Damned, The by David Gemmell
In terms of traditional, heroic story-telling, David Gemmel is king. I discovered the fascinating characters and worlds of the Gemmel-verse through the wonderful Rigante series, and subsequently began devouring Druss' novels. However, I'd have to say that for pure, addictive reading, White Wolf is perhaps my favourite of all Gemmel's novels.
Skillgannon is certainly one of my favourite anti-heroes; ruthless yet compassionate, violent yet just, uncertain of his destiny yet resolute in his goals. From the first chapter in the book, Gemmel's writing style and character introduction drag you full-swing into the world of White Wolf. The book also succeeds in contrasting Skilgannon, undoubtedly one of Gemmel's darkest heroes with Druss, one of Gemmel's most established and moral heroes.
From the slaughter outside the monsatery, to skirmishes wish demonic beasts and violent mercernaries, the reader is rushed alongside Skilgannon and his inevitable showdown with one of his greatest enemies, while along the way we discover his quest to renew lost love and his battle against a world ravaged by war.
Along with other intriguing characters, each with their own sub-plot and motives, one is left four words at the close of the book.... "Damn that was cool!"
Submitted by Smauginski
This book is not very typically Gemmellian. Most of his books talk about people who become warriors to avenge wrongs done to them or people out to take redemption or aged warriors who are older and slower but still good for one more fight.
Echoes of the great song however deals with the fate of an entire race of conquerors who have fallen from their times of glory. The race is called the Avatars. They are people who ruled through magic from their island kingdom (which might have been Atlantis).
Anyway, a cataclysm happened and the entire kingdom was destroyed except for a small outpost of barely 400 people. They are all that are left of the proud race known as Avatars.
A race from another world appears and war erupts between the new race and the Avatars allied with people who were their former vassals.
The book ends on a poignant note. The Avatars as a race except for a few survivors die out and all that remains of them are assorted legends that only hint at the truth of how great they actually where.