52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
Having just read D.Eddings Malloeran, I was scratching my head for what to read when my father lent me this. It was my first David Gemmell book and what can I say but wow. You just cannot put this book down. The character development is second to none. You are drawn into their world of brutal fighting, murder and intrigue with a sense longing for the time of heroes. Even...
Published on 25 Oct 2006 by Mr. W. T. Croughan
3.0 out of 5 stars David Gemmell's last trilogy
It's sad to think that David will never again entertain with his captivating words. Troy Lord of the Silver Bow is the first in a trilogy, he incorporates the myth of Troy and includes his unique retelling of the heroes of the time. As much as I enjoyed the book, I did find myself wanting to skip ahead in places, some of the chapters just seemed to be bulked with...
Published 21 months ago by Servo
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52 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb,
Having just read D.Eddings Malloeran, I was scratching my head for what to read when my father lent me this. It was my first David Gemmell book and what can I say but wow. You just cannot put this book down. The character development is second to none. You are drawn into their world of brutal fighting, murder and intrigue with a sense longing for the time of heroes. Even the main characters enemies are explored and their voices heard through the authors brilliant writings.
I found this such a fine detailed book but also extremely easy to read. Some fantasy novels have a habit of stretching things too far and too deep into their complexitites but Gemmell seems to strike the perfect balance. I loved this book so much that I bought the second in this series, Troy:Shield of Thunder, before I finshed it. Having just finished that in a record time for myself of 2 days(3 kids and full time job not withstanding) I feel myself yearning for more. In my opinion the second is even better than the first.That deserves a wowee!!
Sadly, David Gemmell passed away this year at the age of 57 before completing the final installment Troy:Fall of Kings. I feel totally selfish in my yearning for this book, which is to be completed by his wife. I did not know of this author before 3 weeks ago and yet I feel genuinely saddened at the loss of such a talent.
In a nutshell, these books have impressed me so much I will buy this one for myself and continue to buy David Gemmell until I have read all his books. I have yet to see a bad review of a single one. Get it, you won't be disapointed.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic, inctricate, perfectly-paced, and brilliant,
Being a fan of the epic fantasy genre - the likes of George RR Martin, JV Jones, and Robert Jordan - I hadn't read too many of David Gemmell's books prior to meeting him and having this, his new book, signed. But from the moment I started reading it I found it captivating.
I was familiar with the heroic nature of Gemmell's characters, such as the legendary Druss, and I found that several of the characters in "Lord of the Silver Bow" are of similar mould. But I can see how much better Gemmell has become since those early days: this is a much more intricate and complex book, but one that never confuses, and manages to weave together many storylines to give each character a great depth and uniqueness.
There's plenty of gritty action, romance, some historical background, political wrangling, backstabbing and betrayal, but above all the greatness of Gemmell's writing is in his ability to capture that strong emotional moment - where you feel for a downtrodden youngster, or sympathise with a misunderstood outcast, cheer for the brave victor, laugh at the outragious stories of a wisened old veteran, or weep for a fallen hero. Gemmell captures all that, but at no point do you sense that it feels contrived or implausible.
The quality of Gemmell's writing is measured, deliberate, and solid - highly descriptive yet econimical, rarely wasting time, and as a result this book of some 475 pages moves along at a fast pace. The only - minor - complaint is the inclusion of two or three awful one-liners that seem entirely out of place, but that takes nothing away from the book as a whole and the 5-star rating is thoroughly deserved. There's hardly any fantasy fiction being written of this high quality, it makes for an immeasurably satisfying read, and heartens one to think that the elite circle of the best authors remaining in the fantasy genre is increasing rather than diminishing.
I read this while waiting (5 years!) for George Martin's new book "A Feast For Crows" and I can honestly and gladly say that David Gemmell is rising up there, to be amongst the very best, and I eagerly await the second novel in his amazing trilogy of Troy.
68 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lord of the Silver Bow breathes new life into ancient myth,
Famed more for his fantasy work, most notably his Drenai Series and his recent Rigante Quartet, David Gemmell surprised a number of people when he announced that he had ".....nursed a secret yen to write a novel about Troy." And that it was going to be the project that he would be working on for the next 3-4 years, culminating in a trilogy based on Homer's Epic.
When this information made its way to fans of his previous work, a great number of questions came flooding in from around the world, such as : How is he going to do this? Will he depart the Sci-Fi/Fantasy genre in favour of Historical Fiction, and if he did would this novel have the classic trademarks of his other tales that have won him fans the world over? Other questions sprouted from that one acorn and left others wondering if he would have perhaps been better writing it under a pseudonym such as he did with White Knight, Black Swan and to keep writing the novels that the fans want. Or perhaps more worryingly, considering the recent plethora of films and novels connected to the ancient past, would this novel be something that would be better consigned to Pandora's box never to see the light of day?
