And Hogun the grim legion general to rank and file soldiers whom we meet learn their back stories and accompany in battle There is finally the Temple of Thirty warrior priests for whom the incoming battle is the culmination of thirteen years of training They are weapon masters who seek the perfect death to counterpoint the perfect life whose bodies are the living weapons and minds fight as powerfully but whose spirits adhere to xtreme pacifism I am sure that all readers interested in Eastern spirituality fill find the albino Serbitar one of the most fascinating characters in fantasy Druss is very man who has refused to uit to surrender when life offered no hope to stand aside when the alternative was to die He is a man who has shown other men there is no such thing as guaranteed defeat Secondly what Gemmel shows is that there is to battle than hacking and slashing at the incoming nemy He builds the tension surrounding the incoming class and VOYAGES DE GRANDE CROISIERE even before the fighting starts he shows the reader that victory is not merely the uestion of military might That there is tactic and organisation to be considered the supply lines the orderlies hospitals and stretcher bearers And above all hemphasises the role of spirit He shows the whole dynamic of the battle so beautifully captured and symbolised in how A Riesling to Die each of the walls is named Firstly Eldibar which meansxultation followed by Musif the wall of despair and Kania the wall of renewed hope The fourth wall is named Sumitos the wall of desperation while Valteri wall five is the wall of serenity and finally Geddon is the wall of death You will follow the defenders through these walls and through their own battles that Pookie-Pie: A Sweet Bedtime Story each has to wage Because there is not one battle but many Gemmel paints dozens of tiny pictures of deeds of individual heroism passed unseen but also shows how low a human spirit can sink during wartime with treachery cowardice and denial Finally while you will find the motif of good forces with all the odds pitched against them fighting the incomingvil in other heroic fantasy books including those penned by Gemmel himself I think that the Legend is mature because it is nuanced The main theme is not the clash of light against the dark good against the vil Ulric of the Nadir is not a primitive brute but an nemy worthy of respect The Legend invites us to ponder about the human nature the mysteries of human soul that propel us to fight for lost causes and refuse to yield ven if giving up seems to be the most reasonable course of action Even if the only thing we can offer is our meaningless and unnecessary death Regarding my rating I approach this book in a very similar manner to the Dragonlance Chronicles There is a lot of nostalgia factor involved The Legend gets the benefit of being a classic and so I ignore the things that under normal circumstances would bring the final verdict down by two stars view spoilermainly Ulric s purple yes and the fact that what dies doesn t stay dead hide spoiler The uality of a book is generally judged by the words in it in addition to the story It s not just what you say how you say it also matters If not a complete counter A Warlocks Dance (The Cursed Princes, example Legend is a book where the rule loses itsffect Legend is certainly not the best written book ver but it is most definitely one of the best books ver written David Gemmell never finished school since he was My First Kitten expelled at the age of sixteen and the unrefined writing is apparent throughout the book He struggled to tell his story but he had a hell of a story to tell What the book lacks in sophistication of wordsmithing it than makes up for with the raw power of the story Allow a thoughtxperiment for the moment Strip away all the decoration in a typical book all the character actioninteraction that Seeds of the Spirit 2000 exists for flavor all the worldbuilding all the prosexposition and clever tropes What are we left with Usually very little Usually a basic plot that we re lucky to Pin-Up even partially connect with It mightven be an intelligent story or an imaginative one But it s ultimately weak skeletal and insignificant in almost very way It might ven be non Loyal to His Lies existent Luckily our world has been gifted with a book like Legend where we can prove such a thoughtxperiment wrong Strip away the decoration and frosting from Legend cut it down to its most basic The Favorite Daughter elements and we are still left with a book worthy of the test of time In the Iliad Achilles was given a choice by the gods To live a short glorious heroic life that willnd violently but be remembered or to live a long healthy life and Fitness for Geeks eventually suffer the fadingffect of time upon his name We all know what choice Achilles made and Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest heroes ver to come from the ranks of humanity In his own way Druss the main character in Legend faced the same choice Fade into old age and senility or face down your death with defiance at the cost of a shorter