Waylander II: In the Realm of the Wolf

Brian G Turner

Fantasist & Futurist
Staff member
Nov 23, 2002
I struggled to get into this book - it didn't help that it follows on closely with the characters and events of Waylander, but it's a long time since I'd read it.

Therefore I struggled to follow the political events and some of the characters, as I didn't remember them too well. This is especially because the plot split between following Waylander's mission of vengeance, and the political situation regarding the Nadir, Drenai, Ventrians, Chiatze, and Gothir that Miriel becomes involved with.

Typical that I've complained before about Gemmell writing standalones rather than running series - only to stumble upon one without realising. :)

It did give the impression, though, of a plot-driven rather than character-driven story - I struggle to remember why Miriel was so driven to help the Nadir, as it never seemed to come up after her decision to go help them.

Mention of "the Uniter" brought images of Ulric Khan from Legend, but Dardalion mentions that this relates to another - which was a relief, seeing as the characters were investing so much in protecting this bloodline, even though Ulric never really achieves anything.

Would be good to know who that was going to be - seems to be way ahead in my reading. :)

The siege of Kar-Barzac felt somewhat perfunctionary, as if Gemmell was falling back to a familiar theme, even though it might not have been really necessary.

However, what was really interesting was the clear indication that Kar-Barzac belonged to a technologically advanced people. I seem to recall a reference to this being tens of thousands of years previous. Clearly this is a very post-apocalyptic world, and reminded a little of Mark Lawrence's setting for Prince of Thorns.

I think Gemmell mentioned before how all his books were connected, which put me in mind of Echoes of the Great Song...

What really brought me into the story was when Dardalion and Kesa-Khan discuss why they are fighting, and reveal that not only will Rek from Legend be one of Miriel's descendents, but also that "the Uniter" isn't Ulric, but instead someone else. I was intrigued to find out more, but unfortunately, can't find much about how the bloodlines relate online.

What I also enjoyed was being able to get a sense of time and place with regards to Legend - that these events were happening one or more generations before then.

I'll probably have to re-read both Waylander novels together, then read the third, for a better perspective on everything. :)
Isn't 'The Uniter' Tenaka Khan of King Beyond the Gate? It has been a long time since I read it but he certainly achieved more than Ulric.
Isn't 'The Uniter' Tenaka Khan of King Beyond the Gate? It has been a long time since I read it but he certainly achieved more than Ulric.

I read on another website that it is the case. However, I've not read that book yet, and don't know anything of that part of the Drenai cycle. :D
Oops, sorry for the spoilers then!

I agree Waylander 2 isn't one of his strongest, but still very nice to get a continuation of Waylander's story nonetheless. The third book puts him in a whole new setting and in very different circumstances. For some it might be a bit too much of a shift of tone, but I enjoyed it quite a lot anyway.
It's okay, no spoilers posted. I guess I'll have to make King Beyond the Gate something of a priority to read next from Gemmell, as the events are obviously important. :)
Just to warn you: King Beyond The Gate is, in my opinion, the weakest of the Drenai novels though it does still have some terrific moments... Just saying...
Yeah, it is worth reading still, but it does have difficult second book syndrome a little. I gather he had two books rejected after Legend (His first attempt at a Druss origin story then a time travelling arthurian novel) so I think he must have been feeling the pressure to get something out before the publishers lost interest. I would save it till you have finished the Waylander, Druss and maybe Skilgannon novels. Doesn't matter too much though, as it is kind of stand alone.
I have now read the first six and Waylander II (#5) was easily the worst and The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (#6) beats Legend by a tad for being the best. I am looking forward to finishing all eleven of them.

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