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Knights Of Dark Renown Paperback – 16 Nov 1989

4.7 out of 5 stars 57 customer reviews

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Paperback, 16 Nov 1989
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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (16 Nov. 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857236335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857236330
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.5 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 464,376 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Has pace, conviction and gritty resolute vitality...The result is a book that will be enjoyed by Tolkien fans (TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT)

Book Description

Probably the finest living writer of heroic fantasy' TIME OUT

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 27 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
I have just finished reading this book for the fifth time! As a massive Gemmell fan, I have read each and everyone of David Gemmell's books and whilst ALL of them are excellent, Knights of Dark Renown has to be my favourite. It's a real epic heroic fantasy tale with a great twist in it. From the outset, when you are introduced to the Knights of the Gabala, (champions of good in the Nine Duchies), you are swept along by Gemmell's superbly descriptive narrative and he has a real knack for making his characters lifelike and believable. Despite having read this book four times previously, I still found myself unable to put the book down which is excellent testimony to this superb book. Despite what other reviewer's have said, I like the fact that none of the main characters are 'safe' and prefer a book where some are killed off or meet an heroic end.
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By A Customer on 17 Jan. 2001
Format: Paperback
As one of David Gemmell's biggest fans I would like to announce that this is one of his greatest books ever! I love his use of flawed characters, it seems to make them that more realistic and likeable, however I agree with an earlier review in that I would like to see some of these characters stay alive! This book starts of at a fairly slow pace, introducing us to the main protagonists making us think early on we know what is to come. This is where Gemmell truely comes into his own however. His characters never behave in the way that many characters in other books behave, here stereotypes are ignored or, when seen quickly booted to one side (in particular the chracter of the Duke, I wont spoil it for you by revealing what happens). It is the twists in characters that keep reading the book well into the early hours. One small gripe is that of the storyline. Here it is a small band of good guys taking on the might of an evil army, remind anyone of Winter Warriors? It seems that Gemmell only had about three different story lines from which to choose, although he does hide it well by his clever use of characters. I am impressed by the depth into which this book explores the characters and their flaws, something which is often missing in the current section of fantasy books. As the pace speeds up we are sent to places that we would never have expected to go, and the duel at the end is truely one of Gemmells greatest ever! All in all an excellent read and well worth trying for anyone who has not read any of Gemmell before!
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Format: Paperback
Six years ago the nine Knights of the Gabala, upholders of peace and justice, travelled through a magical gate to the land of the Vyre. Their help had been requested and great rewards promised. A young boy, Lug, witnessed their departure and, in doing so, first discovered his own immense power. The Knights of the Gabala never returned from their mission - all but for the one of them called Manannan, whose cowardice led him to flee as the others crossed the threshold - and now the kingdom has become a place of fear, with people of nomadic descent being slaughtered to purify the lands. It is a place calling out for heroes to lead it back from the brink.

This was typical of Gemmell: the set-up sounds so cliched, so familiar, and yet - in the telling - it is anything but. He was the master of heroic fantasy, and he doesn't get nearly enough credit, as far as I'm concerned. His greatest strength was always in his ability to create vivid, memorable characters, and this book contains some of the best I have yet come across.

Knights of Dark Renown is a stand alone novel, its whole story contained within its 400 pages. The pacing is almost immaculate, with hardly a word or scene wasted. This is one of his earlier novels, yet it is easy to see the progression he had made in terms of his style from, say, Legend, already a classic of the genre. The dialogue, especially, is more natural. Ubadai, in particular, has some very funny and memorable lines.

The other thing with Gemmell was that he had no hesitation in killing off his best characters so long as - and this is crucial, in my opinion - they were true to themselves. None of his characters die without meaning and, consequently, emotion.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Gemmell has long been one of my favorite authors after blasting through his work as a teenager. Knights of Dark Renown was never one of his novels that really stood out to me at the time. Re-reading it 15 years later though I seem to appreciate the book a lot more. The story is set in a country called Gabala, once a peaceful land protected by the legendary Knights of Gabala, nine men who acted as protectors, heroes and judges. Years later and the land is not what it was, the King is passing strange laws, there are red armoured knights under his command committing atrocities. The Knights of Gabala are needed once again but they disappeared years ago through a gateway to fight the legions of hell, all but one who was too afraid...

Knights of Dark Renown has a great cast of characters, always one of David Gemmell's strong points. He builds them up so well, their qualities, both good and bad to flesh them out. It has great pacing with a lot of excellent action scenes. Duels? Got them. Magic beasts? Got them too. If I had to pick a flaw, the main plot isn't especially interesting, yet the individual scenes in it are excellent, often surprising, and stand out along with the cast well above everything else.

Much like most of Gemmell's work I highly recommend giving this a read. It's just a great heroic fantasy novel.

+ Great cast of characters.
+ Excellent pacing.
+ Individual scenes are fantastic.
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