Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Legend ~ by David Gemmell

This author was recommended to me by my friend BlaineIt had taken me months to pick it up after I bought it, and another month (or more) to finish it, but in the end I have to say that I loved this book. I admit, it was a little hard to get into when I first started. David Gemmell's way of transitioning between POV's really bothered me, and I have to wonder, is it like this in all his books? If so I don't know if I could stand to read anymore.
Legend (Drenai Tales, #1)As for the story itself I really did enjoy it. It is based in the Drenai Empire as it is going to war against the Nadir Empire. I couldn't decide if these people were Vikings or just barbarians, but whatever, in my head they were all bearded fur laden Vikings with horns on their helmets and axes. The odds were basically 50/1 for the Nadir with their 500,000 and the Drenai with their 10,000 and the Drenai had to hold a fortress for at least a month before reinforcements would arrive. The Nadir a war race and the Drenai made up of farmers, towns people and a few soldiers.
Their only hope a 60 year old man called Druss the Legend. Can he whip the men into shape in order to hold the fortress?
The book centers mostly around 2 main characters. Druss and Regnak and their struggles inwardly and outwardly with a war that seems hopeless and their mortality. I loved how other characters were drawn into the plot to help move the story and let you get a feel for what the main characters were like on the outside view as well as the inside view.
David Gemmell helped draw the picture of war from the POV of some rather minor characters and their thoughts and feelings and the temporary-ness of everything. I think he wanted you to feel what they felt and for their desperation at such a hopeless time.
It was slow going at first as characters were introduced and the plot set up. I had a hard time staying focused on reading. It got better as the book went on (ignoring the POV annoyance) and by the time I was 2/3 of the way through I found it hard to put down. There was just so much build up for the last few chapters of the book it was almost annoying, The preparation for war, the love story, the struggles of common man, the supernatural aspects... it all came together in the end. I liked the characters and I cried a little as our heroes fell and cheered for their victories.
It does have a happy ending though as happy as an ending it can be after everyone pretty much dies and you're left thinking about how terribly sad it is. However as a whole the book leaves you with a sense of good triumphing over evil in whatever ways they can.
And just for a little tid-bit of useless information, David Gemmell died at 58 years of age in 2006 of coronary artery disease.
Will I pick up another David Gemmell book to read.... maybe.

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