David Gemmell books

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Books and Comics' started by Panther50, Jan 10, 2006.

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  1. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    Apr 7, 2004
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    Any David Gemmell fans out there. He is one of my favourite fantasy authors. I think he has a knack for creating interesting heroes and villans and giving them difficult situations to deal with. Some of my favourites include
    Legend
    White Wolf
    The Rigante Books
    Waylander
    Druss, Skilgannon, Connevar and Waylander are all great heroes, despite having very different personalties and temperaments.
    I didn't really like the Hawk Queen books or the Stones of Power series, I just couldn't get into the characters.
  2. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
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    I'm looking into him, but all I've heard is he's your light reading sort of fellow. Transposable with The Scorpian King protaganist, muscles and grunt and all. [face_mischief]
  3. BroodingLion Jedi Knight

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    Mar 14, 2004
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    I love Gemmell. He's easy to pick up, sure, but that doesn't make him any less great. I think he does a really good job of making great, flawed, often tormented heroes who rise above those flaws, and then surrounding them with an impressive supporting cast. Vorna the witch was a favorite of mine, as was Mulgrave (both supporting characters in the Rigante series, two books each - and speaking of which, who could forget Rage? I'm hoping that Gemmell follows through with his statement in an interview that he's toyed with the idea of going back to Bane's story...). I've read of him that he's the only fantasy author who can get away with telling essentially the same story over and over again. While I personally think that's an exaggeration, I see the point. Seemingly generic plots, often, and the Rigante series didn't necessarily have much in the way of "original" story ideas, inspired by Arthurian myth and Rome's history and then colonization as they were, and the Battle of Skeln Pass is basically Thermopylae, but I get so attached to the people in them that I often don't care. I think it's his grasp of humanity that I like most. That and/or the fact that none of his heroes ever seem to win the day easily. I have a friend who's only ever read Winter Warriors; she loved it, but she's afraid to ever pick up another Gemmell book because she doesn't want to be as sad after reading it as she was after finishing WW.

    Skilgannon's books and the Rigante series stand out most for me, and Winter Warriors. His Troy series has gotten off to a nice start too. Of the Rigante I think the first two are better to read as standalones, and more "fun," but having gotten invested in the storyline at that point, Ravenheart and Stormrider hit pretty hard, so I have a really hard time picking a favorite out of that series. Of the three Waylander books the first I read was actually Hero in the Shadows; I thought Kysumu was a pretty great character.

    I have The Hawk Eternal in my desk but I've only read Ironhand's Daughter - I feel the same way. Couldn't really feel for Sigarni too much, to be honest.

    Echoes of the Great Song is a really good standalone. Good way to introduce someone to him, I think, say, as a birthday present. Of course, Legend and Sword in the Storm would do the job just as well.

    Dark Moon is only alright, IMO. Haven't read Knights of Dark Renown, Morningstar, the Stones of Power Cycle, or his books based on Alexander.
  4. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    May 20, 2005
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    i love gemmell's books, but i agree to a point with what BroodingLion posted that he basically gets away with writing the same story over and over, but this doesn't detract at all from what he writes, although reading the druss books can get a bit repetative at times (although these too are great books)

    i really like lion of macedon and the dark prince too, but my favorite books are the jon shannow series.
  5. BroodingLion Jedi Knight

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    Oh, I agree with you. And even though we do see Druss over and over, and his role in The Legend of Deathwalker in particular seemed just a tad lackluster, you get attached to the big guy, dontcha? I absolutely loved The Swords of Night and Day because of what Gemmell did with taking Druss' legend into the future; if there's never another Drenai book I think the series could end there perfectly.

    But I'd certainly like to see further adventures of Skilgannon.
  6. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    May 20, 2005
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    skillgannon is a great character, full of potential. swords of night and day was a brilliant book. was that the one with ustarte in it from the last waylander book? i loved how the characters sort of cross over.
  7. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    Apr 7, 2004
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    Swords of Day and Night was good. I liked seeing how the future of all the different nations and it was good seeing Skilgannon and Druss together again. I'll admit some of the stories are reptitive, I lose count of how many times I've read about a small band holding off a numerically superior force. But I still enjoy the outcomes and seeing the characters face thier fears or reach an insight about themselves. I tried one of the
    Jon Shannow books, but I didn't really like it and I haven't really been interested in trying one of the others.
  8. BroodingLion Jedi Knight

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    Yeah, Ustarte is in both of the Skilgannon books. I like the crossover too; that and little cross-era references even when a character doesn't make a physical appearance, like in First Chronicles of Druss the Legend when Druss mentions Waylander as one of the legendary heroes who people seem to like comparing him to, or in Winter Warriors when there's a bust of Bodasen. I like that the Drenai world has a sense of history; it's harder to pick up any old Drenai book and appreciate everything in it, but the payoff is that the whole is something that really is greater than the sum of its parts, no single story or event really exists in a vacuum, and that makes it feel simultaneously more real and more epic.
  9. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    May 20, 2005
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    just finished reading "troy". it's the first part of a trilogy, and it's the best gemmell book so far imho. brilliantly written and a very compelling read. towards the end of the book i found it hard to put down. i cannot wait till september for the second book :(

    go read it NOW!! :p , if you have read it, what did you think?
  10. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    Apr 7, 2004
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    I liked it, definitely up there with his best and I'm looking forward to reading the next one. I thought it was interesting on how he focused on different characters then the ones you'd expect. Like Hector not making an appearance till the end or Helen only appearing for a couple pages. Have to say though my favourite character was Odyseus I'll be interested to see where his character goes.
  11. NYCitygurl NSWFF Manager

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    Hmm, that sounds interesting. Does the book follow the Iliad?
  12. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    May 20, 2005
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    no, it's gemmell's take on (i assume this as i don't know what is going to happen in the second and third books) the fall of troy, using the characters recorded in history - hector, paris etc.

    there are some major shocks in the story that i won't spoil for those who haven't read it, but i didn't see certain things coming that's for sure ;)
  13. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2002
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    What's his depth of writing like? Are his books generally breezy and light reading, adventurous heroics---or is there substance? I couldn't find an unbiased enough review. With almost 10 Drenai series books, do they feel like imitations of each other after so long?
  14. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    I suppose the stories do tend to be a bit similar, theres usually some desparate last stand fight at the end, but theres usually a very good build up to why its happening. As for substance I think his books are a pretty examination on what it takes to be a hero and that it does not always mean someone becoming a warrior or fighting.
  15. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

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    Jul 28, 2002
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    Tempted to try one, but fear it's Forgotten Realm-class light reading. What's the best entry point: Drenai 1, or Night and Day Sword?
  16. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    May 20, 2005
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    drenai tales is a good entry point, but gemmell's books featuring druss do become a bit "samey" after a while. i would (and did) read waylander first. i still prefer waylander over druss. both characters are set on the same world, with waylander's stories occuring centuries before druss and intertwining at points (the armour of bronze story line etc)

    swords of night and day is still a good book though.


    the jon shannow trilogy is very good too, with a great twist right at the end of the last book. these books (i thought) had depth and substance to them.
  17. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    If you didn't want to try any of the Drenai books, the Rigante Series is pretty good.
  18. Excellence Jedi Grand Master

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    And each of the 3 series are different enough to each other?
  19. Panther50 Jedi Knight

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    I'd say they're all fairly unique.
  20. Lord-Wiz Jedi Master

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    and i'd agree with panther50.

    although there are references to other characters in some of the books, like the armour of bronze that i mentioned previously, and the sipstrassi stones appearing in a couple of unrelated stories.
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