I dissagree that gemmell is the most formulaic writer around. True, many of his stories have certain similarities, but many are very original and different. In my opinion David Eddings is THE MOST formulaic writer i have ever read. every book of his i have read adhers to the same formula, which i would like to point out is very similar to the formula behind lord of the rings. Hero goes on quest to rescue/destroy powerful magical artifact, many problems present themselves to hero, several members of heros small group die, hero rescues/destroys artifact, and has a happy ending, usually hero getting into a princess or high class chick in the end. i find david gemmells works much more enjoyable, original, and seperate from each other.