Has anyone read all of the Drenai novels?

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
I think I've read just over a dozen David Gemmell novels, and he's become one of my favourite authors. However, there's a load of his back catalogue I've yet to read.

I figure I should aim first to read the Drenai series novel - just seems a convenient goal to start with.

However, has anyone here read all of the Drenai novels? If so, would you suggest reading in the order of the story chronology (ie, Drenai 1, Drenai 2, etc) or by publication date?

I presume the former would possibly make more sense, but I remember we had a discussion a while ago where there was an argument to going by publication date. I'm assuming at this time that the latter is more of a preference than a technical necessity. :)
Hey Brian,

I've read all of Gemmells major published works :) *Said with pride*

I would definitely say publication date because of some of the reveals are better in order. Although having a good background on the overall themes and characters (and their ancestors it may mean less to you.

Publication order always!
I'm working on it!
Publication, or Written order as prequels can have severe spoilers.

Lion Witch and Wardrobe (do NOT read Magician's Nephew till just before the Last Battle).
The L.E. Modesitt "Recluse" novels.
I have his entire collection and was wounded beyond rational measure at his passing. RIP a Legend

Great tales and I would read in publication order. I've read and re-read most, but all those featuring Druss hold a special place in my heart.

Also Lion of Macedon and Dark Child are brilliant.
Great to have another Gemmell fan on board. :)

I'm slowly making my way through the series so that I don't use them up too quickly. :)

I am a huge Gemmell fan, I usually have one of his books on the go, amongst other series, I love the heroic simplicity and good stright forward story telling. A nice change of pace from other favourites of mine; Erikson, Hobb, Feist (the early novels) and of course a certain Mr G.R.R.Martin.
I would advise either is good. I read them in the order in which they turned up in the library starting with First Chronicles of Druss The Legend then Quest for Lost Heroes then Winter Warriors. I can't remember what order after that. All my subsequent re-reads have been in chronological order.
Drenai then alexander then rigante then troy then jon shannow thats my order to read tho knights of dark reknown sort of ties wit the drenai saga
Gemmell was asked more than once by fans why he set his series in different worlds and he always responded by saying "What makes you think they're in different worlds?"
In White Wolf there is a mention of the world tipping on its axis (as it did in the Jon Shannow books) and that it has happened many times in the past. There is mention of satellites and other technology that references our time. I always took this to mean that the Drenai books are far in our future.
Ok so here is some of the novel linkages I am aware of:

In the Rigante novels (the earlier novels with Connovar) Sipstrassi is common and the stones cause a lot of damage. Connovar uses his Sword to connect to a comet made of Sipstrassi and bury all of the stones under the sea.

In the Greek series the stones are quite rare with few available in the world.

During the Shannow series it is detailed that the Earth toppled on its axis causing mountains to raise where seas were and vice versa. Most of the worlds Sipstrassi then becomes available which ultimately leads to the final actions in Bloodstone where Shannow actually causes the topple (the topple had to be done to save all of humanity in all parallel worlds form the Bloodstone.)

The Toppling
As Glaysher states the Toppling has happened before at least once (Shannow novels which take place in Shannows past) but somewhat in our future still. This seems to link the novels into "our world" (Jon Shannow at one point is exploring a now land locked Titanic).

The Old Woman
The Old Woman (Hewla) in the Drenai series is very similar (I think potentially the same character) as the Morrigu from the Rigante series.

The Source
The Source links a number of Drenai novels - including those standalone novels and the Magical elements which are often downplayed in the series really come to the fore with Winter Warriors linking a number of the previous novels.

Anyway that's all I can really remember as I read a lot of these in my teens.

Hope you find this helpful.
In my last post I made a few mistakes (really should stop posting at work):

The burying of the Sipstrassi is not in the Rigante series, this is actually in the Stones of Power series (Ghost King and Last Sword of Power) and it is at the end of this series that this actually happens. (This makes sense as they were released in a Stones of PowerOmnibus.)

It has been a long time reading but from memory almost all of them are linked:

The Source is a common theme and links a number of the standalone novels. It can be adequately surmised that anything that does not take place in our World is in a parallel world that runs alongside our own (as in the Drenai/Rigante Gates) and also the Old Woman spirit linking the two.

Anyways just some thoughts :)

Definetely planning a re-read and I think I might still have them all!
Hi Brian, I've read all Gemmell's novels repeatedly...... Waylander was the first, which I read in a night... and have read them in mixed order and by publication order :whistle:
With the Drenai novels, it doesn't really matter (except maybe the Damned books) as they're time settings are all over the place and I reckon range of a 1500year period
I personally like these books in this order
Rigante series
Troy series
Greek series
Shannow books (just to mix it up a bit)
then the Drenai novels in order
Although all the above is irrelevant as he's such a great writer, that any order you read them in is good.... ;)
All of the Drenai novels save for the last one. I should return to that one day. Maybe I'll do a re-read based on chronological order of the books.