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David Gemmell: The Legend

13 Dec

David Gemmel’s death in 2006 was a massive loss to the field of heroic fantasy, which he made his own during a long and successful career. Gemmell’s work was distinguished by a muscular, stirring approach to heroic fantasy, which eschewed cartoon stereotypes in favour of exploring deep themes like loyalty, honour and redemption. He never shied away from depicting violence in his novels but I’ve always felt that this was balanced by the emotional connection he usually managed to make with his readers – you genuinely care what happens to the characters in a Gemmell novel, which is not always the case with many idendikit heroic fantasy novels. It is Gemmell’s memorable characters – including Druss the Legend, Waylander the Slayer and ‘The Jerusalem Man’ Jon Shannow, to name just a few – which he is best known for. Years after his death, the qualities which distinguished Gemmell as a writer have ensured that he continues to be one of the world’s bestselling fantasy authors.

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