David Gemmell: Waylander

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S an amazing crescendo of violent nasty threads weaving together into a satisfying tapestryI am not sure how I feel about the epilogue though It s a short chapter that sums up what happened afterward sometimes ears in the future On the one hand I loved it It was satisfying on many levels On the other hand it could have made a book or two Still in keeping with Gemmell s terse style it made senseI see at least one other reviewer compared it obliuely to Karl Edward Wagner s Kane books which are some of my favorites It s a good comparison for the dark gritty atmosphere The main characters aren t of Kane s stature but that makes it better in some ways realistic for lack of a better term gripping I KNOW that Kane is going get through whatever horrible situation he s in but that s not true of Gemmell s characters He kills maims them often enough to keep me guessingI think this book could be read first so far It wouldn t spoil anything might make Legend even better This is the first book in the series chronologically it is listed in publication order here By this time we all know the big picture the Drenai lands are overrun by an unstoppable force the last groups of Drenai army continue desperate struggle against overwhelming odds the simple farmers become reluctant heroes etc The main character of the book is an infamous assassin who managed to piss off almost everybody and is hunted by seemingly almost every single person in the world A very insignificant event he helped a tortured monk while recovering his stolen horse set events in motion which gave him a chance to redeem himself by recovering a great relic for battered Drednai army The main idea of the book is about redemption I think it is slightly overplayed as a lot of bad people start doing good deeds without any visible motivation In the end deux ex machina is used et again cheapening otherwise very powerful last pages The character of Waylander himself is interesting but I really wish the book would start earlier when he was still an assassin for hire we only see his evil deeds in his flashbacks 35 stars for a good book with some minor annoyances mentioned above which prevented me from rounding it up to 4 This book drew me in like few books do It is David Gemmell so expect some familiar ground such as ambiguous characters and gratuitous violence It s pulpy and atmospheric two traits I often find endearing in dark fantasy fiction The novel is really dark and brooding just like the titular character and there are some uncompromisingly grim scenes Like Legend it s a study of what it is that makes a man a hero or an anti hero for that matter We also get a glimpse into the conception and building of Dros Delnoch the fortress that features so prominently in Legend which I thought was neat The novel has a surprisingly philosophical bent The theme of redemption is present as one would expect although it manifests in unexpected forms Other recurring themes are prejudice friendship sacrifice and the meaning of faith It s all tied togetherGemmell also understood that sometimes less is and this is uite true here The plot is actually kind of spar Another excellent story written by the master of fantasy Modern fantasy owes a lot. Armies waged war on the Drenai lands intent on killing every man woman and child The Drenai soldiers were doomed to ultimate defeat and chaos would soon reign Then a strange old man told Waylander that the only way to turn the tide of battle would be for Waylander himself to retrieve the legendary Armor of Bron.

To David Gemmell with many of today s fantasy stars citing Gemmell as a major inspiration And Waylander is a fantastic story which is compact less than 400 pages but nevertheless brimming with emotionMini synopsisWaylander lone wolf assassin and general kick ass saves a priest almost by accident which sets of a chain of world changing events Waylander is set on an impossible Waylander The Drenai Saga 3 Waylander 1 David GemmellWaylander is a fantasy novel by British writer David Gemmell published in 1986 It is the first of three Waylander stories followed by Waylander II In the Realm of the Wolf and Waylander III Hero In The ShadowsThe assassin Waylander is doomed to travel the world in search of revenge against those who killed his family After allying with a priest a fellow assassin a oung woman and three children in her cha Once I was a lamb playing in a green field then the wolves came Now I am an eagle and I fly in a different universe Waylander is the third instalment in the Drenai Saga if we look at the order in which books were written According to the internal chronology of the cycle this is the opening volume of this epic taleThe book takes us hundreds of ears before the events described in the Legend The characters that had been considered legendary even divine there in Waylander take shape and are shown as ordinary people with their personal problems and challengesThe main protagonist is a soldier turned farmer turned assassin Typically for Mr Gemmell s heroes he is shackled by his own past and whenever he tries to escape it he sinks even further into the uagmires of fate We meet Waylander when he rescues a Source Priest tortured by a band of renegades This good deed first in a very long time in his career has a domino effect and suddenly Waylander finds himself in the middle of the Drenai war of survival against Ventrian invaders While what follows is a classic uest For A Magic Item an armour to be precise combined with et another Hopeless Situation But Not All is Lost kind of setting war is nearly lost morale is low and a miracle is needed to change this Waylander is pleasant and fast read It is a fairly good solid fantasy Mr Gemmell doesn t get preachy and so ou will not find paragraphs cut and paste from philosophy for dummies or self help books For such a short book there is an incredible amount of action and it is nice to get to know the heroes we have only heard about before like Karnak or learn about the origins of things like The Thirty On the other hand Waylander is hardly original Further the descriptions of battle scenes are rather cursory as are the descriptions of secondary and tertiary protagonists They tend to be poorly characterised often with rather crude strokes what makes it difficult to get attached to them Gemmell Fandom does not need to be recommended but even the outsiders should try the first volume of the Drenai Saga because this is where everything had started Also in The Drenai Saga 1 Legend 2 The King Beyond the Gate 4 uest for Lost Heroes 5 In the Realm of the Wolf 6 The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend 7 The Legend of Deathwalker 8 Winter Warriors 9 Hero in the Shadows 10 White Wolf RTC11 The Swords of Night and Day RTC. Ze from its hiding place deep within a shadow haunted land He would be hunted He was certain to fail But he must try the old man commanded commanded in the name of his son the king who had been slain by an assassin Waylander was the most unlikely of heroes for he was a traitor the Slayer who had killed the king.

