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Wolf in Shadow (Jon Shannow #1)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,252 ratings  ·  59 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 Civilization had been replaced by ruthlessness and savagery.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.

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

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 19, 2012 Dan Schwent rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
Kevin
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
T.L. Barrett
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
Brandon
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.
Graham
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...more
Anthony Ryan
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
Phil witvliet
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...more
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
Nethound
Jun 15, 2007 Nethound rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Ash
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...more
Mohammed
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.
Artem Bluntzki
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).
Charles
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.
Andrew
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.
Kate
such a cool main character.....so 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.
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...more
Glen
Jon Shannow's adventure is an echo of Roland Deschain's in many ways. I have to wonder if Gemmell wasn't inspired by King's Dark Tower saga when writing this tale of the Jerusalem Man's tale. That said it did not distract from his own story and character. I enjoyed the novel and would probably pick up the other two Jon Shannow books in this trilogy as I liked the dystopian western setting. Shannow is a tough character who is arguably narrow minded in his quest for the lost city, and does t have...more
Mayank Agarwal
One of the best work by Gemmell and quite different from his other works as the action is based on guns and not swords. Was skeptical on how guns will play out in fantasy novel but it came out really well.
The setting being a post apocalypses word....ravaged, unexplored and dangerous. With the gunslinger and brigades around it fell's like a wild west novel. The combination of religion, magic and double destruction of world gives us a unique vivid setting. John Shannow the protagonist is one of th...more
Troy G
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...more
David
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. Combat-wise, 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 we...more
Mark
I just re-read this great book. Actually I have been on a bit of Gemmell re-readathon (If that isn't a word it should be). It was particularly rewarding to read "wolf in Shadows" straight after "The Lion of Macedon", "the dark prince" and his Arthurian books "ghost king" and ".last sword of power"; to follow the Sipstrassi trail. I love his characters, the dialog, the twists of his plots and the way he hints at events to come in the story. All his books are well researched. What a great idea to...more
Brian Turner
A post-apocalypse fantasy/western hybrid from David Gemmell.
At the beginning, you feel it will be his usual "one man can make a difference, against unbeatable odds, pulling a group of peasants/farmers along to defend their home", but you quickly get disabused of that.

I feel this is one of his better books, taking elements from Last Sword of Power (a series about Arthur), and bringing them into a future where the world has tipped, flooding great chunks of it, and making the rest unrecognisable.

In...more
Joe
I really and truly wanted to like this book - I tried several times to care - the worse part is that the first 5 chapters end up like a mix up of ideas - it is like the author wanted the main character to care about something so he threw him into a situation and, even though this is a post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, the realism of the character traits is not believable - the place and time can change, but what makes for good books is humanity, ethics, morals, and believable actions or reactions...more
Jeff Powers
Wolf in Shadow is a unique blend of epic fantasy, Western, and supernatural horror. David Gemmel delivers his typical tough as nails protagonists, but places his fantasy heroes in a post apocalyptic future of our own world. Connecting to many of his other novels, Gemmel weaves a story of pain and redemption. Though it lags a bit in the middle, the story eventually builds to a mighty showdown. But not the sort of end battle we have come to expect from high fantasy. It is certainly worth the read...more
Ange Waddington
One of the first books I read by David, amazing!! I love the way he tells his stories and keeps me interested with every page
Bogdan Pantea
The character makes the book. His conflicts and dilemmas, the contrast between his vigilante fanaticism and his resigned gentleness. And the way he occasionally questions his "religion". It'a nicely flawed character, even if the justice-from-God-vigilante-pistolero part has become somewhat of a cliche.
The post-apocalyptic setting isn't bad, even if not terribly original. But the conflict between cosmic forces of demons and the like is too much, it's way over-the-top. Shannow would have looked be...more
John Montagne
Excellent. The only reason that t doesn't have the fifth star is because most of David's main characters seem like exactly the same person... so the first books have the five stars, as at that point he's an original. Don't get me wrong... I love the main character as far as writing/character development/persona goes... Overall, this was a great post-apocalyptic-fantasy novel. It was nicely done with biblical references - sometimes this tact can get old or confusing fast, but Wolf in Shadow did i...more
Josh Meares
I like this book a lot. Jon Shannow is a good character, and it grapples with some of the fundamental issues of our time. How does technology affect us? Is it good or bad? What kind of religion is Christianity really? And how do we reconcile the Hebrew Scriptures with the New Testament? Good questions. This book doesn't try to answer them, but it does ask them. Good story! I love Gemmell's take on old men and on loyalty.
Miguel Sk
I've been wanting to read another David Gemmell book for some time. I was disappointed with another book which i dragged on and needed a really good read to get my reading mojo back on. Wolf in Shadow provided that and much more, since i read the book over a couple of days. A good story, a good character selection and a good feeling of wanting to read "just one more page" until i finished the book.
Jake
One of my favorite series from my childhood is still just as fun as now as it was then. After the fall of the modern world, you join the legendary Jerusalem Man's journey across a land that mirrors America's wild west, crossed with magic and fable. Jon Shannow's character is as merciless as he is righteous, and Gemmel writes one of my favorite anti-heroes of all time. I cannot recommend this enough
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Goodreads Librari...: GN Adaptation - It's Own Entry? 2 27 Feb 10, 2012 11:52PM  
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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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