David Gemmell's Troy series

WaylanderToo

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It's interesting that Gemmell was moving away from fantasy and into historical fiction before he died. The trend these days seems to be the other way. As a reader, I freely move between the two genres. But it would be nice to see more love for (or even acceptance of) historical fiction from fantasy fans.

let's be honest thought his fantasy was heavily based on historical events or indeed set in historical milieus
 

Brian G Turner

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It's interesting that Gemmell was moving away from fantasy and into historical fiction before he died.
He mentioned in an interview that he'd always wanted to write historical fiction, but was told by his publisher he'd have to do so under another name. Additionally, he couldn't stand the idea of "good guys" losing, so would have wanted to rewrite history anyway. Which is pretty much what he did with the Rigante series. :)
 

Narkalui

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I read an interview with him where he said that, I think he was saying that he wouldn't be able to have King Harold losing to William of Normandy. I knew then that he was a man after my own heart.
 

MWagner

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I think Lion of Macedon is one of DG's Finest works. It was a powerful story and afterwards I was left hoping that Gemmell would write more HF.
I enjoyed Lion of Macedon too. But it does have a fair amount of supernatural content.

let's be honest thought his fantasy was heavily based on historical events or indeed set in historical milieus
Agreed. My sense is that once Gemmell was established in the fantasy market, it wouldn't be a smart move professionally to switch to historical fiction. So he always made sure to incorporate some supernatural or fantastic elements into what is essentially alternative history. Some of us may move freely between the genres, but my impression is most fantasy readers have zero interests in historical fiction, and rarely read any books outside the fantasy genre. And furthermore, fantasy today is a much larger market than historical fiction. That's why I'm surprised - moving from fantasy to historical fiction seems to be a bad move commercially these days.

I'll give an example. Author Christian Cameron is well-regarded in the historical fiction genre. He's written over 20 novels in the genre, and they're well-reviewed. His most popular historical novel, Tyrant, has 1,018 ratings on Goodreads. A couple years ago he released a fantasy novel, the Red Knight, under the pen name of Miles Cameron. This was his debut novel in the genre, so he was essential a new writer to the fantasy market. The book already has 6,746 ratings on Goodreads.

It's not clear if Goodreads users are representative of fiction readers as a whole. Maybe they're skewed to fantasy fans. Still, that's a pretty remarkable disparity. I don't think it's going out on a limb to say that for the kind of fiction Cameron writes, the fantasy market is four times larger than the historical fiction market.

Gemmell's case is different, as he already had a loyal and large following from his fantasy novels. Still, I think moving from fantasy to historical fiction is an unusual decision.
 

svalbard

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I think your theory may be correct MWagner. Ignoring your example( I find Cameron unreadable), of all my friends who read fantasy only 2 of us out of a few dozen read HF. I actually moved from HF to Fantasy, but now I mostly read HF.
 

Grunkins

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A few years ago I started Legend, but I thought the writing was a bit juvenile and put it down after 80 or so pages. Didn't really give it an chance.

A couple days ago I picked up Lord of the Silver Bow for the hell of it and started in.

Holy crap is this book good. I'm nearly done, read it in just a couple marathon sessions. The writing is fantastic. Layered and deep with great characters. Can't wait to read the next two in the series.

Then I'll have to go back and give her earlier work its proper due.
 

Tsynn

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I know this is an old thread that has been resurrected a few times, but I have just started the books as well. I was desperately looking for something I couldn't put down, and came across this series. Halfway through the second in the series and it is sooo good. It's predictable and goofy in places, but I just really feel for the characters. So sad to realize that there won't be any more.

For some reason, Gemmell books remind me of G.G. Kay's. Probably just that they are 'historical', but I think the character development is similar. I'm no book critic, I just know how I feel :)
 

AndyC

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Yeah, his final trilogy shows him in fine form. His 'Trojan Horse' in the last book is utter brilliance in its simplicity and logic. One of many times where I thought "Now this is how it really could have happened". Enjoy your read and look out for his new novel(!), Rhyming Rings, coming out in May. A completely different genre again.
 

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