Sunday, June 15, 2014

Legend by David Gemmell

David Gemmell was the best writer of heroic fantasy in our generation. Others have claimed that title, but David Gemmell owned it. He was the king of heroic fantasy, and his untimely death is still a shock. Gemmell was born in 1948 and died in 2006 at the age of 57. Legend was his first major success, and its publication resulted in a staggering amount of high quality novels by Gemmell. I admit to being a Gemmell fan with a long list of favorite Gemmell titles: Ghost King, Echoes of the Great Song, Sword in the Storm, The Swords of Night and Day, Stormrider, Midnight Falcon, Ironhand’s daughter, The Hawk Eternal, Dark Moon, and White Wolf. I typed those titles by glancing up at my bookshelf and this is but a fraction of his work. Gemmell wrote many other novels with so many memorable characters – Druss the captain of the ax, Bane the bastard, Ravenheart, Stormrider, Connavar, and Skilgannon. These characters and the scenes that Gemmell wrote are so vivid that long after I read them I could recall them with clarity. Gemmell was one of a kind. Since Legend was the book that brought him fame, I am celebrating it here with the hope that Gemmell’s many great novels will find a new audience. David Gemmell was a writer whose books will probably remain in print, and that’s good news. Legend is about Druss, the captain of the ax, a legend in his own time. His weapon is the double-sided ax. Druss is coerced from retirement to battle the Nadir Hordes that are descending on the fortress called Dros Delnoch. Legend is about an old warrior’s final battle, and the people that are with him. It is a book with a big heart because Gemmell gave characters like Druss a big heart. It is filled with action and suspense and remains a testament to Gemmell’s incredible imagination.


  1. Love this book and everything else I've read by Gemmell. I was fortunate enough to meet him at a World Fantasy Convention, and he was a very nice guy in addition to being a fine writer. I would have liked to have known him better.

  2. Thanks James, that's cool that you met him!


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