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White Wolf (The Damned Series, Book-1) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2003

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (1 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593044444
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593044445
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3.7 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 419,573 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Published in 1984, David A. Gemmell's first novel, Legend, has become a classic. His most recent Drenai and Rigante books are all published as Bantam Press hardcovers and Corgi paperbacks. All of his novels are Sunday Times bestsellers. Now widely regarded as one of the finest writers of heroic fantasy, David Gemmell lived in East Sussex until his death in July 2006.

Product Description

Amazon Review

David Gemmell is Britain's most popular writer of hard-edged heroic fantasy. White Wolf opens a new subseries, "The Damned", set in the world of his Drenai saga and featuring the invincible axeman Druss the Legend--now well into middle age. But the central character is Skilgannon the Damned, deadly wielder of a very special pair of swords and a former general whose nickname comes from a war atrocity that he does not deny. His attempt to make a new life as a monk ends abruptly when civil unrest threatens the monastery and Skilgannon's old fighting skills come into play with appalling effectiveness. In flashbacks to decades earlier, a young Skilgannon painfully and plausibly learns the warrior's art, until his boyhood finishes in a blaze of horror. He finds true love, but his lady is also in love with power and gives the orders for a city-wide bloodbath that makes him forever The Damned. Now known as the Witch-Queen, she won't forgive him for leaving her...

Other stories intertwine with Skilgannon's. There's a young lad who wants to be a swordsman; a fey girl haunted by voices; twin brother fighters, one with a personality ravaged by brain cancer; and Druss the Legend, still indomitable but beginning to worry about his heart. Their paths entwine in a land full of disorder, hostile troops, desperate refugees, and escaped arena beasts (sorcerous hybrids of man and animal). Gemmell excels at combat scenes, with a pace, timing and gripping conviction rare in the genre. He makes it clear, with grim compassion, that opponents aren't just straw men to be knocked over. Skilgannon is forced to kill people he admires, or who admire him; even legitimate self-defence turns sour when we hear the version told by the dead man's fiancée. At the climax, Skilgannon, Druss and their surviving companions stage an audacious assault on a particularly obnoxious villain's well-defended fortress. Much bloodshed follows, with satisfactory settlement of many debts and a final gleam of hope for the future. More tales of Skilgannon will surely follow. --David Langford

Review

" Probably the finest living writer of heroic fantasy." -- "Time Out" " Has everything a fan of heroic fantasy could desire." -- Stephen Donaldson " Gemmell's a brand: an assurance of passionate, cleanly written prose, imaginative plots and, above all, terrific storytelling." -- "Time Out" "From the Trade Paperback edition."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "garethhypnox" on 18 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
For David Gemmell addicts – finally, a new book! White Wolf introduces a new character to the Drenai series named Skilgannon. Throughout the novel, Gemmell uses the quest for atonement to really create character. Skilgannon was a general for the Witch Queen (whom he loves) but left her service after his wife died (who loved him) and Jianna (the Witch Queen) ordered him to slaughter the inhabitants of a city, earning him the title the Damned. Basically, after failing as a monk he goes looking for a special temple to resurrect his wife. On his way he ends up with Druss the Legend (naturally) who is looking for a friend of his who has disappeared. I don’t want to ruin the rest of the story so you will have to find out the rest on your own. Gemmell has a brilliant writing style, making reading his books terribly addictive. White Wolf is a book charged with excitement and humour – definitely a good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By N. Burgess on 13 Aug. 2008
Format: Paperback
Brother Lantern is a priest seeking inner peace in an increasingly hostile and unsettled world. Conflict surrounds the priesthood, and now the priests themselves are being targeted by forces intent on causing chaos. As the priests come face to face with violence, Brother Lantern's adherence to their peaceful ways is severely tested as more priests get attacked and all he is meant to do is forgive the attackers and try and find good in them. Then when a violent mob come to the gates of the priest's monastery, Brother Lantern decides he can no longer follow the path of the priesthood, and reluctantly reverts back to his warrior ways, ruthlessly teaching the mob a lesson they'll never forget. For Brother Lantern is no ordinary priest, he is Skilgannon the Damned, mighty warrior, wielder of the swords of night and day, and a tormented soul haunted by the guilt of horrific acts of barbarism that he committed in the name of the Witch Queen.

This is another thrilling book from David Gemmell, full of wonderful characterisation whereby every character has something to contribute to this compelling story. Skilgannon is the tortured soul, deeply ashamed of the acts he has committed in the name of war, desperately seeking some kind redemption for his past, but knowing deep down than nothing can undo what he has done. Nonetheless you can't help hoping that Skilgannon finds some kind of salvation as you realise that he's very much been used as a pawn by the Witch Queen, driven by his loyalty and, even more, his intense love for her, as they were former lovers before she rose to power.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss S J Forster on 12 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
This book is yet another example of the brilliance that is David Gemmell. All characters well fleshed out, and a special old friend thrown in to round it off. Skilgannon, the main character, was a great man to be introduced to in this first book of the series. Of course though, my heart soared when Druss put in his appearance. Mr Gemmell has exceptional talent in that he can create his characters, their backgrounds, and their adventures so well that it makes reading these books feel like you are going home after a very long time away. Characters, such as the troubled Skilgannon,that are introduced are not strangers for long, and to meet up with old characters again is like meeting up with well loved old friends.
Skilgannon is a man troubled by his past but, realising he can do nothing to change it, is coming to terms with it, and is now beginning a journey to try and restore an important person to his life. Not an easy task when all he has to go on is rumour and myth. Druss is on the road to find a friend, and finds his friend is very much changed. The story that unfolds around these two people is as to be expected from it's creator. The characters are not empty two-dimensional incidentals wandering around in a book. These are virtually real people whom all David Gemmell fans would be honoured to meet, and will surely enjoy adventuring with in this latest novel.
So, Mr David Gemmell, I raise my glass of Lentrian Red to you and sit back to read White Wolf again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "cornishspruce" on 1 April 2003
Format: Hardcover
Skilgannon the Damned had vanished from the pages of history. No-one knew where he had gone, and the assassins sent by the Witch Queen could find no trace of his passing.
Three years later, as a mob intent on murder gathers outside a distant monastery, they are faced by a single unarmed priest. In a few terrifying seconds their world is changed for ever, and word spreads across the lands of the East..... Skilgannon is back.
Now he must travel across a perilous, demon-haunted realm seeking a mysterious temple and the ageless goddess who rules it. With assassins on his trail and an army of murderous foes ahead, the Damned sets off on a quest to bring the dead to life. But he does not travel alone.... The man beside him is Druss the Legend.
In a world torn by war, White Wolf is a page turning tale of love, betrayal and treachery, which examines the nature of heroism and friendship and the narrow line that divides good from evil, redemption from damnation.
This novel has everything a fan of heroic fantasy could desire :-)
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