lifespan Yet Achilles is not the only hero who is remembered through the ages In fact the greatest hero of the Iliad is Hector Where Achilles is remembered for the glory of his life Hector is heroic for the manner of his death Knowing with absolute certainty that to face Achilles in a duel means death he accepts the challenge anyway Not to be suicidal but to die in the manner he tried to live What makes a man or woman great or heroic What does it mean to die a good death For that matter what does it mean to ven live a life worth living Overcoming great obstacles and succeeding is not compelling nough Fighting failing and dying knowing that your name will be remembered isn t ven heroic nough The true hero is the one who fights against that which he knows he cannot possibly defeat Not for the remembrance of his name or the glory of his cause but for himself Humans often die for one another A mother takes a gang member s bullet to save her child a man on life support wants the plug pulled so his heart can be transplanted to save another or a soldier dives upon a grenade to save his suad mates What makes one case heroic than the next What if nobody was around to recognize such sacrifice If the mother knows with certainty that jumping to take the bullet will still not save the child from death yet does it anyway is it still heroic or foolish If nobody is to witness that mother s sacrifice should it affect her decision to commit it If nobody pulls the man s life support plug for him but
in a rare act of clarity he manages to pull it himself while he is alone a rare act of clarity he manages to pull it himself while he is alone his hospital room does it detract from the glory or worthiness of his death If the foxhole of soldiers becomes surrounded by an insurmountable nemy and if the soldier knows without a doubt that diving upon the grenade will not save his friends from the battle Should he do it anyway No one will know he the battle Should he do it anyway No one will know he such a thing No medal will be given nor monument raised to his name What makes a death a good death And what makes a life worth living The characters of Legend are the characters within us all Fear doubt and futility are all present but so too are the traits which make us greater than the sum of our parts Honor courage duty and yes Naked Choke even love are all necessary components for a heroic tale of such resonance David Gemmell wrote Legend as he was waiting to find out whether or not he was going to die from cancer and it is his attempt at dealing with mortality What does it mean to die well or live well What does it mean to be a man Is loveven worth the Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good effort if it is destined to last only a brief moment andnd in pain Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living but perhaps the unexamined death is not worth dying Murder at the Mansion either All life leads to death but perhaps all death should bembraced with the joys of life Very few books have had an impact comparable to Legend and as I said for all it s technical flaws it is one of the finest novels ver written Gemmell s fears are my fears His hopes my hopes Legend was his first and greatest book and its very xistence makes the world a fuller place and humanity wealthier RIP Mr Gemmell you ve Seductive Surrender earned it. By six outer walls it was the stronghold of the Drenaimpire Now it is the last battleground for all lse has fallen before the Nadir hordesAnd the only hope rests on the skills of that one old .
The Drenai Empire good guys is threatened by barbarian horde from Nadir not so good guys where a leader merged who managed to unite almost all the tribes and wants to conuer his neighbors The neighbors are not prepared they have small army and not nough competent commanders The first fortress which happened to be in the way of barbarian contest is Dros Delnoch if I understood correctly this is the only fortress capable of delaying the conuest of the Empire If it falls the rest will shortly follow So on one hand we have hordes of barbarians with decent commanders on the other hand a very small army consisting mostly of new recruits whose task is to delay the conuerors until the reinforcements arrive hopefully The last hope of fortress defenders is Druss the Legend He is an old and I do mean old warrior who defied the odds his whole life and was never defeated think Cohen the Barbarian from Terry Pratchett So it is up to him to raise the moral and organize the defenders This is fairly generic fantasy with some very minor magic The only reason I gave this book 3 stars is Druss himself he is a very interesting character who really makes you wish he kept defying the odds against him If I discount Druss the book is worth 2 stars The romance between Rek and Virae other main characters is so badly written I saw better in porn movies Speaking of Rek he undergoes completely unexplainable transformation from a coward to the bravest man in the Empire almost overnight The pilog feels forced and not what I consider a good or ven logical nding I am