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Wolf in Shadow (Jon Shannow #1)

4.16  ·  Rating Details ·  3,490 Ratings  ·  88 Reviews
"David Gemmell tells a very real adventure, the stuff of true epic fantasy."
--R. A. Salvatore, New York Times Bestselling author

John Shannow, The Jerusalem Man, lived in a world that had toppled on its axis. Civilization had been replaced by ruthlessness and savagery. Relentless in his quest for peace, Shannow followed a path that led only to bloodshed and sorrow.

Mass Market Paperback, 326 pages
Published April 28th 1997 by Del Rey (first published 1987)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dan Schwent
Apr 24, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of the Dark Tower
I picked up The Jerusalem Man (aka Wolf in Shadow) because it was on one of those Amazon lists along with Stephen King's Dark Tower series. I was not disappointed.

The title character is Jon Shannow, an Old Testament quoting gunfighter in a post-apocalypitic wasteland searching for Jerusalem, believing it to be paradise. Shannow's a wanderer, gunning down people who have it coming, never settling in one place. Never until he encounters widow Donna Taybard and her son, that is. Shannow saves Tayba
Mark Lawrence

First off I should declare myself as a card carrying long term fan of David Gemmell's work. I've read a dozen or so of his books and variously loved or very much liked them.

Technically I like all the components of this book. It's post apocalyptic, its gunslinger-y.

I'm not sure why the book didn't really work for me. Possibly it's having read Blood Song, Fool's Assassin, and The Name of the Wind back to back, setting me up for a book-hangover of epic proportions.

Many of my Goodreads friend
T.L. Barrett
Jan 02, 2011 T.L. Barrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Perusing a used book store (one of my favorite places on Earth) I stumbled upon a series of books by David Gemmell. I had seen his name before, but as I do not have any personal friends that are fantasy readers I had no idea who he was. I purchased this first in the series about Jon Shannow, and I have to tell you, I experienced that magical euphoria you get when you discover a brilliant writer for the first time. Looking him up on wikipedia, I was downcast to learn he passed away while writing ...more
Anthony Ryan
Dec 10, 2011 Anthony Ryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wolf in Shadow is David Gemmell's most effective exploration of the persistent western influence found in much of his work. This is the story of post-apocalyptic gunslinger Jon Shannow, dubbed the Jerusalem Man due to his obsessive quest for the now fabled biblical city where he imagines he will find peace after a lifetime of violence, Shannow ranges across a future earth where geological upheaval has reversed the position of the world's oceans. Shannow is a gun for hire isolated by his fearsome ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 15, 2010 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I remember reading this book when I was a teen after it was first released around 1987, and even back then I thought it was a good novel. Re-reading now nearly twenty years later and it still is good. Not so much traditional fantasy, more a combination of some different genresm such as old Westerns, Fantasy and dare I say a bit of Dennis Wheatly. Premise is this: Jon Shannow is the Jerusalem Man, a sort of Christian warrior in the form of a gunslinger travelling across a post-apocalyptic wastela ...more
Jon Shannow is the hero of Wolf in Shadow. A larger than life,tragic hero which i couldnt help but feel so much in the darkness of his world.

The interesting post apocalypse/fantasy world,western feel makes this book a great read if you like stories like this.

If you like a good yarn in Heroic Fantasy or a Clint Eastwood like western but in post apocalypse world you will enjoy this book.
by Ax
Dec 30, 2014 by Ax rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastico
Mondi e rimandi

Primo volume di una Saga che si prospetta essere di ampio respiro temporale, che qui getta alcuni interessanti semi in maniera frettolosa, così come sono frettolosi (e ripetitivi) i continui duelli del protagonista, uomo dalla personalità indubbiamente forte ma che la penna di Gemmell ancora stenta a valorizzare.
Un'avventura postatomica in fase di incubazione e dal sapore western.
Feb 02, 2009 Brandon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I was just talking about how much I connected and cared about all David Gemmel's characters and Jon Shannow is not an exception. I think he might be insane but so what he's awesome. Who cares about the book just read it for the Shannow. P.S. this is book three but one and two in this series hacve little to do with the storyline of three, four, and five. Start with this one it is the best.
Jul 10, 2014 Graham rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
David Gemmell comes up trumps again with WOLF IN SHADOW, the first of his Jon Shannow trilogy. These books are slightly set apart from the rest of his writing because they're post-apocalyptic science fiction efforts rather than straightforward fantasy.

