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Waylander (Drenai Saga, #3)
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Waylander (The Drenai Saga #3)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  11,276 ratings  ·  149 reviews
All of Waylander's instincts had screamed at him to spurn the contract from Kaem the cruel, the killer of nations. But he had ignored them. He had made his kill. And even as he went to collect his gold, he knew that he had been betrayed.
Now the Dark Brotherhood and the hounds of chaos were hunting him, even as Kaem's armies waged war on the Drenai lands, intent on killing
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Mass Market Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 27th 1995 by Del Rey (first published August 21st 1986)
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The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienMagician by Raymond E. FeistLegend by David Gemmell
Best Heroic Fantasy
33rd out of 503 books — 721 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinGardens of the Moon by Steven EriksonThe Blade Itself by Joe AbercrombieThe Black Company by Glen CookDeadhouse Gates by Steven Erikson
Military Fantasy
40th out of 204 books — 349 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dirk Grobbelaar
This book drew me in like few books do. It is David Gemmell, so expect some familiar ground, such as ambiguous characters and gratuitous violence. It’s pulpy and atmospheric, two traits I often find endearing in (dark) fantasy fiction. The novel is really dark and brooding, just like the titular character, and there are some uncompromisingly grim scenes. Like Legend, it’s a study of what it is that makes a man a “hero” (or an anti-hero, for that matter). We also get a glimpse into the conception ...more
Terence
Dec 02, 2008 Terence rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Terence by: Epic & pulp fantasy fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
To be honest, I've read most of Gemmell's fantasy novels (most, if not all, of the Drenai tales and most of the Rigante series) but this was the first and favorite.

For a while, I devoured Gemmell's stuff but soon I felt like I was reading the same novel over and over (and over and over) again. Waylander remains my favorite because I like the eponymous main character and the sentimental romantic in me thought the ending was exactly what he deserved (I will refrain from spoiling it).

I'd recommend
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Evgeny
This is the first book in the series - chronologically; it is listed in publication order here. By this time we all know the big picture: the Drenai lands are overrun by an unstoppable force, the last groups of Drenai army continue desperate struggle against overwhelming odds, the simple farmers become reluctant heroes, etc. The main character of the book is an infamous assassin who managed to piss off almost everybody and is hunted by seemingly almost every single person in the world. A very in ...more
Anders
“My enemies can soar into the night like invisible demons, conjure wolf creatures from hell, and read minds. On our side is a god that can lead a man to a ferry!”

Waylander is chronologically the first novel in the Drenai series. It starts with the king having been assassinated, and ruthless enemy troops swarming into Drenai lands, massacring the natives. This could mean the end for the Drenai.

Waylander walks these lands, a stone-hearted warrior, the assassin that killed the king. He is a man p
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Anthony Ryan
Redemption was always one of David Gemmell's most persistent themes, perhaps finding its most compelling expression in this tale of Dakeyras the Waylander, an apparently heartless assassin caught up in a brutal invasion of the Drenai homeland. Gemmell's depiction of war eschews any comfortable fantasy conventions to present something every bit as ugly as real-world conflict, complete with massacre and rape. However, it's the characterisation that really shines here; by being compelled to reconne ...more
D.E.M. Emrys
Can you put a price on redemption?

The King is dead, and thousands are set to follow him. Drenai land is swept into the tides of war. Enemy soldiers sweep across the country, butchering man, woman and babe. It is a dark time, and dark work is at play.

Can salvation be earned?

Dardalion is a man of the light, a dying light in the dark days. But, he must confront the evil, and to face it a man must walk the shadows.

Karnak is a hero, a beacon of hope in the night. He kindles fire in the hearts of
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Daniel Ionson]
This is my favorite of Gemmell's novels because Waylander is my favorite character. He is etched by years of suffering, loss, and guilt in a way that feels authentic. I can't recommend this tale highly enough.
Troy G
Waylander is a great story. It is a story that we have heard before, but never in this way. A man's wife and child are killed. He sets out for revenge. The plot of a 1,000 lesser books.

Waylander picks up where most of those books leave off. Waylander has had his revenge. Now what? What does a many do who is empty inside. A man that has spent years under the control of his most violent impulses. Does he seek redemption? Does he seek death? After fighting for so long, does he just give up?

This so
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Justin
To summarize waylander: a man turned assassin after his wife and child are murdered finds himself protecting the innocent. The theme of a novel is one following a simple question - what defines redemption? This man was an assassin, but now fights to save the country. Does he deserve redemption? It is left for each of us to decide on our own. However, as the story unfolds we watch as his actions soon change the actions of others, other former criminals, who are at first confused by his change of ...more
Grace
2.5/5 stars. It's a shame, but what I'm starting to suspect from David Gemmell novels is that if you've read one of his, you've read them all.
I mean you have the old weathered soldier who has lived a morally suspect life, has contemplated retirement, has the same realist "shit happens, but oh well" philosophy usually as a result of a violent, bloody past, with many regrets (and usually his wife and kids have been slaughtered in some kind of awful fashion) - But due to strange circumstance or "fa
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Jacob
This book is a great example of another theme in Gemmell's writing, that even low-life scoundrels are capable of redemption.

