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3.99 of 5 stars 3.99  ·  rating details  ·  2,221 ratings  ·  58 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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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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'
Ian J.
I Really enjoyed reading this book and i recommend it to all lovers of fantasy.

This book has swiftly become one of my all time favorites. Also this is the first book that i have ever read by David Gemmel. Now i am wondering why i have never read more !!

"Only the good die young, the evil seem to live for ever" Iron Maiden
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
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
Adriano Del Orange
This is the first Gemmell book I've read. I picked it up as part of a 3 for 5 deal without many expectations or preconceptions. I was pleased it was a stand alone novel as I had no wish to embark on another long series. My overriding impression was that the novel felt more like a sketch of a much larger work than a complete novel. Maybe this is because I have become used to reading elongated stories where everything is fleshed out, sometimes unnecessarily so. Here, the fantasy world was a famili ...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
Laurence Williams
My first introduction to David Gemmell, and I was genuinely excited to read this, considering its a stand-alone novel about midway through his career. I honestly enjoyed this book, it featured some really strong, well developed characters and some fantastic dialogue. However, there were also several who were simply useless and not needed, and while I shed no tears when these were killed off, I feel the amount of time spent writing for them could have been used to develop the stronger ones whose ...more
John Doe
Absolutely phenomenal. Gemmell has such a unique raw writing style. I like almost everything written by him. His heros are flawed, and his villains are not one dimensional. Something else I found fascinating, is Gemmell's military knowledge. Not necessarily the technical stuff, but the mindset and little habits that soldiers have is captured very accurately. So much so that I was surprised to learn Gemmell had NOT spent time in the military. I spent many years in the armed forces, and honestly t ...more
A cracking read. This book is a testament to the writing prowess of David Gemmell and his ability to create enduring characters—most of whom are still etched in my frontal lobe from that very first reading so many moons ago. Any man who merits an eponymous fantasy award automatically garners my respect. A story crafted by someone at the top of their game, full of heroic villains and villainous heroes. Whilst, Gemmell has been promoted to glory his novels remain on this terrestrial plane, so cast ...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
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
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’
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
Gautam Surath
David Gemmell has always impressed with his ability to write strong lines and he continues in that vein with Knights... The concept is pretty simple but the execution is memorable. Each character has his own set of inner demons and the ability to rise above their station. In fact David defines each character so well that the reader may feel cheated that enough time is not spent on each. In that sense, this book could probably have been written as a two part novel. But in the end its a fine read ...more
Brian Turner
A decent standalone fantasy from David Gemmell. The first two-thirds of the book seem slow, introducing characters and getting them to where they're meant to be, and the last third seems rushed as it moves to a fairly predictable conclusion.

Despite that, the characters are interesting enough, although their roles in the story are foreshadowed enough that there aren't many surprises when they get going.

Mayank Agarwal
At the start it was a decent story and a page turner, but the ending left a lot to be desired. Seemed rushed and felt for the first time Gemmell didn't know what to do with the ending. For me the element of unexplained magic in the melee based book spoils the experience. Lots of flaws in the book with the center character loosing importance by the end.
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.

Neil Butcher
Gemmell has always been a favourite of mine and it was nice to read this again after so many years. The story line moves along at pace and keeps you wanting to turn the page . The characters are a little bit 2 dimensional in places but this doesn't detract from a nice "feel good" read.
Tanvir Muntasim
Another exciting and enjoyable heroic fantasy from Gemmell, and the best part, it's not a huge trilogy, rather a slim (by fantasy standards) stand alone novel.
Another great book by Gemmell...a bit of a supernatural feel, but I really enjoyed it. Can't wait to read Waylander
Andrew Zabriskie
Wow. What a story. Loved the twists.
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.
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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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