The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend

Brian G Turner

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Just finished this and generally enjoyed it. As usual with Gemmell, there's good pace and good description, and the story flows smoothly.

Curious that Shadak calls Druss "Laddie", which is an expression Druss normally - and uniquely - uses. So I'm not sure whether it was implied that it was a common Drenai expression, or whether Druss picked it up from Shadak - or whether Gemmell was implying that Shadak was like another version of Druss in some way.

Also, there are a lot of elements in this story that are also used in Lion of Macedon:
- surly hero
- seeks his stolen love
- blocked by malicious crone who is not entirely evil
- hero's love is tricked
- someone astral travels using the source
- hero ends up in a land of the dead, where they must fight

Although this book was enjoyable, there's a level of detail and realism in Lion of Macedon that still makes it a superior book. I guess Gemmell thought that was a good work, and wanted to use some of the same elements to provide for Druss's back story.

A really weird part, though, is that that book appears to finish - it reaches an end point, and is followed by a summary. And then, strangely, it continues for another 40 pages, for no other reason than to show everyone old and dying at a siege 30 years later.

Still a fun and quick read, but I think the story might have ended better at the false ending, and save the rest for the follow-on Second Chronicles.
 
This was the first Drenai I read, I stayed up till half passed four to finish it in spite of the nine o'clock lecture I had the next morning.

But then I felt robbed. I was getting ready to choke on tears at the ending because I expected

Rowena to die

(Sorry I can't do the Spoiler wossname on my kindle)

And I still believe that would have been a better ending. More poetic.
 
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I did mean permanently

She didn't?? I haven't read many Drenai novels, so I guess I'm missing something. :D

Btw, Diagoras seemed a familiar name, but I'm not sure from where. A quick search suggests an association with Skilgannon, but I've only read White Wolf.

Also - noticed a mention of Waylander in this one...
 
Hey Brian,

There was a Diagoras in White Wolf and there is also a Dagorian in Winter Warriors. I love when the Drenai novels self reference each other, theres some very subtle interlinking going on.

I think I am going to have to do some Gemmell re-reads this year! I always feared they wouldn't stand the test of time but I think Gemmell deserves another read.
 
I always thought Druss copied this as a term of endearment or that it was a common Drenai phrase at the time although I dont recall other Drenans using it. I guess I never noticed.
 
The "Ayes", "Laddies" and general descriptions of the Drenai (mountainfolk etc) always made me think Gemmell drew inspiration from Scotland for the Drenai. Which considering the events in Rigante does follow a similar theme (clans vs. organised and better equipped nation state).
 
She didn't?? I haven't read many Drenai novels, so I guess I'm missing something. :D

Btw, Diagoras seemed a familiar name, but I'm not sure from where. A quick search suggests an association with Skilgannon, but I've only read White Wolf.

Also - noticed a mention of Waylander in this one...

She didn't in First Chronicles, well not in the main part of the story which is what I meant...
And the Diagoras at Skeln Pass and the Diagoras in White Wolf are one and the same.
 
She didn't?? I haven't read many Drenai novels, so I guess I'm missing something. :D

Btw, Diagoras seemed a familiar name, but I'm not sure from where. A quick search suggests an association with Skilgannon, but I've only read White Wolf.

Also - noticed a mention of Waylander in this one...


hmmmm - I'll have to start re-reading them now.... feel kinda conflicted as I love reading them but I have a stack of new stuff to read too :eek:
 
I always feared they wouldn't stand the test of time but I think Gemmell deserves another read.
I'll have to start re-reading them now.... feel kinda conflicted as I love reading them

IMO there's nothing dated about Gemmell, and that he remains one of the finest fantasy writers. :)
 
A really weird part, though, is that that book appears to finish - it reaches an end point, and is followed by a summary. And then, strangely, it continues for another 40 pages, for no other reason than to show everyone old and dying at a siege 30 years later.

Still a fun and quick read, but I think the story might have ended better at the false ending, and save the rest for the follow-on Second Chronicles.

This is the reason I suggested reading them by publication date on the other thread. It actually sort of makes more sense and it gives the reader a bigger emotional impact.
 
It is an odd part to the book. He published the last forty pages as a short story in the very first Drenai Tales anthology in '91 I think. A couple of years later he wrote the rest of the book and published it in one volume. Maybe it would work better if one read the Legend of the Deathwalker in the gap, as that then follows chronologically into the battle of Skeln Pass. Then there is White Wolf and I think I lost track of where that fit in!
Most of his books stand up fairly well on their own despite being set in the same world with some returning character; so reading order isn't so important as with some other authors in my opinion.
 
Spoiler alert*
white wolf is set after Skeln pass I think, as the joining character 'Orastes' is one of the commanders at Skeln...
Diagoras is the same one from Skeln pass and in White wolf and I'm sure he's the officer that visits Druss' house in the mountains to ask Druss to come to Skeln pass....
There some suggestion that Hewla is also the Morrigu from the Rigante series but I've seen little evidence to back that up. Hewla is wholly evil, and cares nothing for anyone but herself and her bloodline (Jianna). This makes her character one of my faves, as you know automatically, there's going to be some dark doings everytime she appears...
David Gemmell novels will never be dated.....
I'm still trying to remember who Grianne and Skilgannon's child descends to... I'm sure it's someone important in either Winter warriors or the swords of night and day... Any help?
 
Spoiler alert*
white wolf is set after Skeln pass I think, as the joining character 'Orastes' is one of the commanders at Skeln...
Diagoras is the same one from Skeln pass and in White wolf and I'm sure he's the officer that visits Druss' house in the mountains to ask Druss to come to Skeln pass....
There some suggestion that Hewla is also the Morrigu from the Rigante series but I've seen little evidence to back that up. Hewla is wholly evil, and cares nothing for anyone but herself and her bloodline (Jianna). This makes her character one of my faves, as you know automatically, there's going to be some dark doings everytime she appears...
David Gemmell novels will never be dated.....
I'm still trying to remember who Grianne and Skilgannon's child descends to... I'm sure it's someone important in either Winter warriors or the swords of night and day... Any help?

Skilgannons Great Grandson is Decado the Ice Killer. Named probably after Decado Firesfist (Skillgannons father)

Decado the Ice Killer features in The King Beyond the Gate.

Skilgannon also has to fight a clone of Decado (Decado the Reborn) in White Wolf.

Is that what you are referring to?
 
yeah, thanks.... It all comes flooding back... I knew his bloodline was significant later in the series
 
My guess is that Gemmell's stepfather used the term laddie a lot, and the characters using that expression are the ones most closely based on him.
 

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