In addition to redemption, there are many more ideas discussed in this book, and part of what I like about it is that there aren't many clear-cut answers. You're free to think about the ideas and come up with your own answers, and to read into the discussions what you want. There are also the ideas of honor and commitment, reward and personal relationships. There are events
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Todd
I just started the series in publishing order and I found this one great. The struggle to create and justify the thirty. Although Gemmell's books tend to follow a pattern, I feel like it's a solid concept of a battle through the ages between evil and good. With this book being the start of it. This is a fun and quick read that I'm still amazed I put off reading Gemmell until now.
Mike (the Paladin)
In the first of 3 novels about him Gemmell introduces a "hero" (anti-hero?) who is one of my personal favorites No spoilers here read this book and be ready for an amazing journey into a world of danger, heroism, and detail.
Jen
Unlike my ambivalence to Tenaka Khan, I very much liked the eponymous Waylander (aka Dakeyras) as an imperfect hero (he's not quite the anti-hero, though he skirts that line nicely). Also, I enjoy the fact that I get to use "eponymous" in a review; happens far too rarely.

When I first started Waylander (Drenai Saga, #3), it took me a while before I realized that I was reading a prequel to the two books (#1, #2) that had come before. It introduces the warrior priests, the black cloaked baddies (wh
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Daniel66
Best book eva read. LOL

The book has a dark anti hero feeling about it and you find out that even the heroes have faults. There are marauding raiders and villains who attack Waylanders farm while he is away from home. These brigands end up killing his family and he vows revenge. During the story Dakeyras ends up being referred to as The Waylander, and The Slayer. After hunting down and extracting revenge on the men who killed his family, Waylander continues to work as an assassin. Waylander ends
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Charles
Okay - I am done with Gemmell - his heroes are all carbon cut-outs of each other - this is his fourth book that I have read, and I cannot do it anymore - characters that die but do not die - characters that die but kill in their death - women are all w****es (and I mean all) - men are okay with women being w****es - traitors that tell their detailed plans to strangers - people who know that there is a plot, and continue because they think that knowing will save them from death - strangers fall i ...more
Nikhilesh Sinha
Having grown tired of wading through large tomes of mangled ineptitude authored by writers such as Robert Jordan and Steven Erikson, it's a relief to read Gemmel. The plot is fairly straightforward, the characters are cardboard cut outs, but the style is engaging and there's enough happening to keep you reading.

As the size of the book (350 odd pages in fairly large type) should indicate, it's not really an immersive experience, with few details of the history and geography of the world. Aside f
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Laura
This is my first outing with David Gemmell, and I have to say I’m ashamed I waited this long to read his work. Gemmell is one of the legendary forerunners of modern fantasy, and has influenced many of my favourite authors, particularly those who write gritty ‘grimdark’ fantasy such as Joe Abercrombie. I expected big things from David Gemmell, and for the most part Waylander delivered them.

My first impression of Waylander was that there wasn’t much detail. Gemmell wasn’t telling me much about the
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Alexandre
Je viens de finir ce livre. On voit rapidement que ce roman fantastique a été écrit par un homme. Très violent, parfois dure mais réaliste dans son approche des situations de combat et de guerre. L'histoire est bien mené et on se prend au jeu rapidement. L'univers est cohérent, crédible et bien présenté. Pour les amateurs de fantastique, je vous le conseil.

Voici les détails au dos du livre: Le Roi de Drenaï a été assassiné. Une armée d’envahisseurs déferle sur le pays, avec pour mot d’ordre de
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Grimnir
This is one of the best books I have ever read, and read and re-read. Well written, compelling, a real page turner. David Gemmel has always been a brilliant author but Waylander is beyond doubt his best ever character.

Waylander is a man haunted by his past, the worlds greatest assassin, who took the wrong contract. He saves a priest by chance and for want of a better analogy becomes infected by his goodness. As they cross a war torn land defiled by insane evil invaders he struggles against his b
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Wolfdan
Le peuple Drenaï subit une invasion massive de Vagrians. Waylander, notre héros assassin, se retrouve bien malgré lui embarqué dans cette guerre. Même si l'intrigue de l'histoire est assez simple, David Gemmel sait nous tenir en haleine et il ne tourne pas autour du pot. On aime le côté cru et sanglant de l'aventure !
Estibaliz79
Como de costumbre, el término medio: un tres y medio (3 1/2) que no sabía muy bien si representar con las cuatro o las tres estrellas. Las cuatro están bien, pero al final, como no es fácil dar con material para las cinco, parece que denotan una apreciación personal considerable, y tampoco llega a tanto la cosa.

