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3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  1,778 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Ils étaient neuf. Neuf chevaliers dévoués corps et âme à la protection du royaume et au respect de la justice. Neuf chevaliers qui ne sont jamais revenus après avoir franchi un portail magique. Depuis, un nouvel ordre les a remplacés, celui des chevaliers rouges, celui du mal et de la corruption. Pourtant, un espoir demeure. Car l'un des neuf est resté de ce côté-ci du por...more
Mass Market Paperback
Published April 18th 2006 by J'ai Lu (first published 1989)
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It's always nice to read a one-shot fantasy: they can seem crowded with the need to build up a world and characters and a self-contained plotline, and this one certainly does, but it's refreshing to come across something fairly self-contained in this world of fantasy trilogies. It's a pageturner -- which I'm beginning to see is characteristic of Gemmell's work -- and though it has it's flaws, it's a lot of fun as well.

The main flaws are the sheer number of characters and the pacing, which starts...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

It's been six years since the legendary Knights of the Gabala rode through a gate to hell in order to fight the evil that threatened the realm. They haven't been heard from since. But they are desperately needed now because the King, once a noble man, has begun rounding up the nomad population in Holocaust style. People who oppose his actions are named traitors and the King's new henchmen are very strong and very .... undead. The king's new policies have a...more
I'm glad that I re-read this one. It was worthy of another read and actually more enlightening as to what I really made of it...

It's well written enough to be a page-turner (Hell, it's a Gemmell), but this time I got to wondering if Gemmell actually had a layout and book ideas before he began writing this one. He often did with his other books, maybe Legend aside.

The reason? Because with Gemmell's best works I really gained something from the story and the character depth. In this one? I couldn'...more
Troy G
I've returned to this book more than once. This book is about flawed people that are viewed in legend as flawless heroes. This story strongly opines that it is sometimes our weaknesses that make us strong. One man's claustrophobia saves him from losing his way, and allows him to guide others on the right path. If he were more perfect he would have fallen to the hubris that defiled his friends.

David Gemmell plays with destiny in a way that is hard not to admire. His characters often decry or try...more
Great book. Classic Gemmell.

Stand-alone short fantasy novel but somehow gives you the feel of the world in which it is set. Very well told - and I expected no less from this author. Though I really enjoyed the book, I knock off one star because it seems to speed up towards the end. The "flow" or "sense of time" in the storyline accelerated quite obviously in the last couple of chapters.

Being a short book, Gemmell still took a big magic system and made it seem natural to the setting and somehow b...more
c1998: FWFTB: knights, peasants, forest, champion, slave. The thoughts and wisdoms that are scattered throughout this book makes me actually wish that the author had set up a religion such as some other spec-fic authors did. This is a high fantasy tale of derring-do that has some wonderful characters and plot points. I would caution any future readers not to get too fond of some of the major players in the story as once again Mr Gemmell does not hesitate to put in a bit of blood and gore and tea...more
Anthony Lavisher
If my friend Allan had not let me borrow his copy of Knights of Dark Renown, I would not have had the inspiration to become an author myself. I have a great deal of fondness for this book by my favourite (and sadly missed) author, David Gemmell.
If you have never read a David Gemmell novel, try this stand-alone book. it's a fabulous heroic tale that will have you racing for the end and leave you gasping for more.
Patrice Leonard
Ce fut une lecture agréable et en toute simplicité, un bon moment de détente, comme on peut regarder un film pour se détendre sans se prendre la tête.

Dans cette histoire, pas de héros, ni de quête mais des hommes simples confrontés à la dictature de la force brute et qui décident de s'en libérer. Pas d'actions héroïques mais des gestes de bravoure et de respect qui transcendent la personnes dans ce qu'elle a de meilleur. Sur ce plan, cette vue simple et positive de l'héroïsme, le livre est une r...more
Piacevolissimo fantasy “corale” perché anche se da come inizia sembra che debba essere Manannan, il “Cavaliere Codardo” al centro del romanzo, in realtà ben presto compaiono altri personaggi che diventano a tutti gli effetti dei protagonisti senza che nessuno di loro prevalga veramente... questo da un lato rende il libro leggermente più difficile perché bisogna tenere a mente molti più nomi e vicende personali, ma d'altra parte è una prospettiva insolita e gradevole, specialmente in un romanzo f...more
" شیطان به ندرت با بوق و آتیش توی یک سرزمین رفت و امد میکنه . اگه این کار رو میکرد ، همه مردم ازش رو میگردوندن "
+ از اون دست کتاب هاست که پر از شخصیت های مختلف و زیاد و روایت های موازی بیشتر هست . من به شخصه از این سبک خوشم نمیاد ؛ نمیتونم شخصیت ها رو همزمان توی ذهنم حلاجی کنم وقاطی میکنم . ولی این کتاب فرق داشت . با وجود تعداد شخصیت های اصلی زیادش به هیچ وجه خسته کننده نبود . به نظر م چون روی شخصیت هر کاراکتر به اندازه کافی ، نه بیشتر و نه کمتر ، مانور داده بود . ویژگی های افراد توی ذهنم ته نشی...more
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: I guess the publisher sees the author's name as the selling point of the book as it takes up almost a quarter of the front cover. The character on the cover, which turned out to be a sorcerer by the name of Ruad, reminded me of Tiny Tim and I couldn't help but wonder if he was tiptoeing through the tulips. The perspective of the artwork seemed a tad bit off to me as those knights on the horses appear too big and would be absolutely huge next to the sorcerer if the perspective...more
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here& in August 2000.

