Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Waylander” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Waylander (The Drenai Saga #3)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  14,469 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
The mysterious man known as Waylander is venturing into hostile territory on a quest to save the kingdom of the Drenai. He is the only man who could possibly succeed, and so he is entrusted with the responsibility--despite the fact that he was the person who killed the King.
Published (first published August 21st 1986)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Waylander, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Waylander

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
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
Shame on me!
Vec vise od deset godina citam epsku fantastiku i ovo je prvi put da citam Gemela.
Skitalac mi se jako svideo zbog nekoliko stvari. Pre svega jer je knjiga kratka (zaboravila sam da knjige epske fantastike zapravo mogu da stanu u moju torbu). Radnja je predvidiva ali je na momente i jako uzbudljiva.
ASAP se vracam herojskoj fantastici.
Abercrombie here I come! :)
Final rating: 4.5/5 stars

I have read first two books in the series starting with publishing order, and i have to admit i was a bit confused at the world in this one because i didn't understand that it happens before Legend & The king beyond the gate until i figured it out by certain hints. (I thought all books happen years and years in the future, but this book proved me wrong.)

Overall, this would be a first book in the series if started chronologically. But I wouldn't recommend starting o
Jan 22, 2017 Skip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Waylander (f/k/a Dakeyras), an apparently heartless assassin, saves a peace-loving Source priest (Dardalion), who is being tortured by some ruffians. Each seems to benefit from the influence of the other as Waylander saves a women and her young charges, rediscovering his humanity along the way whereas Dardalion decides to take up the battle. Together, they help thwart the plans of Kaem to permanently rid the lands of the Drenai forever. Waylander then embarks on a hopeless mission to retrieve a ...more
Mar 06, 2016 Helene rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Feverish pacing and imminent victory . Gemmell's never disappoints.

Waylander iniquitous journey to reclaiming his individuality brings a contemplative look at one's life with a humanistic touch . Respect and dislike are felt equally .
Dec 02, 2008 Terence rated it really liked it  ·  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
Feb 12, 2013 Evgeny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Eduardo Schimitt
Parece que cada vez que eu leio um livro do David Gemmell eu escrevo uma babação de ovo resenha elogiosa ao autor. Mas o cara era um gênio, fazer o quê?

Waylander é o terceiro livro da Saga Drenai, embora cronologicamente seja o primeiro da série. Vários dos eventos desse livro são mencionados nos livros anteriores - Egel e Karnak, dois dos heróis da nação Drenai, a formação dos 30 e varias outras pequenas coisas.

A histórias, como o proprio titulo e sinopse do livro dizem, é focada em Dakeyras "
Anthony Ryan
Dec 10, 2011 Anthony Ryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Kitvaria Sarene
Feb 09, 2017 Kitvaria Sarene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kitvaria by: G.R. Matthews
Finally I managed to get around to reading my very first Gemmell! It will definitely not be my last one...
I really enjoyed the story - especially the characters. Waylander is a great character to follow - I had a thing for him from the moment when a priest asked him to save him from death, and Waylander answers "Why?" Just my kind of character to follow around! I liked the others too, and was glad to be able to spend so much time with them.
The plot was interesting, and for me had a good balance
D.E.M. Emrys
Jul 18, 2012 D.E.M. Emrys rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 06, 2012 Anders rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, recommended
“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
Aug 18, 2015 Carmine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Gemmel fa centro ancora una volta con un romanzo emozionante e narrato con il solito stile asciutto e dinamico.
Questa volta il motore trainante è uno spettacolare Waylander, imperscrutabile assassino dal passato doloroso.
Gemmel accompagna l'ottimo personaggio principale con un altrettanto ispirato Dardalion, mezzo attraverso il quale l'autore analizza la fede religiosa ed il suo significato nelle più variegate sfaccettature.

L'eroe di Gemmel non è esente da fallimenti o debolezze psicologiche: c
Laura Hughes
Dec 27, 2013 Laura Hughes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 27, 2013 Grace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Sep 14, 2014 Jen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Dec 22, 2016 Kareem rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My second outing into the Drenai novels, the first being Legend.

