The Swords of Night and Day (Skilgannon the Damned 2) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2004
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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
"'Gemmell is a fireside mythmonger; his characters and plots have the authentic feel of legends handed down through the ages'"See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a great read if you are a fan of david gemmell or this genre of fictionPublished 3 months ago by ken harding
Read these years ago and gave them to our local library before moving to Cyprus. Want to read them again.Published 4 months ago by Jaycee
Brilliant finale to the drenai series,reunites two of the mostess beloved characters in druss and skillganon, excellent stuffPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fantastic book, another master piece from David Gemmell. I would recommend this book to any lover of heroic fantasy.Published 5 months ago by Adam Tyrrell
Pages were falling out, initially first 20 were actually missing altogether
Came with that old bookshop smell, which made up for it with me, still pretty terrible quality... Read more