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Legend ❮PDF❯ ✭ Legend ✩ Author David Gemmell – He is DRUSS the Legend His skill in battle has earned him a fearsome reputation throughout the world and the stories of his life are told everywhere But the grizzled veteran has spurned a life of fame He is DRUSS the Legend His skill in battle has earned him a fearsome reputation throughout the world and the stories of his life are told everywhere But the grizzled veteran has spurned a life of fame and fortune and has retreated to the solitude of his mountain lair to await his old enemy DeathMeanwhile barbarian hordes of the Nadir are on the march conuering all before them All that stands before them and victory is the Legendary six walled fortress of the Drenai empire Dros Delnoch If the fortress falls so do the Drenai Druss reluctantly agrees to come out of retirement But can even Druss live up to his own LegendsHeld by many to be Gemmell's most iconic work the book is considered a classic in the heroic fantasy genre.

About the Author: David Gemmell

David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy A former journalist and newspaper editor Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in He went on to write over thirty novels Best known for his debut Legend Gemmell's works display violence yet also explores themes in honour loyalty and redemption With over one million copies sold his work continues to sel.

10 thoughts on “Legend

  1. Patrick Patrick says:

    I never read any David Gemmell until I was already published And even then he first came to my attention after someone e 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 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 I enjoyed it 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

  2. Kyle Kyle says:

    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 example Legend is a book where the rule loses its effect Legend is certainly not the best written book ever but it is most definitely one of the best books ever written David Gemmell never finished school since he was 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 thought experiment for the moment Strip away all the decoration in a typical book all the character actioninteraction that exists for flavor all the worldbuilding all the prose exposition and clever tropes What are we left with? Usually very little Usually a basic plot that we're lucky to even partially connect with It might even be an intelligent story or an imaginative one But it's ultimately weak skeletal and insignificant in almost every way It might even be non existent Luckily our world has been gifted with a book like Legend where we can prove such a thought experiment wrong Strip away the decoration and frosting from Legend; cut it down to its most basic 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 will end violently but be remembered or to live a long healthy life and eventually suffer the fading effect of time upon his name We all know what choice Achilles made and Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest heroes ever 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 even live a life worth living? Overcoming great obstacles and succeeding is not compelling enough Fighting failing and dying knowing that your name will be remembered isn't even heroic enough 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 in his hospital room does it detract from the glory or worthiness of his death? If the foxhole of soldiers becomes surrounded by an insurmountable enemy 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 did 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 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 love even worth the effort if it is destined to last only a brief moment and end in pain? Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living but perhaps the unexamined death is not worth dying either All life leads to death but perhaps all death should be embraced 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 ever written Gemmell's fears are my fears His hopes my hopes Legend was his first and greatest book and its very existence makes the world a fuller place and humanity wealthier RIP Mr Gemmell you've earned it

