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( Read Pdf ) ⚪ Legend ¸ He Is DRUSS The Legend His Skill In Battle Has Earned Him A Fearsome Reputation Throughout The World And The Stories Of His Life Are Told Everywhere But The Grizzled Veteran Has Spurned A Life Of Fame And Fortune And Has Retreated To The Solitude Of His Mountain Lair To Await His Old Enemy, DeathMeanwhile, Barbarian Hordes Of The Nadir Are On The March, Conquering All Before Them All That Stands Before Them And Victory Is The Legendary Six Walled Fortress Of The Drenai Empire, Dros Delnoch If The Fortress Falls, So Do The Drenai Druss Reluctantly Agrees To Come Out Of Retirement But Can Even Druss Live Up To His Own Legends Held By Many To Be Gemmell S Most Iconic Work, The Book Is Considered A Classic In The Heroic Fantasy Genre Druss the Legend Mightiest man of his era A killing machine, a warrior And why Because I never had the courage to be a farmer , Druss told himself When I die , he thought, everyone will mourn for Druss the Legend But who will mourn for me Now compare the above quotes with this famous line from the movie Notting HillThe fame thing isn t really real, you know I m also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her Two very different kinds of story somehow conveying a similar idea One of the central themes of Legend is the legend vs the man , the difference between how people perceive you on the basis of your reputation and the actual you.The central plotline of Legend concerns the invasion of The Drenai Empire by a powerful tribal nation called Nadir In order to take over the empire, the Nadir need to break through the fortress of Dros Delnoch The earl who runs the fortress summonses 60 year old Druss with his swollen knees and an arthritic back from retirement to aid in the fortress town s defence and to help train the military to fight against the overwhelming odds of the enormous and unstoppable Nadir force Meanwhile, several heroic Drenai characters are also heading toward the fortress to lend their aid, all of them are aware of the impossibility of winning the war.Druss is the most vivid and larger than life character in a book full of vivid and vibrant characters There is so much energy in his characterization that he practically leaps off the pages He reminds me of Cohen the Barbarian from the Discworld book The Color of Magic An elderly but still deadly killing machine who is very lonely and sad underneath it all.Druss the Legend by LawtonLonsdaleIn highlighting Druss I am merely scratching the surface of a very lively cast of characters, including the reluctant new earl who views himself as cowardly but automatically becomes a berserker when the fighting starts, a Robin Hood like archer, a female assassin with a dark secret etc Even the main antagonist Ulric, the Nadir s great war leader is a complex and honorable man The narrative is told from both sides of the war, while we are clearly meant to be invested in the Drenai people who are under attack, the rationale of Ulric who wants to annex other nations to his own, for the sake of long term peace and prosperity, is understandable Gemmell was the master of plotting, pacing and most of all characterization His world building is not as complex or detailed as today s leading purveyors of epic fantasy like Brandon Sanderson or Patrick Rothfuss, the upside is that Gemmell s books are generally much shorter The magic side of the story is sparingly used, similar to what you would expect in an Arthurian fantasy Gemmell was muchconcerned with exploring the themes of chivalry, honor, redemption, and particularly the deeper meaning of heroism.I feel like there is Gemmell renaissance going on just in my head He was my single favorite fantasy author during the 80s, I don t know whether that is still the case today, or even who holds the mantle now there are just too many great fantasy authors still working and they are quite diverse in style it is not really worth ranking them Sadly, David Gemmell passed away in 2006, though he left behind a considerable legacy of very well written fantasy books The first time I read Legend wasthan twenty years ago, I have forgotten most of the details so this is almost like a first read for me, though there are one or two highly remarkable scenes which I have never forgotten only the context of how they come about If you enjoy fantasy in a medieval setting but have not read any Gemmell yet you have a lot to look forward to.Notes I distinctly remember reading these Drenai books in random order during the 80s, this was before the advent of e books, and it was hard to find all the titles in bookstores to read sequentially so I read whatever I could find Each novel is self contained so there is no cliff hanger to worry about That said, with e books available now I look forward to reading them all in order Though I would like to read his Troy series which I never read before Gemmell is something of a writer s writer where the epic fantasy genre is concerned, there is even a David Gemmell Award named after him comparable to the Arthur C Clarke or the Philip K Dick awards Patrick Rothfuss is a proud recipient of this award, as he mentioned in his own review of this very book.QuotesWhat does the philosopher say of cowards and heroes The prophet says, By nature of