All these questions and more needed answers but on a personal level, the Troy Trilogy is perhaps something that I've been hoping he would tackle since I read Lion of Macedon as well as Dark Prince, his previous excursions set in the time of Alexander and Phillip II of Macedon. Troy which has so oft been hinted at in previous novels (Ghost King, Last Sword of Power) has obviously held a fascination with him for a number of years and to be honest is something that to many people will have been crying out for an author like David to tackle. After all who was Homer but an ancient ancestor to the modern writer, making the time right, in a new millennium for the tale to have new life breathed into it.
But what does this novel have that will attract the public to part with their cash?
As usual with Gemmell's work the writing is crisp and whilst informative with some basic facts, required to give the reader an understanding into the worlds workings, it doesn't overload them, making them lose interest with the way the novel is expanding. The tale also moves at its own pace and as such the author isn't rushing into events that could well see the reader singled out and left wondering, "Why did that happen?" Or "What does it mean?" Allowing them to draw their own conclusions around the events surrounding the principle characters as well as giving them a greater understanding of how they ply their livelihoods. In fact, pace wise, it moves at the speed of the waves, sometimes quickly, whilst at other times at a more sedate pace, allowing each chapter to unfold to the reader as of they also a member of the expedition, sailing the "great green" side by side with the heroes of ancient history, giving them the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of ancestors thousands of years in the past.
This tale, I feel marks a change in his writing and as such will win him more fans the world over, not only does it keep the loyal followers of David's writing happy with the way in which he bridges the genres but it also offers something a little different in respect to the hero. Although a hero to all, Helikaon (The Golden One) show's a darker side to his personality, something that we've only ever seen in the reverse, a bad guy going good. Through this novel the reader is allowed a glimpse into the darker side of humanity, to see the reverse and as such its refreshing that a writer is prepared to do something that will perhaps shock a great many but also allows the human, emotional side to show through the characters loss. For me that particular scene in the novel more than justifies the cost and as such, with the way the novel finishes makes sure that a great many others will clamour to follow the latest antihero on his next voyage.
It is for this reason he has become perhaps one of the most popular British writers in the world today. Each character has had an incredible amount of time put into their development, allowing the reader to see the full three dimensional emotional character rather than a plain two dimensions, that make the obvious difference between a farcical cartoon stereotype and the heroes to which we are presented by Gemmell. In my opinion, it is this that everyone clamours for and as such will continue Gemmell's reign at the top of the Fantasy tree for many years to come. I await the chance to sail the "great green" again with Helikaon in Shield of Thunder.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book. A nice change in the Troy story,
I'm impressed. Simply put, this book is a new direction in a way for Gemmell, that I hadn't expected from him. I have all his books, and I love him as a writer. I'm also obsessed with Greek legends, and this book covers them in a very unique way. The language of the book is perfect, causing you to imagine the story rather than just reading it. I read it in one day, and nobody & nothing could stop me reading it.
I'm not going to go in depth about the storyline since the two reviews above do that very well, but I will say this is a must buy if you're a fantasy fan. Perfectly written. Has love, betrayal, heroism, joy, pain, and all through this you can relate with the characters. Rather than godlike hero's they're characters you could believe yourself to become had you been in the same situation. Awesome. Has joined the twelve or so books that sit beside my bed, while the rest are in the computer room for the odd read.
I'd give more than 5 stars but Amazon is rather limited in this, lol
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top class as ever,
Gemmell once more takes us on an epic adventure of history with his own twist. It has been said that this book is a bit slow and not as action packed as some of his Drenai series or Stones of Power book, but it is a multi part series about the same period of history, where as most of the other books were either stand alone or prequals to previous books, IE, the Druss the Legend series. This book deals with a period of time that has huge interest to me and, as always, I love the personal spin on the truth that David puts into his 'historical' books. This is a must for all Gemmell fans, and I cannot wait for the second book to come out! Buy it, you will not regret it!!!
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new reader to David Gemmell thanks to Troy,
I've never read one of Gemmell's books before but I read a synopsis for the hard-back version of this book and I was sold immediately. I couldn't put it down. I love historical fiction, and this doesn't fail to deliver. It has a perfect balance between blood and battles, underlying love stories, and wonderfully researched historical detail. It's very absorbing, and you're certainly left wanting the next instalment - I can't wait until September!
30 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars *POSSIBLE HISTORICAL SPOILER BELOW��������..*,
I brought this book to take with me on holiday next week and of course it arrived on Tuesday morning only to be finished by Thursday! I once commented to another Author in an email that Gemmell is the only Author I know that can tell the same story again and again and get away with it. As the owner of everyone of the long list of books within the cover of Lord of the Silver Bow that might seem to be a strange thing to say, the truth is though that's why I find his books so appealing. In simple terms he always uses the 'basic' blocks of fantasy to form his books. (The flawed Hero, The beautiful Priestess/Princess and The friendly Giant.) Then he subtlety changes everything around them.