  3. Ahmad Sharabiani Ahmad Sharabiani says:

    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 It established 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 empire 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 تاریخ نخستین خوانش ماه سپتامبر سال 2009 میلادیعنوان اسطوره؛ نویسنده دیوید گمل؛ مترجم سهیلا فرزین نژاد؛ تهران، تندیس، 1388؛ در 482 ص؛ شابک 9789648944518؛ موضوع داستانهای افسانه و اسطوره ای از نویسندگان انگلیسی سده 20 مدراس، فرمانده تبر داستان زندگی او همه جا دهان به دهان بازگو میشود به جای ثروت و شهرتی که میتوانست طلب کند، ملکی کوهستانی را برگزیده بود، زمینی تنها، دورافتاده و بلند، که به ابرها سر میسایید آن بالا جنگجوی پیر سپیدمو، همنشین پلنگ برفی بود؛ و چشم انتظار مرگ دشمن خود؛نقل از متن کتاب «سرآغاز پیک درنای با حالتی عصبی بیرون درهای بزرگ تالار فرمانروایی که توسط دو نگهبان نادیر حفاظت میشد، منتظر بود؛ نگهبانها به روبرو خیره شده بودند، چشمان کشیده و اریب آنها به نشان عقاب برنزی نصب شده بر روی در چوبی تیره رنگ، دوخته شده بود لبان خشک خود را با زبان خشکش لیسید و شنل بنفش رنگش را بر روی شانه های استخوانیش مرتب کرد آنروز در اتاق شورا، در درنان، در فاصله ی نهصد کیلومتری سمت جنوب، هنگامیکه آبالاین از او خواست که این ماموریت مهم و حساس را به عهده بگیرد، با چه اطمینان و اتکا به نفسی ماموریت را پذیرفته بود ماموریت سفر به گلگوتیر و گرفتن تائید و تصویب عهدنامه ای با اولریک، ارباب قبایل نادیر در گذشته، بارتلوس در تهیه ی پیش نویس عهدنامه کمک کرده بود و دوبار هم در هنگام مذاکره در واگریای غربی و در سمت جنوب در ماشراپور حضور داشت تمام مردم ارزش و اهمیت تجارت و لزوم احتراز از اقداماتی مخرب و هزینه بر همچون جنگ را به خوبی میدانستند به یقین اولریک هم از این قاعده مستثنی نبود درست است که ملل دشت شمالی را مورد یورش و چپاول قرار داده بود، اما باید به یادداشت که شمالی ها هم در طول قرنها با گرفتن خراج و مورد حمله و غارت قراردادن این مردم، خون آنها را مکیده بودند؛ ملل دشت شمالی خود بذر نابودی خویش را کاشته بودند مردم درنای اینگونه نبودند همیشه با احترام و شعور با مردم نادیر برخورد کرده بودند؛ شخص آبالاین دوبار در شهر خیمه ای آنها در شمال به ملاقات اولریک رفته بود ـ و پذیرایی شاهانه ای شده بود اما بارتلوس از دیدن ویرانی و غارت در گلگوتیر سخت یکه خورده بود دیدن اینکه دروازه های بزرگ شکسته، و از جا در آمده بودند، تعجبی نداشت، اما پس از آن شمار بسیاری از مدافعین قطع عضو شده بودند میدان داخل قلعه ی اصلی به کپه ی کوچکی از دست انسان که در وسط آن تلنبار شده بود، فخر میفروخت؛ بارتلوس به خود لرزید و به زحمت فکرش را از آن خاطره برگرداند سه روز او را منتظر نگاهداشته بودند، اما رفتارشان مودبانه ـ و حتی محبت آمیز بود شنلش را دوباره مرتب کرد، میدانست که اندام لاغر و استخوانی او ابهت چندانی به جامه ی مخصوص پیک بودن او نمیدهد دستمالی نخی را از لای کمربندش بیرون آورد و عرق را از روی سرِطاسش پاک کرد همسرش همیشه به او هشدار میداد که هر وقت عصبی میشود سرش به طرز خیره کننده ای برق میزند این چیزی بود که ترجیح میداد هرگز صحبتی درباره اش نشود نگاهی زیر چشمی به نگهبانی که سمت راست او بود انداخت و لرزه ای را فرو نشاند مرد کوتاهتر از او بود، کلاهخودی سیخ سیخی به سر داشت که حاشیه اش از پوست بز بود سپر سینه ای از چوب لاک الکلی بسته بود و نیزه ای دندانه دندانه به دست داشت صورتش پخ و بیرحم بود، چشمانش تیره و مورب اگر بارتلوس میخواست شخص مناسبی برای بریدن دست کسی پیدا کند؛ نگاهی به سمت چپ خود انداخت ـ و آرزو کرد کاش چنین کاری نکرده بود، زیرا نگهبان داشت او را نگاه میکرد احساس خرگوشی را پیدا کرد که زیر پای قوشی در حال پرواز قرار دارد و شتابزده نگاهش را از نگهبان به عقاب برنزی روی در معطوف کرد خداوند به او رحم کرد، انتظار به پایان رسید و درها چرخیدند و باز شدند بارتلوس نفس عمیقی کشید و به داخل اتاق رفت اتاق دراز بود، بیست ستون مرمری سقفی را نگاه داشته بودند که قبل از خشک شدن گچ، آبرنگ خورده بود بر روی هر یک از ستونها مشعلی روشن قرار داشت که سایه های رقصان بدریختی روی دیوارهای پشت خود میانداختند پای هر ستون یک نگهبان نادیر نیزه به دست ایستاده بود چشمها ثابت به جلو خیره مانده بودند بارتلوس پنجاه قدم روی کف مرمری شاه نشین به سوی اریکه پیش رفت؛ روی آن اولریک نشسته بود، جنگ سالار شمال قد بلند نبود، اما قدرت از وجودش میبارید، هنگامیکه بارتلوس به وسط سالن رسید از پویایی تندوتیز مرد جا خورد استخوان گونه ای برجسته و موهایی به رنگ نیمه شب داشت که خاص نادیرها بود، اما چشمان مورب او بنفش رنگ بود و نافذ؛ پوستی سبزه داشت، ریشی سه شاخه ظاهری شیطانی به او میداد که با گرمای لبخند مردک لو میرفت اما چیزی که بیشتر از همه بارتلوس را تحت تاثیر قرار داد این بود که ارباب نادیر یک ردای سفید درنای را به تن داشت، نشان خانوادگی آبالاین؛ اسبی طلایی که در مقابل تاجی نقره ای روی دو سم بلند شده، بر روی آن برودری دوزی شده بود پیک تعظیم مفصلی کرد «آقای من، من حامل سلام و درود ارباب آبالاین، رهبر برگزیده ی مردم درنای آزاد برای شما هستم» اولریک در جواب سرش را تکان داد و با حرکت دست اشاره کرد که ادامه بدهد «ارباب من آبالاین پیروزی چشمگیر شما را بر شورشیان گلگوتیر صمیمانه تبریک میگوید و امیدوار است اکنون که هراس و سختی جنگ را پشت سر گذاشته اید، بتوانید عهدنامه های جدید و توافقنامه تجاری را که در سفر بسیار دلپذیری که بهار گذشته به اینجا داشتند، و با شما در میان گذاشتند، مورد توجه قرار بدهید در اینجا نامه ای از ارباب آبالاین دارم و همین طور متن عهدنامه ها و توافقنامه ها» بارتلوس قدمی پیش گذاشت، سه طومار را جلو برد اولریک آنها را گرفت و آهسته روی زمین در کنار پایه ی اریکه گذاشت گفت «ممنونم، بارتلوس بگو ببینم، آیا در میان ساکنین درنای این وحشت وجود داره که سپاه من به دروس دلنوچ لشکرکشی خواهد کرد؟» «شوخی می کنید، آقای من؟» اولریک با قیافه ای حق به جانب و معصومانه گفت «نه، اصلاً» صدایش بم و طنین دار بود «تجار به من میگن که بحثهای زیادی در درنان هست» بارتلوس گفت «از اون حرفهایی که برای سرگرمی میزنن من خودم در نوشتن این توافقنامه ها کمک کردم و سهیم بودم و اگر ابهامی در بعضی از مواد و بندهای اونها وجود داشته باشه، برای من افتخاره که بتونم کمک بکنم» اولریک گفت «نه مطمئنم که اونها درست هستن و همه چیز روبراهه اما تشخیص میدین که کاهن من نوستا خان باید نشانه ها رو بررسی کنه یک رسم بدوی و عقب افتاده است، میدونم، اما اطمینان دارم که میفهمین درسته؟» بارتلوس گفت «البته این چیزها تشریفات آیینی هستن» اولریک دستهایش را دوباره برهم زد و از میان سایه های سمت چپ پیرمردی خشک و چروکیده با نیم تنه ای کثیف از پوست بز وارد شد زیر بازوی راست لاغرش جوجه ای سفیدرنگ داشت و در دست چپش یک کاسه ی چوبی دهن گشاد و کم عمق نزدیک که شد، اولریک برخاست و ایستاد، دستانش را پیش برد و گردن و پاهای جوجه را گرفت؛ اولریک آهسته و آرام آن را بالای سرش برد ـ سپس در مقابل چشمان وحشت زده و گشاد بارتلوس، پرنده را پایین آورد و دندانهایش را در گردن حیوان فرو برد و سر جوجه را با دندان از بدنش جدا کرد»؛ پایان نقلو ا شربیانی