Curioso que esta novela, que claramente es la tercera parte del Ciclo Drenai de Gemmel, tal y como se concibió, se presente por la editorial española como el libro uno del susodicho ciclo
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Greg
The third book of the Drenai Saga reads just as well as any standalone fantasy book that is available today. It takes a while for a Drenai newbie to pick up and absorb what the book is all about, but once you do, you are guaranteed a truly great read.

It turns out that the man who goes by the name of WAYLANDER is actually an assassin and has sold his soul for gold many a time to destroy the lives of the rich, the poor and the powerful. The father of one of Waylander’s early victims appears at th
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Kevan Dinn
Good story, great narrative and just the right page count. Darker than his other best seller - Legend. Be warned - There is tons of mindless misery, and the pages are littered with corpses.

And there is a problem too. There is a certain sameness in the overall theme and the characters across Gemmell books.

Gemmell's strength are storytelling and narrative style.
Olethros
-Incluso con sus carencias, consiguió vislumbrar un camino.-

Género. Narrativa Fantástica.

Lo que nos cuenta. Una importante armadura es guardada en un lugar protegido… El sacerdote Dardalion, a punto de sufrir el asalto de unos bandidos, es salvado por un extraño y huraño guerrero llamado Waylander, un nombre conocido por el sacerdote y por muchísima gente ya que la muerte fue su negocio mucho tiempo y le suele seguir allá donde va. Libro que, a pesar de lo que podemos leer en su portada, en real
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Benjamin Stones
Waylander is dead...well, on the inside anyway. Having lost his family he turns to a life of killing for the highest bidder and this is where the book begins. I love it...he's a cool cat, used to surviving on his own and, all of a sudden, finds himself having to help others. Once upon a time he was a loving father, so he feels torn between what he was and what he has become.
Waylander is a typical David Gemmell book with an anti-hero who is closed off to the world and who could probably slay enti
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Aerine
Er. I think I've read the exact same book, worded somewhat differently, three times! Here is the big premise. It's not a spoiler, because you've read the other two books!

Unwinnable battle against forces that desire to wipe out the civilization. Heroes arise: He who has never been defeated, the 30, and the rogue/rake who hooks up with the 1 woman brought up in the book. I forced myself to finish it, but I just can't stand reading the next 7 in the series when the first three were nearly identical
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Stamatia
Jun 08, 2009 Stamatia rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves epic fantasy or even just historic fiction
Shelves: fantasy-keeper
I finished rereading this book yesterday almost 20 years after the first time. Gemmell still has the ability to suck me into his stories. He was the reason I fell in love with epic fantasy. His death a couple of years back really diminished us!!
Gareth Otton
One of the main criticisms that I hear about David Gemmell's work is that the stories are often about the same thing, the characters are often similar and basically each series is a carbon copy of the one before. However, I have always liked to think of it as an author seeking perfection, constantly polishing his works so that each one stands out a little prouder than the one before.

In no way is this more evident in my eyes than with Waylander. Waylander is the third book written by David Gemme
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Lou
Until quite recently finding a book I loved was like winning the lottery. I didn't use any social networking sites, or rely on book reviews to make my selections. I simply grabbed a book off a book shelf, read the synopsis on the back cover, and, if it sounded appealing, away I went. If I actually ended up enjoying the book, I would have felt I struck gold. Thus was the case with this book. This was the first Gemmell book I read, and I'm not quite sure how it even came into my possession all tho ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Book Club...: * Waylander - 1st Impressions *NO SPOILERS* 5 23 Mar 11, 2015 03:32AM  
Club Fantasci: Point of view 11 9 May 31, 2013 04:39AM  
Club Fantasci: Waylander's Character 6 10 May 27, 2013 02:38AM  
Club Fantasci: Opening Scene 2 5 May 26, 2013 09:39PM  
Club Fantasci: Waylander and Dardalion 1 3 May 25, 2013 10:00PM  
Club Fantasci: Writing vs storytelling 2 11 May 07, 2013 01:48PM  
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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

The Drenai Saga (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Legend (Drenai Saga, #1)
  • The King Beyond the Gate (Drenai Saga, #2)
  • Quest for Lost Heroes (Drenai Saga, #4)
  • In the Realm of the Wolf (Drenai Saga, #5)
  • The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (Drenai Saga, #6)
  • The Legend of Deathwalker (Drenai Saga, #7)
  • Winter Warriors (Drenai Saga, #8)
  • Hero in the Shadows (Drenai Saga, #9)
  • White Wolf (Drenai Saga, #10) (The Damned, #1)
  • The Swords of Night and Day (Drenai Saga, #11) (The Damned, #2)
Legend (Drenai Saga, #1) 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) White Wolf (Drenai Saga, #10) (The Damned, #1)

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“I caught a pebble in the moonlight.” 11 likes
“There is evil in all of us, and it is the mark of a man how he defies the evil within.” 8 likes
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