Fans, however, will quickly realise that it's business as usual for the author, with flawed heroes wandering through a dangerous countryside and facing insurmountable odds in their quests for justice. This time around, the action is mainly inspired
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
Wolf in Shadow does have a wolf but not a werewolf (see if you understand the difference). What it does have is a lot of complex world building, at intricate plot and a large cast of characters. Set in London where there is an underworld the characters get to travel from on time in history to another. There is also backstory for most of the characters. All of this makes for a very dense book. I had to pay attention or I often found myself lost. While I enjoyed the book it was not one that I coul ...more
Jun 15, 2007 Nethound rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: yes
The John Shannow books were an interesting excursion. An odd post-apocalyptic/fantasy setting that had some very interesting ideas and cool story lines.

John Shannow was always a little too Clint Eastwood cool for my tastes, brooding and mysterious. Not until the end of the series did I ever find out enough about him to really care deeply for him.

All the same, I enjoyed the books and odd settings, just wish the main character had been a little more engaging at times.
Ben Emery
I can say without doubt this is not one of Gemmell's best. Though the world in which it takes place is fascinating as you are lead through it, the story is not as captivating as many among the author's Drenai series, and I found several ideas overlapped those of his other works. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable read, and I would quite happily read the others in this particular series to follow the adventures of the Jerusalem Man.
Jun 08, 2009 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
such a cool main many possibilities. Not Gemmell's finest in my opinion. Jon Shannow is an awesome character, but this book dragged on and on. Boring. Too many themes to become a cohesive novel.
Mar 05, 2009 Andrew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic post-apocalytic story of anachronism and magic starring a semi-crazed obsessive gunslinger who comes up against a lawyer-turned-Satanist ruler. Underlying it all is Gemmell's trademark philosophy of sacrifice, pacifism and not standing by.
Jul 18, 2008 Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I hesitated a bit at reading the Jon Shannow books because they looked like they'd be in a more modern setting, and they are, with guns. However, I came to like the Shannow character as well as any of Gemmell's heroes and much enjoyed the whole set of Shannow books.
Artem Gordon
Jul 24, 2013 Artem Gordon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Initially, I thought that I wouldn't enjoy this book very much, but I was very wrong. After the first few chapters this book became a page turner. Great story-line with a beautiful ending. This book contains a little bit of everything (action, adventure, love, wisdom, history, etc).
Sep 24, 2016 Helena rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2016
You can read my review here:

2 stars
Bruce Tennant
3.5 stars
Steve Howarth
Gemmell spoils his fans with solid yarns, messed up characters and desperate adventures. A character Clint Eastwood could have played in his sleep and a well written apocalyptia yarn mixing fantasy and western with nods to more modern influences later on. Shannow is up there with Druss and Waylander and a fast comfort read if you wish for a well written tale with another offbeat hero.

Slightly different and with a world that works as a result with plot and composition. Great stuff, but he has don
Jun 05, 2014 Ash rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fantasy pulp, really. Entertaining but riddled with Gemmell's usual problems.

I suppose I owe a debt of gratitude to David Gemmell. In my younger days, he was one of a few authors who pulled me into a world of fantasy stories not directly aimed at children. However, those other authors were David Eddings, Robert Jordan, and Terry Goodkind, and my feelings on their works has since moved to uncertainty, dislike, and hatred, respectively. So it's interesting to see how Gemmell holds up now, given th
Writing 4.5/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 4.5/5
Setting 4.5/5
Characters 4/5

