Has anyone read all of the Drenai novels?

Ashaman

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Hey Brian.
I've read (and re-read each one many times over) all of his books apart from the one by the pseudonym Ross Harding (White Knight, Black Swan) which I cannot find anywhere.
Never bothered with chronology for most of his books(regarding the Drenai) as each one is mostly self contained, apart from the waylander books which should be read as published (its the same chronologically anyway) and the Skilgannon novels.
I actually read first of all Legend and then went to read "The first chronicles of Druss the Legend" and had really no problem with that!
He is the ONE author for me that I've loved and read all of his work without exception.
 

Steve Wilson

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That's the beauty of it with Gemmell, and the Drenai Saga in particular: all books can be read individually, and you can read them in amlost any order you like without it having much of an impact, even though it's really all the same story. You'll just have you brain racing with all the references to other books, and you'll find many references, in multiple books, to events that don't even take place in any of the books...

Of course, if you don't read by publication date, you will get a few spoilers thrown at you TBH, but nothing too serious really.
(It's not like you know who Vador is before watching the movie.)

I think this question will just go on for ever...
Nothing to complain about, it's keeping our interest alive! ;)
I've actually got a blog post on the subject: David Gemmell reading order.

I've read them all many times too (except for the Ross Harding signed), 1st time in a mixed order (started with Swords of Night and Day, which deosn't make any sense), and still loved it.
Then went on to read them in publication order, and then in the Drenai Timeline order, and again just individually, and still enjoy them all as much as the first time!

I would probaly advise anyone looking to take up the Drenai Saga to go in publication order I guess, although it's not essential.
 

AndrewT

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I set out to read all (13?) of them. I've finished the first six so far in publication order. I am not becoming such a diehard Gemmell fan yet. Maybe I will after reading some of his other works. These Drenai books range from being mediocre to very decent. I only classify the first one as bordering on really excellent. Any guess as to which other Gemmell series I might like better? I hope to finish these anyway though.
 

Narkalui

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The Rigante series is well crafted, so is the Troy trilogy. I can't speak for John Shannow or the Alexander books - I keep putting those off because it's nice that there are some Gemmell books that I've not yet read
 

The Big Peat

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The Rigante series is Gemmell's absolute finest work imo but I'm also inclined to say if you're that far through the Drenai saga and not loving it, Gemmell mightn't be the author for you - his style doesn't change that much.
 

Brian G Turner

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These Drenai books range from being mediocre to very decent.
From what I've read of the Drenai books so far (and like Narkalui I'm savouring my way through them) they tend towards being very similar in many ways, but others of his books change the context and setting and can explore characters more.

I agree with the recommendations - the first Rigante novel, Sword in the Storm, is worth reading. As is Lion of Macedon, which take an ancient Greek setting.
 

BAYLOR

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If you like David Gemmel, you might want to check out writer Andrew Offutt in particular his Cormac Art series of books. He's quite good ans he's been largely forgotten.
1. The Sword of Gael
2.The Unding Wizard
3. The Sign of the Moonbow
5. The Mists of Doom
6. When Deathbirds Fly
7. The Tower of Death
 

biodroid

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I would like to but I fear the books might be formulaic. I read Legend years ago and while I enjoyed it, it felt a bit of a let down but was also a sad book. I have not tried King Beyond the Gate as someone said it was basically the same premise as Legend but with different characters. I did love Winter Warriors, that was my first DG book I read of his. I did not enjoy the first Troy book but loved the The Sword in the Storm, just haven't continued with the rest of the series.
 

AndrewT

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I would like to but I fear the books might be formulaic. I read Legend years ago and while I enjoyed it, it felt a bit of a let down but was also a sad book. I have not tried King Beyond the Gate as someone said it was basically the same premise as Legend but with different characters. I did love Winter Warriors, that was my first DG book I read of his. I did not enjoy the first Troy book but loved the The Sword in the Storm, just haven't continued with the rest of the series.
The King Beyond the Gate was way different than Legend. Not even close to being the same premise. It was decent but not as good as Legend.
 

The Big Peat

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Are his stories repetitive like David Endings rehashed his plots for each book
Some say yes, some say no. Similar themes crop up, its mainly a mix of adventures and last stands, but there's enough differences in the details for me.
 

svalbard

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Let me first say that I am a diehard Gemmell fan. Legend is a an absolute classic. A beast of a book. It has every single cliche and trope in literature and somehow it works. A true testament to David Gemmell as a writer.

I think if we look at Gemmell strenghts it is his characters that are the stand outs. Some would say his character's are repetitive. I would argue that there is a world of real living going into his characters. Redemption arcs play a huge part in all of his stories.

One thing struck me when reading the Jon Shannow books and his description of truly dangerous people or men of sudden violence as he describes. Unfortunately I have come across such characters. Couched in his generic, fantasy settings are powerful passages that reflect our own realities.

If I was pushed on a favourite book that sits outside the Drenai cycle I would say Lion of Macedon is fantastic piece of work.
 

AndrewT

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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. :)
I thought there were 11 but someone corrected me saying there are 13 if you include a couple set in the north that are in the same world. Let's see if I can list them:


1. Legend (1984)

2. The King Beyond the Gate (1985)

3. Waylander (1986)

4. Quest for Lost Heroes (1990)

5. In the Realm of the Wolf (1992)

6. The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (1993)

7. The Legend of Deathwalker: Chronicles of Druss the Axeman (1996)

8. Winter Warriors (1993)

9. Hero in the Shadows (2000)

10. White Wolf

11. Swords of Night and Day

12. Knights of Dark Renown

13. Morningstar
 

Narkalui

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Some people (me) think that Echoes Of The Great Song is set in same world either in the distant past or the distant future
 
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