(mild spoiler)

This book isn't without faults, one thing that struck me as lazy was how the main character is saved from an imminent death on two occasions by having earlier spared enemies he would have otherwise killed. Once was good, but using the same formula a second time fairly soon after the first lessened the impact somewhat. Though I should say that the second saviour soon became a favourite of mine.


That and the oth
Jun 21, 2009 Justin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Troy G
Dec 01, 2010 Troy G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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
Sep 10, 2015 Ippino rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Primo romanzo di Gemmell che leggo, e sicuramente non l'ultimo.
Solidissima heroic fantasy, con una trama semplice ma snocciolata con perizia dalla prima all'ultima pagina, con colpi di scena calibrati bene, personaggi credibili e dialoghi formidabili.
I dialoghi, soprattutto: era un mucchio di tempo che non mi divertivo così tanto a leggere i dialoghi in un romanzo.
L'autore fa parlare tutti, e sottolineo tutti, i suoi personaggi su moltissimi temi: dal senso dell'onore al coraggio, all'utilità o
Feb 12, 2008 Jacob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Reggie Kray
Sep 10, 2016 Reggie Kray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stomach hurting awesomeness!
Jul 02, 2016 Rob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
I love this book. Very cool to go back in time after reading the first 2 in the Drenai Saga. Again Gemmell gives us so many beautiful characters to follow with Waylander at the center of this adventure. We see how the 30 are formed and gain a glimpse into the Nadir before they become a great nation. This series allows the reader to connect with the Drenai and their surrounding neighbors without having to remember very specific characters or continuing plot lines. I have fallen for this fantasy w ...more
Nov 15, 2012 Todd rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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.
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.
ukratko ..lepa prica divna ideja al traljavo ispricana. izglexa kao npr film koji je radjen po knjizi..ogoljeno..tu je imalo materijala da se u dve fine knjige isprica prica. tri zvezdice zbog ideje koja je za pet zvezdica al ispricana za dve zvezdice..prosek ..tri zvezdice
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.
Aug 16, 2014 Nate rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Review to come, but basically just expect it to be a variation on the speech in High Fidelity where John Cusack is talking about how things with Laura were "just good."
Jun 29, 2008 Daniel66 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jared Millet
Waylander has the bones of a fantastic novel. It combines an epic quest with intense city-under-siege warfare, and while there are some definite good guys and bad guys, the "good vs evil" aspect of the book isn't quite that clear cut, and David Gemmell has a lot of fun playing around in the gray areas of right and wrong. He's also an author who isn't afraid to be cruel to his characters and has a good sense of when to deliver a gut-punch to the reader without being as gratuitously cruel as G.R.R ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Fantasy Book Club...: Waylander - 1st Impressions *NO SPOILERS* 5 40 Mar 11, 2015 03:32AM  
Club Fantasci: Point of view 11 9 May 31, 2013 04:39AM  
Club Fantasci: Waylander's Character 6 11 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  
  • Rage of a Demon King (The Serpentwar Saga, #3)
  • La voie magique (L'assassin royal, #5)
  • A Time of Exile (The Westlands, #1)
  • Swords of the Legion (The Videssos Cycle, #4)
  • The Grand Design (Tyrants and Kings, #2)
  • A Fortress of Grey Ice (Sword of Shadows, #2)
  • The Living God (A Handful of Men, #4)
  • The Warrior King (The Seer King Trilogy, #3)
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 (The Drenai Saga, #1)
  • The King Beyond the Gate (The Drenai Saga, #2)
  • Quest for Lost Heroes (The Drenai Saga, #4)
  • In the Realm of the Wolf (The Drenai Saga, #5)
  • The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (The Drenai Saga, #6)
  • The Legend of Deathwalker (The Drenai Saga, #7)
  • Winter Warriors (The Drenai Saga, #8)
  • Hero in the Shadows (The Drenai Saga, #9)
  • White Wolf (The Drenai Saga, #10)
  • The Swords of Night and Day (The Drenai Saga, #11)

Share This Book

“I caught a pebble in the moonlight.” 16 likes
“There is evil in all of us, and it is the mark of a man how he defies the evil within.” 12 likes
More quotes…