not sure I want to read the next book in series Can somebody inspire me to do this An awesome BR with Lovely Pinky and my fellow Catman two faithful Cat holics Get rid of your doubts Yesterday is dead Past mistakes are like smoke in the breeze What counts is tomorrow I love pic fantasy 3 Fantasy books rarely let me down and The Legend sure didn t Opening such a book I look for a promise from the author I want to dive into the rich picturesue world intriguing narrative and of course gripping characters with true to life personalities and of course with names I have difficulties to pronounce D That s what I seek for in my fantasy reads Did I get this in this book Not uite but I can say for sure that it s an outstanding readCharacters As is typical in many fantasy series there is a big cast of characters I liked them all starting with Druss a true hero a legend brave strong old and tired but determined to die with his axe Snaga in his hand view spoilerVirae hide spoiler Originally reviewed at BookwraithsDavid Gemmell might not have invented action adventure fantasy but he refined it polished it up and presented his updated version Against the HordeLegend in 1984 to a reading audience who loved very minute of it Luckily I was one of those readers back in the 1980s this book instantly becoming one of my favorite fantasy stories for years to come But when I re read it a few weeks ago I have to admit being concerned it would not live up to my memories my fear that all the years since its release having muted the pulse pounding adrenaline rush and relegated another classic fantasy into a fallen favorite But thankfully my fears were unfounded Legend still as good as The Deepest Sin everHere the Nadir hordes Think Mongols have been united under the charismatic intelligent and ruthless Ulric who determines it is time for his people to conuer their settled neighbors the Drenai Standing in the way of this unstoppable barbarian force is the undermanned mountain fortress of Dros Delnoch which should be impenetrable IF defended by an adeuate force And that isxactly what the Drenai are lacking as the fortress is undermanned unprepared and without adeuate commanders to inspire the troops to hold until a relief force can arriveEnter Druss the Legend he who is also known as the Captain of the Ax the Axman Deathwalker and the Silver Slayer This fearsome warrior might be past his prime but he is determined to answer his kingdom s desperate call to hold Dros Delnoch until the Nadir are turned back or very warrior lies dead beneath their swords This hero determined to finally find a death worthy of his legendJoining Druss upon the battlements of Dros Delnoch are a diverse cast of characters Rek the Baresarker and his beloved Virae come there to fight Serbitar and the mythical order he is part of arrive to aid in the last stand of the Drenai people Ordinary men stand side by side with rich commanders and wanted outlaws All these diverse individuals inspired by Druss himself to stand up for what they believe in sacrifice themselves in order to keep what they cherish safe from harm and lay down their lives die before they
betray that which they hold dearWhenever describe this book to athat which they hold dearWhenever describe this book to a who is thinking of reading it I say Legend is the fantasy uivalent of the Alamo where men sacrificed their lives for a cause And in David Gemmell s tale of sacrifice ach of the warriors portrayed from Druss down to the lowest soldier upon the walls knows their mission is a suicidal one Their forces no match for the Nadir horde Reinforcements not able to reach them in time Death the only real outcome of their bravery But ven knowing this these brave men and women refuse to lay down their arms and surrender to the inevitable They come together find peace within themselves lock strong arms with one another and stand as a human walls between the world they love and those who would seek to destroy itDamn I get teary just typing all that Honestly I do No matter his limitation as a writer because I know some readers find his writing simplistic in many ways Gemmell uses his stereotypical cast of characters to maximum ffect their words and deeds inspirational moving and sorrowful Vile people finding redemption Cowards xhibiting courage Lawless individuals displaying xtreme honor Each heroic death cutting like a stab wound to the heart The final stand of Druss as motional charged and awe inspiring as any in literature Legend might not have been groundbreaking or innovative when it was published much less now It doesn t try to subvert tropes It doesn t attempt to present an ultra realistic story It doesn t overwhelm with its xuisite prose What is does is tell an action packed fantasy tale of a desperate last stand of a civilization by individuals caught up in vents The tale of these people s plight awe inspiring and motionally charged In other words Legend is a masterpiece of heroic fantasy one which rightly deserves its fame ven today I never read any David Gemmell until I was already published And Le valeureux guerrier even then he