It s safe to say that Gemmell was a major mover hard to say if he was The mover in the new paradigm within the Fantasy genre towards a level of realism and grit which has now become so popular over the past 15 ears But my feeling is that those trying to imitate his style often fail by going over the top Gemmell s powerful effect comes with his realism not with gratuitous violence etc The strength of this book is in the believable complex depth of the protagonist Waylander was pushed as so many people into darkness by the cruelty of the world by profound love that is ripped away from us leaving us wounded to the core As so often happens these wounds get infected and we stray into evil But in spite of all of the darkness that he delves into his soul keep Falling Through Clouds yearning for life and light again That struggle is what makes this worth reading That humanness is what truly puts Gemmell on the map I can t recommend this one highly enough Feverish pacing and imminent victory Gemmell s never disappoints Waylander iniuitous journey to reclaiming his individuality brings a contemplative look at one s life with a humanistic touch Respect and dislike are felt eually Waylander fka Dakeyras an apparently heartless assassin saves a peace loving Source priest Dardalion who is being tortured by some ruffians Each seems to benefit from the influence of the other as Waylander saves a women and heroung charges rediscovering his humanity along the way whereas Dardalion decides to take up the battle Together they help thwart the plans of Kaem to permanently rid the lands of the Drenai forever Waylander then embarks on a hopeless mission to retrieve a symbolic set of bronze armor to help rally the Drenai The book does not shy away from depicting the horrors of war and man at his worst and best Final rating 455 starsI have read first two books in the series starting with publishing order and i have to admit i was a bit confused at the world in this one because i didn t understand that it happens before Legend The king beyond the gate until i figured it out by certain hints I thought all books happen The Art of Acquiring years andears in the future but this book proved me wrongOverall this would be a first book in the series if started chronologically But I wouldn t recommend starting out with this one better to start out with publishing order it will be much easier to catch the hints and terms Anyway this series is great because most of these books are stand alone despite characters appearing sometimes in other books What I also loved was the fact that this book was about how the organization of the view spoilerThirty which were a fraternity of warrior monks hide spoiler This is pre Legend chronologically We get to see how a couple of major items in Legend came to be the forgotten sacrifices that fueled them The main characters were rather complex many weren t particularly nice even if they were supposed to be good guys It s not surprising that the main character was an antihero but there is another heroic figure a Drenai general that is even better in many ways Some of the supporting characters were far sympathetic pulled along by horrifying events just as the reader is It s a very tough book to put down the end All of Waylander's instincts had screamed at him to spurn the contract from Kaem the cruel the killer of nations But he had ignored them He had made his kill And even as he went to collect his gold he knew that he had been betrayedNow the Dark Brotherhood and the hounds of chaos were hunting him even as Kaem's.

David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy A former journalist and newspaper editor Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984 He went on to write over thirty novels Best known for his debut Legend Gemmell's works display violence yet also explores themes in honour loyalty and redemption With over one million copies sold his work continues to sel