David Gemmell Reread!

It’s that happy time of year again, where I get to reread and revisit the works of my favorite fiction author, David Gemmell!

Every August, I dive into a massive reread of all of Gemmell’s fiction works, and this year, I’ve decided to review and talk about each book as it goes on (this blog needs some serious love, so here’s something to start with). I read each of his books in their respective groupings/series, and for clarity’s sake, here is my reading order.

If you wanna read along, or discuss the work, I’d love that. I don’t get to rave or talk about the themes in Gemmell’s work enough.


505352Rigante series – Flintlock Fantasy before “Flintlock Fantasy” was really a genre, this book series is probably my absolute favorite work of his. I love the take on cultures from across the sea, the detailed worldbuilding, and the century spanning timeline.

  • Sword in the Storm
  • Midnight Falcon
  • Ravenheart (my personal favorite in the series)
  • Stormrider

 

 

 


Drenai Series – Second favorite, because it’s a classic. You can’t go 618177wrong with the best Heroic Fantasy on the market. Or ever.

  • Legend (it’s a classic, and it’s my favorite book of his).
  • The King Beyond the Gate
  • Waylander
  • Quest for Lost Heroes
  • Waylander II: In the Realm of the Wolf
  • The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend
  • The Legend of Deathwalker
  • Winter Warriors
  • Hero in the Shadows
  • White Wolf (The Damned Series Book 1)
  • The Swords of Night and Day (The Damned Series Book 2)

 

last-guardianStones of Power – This one is a little weird, so I just copied the Wikipedia description. It reads like two vaguely connected series.

“This series is known by several names. The entire series deals with the Stones of Power, also known as the Sipstrassi. The first two books contain a re-imagining of the Arthurian legend. The last three novels involve the protagonist Jon Shannow.”

  •  Ghost King
  • Last Sword of Power
  • Wolf in Shadow
  • The Last Guardian
  • Bloodstone

 


Hawk Queen  – Dimension hopping fantasy. Love it.

  • Ironhand’s Daughter
  • The Hawk Eternal

 


Standalone Novels

  • Knights of Dark Renown
  • Morningstar
  • Dark Moon
  • Echoes of the Great Song

Troy series – Historical Fantasy!

  • Troy: Lord of the Silver Bow
  • Troy: Shield of Thunder
  • Troy: Fall of Kings

Greek series – More Historical Fantasy!

  • Lion of Macedon
  • Dark Prince

 

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Fiction Review: Skin Game

I just fskingame_lginished reading Skin Game, the latest book in the Dresden Files series. Can I just say wow? Seriously.

I had an initial love hate relationship with the Dresden Files. I loved the humor and the concept, but it felt so much like a rip from the pages of Mage: The Awakening that I could hardly handle it. So I never got very far. I remember one night being out of books to read, so I powered through Storm Front and Fool Moon in one evening.

Didn’t look back after that. All I can say is that Skin Game is Butcher at the top tier of his writing abilities. After Proven Guilty, I felt like Butcher slacked off on maintaining his mythos. I know some other readers have agreed. The giant reset button he hit there was fairly irritating and made the later books less enjoyable for me. I mean, when was the last time the Black Council came up? Or the Grey Council?

Skin Game fixed that. I was elated to see old characters I’d missed returning to the fold. The return of Michael as a moral compass for Dresden was welcome. Michael has always been one of my favorite characters in the stories and I was elated to see him take an active role again though Skin Game. I would hate to spoil the book and so I won’t, but the last 100 pages of the story were fantastic, and really drove the conclusion home and reinvigorated the series after the slump I’d felt it was in. If you like the Dresden Files, you’ll love this book. If you haven’t read them yet, what are you waiting for? There’s 14 books for you to catch up with, and I bet you’ll love every one.

Fiction Review: Promise of Blood

Last nightPromiseOfBlood_FINAL_RP I finished reading Promise of Blood by Brian McClellan.

It’s apparently his first novel, and let me tell you, I don’t think I’ve read a debut that was this impressive since I finished Lies of Locke Lamora. I was utterly captivated and could not put this book down. The world building was some of the best I’ve ever encountered, putting Jordan, Tolkien and Sanderson to shame. The dialogue was crisp and to the point, although, I didn’t feel as though it was terribly innovative or compelling. But it certainly never lagged.

The story really follows 3 distinct storylines, Adamast, the investigator who is attempting to solve some political puzzles/historical puzzles, Tamas, the general who leads the coup against the King in the first two chapters, and his subsequent political struggles, and Taniel, the son of Tamas who struggles to find his place between family, duty, and friendship. I certainly found Tamas the most intriguing of the characters, and a good chunk of the story is devoted to him, much to my enjoyment. His depth was apparent from his first foray in the story, and I couldn’t help but like him.

I found Taniel uninspired. He was generic and cliche. Maybe I’m not supposed to like him? I was unsure, but I never hated him. Just…wanted to get past his bits to more Tamas.

Adamast had the least compelling story, but was much better written then Taniel. I’ve got to be honest though. Any complaints I have are me stretching to find something besides praise for an excellent story.

My only real complaint was I felt the story lacked direction in an underlying way. There was no common threat to tie these characters together, and while at times their stories converged, it felt somewhat disjointed during the climax. Maybe I’m too used to the common idea of a single “villain” or “big bad” and I couldn’t get my head around anything different.

Regardless, this is easily the best fantasy book of the decade for me, and I already ordered the sequel. I fully intend to reread Promise of Blood today/tomorrow, and then dive right into the second book! And all the short stories. Oof.

http://www.brianmcclellan.com/bookstore/promise-of-blood

http://www.brianmcclellan.com/bookstore/the-crimson-campaign