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Previous SFF Author: Emily Gee

SFF Author: David Gemmell

David Gemmell(1948-2006)
David Gemmell
, who also wrote as Ross Harding, wrote heroic fantasy and historical fantasy.



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Legend: This is how it’s done

Legend by David Gemmell

Before there was J.R.R Tolkien, there was Robert E. Howard, who created what would later be called Heroic Fantasy or Sword-and-Sorcery. With the justly-earned popularity of Lord of the Rings, it seems to me that many writers and publishers of fantasy fiction have forsaken the heroic ballads for overly-complex, over-sized, and, endless series.

But David Gemmell has not forgotten the heart of a good fantasy tale which is simply heroes (or anti-heroes).

This is the story of Druss,


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The First Chronicle of Druss the Legend

The First Chronicle of Druss the Legend by David Gemmell

The First Chronicle of Druss the Legend is the sixth book in David Gemmell’s non-sequential series, the Drenai Saga. It’s a prequel to the first Drenai book, Legend, and I think it’s the perfect prequel because it actually enhances his Druss stories by not being in chronological order.

Renegade soldiers turned slavers massacre a mountain village and take Druss’s wife, the seeress, Rowena. Desperate and enraged, the young country bumpkin takes up a battle-ax (inherited from his infamous grandfather) to begin a quest that will take him across half the world and last over seven years.


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White Wolf: Not Gemmell’s best…

White Wolf by David Gemmell

At its best, Heroic Fantasy can inspire and enliven. By nature, the subgenre is less concerned with realism than it is with depicting nobility, honor, and genuine integrity. In so doing, it shows us a world that reflects the better portions of our own, the world as it should be rather than as it is. At its worst, however, Heroic Fantasy is notorious for shallow characterization, mindless violence, and sententious, often hypocritical, pontificating to justify all that mindless violence so our valiant warriors can get back to massacring villages with rumps firmly planted on high horses.


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Knights of Dark Renown: Doesn’t leave us wallowing in darkness

Knights of Dark Renown by David Gemmell

It’s been six years since the legendary Knights of the Gabala rode through a gate to hell in order to fight the evil that threatened the realm. They haven’t been heard from since. But they are desperately needed now because the King, once a noble man, has begun rounding up the nomad population in Holocaust style. People who oppose his actions are named traitors and the King’s new henchmen are very strong and very… undead. The king’s new policies have alienated a lot of people — mostly peasants.


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Lion of Macedon: Proves why David Gemmell will be sorely missed

Lion of Macedon by David Gemmell

The dearly-departed David Gemmell was, in his lifetime, acknowledged as a master of the heroic fantasy, and if you want any proof of that, read Lion of Macedon.

The tale begins in Sparta in the period after the end of the interminable Peloponnesian wars, when Sparta had begun to weaken, and several decades before the rise of Philip and Alexander the Greats. The eponymous hero, Parmenion, is a Spartan — a true Lakedaimonios — with a Macedonian mother.


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Dark Moon: Pure genre fantasy

Dark Moon

In writing reviews of fantasy, everybody makes mention of those derivative books of sword and sorcery which lack imagination and either borrow exclusively from previous works (think Terry Goodkind) or possess so many archetypes that the whole book becomes cliché (think the DRAGONLANCE series). Everybody knows these cardboard Conans and Gandalfs wielding battleaxes, wands, and uttering the worst one-liners published today. But these comments about garbage fantasy are always directed to the “others” — someone else — never the work under review. Nobody wants to step on any toes.


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Lord of the Silver Bow: Big, bold, heroic and surprisingly good

Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell

I tried reading David Gemmell‘s Lord of the Silver Bow about 9 months before I actually read it. It was heavy, plodding, and confusing. I was looking for a fun story full of action and adventure, and I love history… but, alas, I stopped reading after about 50 pages, and kind of figured that I was simply beyond the age when testosterone-fueled adventures could carry a story. I gave it a second shot, and it turns out,


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Why You Should Read… David Gemmell

This is the first in a new weekly feature entitled ‘Why You Should Read…’ It will be a series of articles by bloggers, publicists, editors and authors focusing on various speculative fiction authors, and giving you reasons as to why you should be reading these authors NOW.

If you would like to contribute a feature, then please do get in touch with us.

First up, we have blogger Steve Aryan. He runs his own blog Steve’s Fantasy Book Reviews and is also the co-host of a comics and pop culture podcast (which includes a Book Club and Author Interview feature on a regular basis).


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Next SFF Author: Stella Gemmell
Previous SFF Author: Emily Gee

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