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  1. #1

    Druss the Axe

    A friend of mine just recently recommended David Gemmel's "Drenai Saga."

    Could someone fill me in? I am not really familiar with his work.

    Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Short and sweet is the best way to describe Gemmel i think. He's one of my favorite authors. Quick paced and moving.

    Well worth checking out.

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    It's an on going series of stand alone novels in a harsh medieval world, though there are some recurring characters such as Druss and Waylander the Slayer. Quick paced and gritty. I would recommend them, especially Legend and Waylander, which would both be good to start with.

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    Guardian of sffworld Moderator James Barclay's Avatar
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    Gemmell is a top writer, in my opionion and the Drenai saga were the first of his I read. Enjoyed the lot. Both Waylander and Druss are characters to be enjoyed.

    And, if you fancy a change from heroic fantasy after them but still want Gemmell, try out The Jon Shannow books. They are excellent.

    One of my all time favourite writers.

  5. #5
    Thanks a lot! I am still in the midst of GRRM, but I'll definitely check Gemmel out on those reviews.

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    I will put in a dissenting view...
    I didn't enjoy it. The characters were extremely two dimensional, and the writing style was a little hard to follow. It is quite strange to see two sequential paragraphs from different characters view points. The plot was extremely simple and that interesting.

    This was in Legend. Not sure if any of his other stuf is worth reading. I wouldn't try it unless it had a really strong recommendation.

  7. #7
    Registered User mundanemies's Avatar
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    Two-dimensional?
    More like four-dimensional to me. The fact is that Gemmell writes of the same character, which is probably his biggest weakness. Reading his books back to back soon gets far too repetative. Yet time and againg, over and over, he manages to weave a Great tale and fully-dimensional maincharacters and interesting supporting ones.
    To call Legend's plot simple and (probably, as I think you may have missed a word here) not very interesting is weird. Yes, the plot is very simple, but far from un-interesting. Legend is a jam-packed action galore with deep and emotional meanderings of loyalty, loss and bravery. Druss is an archetype of gigantic proportions; a loner, guilt-ridden man full of vengeange. Gemmell's heroes are almost always like that, a figure that owes a LOT to Ethan Edwards. Ethan Who?
    Of The Searchers, probably the greatest western ever made, starring John Wayne as Druss... That'd been a day!

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    Read Druss you won't be disappointed while people can argue that the plot is simple I believe that the story is worth reading due to the fact that the plot is "simple". The main story is about a man searching for his lost love and discovering that he is an unstoppable fighting machine.

  9. #9
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    <quote>Druss is an archetype of gigantic proportions </quote>
    He is also a two dimensional, predictable stereotypical character. I shouldn't have to read every Gemmel book for him to be fleshed out.

    I won't deny that the plot is full of action, but is it interesting? No. It is mindless fight after fight, and is very predictable. IMO, these books are only slightly above those horrible Forgotten Realms novels.

  10. #10
    Abstainer from Foolosophy
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    I find Gemmell to be like snack food. Nothing to make a meal on but certainly fare to tide you over. Certainly I would take Gemmell over the likes of Feist, Brooks, Weis/Hickman just to mention a few that many here dine on regularly.

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    The Doctor... Sammie's Avatar
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    Can I just give Eventine some support here (now that i've located this topic!) and say that i have tried a couple of different Gemmel books, and found them flat, 'bitty' (ie they jumped between times and places with unsettling lack of continuity), not particularly well written, and boring.

    Oh, and I don't like Brooks, couldn't get into Weis/Hickman, and was disappointed by pretty much everything of Feist's that i read after Magician (except the stuff with Janny Wurts) for pretty much the same reasons.

    k?

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    \m/ BEER \m/ Moderator Rob B's Avatar
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    Sam82, which Weis/Hickman did you try?

    And to keep to topic, I recently received Tales of the Rigante a Gemmel Science Fiction Book Club omnibus containg Sword in the Storm and Midnight Falcon, so when I finish them, I can put in my 2 cents (or shilling, or pence, or rupies where ever the hell your from) about the books.

  13. #13
    The Doctor... Sammie's Avatar
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    FF, i tried starting about 3 different W/H bks on the extracts on Amazon.com, i don't remember which, and there was just nothing about them that 'grabbed me' (UNlike 'dying of the light', 'windhaven' and a couple of Storm Constantine books, which i now HAVE to have!)

    Also, I say '2 cents' in that expression, and i think most of my English generation do too - just out of interest

  14. #14
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    Sam,
    The only Weis Hickman type stuff I have read has been the Deathgate books. They are a light, fun read but I really liked the world they established and some of the concepts they introduced as the series continued. Would I recommend it? Yes. But not to people who look down on light reading. If you are looking for something epic, try Wurts' Wars of Light and Shadow. For an easy, fun, read, that is an OK series.

    And to stay on topic:
    I realise it is a trend in fantasy currently to write big fat novels. Legend is probaby the shortest book I have read in the past 3 years - are the rest of Gemmels books as short? The ones I have noticed in the bookstore seem to be.

  15. #15
    So, should first time readers begin with Legend then?
    I think that is perhaps the only Gemmel novel I have seen on the shelf as of late.

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