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Gallow: The Crimson Shield [Paperback]

Nathan Hawke , Alejandro Colucci
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

11 July 2013 GALLOW (Book 1)

I have been Truesword to my friends, Griefbringer to my enemies. To most of you I am just another Northlander bastard here to take your women and drink your mead, but to those who know me, my name is Gallow. I fought for my king for seven long years. I have served lords and held my shield beside common men. I have fled in defeat and I have tasted victory and I will tell you which is sweeter. Despise me then, for I have slain more of your kin than I can count, though I remember every single face.

For my king I will travel to the end of the world. I will find the fabled Crimson Shield so that his legions may carry it to battle, and when Sword and Shield must finally clash, there you will find me. I will not make pacts with devils or bargains with demons for I do not believe in such things, and yet I will see them all around me, in men and in their deeds. Remember me then, for I will not suffer such monsters to live.

Even if they are the ones I serve.

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Gallow: The Crimson Shield + Gallow: Cold Redemption + Gallow: The Last Bastion
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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (11 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575115084
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575115088
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 66,782 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Hawke has created a world with enough history, myth and folklore to make it believable. His prose is fluid, his dialogue crisp and his action very well-handled and visceral. It is not a long read and all the better for it. Entertaining, sometimes moving and always eminently readable. Highly recommended." --James Barclay, author, "Dawnthief"

Book Description

Fantasy needs a new hero. Meet Gallow - Truesword, Griefbringer and trouble for anyone who crosses him.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great action but needed more depth 18 Aug 2013
Ten out of ten for the cover art, the publishers have boldly gone with just an image, leaving the title for the back page. It certainly is striking and, I am sure will whet the appetite's of many fans of fantasy fiction.

I found the novel went along at a breakneck pace; this is a strong foundation for the rest of the series. There is a lot of action, (and I know this sounds odd)...perhaps a little too much action. I felt that at times that the fighting swamped the story. Yes it's all thrilling, epic stuff, but I thought the novel really shone when the focus was on the dialogue and interaction between the many interesting characters. Their observations and world-weary humour made this an enjoyable read for me. I would have preferred more development and depth to another description of a warrior being hacked to pieces.

Gallow is an enigmatic and interesting protagonist, but sadly I never felt that I got to know him beyond the tough warrior exterior. Perhaps this is a deliberate ploy, and the layers will be slowly revealed over the series.

Apart from the disconnected feeling I had, this was the literary equivalent of watching something really exciting but without the investment in those involved. I am sure its target audience will really like this, and I look forward to the next in the series, but hope for more characterization and less random violence next time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A number of other reviewers on both the US and the UK site who are familiar with the late David Gemmell's works of heroic fantasy have detected a number of similarities in this book, and, for those that read all three books together, in the whole trilogy. One of the most obvious parallels is between Gemmell's Druss the Axeman and Nathan Hawke's Corvin Screambreaker. A few others have also drawn parallels between Gallow, the main character of this book, and one of Joe Abercrombie's character (Logen Ninefingers).

There are indeed a number of similarities, but these only go so far, and there are also significant differences which help to make this piece into a rather original one and a superb and exciting "page-turner".

With regards to the two main characters, and starting with Corvin Screambreaker, he does resemble Gemmell's Druss to some extent. Both are strong, superb and ageing warriors. However, while Druss may be at times a leader and is essentially a fighter, Corvin is also a general, a strategist, a master tactician, the right-hand man and the long time, loyal and trusted friend of the King of Lhosir. He, more than anyone else, is the one who conquered Marroc and therefore more than doubled the size of his King's kingdom. At times, he also reminded me of Gemmell's Banelion, the White Wolf (who was loosely modelled on Parmenion, the top general of both Philip II and Alexander of Macedon) in Winter Warriors. Corvin seems to be a mix of the two characters.

The other main character - Gallow - owes less to Gemmell. In some respects, he may not be very original since the theme of the former elite warrior who became tired of killing, settled down and founded a family before being inevitably pulled back into a new war is hardly novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb fantasy 7 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would say that this is far closer to Joe Abercrombie than Gemmel, the writing style is similar, and Gallow reminds me of Logen Ninefingers. The battle scenes are good, though not up to Cornwells standard, and the story is intriguing. I am a keen fan of this type of fiction and would strongly reccomend it to all the fans of Gemmell, Cornwell, Abercrombie,Lawrence,Kearny,Kristian, and the new Anthony Ryan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cli 6 Dec 2013
By Phil
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Just not great. Its good in parts and you can see the attempted symmetry with recent trend of dark gritty fantasy, only problem is that the writings just that bit short and Gallow just isnt anywhere near as cool as heroes (or anti heroes) such as Logan nine fingers in the Joe Abercrombie series'. Most of the time I merely wished for Gallow to grow a set and go on a rampage
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series 30 Oct 2013
By Huge
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Excellent fantasy story full of excitement, battles and a good characters too. Have read them all and they are worthy of equal praise
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 4 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Let me say right from the start that this is an excellent book. I very rarely write reviews on here but felt compelled to with this. Gallow is a fantastic leading character; as another reviewer has mentioned, he reminds me strongly of Joe Abercrombie's fantastic character Logan Ninefinfingers. I don't like my fantasy novels to have much of the supernatural in them and Gallow's world has no magic, witches, demons or monsters. It's just a totally believable, authentic alternative world. Strongly recommended.
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