Sunday, 29 November 2015

Drenai series

(Originally posted on Tuesday, 1 May 2012)

Drenai series (or Drenai saga) is a great fantasy series by David Gemmell. Every Drenai novel has a separate story, so they all can be read as standalones, but there are some references between them.
In fact the novels were written not in the chronology of the Drenai history and that’s why wrote this post.

The chronology of the Drenai history:
1. Waylander (written in 1986)
2. In the Realm of the Wolf (written in 1992)
3. Hero in the Shadows (written in 2000)
4. The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (written in 1993)
5. The Legend of Deathwalker (written in 1996)
6. White Wolf (written in 2003)
7. Legend (written in 1984 – the very first David Gemmell novel)
8. The King Beyond the Gate (written in 1985)
9. Quest for Lost Heroes (written in 1990)
10. Winter Warriors (written in 1997)
11. The Swords of Night and Day (written in 2004)

David Gemmell’s characters are unforgettable. Some of them are true heroes, like Druss the Legend (novels 4, 5, 6, 7 and 11) and some of them are a kind of anti-heroes trying to repay their earlier crimes, like Waylander (novels 1, 2 and 3) or Skilgannon the Damned (novel 6 and 11). There is also Tenaka Khan (novel 8),
a son of a Drenai father and a Nadir mother, who has to choose
what nation he really wants to belong to.

The novels 9 and 10 feature no great heroes, but some of the characters are very heroic on their own. To me the 9th was a letdown (the weakest novel in the whole series), but the 10th was better.

In the last novel Druss and Skilgannon fight together again, but the story takes place a thousand (1000) years after their death. It may seem silly at first, but David Gemmell pulled that stunt perfectly.

I think it is best to start reading Drenai series with "Legend", then read "The King Beyond the Gate" and then "Waylander". In fact these 3 novels were written in this very order. After that I would stick to the chronology of the Drenai history as described above.

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