June 22, 2017, 03:02:58 PM

Author Topic: David Gemmell  (Read 1705 times)

Offline Alex Hormann

David Gemmell
« on: May 20, 2015, 12:33:32 AM »
Couldn't find a discussion elsewhere, so . . .

I've just finished my first year at University and wanted something short to get me back into reading after all that nasty, nasty revision.  ;) Legend comes in at around 300 pages, so it was just what I was looking for, but I was a little hesitant having had, well, mixed experiences with older fantasy novels. But I can happily report that it's one of the best books I've read this year. For me, it had the perfect level of worldbuilding, character and plot, and the prose was nowhere near as dense as I feared. I'll hopefully pick up a bit more Gemmell next time I head to Waterstones. So, two questions:

1) What do other people think of Gemmell, Legend in particular?

2) What order should I read them in?


Offline CameronJohnston

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2015, 10:03:47 AM »
I don't think you can really go wrong with Gemmell books, though some are definately better than others. Even when he covers the same themes and types of character (the flawed bad guy still with an ember of goodness inside) in a formulaic way it still somehow seems fresh and interesting (formula done well I guess). His worldbuilding never gets in the way of the plot and pace as it does in other writers' novels.

1)I really enjoyed most of Gemmell's novels, though it's been a while since I read them. Some bits really punch you with feels to the guts, and he does those well.

2)Whatever order you like, mostly, as they work as standalones.
Here is a link to the novels in chronological order for their settings rather than by publication date:

I think my highlights were Legend, Knights of Dark Renown and Echoes of the Great Song.

Welcome, Watchers of illusion, to the castle of confusion.
Spellcasting: W.I.N.E

Offline Yora

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2015, 10:32:47 AM »
Legend is a very interesting and unusual book. I've often seen it called Sword & Sorcery, but I didn't get that impression at all. For a book about a siege, there is surprisingly little action and while at times it seems a bit cliched, things regularly turn out in rather unconvetional ways. I think it's really quite clever.
Usually I completely ignore who the writer of a book is and what intentions he might have had, but in Legend that is a very interesting element that affects pretty much everything within the story. Everything is deeply symbolic, but without being cheesy or preachy.
Spriggan's Den

There is nothing to read!

Offline Hedin

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2015, 12:59:05 PM »
At this point in time Legend can feel a little cliched as a lot of books today were in some way influenced by it but I think if you had read it when it came out it probably would not have felt that way.  I really enjoyed Legend, its definitely not a deep book but it was an entertaining read, but I did not like The King Beyond the Gates.

Offline DrNefario

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2015, 01:18:04 PM »
I'd say just read the lot of them in the order they were published. It worked for me. :)

Offline leterile

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2015, 01:21:39 AM »
I liked Legend. Nice easy read. Don't have to think too much. Good guys are good guys and bad guys are bad guys for the most part. As far as reading order... I read Legend first, then realized the timeline was crazy so I went to the beginning and read them in chronological order. That's just me. You don't have to do it that way.

Offline DrNefario

Re: David Gemmell
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2015, 01:18:45 PM »
I always feel that published order can never be wrong. Chronological order sometimes works, and sometimes doesn't, but can include spoilers for earlier-written, later-set works. Chronological order is not necessarily dramatically-satisfying order. The big reveal of Empire Strikes Back is not much of a reveal if you've seen Episodes 1-3.

To be honest, though, I can't think of anything else that has really been ruined by reading in chronological order over published order, where different.


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