With mythic sweep and epic scope, David Gemmell’s bestselling novels of magic and adventure feature brooding heroes who fight to preserve all that is good and honorable in themselves and in the worlds through which they stride like lonely giants. In times of terror and despair, theirs are the swords that carve a shining path, inspiring others to follow. Even after their deaths, their names live on. . . .
A thousand years after they fell in battle, two heroes—Druss and Skilgannon—are revered throughout the war-torn lands of the Drenai. Yet men and women live in abject fear of the Joinings, abominable meldings of man and beast, and of their mistress, the dark sorceress known as the Eternal. None can stave off these ruthless foes.
But what if the soul of one such hero could be called back from the void, his bones housed again in flesh? An ancient prophecy foretold that Skilgannon would return in his people’s darkest hour. To most, this is a foolish hope. But not so to Landis Kan. For years, as the power of the Eternal grew, Kan searched for the tomb of Skilgannon the Damned. And at last, he found it, gathering up the bones and performing the mystic ritual.
But the reborn hero is an enigma: a young man whose warrior skills are blunted and whose memories are fragmented. This Skilgannon is a man out of time, marooned in a world as strange to him as a dream, remote from all he knew and loved.
Or nearly all. Before bringing Skilgannon back, Landis Kan experimented upon other bone fragments found in the hero’s tomb. That ritual resulted in a surly giant who possessed astounding strength, but no memories. To Kan, he was a dangerous failure. But to Skilgannon, this giant represented their last hope. For as the ageless evil of the Eternal threatens to drown the Drenai lands in blood, two legendary heroes will once again lead the way to freedom.
In this engrossing science fantasy, the latest in British author Gemmell's long-running Drenai series (White Wolf, etc.), 1,000 years have passed since the age of the heroic sword fighter, Skilgannon. A priestly class has reawakened ancient technology that allows them to prolong life indefinitely, create lycanthropic man-beast combinations called Jiamads and fashion magical weapons such as the two legendary blades Skilgannon once carried, the Swords of Night and Day. The greatest of the priests, Landis Khan, brings Skilgannon back to life in order to fight against the arrayed armies of another of Landis's resurrections, the empress Eternal aka Queen Jianna, Skilgannon's former lover and nemesis. Druss the Legend, the ax-fighter friend of Skilgannon from the past, has also been brought back in body. Skilgannon and Harad, the clone of Druss, join forces with Askari, a clone of Jianna, and various temporal locals, in a fight against the Eternal's Mongol-like hordes of were-creatures and ravaging soldiers. Though the story brims with standard swordplay and unremarkable battle sequences, the puzzling out of what a possessed sword might actually be (a nanotech-based artificial intelligence?), or how resurrection works (bio-engineered cloning?) provides delightful diversion and should make this one popular with idea-starved fantasy readers.
Customer ReviewsSee All
One of my favorites!
Great, complex lead character. Dynamic action. Classic good vs evil with new twists. Kept me reading and wanting more at the end.