first came to my attention after someone mailed me saying something along the lines of I m glad someone like you is here to carry on Gemmell s tradition now that he s dead After I got a few Snowflakes on the Sea e mails along a similar line I went out and bought Legend read it and was terribly flattered by the comparison Since then I ve actually won the Gemmell award Which is flattering in its own right Plus awesome because the award is an actual AXE Here s a link to the blog I wrote about it with pictures I just re read this and Injoyed it Wrathful Chaos: Five Books of Satanic Philosophy every bit as much the second time around It s much action oriented than my books So yeah Highly recommended Especially if you like stories about what it means to be a hero The Nadir army heads for Dros Delnoch a keep guarding a mountain pass Druss the Legend comes out of retirement for one last battle Butven with Rek the baresark and the arl of Delnoch s daughter help Druss and leven thousand men stand up against an advancing army many times their sizeI ll be honest with you My brother pushed this on me almost a year ago and I wasn t in a hurry to read it I ve read a few David Gemmell books before and it takes a special book to get me to read Tolkien sue fantasy I ve never found Gemmell s writing to be particularly goodWhile I don t find Gemmell s writing to be good he sure knows WHAT to write The story of Druss whipping the men into shape and the comradery that developes among the men is very moving In fact The legend is DrussThe stories of his life are told verywhere Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed he chose a mountain lair; high in the lonely country bordering on the clouds Ther. .
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Choked back a couple man tears near the Humanism: The Greek Ideal and its Survival end Druss s commentary on what it means to be a man is inspiringDruss is like a combination of Conan the Barbarian and Clint Eastwood s character from Gran Turino You know and he knows that his last hurrah has come Druss knows his value as a Legend to the other soldiers at Dros Delnoch far outweighs his substantial prowess as a warriorThe other characters are well done as well Ulric leader of the Nadir is a multi dimensional character It would have beenasy to have him be a malevolent tyrant but he s acutally fairly likeable Rek Orrin and the others also grow into their roles as the story progressesI have a lot to say but I don t want to give anything away To sum up this is the ultimate fantasy book for men and the women who appriciate them Go out and get it 444 A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group because we love the EpicsAnd Love 2.0 (A Cates Brothers Book, even though it barely reached 350 pages this gem is a true Epic It was written in the 80 s and has some of the marks of its time which coming from me is a complement of course being a product of the generation which came to age at that time I find it interesting that the books I love most are always somehow connected with war The authors do a great job painting the fear loss and horror with their words and despite creating heroes who are shaped by the warxperiences the books are never pro war That is not to say they are anti war The Fix either However they usually promote honor as well as uesti A Legend Book Legend The Drenai Saga 1 David GemmellLegend published in 1984 is the first and most famous novel of British fantasy writer David Gemmell Itstablished him as a major fantasy novelist and created the character of Druss who would appear in several subseuent books It was also the first novel in The Drenai saga The Drenai Empire is under threat The tribal Nadir people have been united for the first time by the great warleader Ulric who has forged a massive mpire in the North The Drenai leader Abalayn is trying to negotiate new treaties with Ulric but war is brewing and an over 500000 strong Nadir army marches on the fortress of Dros Delnoch gateway to the Drenai heartlands Dros Delnoch is the greatest fortress in the world a narrow pass guarded by six high walls and a great keep but under Abalayn its complement of defenders has been reduced to less than 10000 men under the leadership of an unfit General The fate of the Drenai hinges on the defence of Dros Delnoch If the fortress can hold the Nadir horde for three months the Drenai general Magnus Woundweaver might be able to gather and train a Drenai army However given the odds no one truly believes that Delnoch can be held 2009 1388 482 9789648944518 20 This was a masterclass in pulpy old school fantasy with all that ntails both good and bad The characters were fairly 1 dimensional the world building wasn t particularly uniue or inventive and the plot was fairly straight forward For most books these would be criticisms and yet for this one it s almost praise Gemmell seems ntirely happy with this formula and he xecutes it very well The skillful Desire in Seven Voices execution of these reliable tropes combined with the addition of some other nice features made for a reallynjoyable readThe