Thought that it might be a good one to get everyone warmed up with and its going to be a mega chat as to be honest with 30 titles to pick from it could end up fists at dawn over a bottle of the Old Lentrian Red. (Can't you tell where my votes going already. LOL)

Anyway, which is your favourite book by David and why?

For me its Legend, and whilst many would say that its perhaps not his best or that his later titles had more skill behind them I have to stick to his first book. I think its the passion behind the writing that gets me everytime, the fact that whilst he was waiting for test results he threw himself into this world full tilt and brought out the heroes who were scared of the dark but faced it anyway.

The way that ol Druss stalked the walls of Dros Delnoch delivering death until his own time and the way he wouldn't give in until the last. Yep, for me its the passion with which the book comes across that really still sells it to me and I think I read it around four times a year for the sheer enjoyment I get from each scene within. Damn I wish I could write like that.

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Hi Dros!
Well, while it's still quiet round here, I may as well take the chance to get my vote in! For some reason, I loved DG's stand-alone books - in particular, 'Morningstar' and 'Echoes of the Great Song.'

'Morningstar' was so beautifully done - first-person, written not by the 'hero' but by the friend observing him. It really caused the reader to question their ideas of heroism - oh, and a twist at the end (IIRC!)

'Echoes of the Great Song' - something so poignant and sad about the civilisation in decline. Viruk, the hero warrior at first seemingly a complete berserker, eventually showing his vulnerable side - I always remember him gardening - DG said he was gardening at the time as a way of keeping fit!

So many great novels to choose from - the ones I have not read yet being the Rigante ones and the Troy ones...
Deborah J Miller - Award Administrator said:
Hi Dros!
So many great novels to choose from - the ones I have not read yet being the Rigante ones and the Troy ones...

Youre going to have a treat when you do get round to them. Both are cracking series although I think one of the things that will stay with you will be Ravenheart (Rigante) (although please read the series in order. LOL)
OMG - Legend and Waylander are my top two favourite Gemmell books and I'm hoping to introduce my Creative writing class to DG over the next few weeks.
Remember a good way to do this would be to bring pace into a discussion, the opening scene for Waylander was used by David as an example that he created on the spot only to ask questions later at home that led to the full book.
I love the darkness of the Waylander character, it's one of things that DG stood out for. There are not many authors who's lead characters are so dark and yet redeeming.
I very much enjoyed Hero in the Shadows and it is my favorite Gemmell book. The Waylander character had been built up in the previous 2 Waylander novels so this one was a thrilling ride full of Waylander bad#$%ness while still tackling the themes that David Gemmell is known for: heroism, honor, perseverance, philosophy/theology, humor, and much more. I have read each of Gemmell's books many times over and Hero in the Shadows is the only one that I immediately started over once I finished the last page.

One of the things I find is that the particular Gemmell book I'm reading at the time is my favorite. Cries of "Cop out" I hear from the wings.

His books find a way to suck you in to the story and hold your attention. The later books for references to earlier work. The earlier books for the sheer rawness of the characters.

push come to shove

Waylander for the line "pebble in the moonlight" amongst many others.
Morningstar because Jarek is tone deaf. I know not very high brow
Wolf in Shadow because Jon Shannow is the real Gunslinger
Knights of Dark Renown a great stand alone seemingly based on the Thirty
Skilgannon for all the legends in one

I know Druss doesn't feature heavily in all of these books but his shadow is cast over them all.

In some respects, the whole non-historical Gemmell could be the 'Bill Woodford and the Hardmen of London' cycle... Every one of his heroes was someone who 'knew how to deal with vampires'.

Personal favourite - Legend. OK, in terms of later work, it perhaps lacked polish, but in terms of entering the room of fantasy writing with a rebel yell, there's nothing to touch it. The characters all have a reason to be there. Real reasons. Not the generic 'heroic' nonsense, not the studiedly nihilistic/pessimistic reasons of post-Donaldson fantasy. These were people who you could know, and like despite their flaws. And they developed... in a first fantasy novel... Character development... was this man MAD? ;)

I first encountered the book just after it was published, with the cover that David hated. I still have that copy. It's a bit dog eared and greasy, but in the sense of a beloved, rather than a neglected, thing. You just CAN'T read a book that many times and it stand up to general skin contact (unless you wear gloves).

It's carried me through every dark time and transition life has thrown at me down the years, from leaving college in 84 to the protracted and ugly death of my father in 03. One of the few books I do loop read, and have read at least once a year since I got it. I've semi retired the 83 volume, but it sits on my shelf, next to my other Gemmell, and its commonplace replacement (David signed my 83 copy in 85... I regard it as one of my very few truly irreplaceable objects, and one of the few things I'd grab in the event of fire, even at a risk)

So - Legend. Warts and all. Head and shoulders above a lot of fantasy authors at their best, and a book I have recommended time and time again.
A favorite DG book? Is it even possible to pick one?

My favorite would have to be Sword in the Storm. It was the book which introduced me to Gemmell and the one which i have read the most. Bravery, courage, anguish, and triumph all mixed into one.

I first got into DG books about 4 years ago and found that it took too long for the libary to get what i wanted so i decided to pay a tribute to DG and buy every one of his books. Only one more to go other than the Holy Grail. It is nice always having access to any DG book you want.

Recently in school we had to do a book report, i purposely brought 4 of Gemmells books and upon my insistance, 3 of my friends took them up and have been attached to them since(even though they won't admit it) leaving one for me :).

Nothing is better then Gemmell.
My favourite book has to be The Legend of Deathwalker. This book holds a special place in my heart because it was the first I read and it introduced me into his amazing world.

I also rate Ghost King highly, loved the take on the Arthurian legends.

But that said, they're all incredible books, and it's my privilige to read them!
I have to say Waylander is my favourite book of DG. It was the first book of David's I ever read and although all of his books had an impact on me, seeing as Waylander was the first book of his I had ever read, and the first story I had ever read written in that way, it had the greatest impact of them all.

My favourite character strangely enough though, would have to be Viruk.

Wild Ice, now THAT would be an awesome class! When I was at school we studied the 'wonderment' *cough* of shakespeare and the rapier like wit of some sombre, miserable 18th century poets.

But to study a DG book would be great!
Tend to agree with Steph, the one I am reading at the moment! I recently read Dark Moon for the first time. For reasons too tedious to mention I found myself hanging around in a car in an underground car park for about four hours. Luckily I had Dark Moon with me. It felt like I was in that car for four minutes!

And what a great character Karis is, utterly unforgettable and for me ranks as one of the very best in any fantasy novel.

That very real dimension of someone who is exceptionally good at something, with a genius for it but under tremendous strain because of the demands upon that talent in apocalyptic times, and in almost all other areas of their life a shambles, yet in that key thing they hold it altogether.

And the way Sword in the Storm begins with what amounts to a 'domestic', is brilliant, especially in the way the tale opens out. (Mark Charan Newton did it similarly well in his own way in his first novel the New Weirdish The Reef!) That was one of Gemmell's skills, putting the very real and the very familiar into a fantastic context and yet making it credible, achieving that instant identification and recognition from the reader. Easier said than done!

I recognise my late father and many of his generation in Gemmell's characters. They might not have been perfect (which of us is?!) they might not even have been up to speed with (nor had our time or the luxury) for many PC standards of today either, but had they not stood up to and resisted what was effectively, for want of any better name, genuine evil, we would simply have gone under. Heroes and no mistake. That was the world Gemmell grew up in.

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