Black Library Book Review: Necropolis (2000)

Necropolis, the third instalment of Dan Abnett’s Gaunt’s Ghosts series, sees the notorious Tanith First and Only deployed on Verghast. The huge hive cities on the planet are perpetually pitted against each other, vying for power through trade and occasionally force. When the hive of Ferrozoica launches a new, all out attack the out-matched Vervunhivers plea for Astra Militarum support. Warmaster Macaroth dispatches forces to shore up the defences of the Hive and maintain the progress of the sabbath Worlds Crusade. Gaunt his men find themselves on the front lines of a hard fought battle where betrayals, rivalries and the ever present taint of chaos force all hinder the defence. Gaunt must rise to the occasion to snatch victory from the jaws of what appears to be inevitable defeat.

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Necropolis feels like where the series really finds it’s feet and develops into a true novel series. This is completely understandable considering First and Only and Ghostmaker were originally a set of short stories for Inferno magazine. ‘Vermillion Level’ was developed into First and Only, while a collection of other short stories was complied into Ghostmaker.

The series was inspired by the Bernard Cornwall’s ‘Sharpe’ novels and you start to feel that in Necropolis. Gaunt must take control of an impossible situation and lead his men to victory from the very front. This is the first book in the series to be focused fully on battlefield action jumping from sector to sector developing characters we grow to love. However, Abnett does an excellent job of keeping everything clear and easy to follow throughout this. Whether it’s showing the random and pointless brutality of war in the 41st millennium or the inspiring actions of soldiers stepping up in face of it Necropolis is a fantastic book that will keep you turning page after page.

We rate Necropolis:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Let us know what you thought of the book down in the comments!

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