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The Swords of Night and Day (Skilgannon the Damned 2) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press; First Edition edition (1 April 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0593044479
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593044476
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 865,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

David Gemmell's latest heroic fantasy The Swords of Night and Day, latest in the Drenai series, stars the tormented swordsman Skilgannon the Damned and opens a thousand years after his debut in White Wolf (2003). Reincarnation is the secret, of course. Having died in his final battle and spent a fraught millennium in the Void, Skilgannon is deliberately brought back to take up his swords and fulfil a prophecy.

Other revenants include the body though not the soul of his old comrade-in-arms Druss the Legend, and more than one form of this era's tyrannical queen the Eternal, a woman once very important to our hero. This queen not only controls overwhelming armies but is literally eternal because technomagical wizardry makes death, for her, no more than a minor interruption. Her current lover is an obsessed psychopath carrying the only swords more deadly and cursed than Skilgannon's, the Swords of Blood and Fire.

The land is infested with sorcerously created man-beast "Joinings"; in an unusual subplot, one hapless and unheroic merchant tries to teach a pack of these monsters to hunt animal rather than human prey. Naturally there is copious swordplay, not to mention axe-wielding and archery, all described with Gemmell's usual kinetic skill at handling fluidly violent duels, skirmishes and battles. Even with help from a tiny remnant of Druss's folk, the Drenai Legend Riders, Skilgannon's quest seems utterly hopeless. But correctly interpreting the fantastic, colourful imagery of that millennium-old prophecy suggests a desperate course of action.

The storyline is as compelling as ever, punctuated by artful flashbacks, with a generous helping of unexpected twists, betrayals, tragedies and triumphs. Gemmell's countless fans will not be disappointed. --David Langford

Review

"'Gemmell is a fireside mythmonger; his characters and plots have the authentic feel of legends handed down through the ages'"

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
The latest epic in set in David Gemmell's fantasy world of the Drenai, continuing the tale of Skilgannon the Damned but the question is what does it offer the new fan in addition to what does it offer to the fans of his earlier works?
Having read the book back I was initially concerned about the time delay between this novel and the previous works in the Drenai world, I mean a thousand years is a hell of a lot of a time delay, it made me wonder to what level the world had developed technologically. Would we have the Drenai fighting with guns or would they be fighting with something more advanced? This was the quandry that I found myself in and one that I assumed a number of other fans would have as after all basing the fact around the world around the understanding that they developed along the same lines as we did then they would obviously have guns wouldn't they, so how would Skilgannon and Druss be able to face the speed to which these new weapons operated?
As I started the novel these fears were paramount for me, but I shouldnt have worried, Gemmell had taken the approach that the world was a slow developer and hadn't developed any further along the weapons front choosing instead to understand the machines of the ancients that had given us the Joinings in the earlier novels known to this timeline as Jems.
So how does the tale develop, having an understanding of the machines and understanding the evil that is inflicted upon the world by the Eternal one man looks to help in fulfill the prophecy set down by Ustarte, the now revered prophet a thousand years previously in which Skilgannon would stop the evil and end the reign of the immortal. But in order to do that he needed to be reborn from his bones in his hidden tomb.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Swords of Night and Day is the last book in David Gemmell's Drenai series of books and sequel to his previous novel in the series White Wolf. (They were classed as a subseries known as The Damned book 1 & 2 originally). If you're new to David Gemmell I recommend reading them in the order they were written rather than how Amazon has them listed (Start with Legend) though they can be read in almost any order within reason.

The book's protagonist is once again Skilganon, a legendary Nashanite general and master swordsman. He is brought back to life hundreds of years after his death using forbidden technology in the hopes he can fufill a prophecy and stop a tyrant queen known as the Eternal. Skilganon is thrust into a world he does not recognise with everything and everyone he knew dead and gone. Thrown up against seemingly insurmountable odds in this strange land, his quest seems utterly hopeless but Skilganon never loses.

I thoroughly enjoyed the final chapter in the Drenai saga as I have pretty much every book in the series. The Swords of Night and Day isn't my favourite but has exactly what I come to expect from any heroic fantasy novel of Gemmells, epic fights (The combat is brutal mixing in duels, skirmishes as well as fights against half human half animal beasts), fantastic scenarios and above all well thought out and well written characters. The supporting cast gets great attention with their own pasts and personalities which accompany Skilganon's sense of not belonging in the world he is in.

This is a classic Gemmell book, it's just great. I recommend it highly.

+ Interesting plot change for the Drenai series.
+ Great cast of characters.
+ Epic fights.
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By A Customer on 7 Jan. 2005
Format: Hardcover
Hi All,
Quick Email to say what a great book, and to defend the Author!
I've read all of The Author's book, spaning over 15 years. So here's my qualified opinion:
1. This is a very good book - masterful mix of old and new ideas.
2. I'd say DG's style is evolving, as opposed to running out of ideas
3. If you look at the earlier books, they didn't have anymore substance than this one - it is just that DG was the new guy on the block, with fresh new concepts and style of writing.
If you like DG - you will love this book. Buy it!
Cheers
Martin
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Gemmell is a much missed well loved master of heroic fantasy and Skilgannon is one of his best realised characters. Along with Druss. You could quite easily see this book and the prequel made into films.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
David Gemmel remains the master of heroic fantasy years after his passing. I have re-read most of his books now that i have a kindle and can take them with me everywhere...Dont miss this one Skilgannon is a truly exceptional character
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Gemmell decided to open up a whole new chapter in the Drenai world bytaking us over 1000 years after most of his previous Drenai books.Unfortunately, he seems to have copped out somewhat, and, believe it ornot, there are familiar faces everywhere in this new quest for Skilgannonthe Damned. I enjoyed seeing more of Skilgannon, but, as is often the casewith David Gemmell's writing, found myself really wishing I knew moreabout what had happenned in the later years of the Damned's normal life. Ialso found myself wanting to know about the heroes of the new world, andin the early chapters, hoped that the merchant/captain of the guardfigures would play major roles. In fact, their parts grow as the novelgoes on, and as usual Gemmell gives us a beautiful mix of superbly writtencombat, clever plots, original magic and characters of astounding depth.
I hold back the fifth star only because David Gemmell has given us some ofthe absolutely best ever fantasy novels, and this doesn't quite fit intothat bracket. Having said that, it is another book by Gemmell, andalthough there are better books by Gemmell, there are many by otherauthors which don't come close.
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