David Gemmell’s Drenai saga

I am re-reading David Gemmell’s Drenai saga.  I used to have some of the books years ago.  He was a good writer.  He died in 2006 and his last book was finished by his wife.

The first book in the series is Legend.  The great warrior Druss is old now and goes to the mighty fortress Dros Delnoch to hold off a Nadir invasion.  The Nadir are a barbarian people united by the mighty warlord Ulrich.  This is a good book.  Druss is an interesting character and some of the other characters are also interesting.  Druss might be a great warrior but he is at times not very likeable.  There were later novels about Druss that showed him as a young man.  I haven’t read any of those yet but I plan to read them.

The King Beyond the Gate is the story of Tenka Khan.  He is out to save the Drenai from an evil king.  Khan is a half Drenai and half Nadir.   This was the second book published but the publication order is not the same as the chronological order.

Waylander is the story of the assassin Waylander.  Waylander is hired to kill the king of Drenai but betrayed.  The novel traces his attempt at redemption. The novel is actually set before any of the other novels and it is at the end of this novel that Dros Delnoch is built.

Quest for Lost Heroes assembles a team of old warriors to rescue a stolen  slave girl and this also leads them to the  fortress Bel-azar. (This book takes place years after Legend but it stands alone.) This was also the place where the heroes earned their fame.  There are greater things at stake than one person’s freedom.

Gemmell’s heroes, so far, tend to be older and battle-scared.   (There is a young man as a major character in Quest for Lost Heroes but he is a notable exception so far.) They might go on great quests  or fight for lost causes but they are realistic (and sometime cynical).


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