first 23 of the book were pretty well paced characters and story lements were introduced and developed and the scene was set for the pic siege to come The Last 13 or so the duration of the siege was where the story became really compelling The pace picked up notably the battle scenes provided a level of intensity that hadn t been seen before and the philosophical The Casa Mono Cookbook elements were interesting and implemented in such a way that they didn t distract from the plot a la the bloated and repetitive philosophical monologues in the Malazan books with most of the philosophizing coming in the brief lulls between bloody violent clashes as the combatants try to make sense of the slaughter Druss makes for annjoyable main character A revered old warrior who has come out of retirement for one last fight His struggles to live up his legend ven
AS HIS BODY FAILED HIM MADE FOR POIGNANT READINGhis body failed him made for poignant reading the so as Gemmell apparently had the initial idea for this while dwelling on his own mortality as he awaited the results of a cancer xam that reminded me somewhat of Clint Eastwood s great role in Unforgiven Rek was also a likeable protagonist his struggles to control his berserker rages and his often comedic dialogue were all interesting features of his story There were a cast of pretty straightforward secondary characters who all nevertheless served their roles in the story well The standout for me was the cowardly lord of the fort When Druss arrived a xpected him to be hilarious and dramatically removed from office with a possible pantsingwedgie to go with it but instead Druss gave him a second chance and his struggle to regain respect both that of himself and of his men was pretty inspiringOverall this wasn t a groundbreaking or innovative read that made me look at the world differently but as action packed pic high fantasy it was a masterclass in the genre There is something unambiguously alluring about last stands those situations in which a body of troops holds a defensive position in the face of
"overwhelming odds and "odds and all hope for victory We all know the battle of Thermopile 480 BC when a Greek force of approximately 7000 men for seven days including three of battle held off the Persian army alleged by the ancient sources to have numbered over one million Less known but not less impressive is the Battle of Hod w between the Kingdom of Poland and the Crimean Khanate forces fought in June 1694 with four hundred hussars fighting and winning against forty thousand Tatars Now the Poles are crazy altogether as they have their own list of last stands featuring things like the Battle of Wizna in 1939 when between 350 and 720 Poles defended a fortified line for three days against than 40000 Germans Battles like these asily become legendsDavid Gemmel gives us the legend of Dross Delnoch a strong keep with six walls defended by ten thousands men of whom most are untrained volunteers about to withstand an attack of the greatest army ver assembled a horde that within twenty years had built an Lachlan's Protg (English Edition) empire stretching across a dozen lands and five score cities And now as they march on Dross the greatest fortressver built is waiting for the largest army in the world What a clash of giants The ingredients for a new legendOnly things are not going great in the fortress There are six walls and a town to defend while the force is less than a third of the full complement and the discipline is rotten because morale is low and fear is rife The defenders need a miracle or the Dross will fall And Dross Delnoch needs heroes Badly Think of the men here as a rusty weapon which needs a warrior s firm hand It needs to be sharpened honed prepared It s useless lse Contrary to your xpectations the book doesn t start in the city preparing for a siege The book opens with a coward running away from battle one Regank the Wanderer man of uncertain character and only sporadic courage In fact the actual fighting starts only halfway through the book and ven though the novel is not long there is not one word wasted A great reminder to many contemporary writers that pic does not automatically uate with 600 pages That you can have 350 pages filled with action to the brimSo how does Gemmel manage to achieve it Firstly he creates a compelling set of characters And I would say the Legend is one of those novels that do not really have a main protagonist Surely invincible Druss Captain of the Axe wielding Snaga meaning the Sender the greatest warrior of the age is one of the book s main pillars but you d be very mistaken to think that the book is about him Others are ually important in the Legend from Rek a hero by necessity to Bowman a robber outlaw with principles from Virae Conflict in Blood earl s daughter to deadly Caessa whose love is as lethal as her arrows from Orrin the incompetent gan of the fortress. E the grizzled old warrior keeps company with snow leopards and awaits his oldnemy deathThe fortress is Dros DelnochIt is the only route by which an nemy can pass through the mountains Protected. ,