  4. Bookwraiths Bookwraiths says:

    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 every 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 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 is exactly 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 every 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 I describe this book to a friend who is thinking of reading it I say Legend is the fantasy euivalent of the Alamo where men sacrificed their lives for a cause And in David Gemmell’s tale of sacrifice each 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 even 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 effect their words and deeds inspirational moving and sorrowful Vile people finding redemption Cowards exhibiting courage Lawless individuals displaying extreme honor Each heroic death cutting like a stab wound to the heart The final stand of Druss as emotional 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 exuisite prose What is does is tell an action packed fantasy tale of a desperate last stand of a civilization by individuals caught up in events The tale of these people’s plight awe inspiring and emotionally charged In other words Legend is a masterpiece of heroic fantasy one which rightly deserves its fame even today

  5. Mayim de Vries Mayim de Vries says:

    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 against 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 Hodów 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 easily 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 ever assembled; a horde that within twenty years had built an empire stretching across a dozen lands and five score cities And now as they march on Dross the greatest fortress ever 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 else”Contrary to your expectations 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 even though the novel is not long there is not one word wasted A great reminder to many contemporary writers that epic does not automatically euate 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 eually important in the Legend from Rek a hero by necessity to Bowman a robber outlaw with principles from Virae earl’s daughter to deadly Caessa whose love is as lethal as her arrows from Orrin the incompetent gan of the fortress 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 extreme 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 every 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 enemy He builds the tension surrounding the incoming class and 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 he emphasises the role of spirit He shows the whole dynamic of the battle so beautifully captured and symbolised in how each of the walls is named Firstly “Eldibar” which means “exultation” 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 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 incoming evil 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 evil Ulric of the Nadir is not a primitive brute but an enemy 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 even 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 eyes and the fact that what dies doesn’t stay dead hide spoiler

