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Customer Review

62 of 65 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Gemmell hits the spot again, 10 Mar. 2004
This review is from: The Swords of Night and Day (Skilgannon the Damned 2) (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. Having located these bones Landis Kahn sets about bringing him back but before he experiments on the bones of the ancient warlord he experiments upon other bones found with him in which he returns Druss. But for these ancient souls to be able to take over their recreated bodies the souls of thier inhabitants are cast into the void. Having never been able to pass through the golden gate Skilgannon is found wondering the void fighting the monsters that inhabit it as to Druss there is no sign so the interesting factor here is to see how a man reborn of the ancients bones will interact with the world and to see how closely he follows the Legends morals.
The tale takes the reader through an action paced tale full of twists as a fan of Gemmell will come to expect and something that will have new readers rushing out to pick up other Drenai novels so that they can follow the whole saga. However something that Gemmell presents us with in this novel is a look back over the history of the lands of the Drenai and fills in some gaps and answers some much asked questions by the fans and gives details about key events in thier history. Its done not to increase the page volume but cleverly inserted in passing comments so that its as if we're discovering things as Skilgannon does which is a sign of a great writer.
To sum the whole thing up this novel is classic Gemmell and should be treated like a fine wine. Something that needs to be sipped slowly to allow the full flavour to be sampled by the taster in addition to allowing it the room to breath and the nuances absorbed. Whilst there are many people who offer something similar it lacks the full bodiness that a master can bring to the fore. Gemmell once tasted, is never bettered. This will become a classic and is a definite must for all fans of the heroic epic.
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