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David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy: Legend Award

The Legend Award - Snaga (Gemmell Awards)

Arthur had his sword in the stone.

The Legend award has its axe on the podium.

Snaga the Sender. The Blades of no Return. The axe of Druss the Legend, himself. And the prize of the peoples’ champion, whomever they choose. Because Legends are not born – they are made.

The Legend award, one of three categories in the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, celebrates the best traditionally-published fantasy novel in the past year. It invites you, anyone and everyone, to judge a selection of authors and their works and vote for your favourite.

This year’s shortlist nominees are:

  • John Gwynne, Wrath (Tor)
  • Jay Kristoff, Nevernight (Harper Voyager)
  • Mark Lawrence, The Wheel of Osheim (Harper Voyager)
  • Brandon Sanderson, The Bands of Mourning (Gollancz)
  • Gav Thorpe, Warbeast (Black Library)

Previous winners include names known across the circle of the world such as Patrick Rothfuss and Brent Weeks – as well as names known within their own circle of fans, such as Graham McNeil for Empire (set in the world of Warhammer from Games Workshop) and Andrej Sapkowski for Blood of Elves (from the popular Witcher series, the novels the games are based on). And that’s not forgetting the two-time winning authors Brandon Sanderson and Mark Lawrence.

As I said before (and again, please stay your pitchforks), this list bears a remarkable resemblance to the Ravenheart (best cover art) category, in that it’s a line-up of the usual names and faces. I’d go one further this time (please, no prodding, those things are sharp) and say that the nominees for the Legend category bear a remarkable resemblance to last year and the year before that.

And you can see why – these authors are on the top of their game, and as such have a legion of fans roaring from the stands. The contenders will win or lose on your word – so vote, and crown a victor!

And next year, we’ll do it all again. Likely with more than a few familiar faces…but maybe, just maybe, we’ll crown a new Legend, one that has never been seen before on the shortlists.

Because Legends are made – and in this, we can make legends real.

Voting on the shortlists closes on Friday 2nd June. Cast your votes on the David Gemmell Awards official website HERE. The awards will be presented on the 15th July 2017, at the Edge-Lit 6 event in Derby.

Title image courtesy of FantasyMagazine.it



  1. Avatar R says:

    I’m sorry to see what appears to be a totally male line-up. Missing some great reads this year by women.

    • Yup. 🙁 There is one female writer (Megan E. O’Keefe) shortlisted for the Morningstar, so fingers crossed . . . but yeah. As Mike said, the lists are beginning to look the same every year. No fault of the authors, of course (I can vouch that Gwynne and Lawrence both deserve the recognition), but still kind of shitty. Hopefully it’ll be a bit different next year, with so many female debut authors in 2017!

    • Avatar Justin Heard says:

      I don’t think you can blame the award for that. Apparently, voters didn’t feel like the female authors wrote their favorite story. I would much rather have an honest vote from the people rather than someone put in just to balance the scales.
      I didn’t read anything last year by a female writer that was a new book in 2016, and I haven’t seen one that appeals to me so far.

      • Can I make a few suggestions for this year (2017)? And these aren’t my own personal endorsements as award nominees for next year, but I found these great reads:
        *Ninth Rain by Jen Williams
        *The Dragon’s Legacy by Deborah A Wolf

        Not yet released, but due out soon:
        *Godblind by Anna Stephens
        *The Court of Broken Knives by Anna Smith-Spark

        And of course, Assassin’s Fate the legendary Robin Hobb!

    • I’d second this on the female front, but as Laura said, I’d also love to see a greater variation of the names every year.

      That being said, having read those on the list, the authors and their respective works are well deserving of the recognition and praise.

      I always think of this as an award voted by the people for the people – and the people have spoken.

      Maybe we as readers can do more to promote our favourite authors that haven’t made this list?

  2. Avatar Justin Heard says:

    I have no idea how Gav Thorpe Warbeast made it on the list. It doesn’t even have 300 ratings on Goodreads.

    • I don’t think the ratings on GR can be used as a yardstick, in this instance.

      Gav Thorpe is a long established author with the weight of the Black Library (Games Workshop publisher) fanbase behind me. And, having read Warbeast (I like to read all of the nominated books in the DG awards), whilst it’s not my usual choice, I quite enjoyed it.

      And this being a vote by the people, I can see why it made it to the shortlist 😀

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