David Gemmell's Celtic-flavoured fantasy is a variation on the common "band fighting the evil rulers" theme which goes back at least as far as the legends of Robin Hood. The regime of king Ahak, who began his reign with military conquest, has gradually become more unjust and tyrannical. Traditional champions of justice, defenders of the poor against the rich, the Knights of Gabala have disappeared, to be replaced by the cruel and evil Red...more
Dans ce bouquin, on suit les aventures d différents personnages en lutte contre un roi devenu fou et désirant exterminer tous les impurs. Bien sûr, il y a de la magie, un ordre de chevalerie très élégant dans ses armures d’argent, des méchants très méchants et cruels, des bons sentiments (ah, non tiens, il n’y en a pas tant que ça), des bandits au grand coeur, de l’amour, de la folie, et des grands d’épée qui vous déchirent de l’épaule à l’estomac.
C’est court comme résumé, non ? Et pourtant, c’...more
Dave Wagner
Disappointing. The best thing about this book is the premise, which was dismally handled. It seems to me that the idea got too big - and Gemmell either got bored, or realized he wasn't doing the premise justice, or got sick of keeping so many characters moving forward, or something... in any case, it's obvious he reached a point and said, "screw it, I want this to be done" and rushed the ending, killing off some characters, forcing quick, decisive confrontations, tying up loose ends with dizzyin...more
Melissa Bennett
My first David Gemmell book and it won't be my last! The story is about a kingdom that once was great, fair and just with the aid of the knights of the Gabala. But the king became corrupt and through the power of his red knights the land and it's people suffer. Yet there are a select few that can unite the people and save the kingdom. This band of heroes consists of a cripple, a thief and murderer, a traitor, a young boy and other misfits. How can they defeat the power of the red knights? You'll...more
Woah. So, I added this to my list and gave it four stars, and then a couple people I know and care about added it to their to read" lists. So I feel obligated to go back and write a brief review, so they can feel duly warned. This is not to say that the book was not great -- I really liked it, and images from it have stayed with me. A GREAT fantasy story.

But really, realy raw. Emotionally raw. I actually had to put the book down at several points, because I couldn't handle the intensity of it.

Typical of Gemmell, this is a solid fantasy, touching on his favorite themes: loyalty, the true nature of evil, flawed people doing heroic things.

Good stuff, but there are no surprises if you've read other books by the talented Gemmell.
I've enjoyed the Gemmell I've read through the years, but I tend to overlook them a bit as being for younger audiences. But there are some adult themes if you look for them, and I could see some precursors to the modern gritty-fantasy genre here. Of course, the final "epilogue" is almost identical to that in Gemmell's Legend, so he loses points for self-plagiarism. 3.5/5
Debby Allen
Why 3 stars and not 4 - I think because I'm such a sucker for the Shannow/Waylander type hero - which is here in parts. Gemmell is getting better at describing intricate battles, which will serve him well in future books. This one is a stand alone, though I think (again) parts resurface in his other series.
Gemmell was such a prolific writer that some of his books can feel like they were written quickly. Knights of Dark Renown though, does not seem so. I really felt like Gemmell spent a little extra time crafting his language in this one. It just felt more refined, a little more clever and creative.
Was the first David Gemmell book I ever read. I remembered it incredibly fondly. This re-read didn't stand up completely but this is still a very fine standalone fantasy novel, dealing, as so often with Gemmell's works, the nature of good and evil and all of the grey shades between.
J'ai bien aimé ce court roman. Les personnages sont loin d'être classiques mais intéressants. (ils ne sont pas très approfondi mais ça ne gène pas l'histoire qui à le mérite de tenir en un seul volume.) Le tout est très prenant et bien mené. Un livre efficace et facile à lire.
Un récit en un seul volet dans la fantasy, ça existe ! La preuve ! Ce roman est dense, mais le drame relaté (il n' y a pas autre mot) est de bonne tenue. On a les thèmes classiques du genre : rédemption, vengeance, expiation, menace sur le monde...
Most of the way through the book I was thinking 3 stars. It was good but a bit more slow and less colorful than most of Gemmell's other works. However, the end really came on strong so that raised it another star. Defintely worth reading.
This was my introduction to Gemmell.

It features a Coward Knight instead of a paladin, extradimensional vampires instead of orcs--I thought it was refreshingly different from most modern Tolkien or DnD-inspired high fantasy.
Mohsen Mansouryar
life's a matter of opportunities, they can change a man into someone completely different! it's hard to control ourselves, it's even harder to predict our future. so enjoy the moment, enjoy the chance of life! :)
Kenny McGinnis
I love that the heroes/villains in this book are not stereotypical. This book shows a realistic, human-side of fantasy, and to me it is inspiring - it shows that anyone can be a hero (or a monster).
Justin Barker
I am a massive Gemmell fan, it broke my heart when he died. His books live on, I read them regularly. For me David Gemmell was the best writer of fantasy fiction.
Mike (the Paladin)
The heroic knights sucked into a place where they end up on the other side of the good/evil devide and one lone hero is all that's left to "save the world".
A good stand alone. Gemmell is one of those big names in fantasy that I've just never really read much of, and I did get a kick out of this.
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David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell's works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sel...more
More about David Gemmell...
Legend (Drenai Saga, #1) Waylander (Drenai Saga, #3) Lord of the Silver Bow (Troy, #1) The King Beyond the Gate (Drenai Saga, #2) The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (Drenai Saga, #6)

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