December 5th, 2001, 05:46 PM
Legend is a good place to start. If you don't like that, OK. It's a very good beginning point, being the first book he wrote and got published. His ideology and sense of the world comes out pretty well with that one. The writing has it's raw spots, but it's still n times stronger and more "there" than almost all other heroic fantasy writers can even dream about.
But again: Gemmell should not be read one after the other after the other. Give him time, savour the tension and grittiness of his books, the shades of grey there. He is definitely a "manly" writer with characters that define manliness. Yet his heroes are not glorified "shining knights" nor are they all good. They are heroes with flaws and some times deep inner demons.
Gemmell is definitely nothing like Forgotten Realms, nor is he a bad writer. And yes, he writes books that have very little excess in them, thank ghod! His latest ones have turned out to be somewhat thicker than his earlier books, but then again every single book published nowadays has to be over 350 pages, preferably 800! Publishers can't sell slim books, therefore authors have to pad them up. Sad is the state of industry...
November 6th, 2008, 06:48 AM
2 dimensional? start at legend?
I have now read most of Gemmells Drenai books in the last 3 months with only a break between 2 of them. I started on Legend and i must say i wish i hadnt, not because its not the best, i loved it, but after reading the books set before it i find myself wanting to finish them all so i can read legend again. Druss is not the main character in Legend in my opinion-which is why some might find him 2 dimensional in it, he is the rock around which the defence is built. I felt the main character was Rek who was far from 2 Dimensional.
I wished i had started with the chronicles of Druss or Waylander 1&2. Druss is a character which shows up in so many books and you wont fully understand him and appreciate him unless u read the chronicles.
Waylander is a great place to start because its pretty much as far back to the beginning u can go (i think). There are many characters in these books that are mentioned it Legend, Waylander the Slayer and others. I would suggest reading the books not in order of when they were written but when they are set in relation to each other. it then really feels like u are reading a series of books which link with each other and flow brilliantly.
god ive been rambling, no one i know has as much love for the Gemmell books so i had to come find the true believers!!!
November 6th, 2008, 02:58 PM
Gemmell was one of my favourite authors from the very first time I read Legend. His works are perfect examples of Heroic Fantasy, with worlds and heroes that are easy to relate to. No high magics, no dragons, just lots of conflict and legendary deeds.
One of the few authors, who made me feel like I was watching a movie unfold in my head, and got my blood flowing with his swift-flowing action scenes.
November 6th, 2008, 03:40 PM
I Has Good Writing
I have to agree with smiler. I read Legends first, then I jumped to Sword in the Storm (which happens to be one my favorite books ever). The story behind him writing Legend is pretty phenominal as well (He wrote it as a parallel to his battle with cancer back in the 70's. He planned on waiting for his diagnosis to finish it, wanting it to mirror what happened to him, but he shelved it when he found out he'd been misdiagnosed. a friend convinced him to publish it many years later. If his buddy had ever read his manuscript he may never have written any of these books!)