Like a lot of fantasy readers I always enjoy a good Historical Fantasy/Alternative History book and bar his Jon Shannow collection, I think when Gemmell makes a foray into this side of the fantasy field he is at his best. Ghost King & Last Sword of Power were great; Lion of Macedon & Dark Prince were verging on the magnificent.
As in Lion of Macedon, in L of the SB, Gemmell cleverly ignores the more talked about Historical figures in the story of Troy to use a lesser known player for his main character, Aeneas (Helikon), considered by many to be the Great Granddaddy of the Romans. Who though, is mentioned in the Illiad as Hectors Lieutenant & Cousin and for his fight with Achillies after Hectors death, only comes to 'true fame' in Virgils Aeneid. After reading Lion of Macedon I found myself trying find out more about Parmenion ( the main character), I'm sure I will be looking up everything I can find on Helikon after this trilogy.
I, like others, hope that Gemmell resists the temptation to bring in his magic stones (Sipstrassi) into this story at some later stage as I feel this will detract from what looks like being a truly epic Fantasy series.
To conclude: This book has a really good 'truth behind the myth' feel to it and the Author's take on this well worn tale is refreshingly new and believable.
If like me you can't wait for the next book in this series, and have already started to have delusions of Publishers "holding back books" or hear tales of "writers block", the following might ease the wait: For Alternative/Fantasy/History buffs try Harry Harrison's The Hammer & The Cross series, if you're new to Gemmell of course try the Stones of Power series, if you want something more "Sci-Fi - ish" try Ben Bova's Orion series (withVengeance of Orion and Orion and the Conqueror being the ones based in Ancient Greece).
Hope this helps!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Farewell David you will be missed.,
David Gemmel's last ever book....If you don't count the final book of the trilogy which his wife Stella Gemmell has finished. I wanted to love this book, why, because its the last book he will ever write and I wasn't disappointed. I LOVE David's books he captivates you from page one right through to the very last page and makes you exist only to read his next!!! In my opinion he is the BEST fantasy writer EVER. Quite why none of his novels have made it to the big screen I will never know! Its a good book but not quite as good as Shield of Thunder. In my opinion largely down to the fact theres not enough Halikon in it but maybe thats just me! Its a must have for David Gemmel fans as it will be the last you read, the final book in the trilogy was finished by his widow. Possibly not a bad thing as she knew his books inside out and was his proof reader and critic.
God Bless you David and thanks to Stella for giving us the ending to an enthralling trilogy!!
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not slow, but well paced.,
I have to admit that I am puzzled by the statements claiming this book to be a slow starter. This book is quite a departure from his previous style in that this is the first time he has set out to write a series, the other series have all started from one book and grown from there.
It is true that the 'hack and slay' element is not present from the start, but I did not find that a problem. There were many characters to get to know, all created with that bit of extra flavour that make David's books so special. Indeed, half the enjoyment is wondering where these character traits will surface and how they will develop in the tale.
The Greek pseudo-historical setting is one that we have previously enjoyed with Dark Prince, but now this comes across with even more authority. The tie-ins with Illiad and Odyssey are dealt with excellently, and the detail given to historical elements leaves you feeling that a lot of research went into this book, but not at the expense of the narrative which I found to be compelling.
My only regret is that I know I will have to wait another 2 books before I know all the answers, and having bought and read this one as soon as it came out (as I have done with every Gemmell book), that could be some time.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's pure gold,
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This is an excellent book. The reason it has got such mixed reviews is that it is not a fantasy story for which David Gemmell is known for, although it is based on a classical Greek mythological story. This is really historical fiction, and as such, it is more character and plot driven than the hack and slash action usually found in Gemmell's books. This has clearly not gone down well with many of his fans, who prefer his usual fantasy stories. I believe Gemmell's publishers and should have made this clear, especially for the few hard of thinking, short attention span types, whom this book is totally unsuitable for. It certainly shouldn't be in the fantasy section.
If you are familiar with Homer's epic poems the Illiad and the Odyssey then you will have a good understanding of what this trilogy is about, but it is not essential to read those classical Greek books in order to enjoy these stories. Gemmell has done a brilliant job of recreating the Bronze Age world of the Mediterranean. This book has been excellently researched; everything is spot on for that era. I like the fact that the main protagonists from the Illiad; Agamemnon, Priam, Hektor etc. are only supporting characters in this story. This makes the story much more interesting than a simple retelling of the classic tale. Another difference to the Homer story is that this story is based in the real world of that time with an absence of the mythology and the Greek gods that played such an important role in the original tale; this is surprising considering Gemmell's fantasy storytelling talents. Overall, this is a marvellous, well polished, gripping story on a par with the books of Steven Pressfield.
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Troy: Lord Of The Silver Bow by David Gemmell