- 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 (90 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 590,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- See Complete Table of Contents
White Wolf (The Damned Series, Book-1) Hardcover – 1 Apr 2003
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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
" 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."See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
I found White Wolf a welcome return to the Drenai series. Gemmell has introduced another wonderful character with Skilgannon, and of course the additon of my old favourite Druss just made this book even better.
Being a Gemmell veteren i can understand why people slam his books for being to 'samey' but I find that if I dont read them one after the other and pad them out with other books then each one as enjoyable as the previous,(mostly anyway!)
But for me White Wolf was an amazing read that I just couldnt put down, like many of Gemmell's books. He is a fantastic story teller and is one of my all time favourite fantasy writers. For people who are just starting out reading David Gemmell books I recomend starting with Legend, by far his best ever book.
This was the book that started me down the rich, colourful and imaginative path that is fantasy reading.
White Wolf is a must read for any fantasy fan! A true Gem of the genre.
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.
The new hero for this new series is Olek Skilgannon, the Damned, complete with the sort of intrigue you would expect from one of David Gemmell's characters. Gemmell has the ability to make you believe in special people, particularly people who are special in combat, and he does that with Skilgannon here. He also has the ability to make you care for characters, to make everything appear in the shades of grey we all know exist. In this book, we see the world from the points of view of a multitude of characters, each of whom brings their own hopes, dreams and point of view to the situation.
The plot, as I hinted, is clever. Interspersed with Skilgannon's life in the present are his memories (and those of others) of the past. The introduction of a number of new heroes, who could feature in future novels is another exciting aspect.
The combat scenes are, of course, one of Gemmell's major strenghts, apparently drawing on his experiences as a London bouncer. They are fast moving, exciting, and seem brutally real. But they are linked with the doubts that always surround wars, with clever thoughts and musings. With jokes and wit (especially from Diagoras in this volume), and with tales of love and acts of heroism.
And, although I have mentioned it once already, let us not forget that this book contains Druss the Legend, who has become one of the most beloved of fantasy heroes. He is the perfect hero for a perfect heroic writer.
One of these days, David Gemmell is going to write a book that makes more than just the fantasy genre sit up and take note. This may not quite have been it, but I couldn't put it down.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A riveting read from cover to cover by one of the masters of fantasyPublished 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Really enjoyable, gemmell wrote to a formula and it works every timePublished 4 months ago by Mando'ade Lee
Read these years ago and gave them to our local library before moving to Cyprus. Want to read them again.Published 7 months ago by Jaycee
Can't beat a story with Druss in it, but Skilgannon is an excellent addition to the Drenai stories & I'm looking forward to the sequel.Published 7 months ago