definition only the coward is capable of the highest heroism And what is a man He is someone who rises when life has knocked him down He is someone who raises his fist to heaven when a storm has ruined his crop and then plants again And again A man remains unbroken by the savage twists of fate That our defense will fail is no reason to avoid the battle For it is the motive that is pure, not the outcome Yes He is a strange one A cynic by experience, a romantic by inclination, and now a hero by necessity Beyond the legendary armor and the eyes of icy fire, he was just another old man Tough and strong as a bull, maybe, but old Worn out by time, the enemy that never tired I never read any David Gemmell until I was already published And even then, he first came to my attention after someone e mailed me, saying something along the lines of, I m glad someone like you is here to carry on Gemmell s tradition now that he s dead After I got a fewe mails along a similar line, I went out and bought Legend, read it, and was terribly flattered by the comparison Since then, I ve actually won the Gemmell award Which is flattering in its own right Plus awesome, because the award is an actual AXE Here s a link to the blog I wrote about it, with pictures I just re read this, and I enjoyed it every bit as much the second time around It s muchaction oriented than my books So yeah Highly recommended Especially if you like stories about what it means to be a hero. The quality of a book is generally judged by the words in it, in addition to the story It s not just what you say, how you say it also matters If not a complete counter example, Legend is a book where the rule loses its effect Legend is certainly not the best written book ever, but it is most definitely one of the best books ever written David Gemmell never finished school, since he was expelled at the age of sixteen, and the unrefined writing is apparent throughout the book He struggled to tell his story, but he had a hell of a story to tell What the book lacks in sophistication of wordsmithing, itthan makes up for with the raw power of the story Allow a thought experiment for the moment Strip away all the decoration in a typical book, all the character action interaction that exists for flavor, all the worldbuilding, all the prose, exposition, and clever tropes What are we left with Usually very little Usually a basic plot, that we re lucky to even partially connect with It might even be an intelligent story, or an imaginative one But it s ultimately weak, skeletal, and insignificant in almost every way It might even be non existent Luckily, our world has been gifted with a book like Legend where we can prove such a thought experiment wrong Strip away the decoration and frosting from Legend cut it down to its most basic elements, and we are still left with a book worthy of the test of time In the Iliad, Achilles was given a choice by the gods To live a short, glorious, heroic life that will end violently but be remembered, or to live a long, healthy life and eventually suffer the fading effect of time upon his name We all know what choice Achilles made, and Achilles is remembered as one of the greatest heroes ever to come from the ranks of humanity In his own way Druss, the main character in Legend, faced the same choice Fade into old age and senility, or face down your death with defiance at the cost of a shorter lifespan Yet Achilles is not the only hero who is remembered through the ages In fact, the greatest hero of the Iliad is Hector Where Achilles is remembered for the glory of his life, Hector is heroic for the manner of his death Knowing with absolute certainty that to face Achilles in a duel means death, he accepts the challenge anyway Not to be suicidal, but to die in the manner he tried to live What makes a man or woman great, or heroic What does it mean to die a good death For that matter, what does it mean to even live a life worth living Overcoming great obstacles and succeeding is not compelling enough Fighting, failing, and dying knowing that your name will be remembered isn t even heroic enough The true hero, is the one who fights against that which he knows he cannot possibly defeat Not for the remembrance of his name, or the glory of his cause, but for himself Humans often die for one another A mother takes a gang member s bullet to save her child, a man on life support wants the plug pulled so his heart can be transplanted to save another, or a soldier dives upon a grenade to save his squad mates What makes one caseheroic than the next What if nobody was around to recognize such sacrifice If the mother knows with certainty that jumping to take the bullet will still not save the child from death, yet does it anyway, is it still heroic, or foolish If nobody is to witness that mother s sacrifice, should it affect her decision to commit it If nobody pulls the man s life support plug for him, but in a rare act of clarity he manages to pull it himself while he is alone in his hospital room, does it detract from the glory or worthiness of his death If the foxhole of soldiers becomes surrounded by an insurmountable enemy, and if the soldier knows without a doubt that diving upon the grenade will not save his friends from the battle Should he do it anyway No one will know he did such a thing No