  6. Choko Choko says:

    444 A buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group because we love the EpicsAnd 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 war experiences the books are never pro war That is not to say they are anti war either However they usually promote honor as well as uestion the reasons for why humanity finds so many reasons to engage in this awful violent and mostly permanent solution to problems which could be dealt with in many other peaceful ways “Never violate a woman nor harm a child Do not lie cheat or steal These things are for lesser men Protect the weak against the evil strong And never allow thoughts of gain to lead you into the pursuit of evil Never back away from an enemy Either fight or surrender It is not enough to say I will not be evil Evil must be fought wherever it is found”The Iron Code” Beautiful words but how many could say they were able to follow them? None of us are perfect and the best we can do is to try our best One of those who has always tried his best and had some success with it is the now aging Druss Captain of the Axe the one called The Legend He is a warrior of renown the legends told of him and the songs sang have lit the spark for glory in many of children and young people's lives Many have followed in his footsteps because of listening to his adventures and taken up the sword or axe in pale imitation of him Most of them have found death and no songs have been written in their honor but people tend to think of the heroes and their deeds as separate from the pain and ugliness by which they are defined “Only a fool loves war” said Calvar “or a man who has never seen it The trouble is that the survivors forget about the horrors and remember only the battle lust They pass on that memory and other men hunger for it” Druss is called upon to inspire the soldiers and fight another last impossible to win battle charged with holding the Dros Delnoch pass until the Nadir Horde are repelled or every last soldier is dead Our reluctant hero takes on the task seeking a date with his own Death We also have the funny charming and very cowardly Rek who would love to spend his life far away from any military conflict eating drinking and keeping female company He has a staggering fear of combat and sees this as his biggest failure However circumstances and a woman contrive to take him to the middle of the biggest battle of recent times and he has to make some hard choices “By nature of definition only the coward is capable of the highest heroism” “A cynic by experience a romantic by inclination and now a hero by necessity” The story is about the human condition when faced with the hardest times they could possibly face It is about what makes humans human and the fears we all live with despite of the way others perceive us I was very moved by some parts others made me think of why some of us when gone trough something rough chose to take the path of light or darkness are able to pick themselves up or wallow in depression for the rest of their lives It also made me think of how us the regular folks have to live with the conseuences of the whims and changing moods of our leaders who are not afraid to put our lives in danger while uick to condemn any possible slight against their ego But it has be thus since the beginning of times I guess nothing really changes even in our Fantasy “And what is a man? He is someone who rises when life has knocked him down He is someone who raises his fist to heaven when a storm has ruined his crop and then plants again And again A man remains unbroken by the savage twists of fateThat man may never win But when he sees himself reflected he can be proud of what he sees For low he may be in the present scheme of things peasant serf or dispossessed But he is unconuerable” I will highly recommend this book and wish you enjoy the ride I wish you all Happy Reading and many Wonderful Books to come

  7. Orient Orient says:

    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 epic 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

  8. Conor Conor says:

    This was a masterclass in pulpy old school fantasy with all that entails 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 entirely happy with this formula and he executes it very well The skillful execution of these reliable tropes combined with the addition of some other nice features made for a really enjoyable readThe first 23 of the book were pretty well paced characters and story elements were introduced and developed and the scene was set for the epic 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 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 an enjoyable main character A revered old warrior who has come out of retirement for one last fight His struggles to live up his legend even as his body failed him made for poignant reading all 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 exam 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 expected 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 epic high fantasy it was a masterclass in the genre

  9. Dan Schwent Dan Schwent says:

    The Nadir army heads for Dros Delnoch a keep guarding a mountain pass Druss the Legend comes out of retirement for one last battle But even with Rek the baresark and the earl of Delnoch's daughter help Druss and eleven thousand men stand up against an advancing army many times their size?I'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 esue 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 I choked back a couple man tears near the 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 been easy 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

  10. Evgeny Evgeny says:

    The Drenai Empire good guys is threatened by barbarian horde from Nadir not so good guys where a leader emerged 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 enough 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 epilog feels forced and not what I consider a good or even logical ending I am not sure I want to read the next book in series Can somebody inspire me to do this?

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