[By Nic Lindh on Thursday, 10 September 2009]
David Gemmell’s Drenai Tales consists of nine novels, all taking place in a fictional land where two nations, the Drenai and the Nadir, are in a state of tension and sometimes full-out war over the centuries.
This is very much old-school fantasy with large, burly heroes slaughtering their way through hordes of enemies. Which sounds like it would be boring. It is not. Gemmell was blessed with an ability above all else of making you turn the page—the plots move at breakneck speed, the battle sequences are full-on epic, and he imbues his characters with details that make you care about them, warts and all.
A nice touch is that the novels jump around in time, so sometimes the events in one novel show up as the stuff of legend in a later novel, and sometimes a novel will change the established facts of another novel, which makes Gemmell’s world very rich.
Literature the Drenai Tales are not—they are rollicking good stories that keep you up way too late at night because you must find out what happens next.
Definitely something to bring along for you next plane ride—which will be over way too soon.
Oh, and please don’t blame Gemmell for the book covers, which all look like rejected ’80s metal band album covers.
The Drenai Tales consist of Legend, The King Beyond the Gate, Quest for Lost Heroes, Waylander, In the Realm of the Wolf, The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, The Legend of Deathwalker, Winter Warriors, and Hero in the Shadows.