medal will be given, nor monument raised to his name What makes a death a good death And what makes a life worth living The characters of Legend are the characters within us all Fear, doubt, and futility are all present, but so too are the traits which make us greater than the sum of our parts Honor, courage, duty, and yes, even love are all necessary components for a heroic tale of such resonance David Gemmell wrote Legend, as he was waiting to find out whether or not he was going to die from cancer, and it is his attempt at dealing with mortality What does it mean to die well, or live well What does it mean to be a man Is love even worth the effort if it is destined to last only a brief moment and end in pain Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living, but perhaps the unexamined death is not worth dying either All life leads to death, but perhaps all death should be embraced with the joys of life Very few books have had an impact comparable to Legend, and as I said, for all it s technical flaws it is one of the finest novels ever written Gemmell s fears are my fears His hopes, my hopes Legend was his first and greatest book, and its very existence makes the world a fuller place, and humanity wealthier R.I.P, Mr Gemmell, you ve earned it. Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.David Gemmell might not have invented action adventure fantasy, but he refined it, polished it up, and presented his updated version Against the Horde Legend in 1984 to a reading audience who loved every minute of it Luckily, I was one of those readers back in the 1980s this book instantly becoming one of my favorite fantasy stories for years to come But when I re read it a few weeks ago, I have to admit being concerned it would not live up to my memories my fear that all the years since its release having muted the pulse pounding, adrenaline rush and relegated another classic fantasy into a fallen favorite But, thankfully, my fears were unfounded Legend still as good as ever.Here the Nadir hordes Think Mongols have been united under the charismatic, intelligent, and ruthless Ulric, who determines it is time for his people to conquer theirsettled neighbors, the Drenai Standing in the way of this unstoppable barbarian force is the undermanned mountain fortress of Dros Delnoch, which should be impenetrable IF defended by an adequate force And that is exactly what the Drenai are lacking, as the fortress is undermanned, unprepared, and without adequate commanders to inspire the troops to hold until a relief force can arrive.Enter Druss the Legend he who is also known as the Captain of the Ax, the Axman, Deathwalker, and the Silver Slayer This fearsome warrior might be past his prime, but he is determined to answer his kingdom s desperate call, to hold Dros Delnoch until the Nadir are turned back or every warrior lies dead beneath their swords This hero determined to finally find a death worthy of his legend Joining Druss upon the battlements of Dros Delnoch are a diverse cast of characters Rek the Baresarker and his beloved Virae come there to fight Serbitar and the mythical order he is part of arrive to aid in the last stand of the Drenai people Ordinary men stand side by side with rich commanders and wanted outlaws All these diverse individuals inspired by Druss himself to stand up for what they believe in, sacrifice themselves in order to keep what they cherish safe from harm, and lay down their lives die before they betray that which they hold dear.Whenever I describe this book to a friend who is thinking of reading it, I say Legend is the fantasy equivalent of the Alamo, where men sacrificed their lives for a cause And in David Gemmell s tale of sacrifice, each of the warriors portrayed from Druss down to the lowest soldier upon the walls knows their mission is a suicidal one Their forces no match for the Nadir horde Reinforcements not able to reach them in time Death the only real outcome of their bravery But even knowing this, these brave men and women refuse to lay down their arms and surrender to the inevitable They come together, find peace within themselves, lock strong arms with one another, and stand as a human walls between the world they love and those who would seek to destroy it.Damn, I get teary just typing all that Honestly, I do No matter his limitation as a writer because I know some readers find his writing simplistic in many ways , Gemmell uses his stereotypical cast of characters to maximum effect, their words and deeds inspirational, moving, and sorrowful Vile people finding redemption Cowards exhibiting courage Lawless individuals displaying extreme honor Each heroic death cutting like a stab wound to the heart The final stand of Druss as emotional charged and awe inspiring as any in literature Legend might not have been groundbreaking or innovative when it was published, much less now It doesn t try to subvert tropes It doesn t attempt to present an ultra realistic story It doesn t overwhelm with its exquisite prose What is does is tell an action packed fantasy tale of a desperate last stand of a civilization by individuals caught up in events The tale of these people s plight awe inspiring and emotionally charged In other words, Legend is a masterpiece of heroic fantasy, one which rightly deserves its fame even today.