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Gripping adventure the story is well told and puts you right in it. Well done.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Gemmell is a master of tragic, flawed heroes who are part hero, part villain (at some point in their lives). This book contains so many small things that a person would recognize in real life that prove Gemmell had a grasp of how the personal struggles of real people determine their decisions.
Gemmell's second tale of the Drenai, a people modelled loosely on Roman society. This is set a few generations on from "Legend" so while there are some excellent references and indeed cameos for those characters they are by the time of this one very much legendary. These books are like sagas, glorified episodes in history rather than any kind of contiguous series. There is once again a siege and again there is a cast of larger than life characters who excel at various marshal and magical disciplines to take Gemmell's grandiose stage. They are great fun and heroic deeds abound, heroes are made and broken and great evils are encountered. Characters go from first meeting to deeply in love faster than your average boy racer goes from nought to sixty. Magic comes in the form of a brand new version of The Thirty - white cloaked warrior priests dedicated to the cause. Of course they are matched by their own nemesis, The Templars, and as I don't do spoilers I won't tell you what colour their cloaks are but you can might just guess . . .
It's all a great cacophony of saga and legend. Gemmell allows his characters to strut their stuff across the lands of the Drenai and even infuses a bit more humour into proceedings in the process. It's all delivered by Sean Barrett with his usual aplomb and marches along with plenty of fighting and action in an almost Cornwellian style applied to the fantasy genre. You can guess of course that I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It would be wrong in 2017 though to not sound at least a small note of caution for anyone who comes to these books afresh. This is 1980s fantasy, actually correction it's GREAT 1980s fantasy, among the very best. However, in the following decades numerous writers, many of them inspired by Gemmell have honed the craft and taken it to new levels of sophistication. This is John Wayne's True Grit rather than Tarantino's Django Unchained, it's The Great Escape more than it's Hacksaw Ridge. Everyone will have an opinion on which are better and personally I love them all but you won't find anything like the sophistication of a Sanderson or Rothfuss here. You will find a bloody good yarn though and for this reviewer that's what's most important.
14 of 16 people found this review helpful
Glad to see at last these books are being published as audiobooks. Sean Barrett is the perfect narrator for them!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
None of the other books in this series will live upto Legend but I still enjoyed it.
I already loved this book and the audiobook didn't disappoint! great reading too, although the accents for Renya sometimes felt off.