My Overall Enjoyment 4/5

I would be doing an injustice if I did not at least sing some praise for this excellent book.David Gemmell is one of my all time favorite authors so it's no surprise I love yet another of his books. This is book three in the Stones of Power series and book one in the John Shannow series but it can surely be read as a stand alone. The post-apocalyptic setting reminds me a bit of the Broken Empire setting Mark
Apr 22, 2016 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wolf in Shadow is billed as a Stones of Power novel, meaning a continuation of a series.... In other words, one would expect the book to have some continuity with the first two books of the series. In fact, I worked diligently to obtain these books so as to read them in order. I needn't have bothered. The only continuity is that there are some magic stones (meteorite) that have power to do magic, heal, allow prophetic visions, E.S.P. types stuff, and those stones are kept recharged (when in evil ...more
Ian Banks
Oct 15, 2016 Ian Banks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, adventure

Mr Gemmell's first non-Drenai novel features Jon Shannow, the Jerusalem Man, a gunslinger in search of a lost city. He's a ridiculously popular character who has never really clicked with me: aside from a few differences, he could be Waylander from the previous novel. He's another tired loner with a troubled past looking for something that he knows he will never find.

In his introductory adventure he gets involved in repelling an invasion from a brutal nation that wants to feed souls to their Blo

Jorge de la Vega
Feb 09, 2017 Jorge de la Vega rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To put it in simply, this books is akin to waking up in a strange place with no information of where you are and what's really going on around you. The reader is immediately thrown into the action as we meet Jon Shannow in his life-long quest to find the lost Jerusalem. A true post-apocalyptic Western if there ever was one, Gemmell doesn't waste time (and pages) on worldbuilding and making sure the reader understands every single detail of his make-believe realm like so many other fantasy author ...more
Rob Thompson
Wolf in Shadow is set in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is the future Earth. Civilization is in tatters. In no particular order the story has:

:: blood guzzling magical meteors which make the user evil,
:: cannibals that roam the lands,
:: an army of Satan-worshipping fanatics called The Hellborn who terrorise folk, and
:: the almost immortal Guardians exist with psychic powers.

In amongst all this is the main protagonist Jon Shannow, The Jerusalem Man. Jon is a wandering Old Testament quoting gun
Nov 05, 2016 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This, like every Gemmel book I read, is perfect. No need to scroll down any further in the reviews. READ THIS BOOK.
I liked the main character Jon Shannow. Frankly I liked all the characters but Shannow was something you don't see any more. A Christian/religious person as the protagonist. It was only when I was reading this book that I noticed that every hero of any book I read now either doesn't believe in god like the Red Knight, or actively spurns him, like sandman slim. Usually I love that,
Fred Phillips
Though I love Druss the Legend, arguably Gemmell’s best known character, it was not Druss that hooked me on his work. That distinction falls to Jon Shannow, The Jerusalem Man, and “Wolf in Shadow.”

Technically, “Wolf in Shadow” is the third book of the Stones of Power series, but it is the first to feature Shannow, and the first Gemmell book that I read.

Nearly 20 years on after first reading “Wolf in Shadow,” I still find Jon Shannow a fascinating and intriguing character. Part Clint Eastwood’s H
Oct 27, 2011 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: heroic-fantasy
By and large, David Gemmell's novels fall squarely into what I would term as the standard fantasy trope - mostly set middle age(ish), and mostly concerned with the notion of redemption. So we're talking mainly swords, or other bladed weapons, with only the occassional firearm thrown in.

Wolf in Shadow - the first in his Jon Shannow trilogy - is different. These novels are set post-apolacypse and are, in many respects, more of a western than a traditional fantasy story. Here, the main weapons used
Troy G
Dec 01, 2010 Troy G rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
My early ideas of heroism were heavily informed by the American Western and its descendants. I can tell that is true for David Gemmell as well. When you read his fantasy novels, you can often identify tropes that originated in the Western. It is the unique application of those tropes that often makes his characters so remarkable.

Then Gemmell decides he should write himself a western. When he builds his central character he turns back to the western tropes, and comes up with something that is far
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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...

Other Books in the Series

Jon Shannow (3 books)
  • The Last Guardian (Jon Shannow, #2)
  • Bloodstone (Jon Shannow, #3)

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