then Gaunt's efforts to free Caffran of wrongful charges against Imperial law, the training and prep for Operation Larisel, and then the mission itself. The main focus is given to Gaunt, Bonin, Milo and Mkoll.

Title Meaning Edit

By way of title, The Guns of Tanith seems to follow the same approach as a number of others in the series (i.e. First and Only, Straight Silver) in that it doesn't seem to directly specify to something in the plot, rather using an old military term. The few, rather thin arguments towards it regarding something in the plot would be either the ammunition situation at the beginning of the story or the use of high gauge assault rifles during Operation Larisel, neither of which are particularly significant.

The title in all likelihood is based on an honourable soundbite, one mentioned in the epilogue of the book itself both as used by Van Voytz and as a narrative phrase, that also makes a nod to another theme throughout, the Tanith-Verghastite divide and the feeling within the regiment that the Verghasts are not considered to be on a level footing with the Tanith troops.

Themes Edit

  • The Great Divide (the Veghast recruits)
  • Justice for one (The Caffran/Cuu trial)
  • One Last Stand (Backs to the wall at Cirenholm, Operation Larisel)
  • Changing character (Meryn)
  • Moral event horizon (Cuu)

Trivia Edit

  • The first time that Bonin's survival at Vervunhive has been explained, and the first time his character has been given any narrative focus. He would go on to become a recurring character, the regiment's second most effective scout, and a member of the Gereon 12.
  • First death of a major Ghost character in the series (although the series has already seen the deaths of various characters major to the plot)
  • The book features two instances of a popular and senior officer being grievously wounded while carrying a female trooper to safety: Corbec and Kolea.
  • Dan Abnett's decision to kill off Bragg was to prove a point about the series, due to the main characters previously having gone unscathed despite their grim and dangerous surroundings.

Unanswered Questions Edit

The Guns of Tanith Theories >

  • Why does Sanian play such a big part in Milo's mind?
  • Why was Gaunt so ignorant to the consequences of not fighting for Cuu?
  • How did Soric know about Corbec's blood infection?