Steve 's Reviews > Knights of Dark Renown

Knights of Dark Renown by David Gemmell
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's review
May 07, 11

bookshelves: fantasy-sci-fi-fantasy
Read from April 23 to May 05, 2011

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't help but feel there were too many characters and I wondered at the point Gemmell felt he was making with the story. Gemmell writes exceedingly well (and Mr. Kipling makes exceedingly good cakes *laughing*. Sorry *smiling*)...

Here we're following the coward knight Manannan, who stays behind through fear when his fellow Gabala Knights cross through a magical gateway to confront an evil threat. Turns out he was right to stay behind (I won't ruin the storyline)...

But we're also following the development of so many other characters: Lug/Lamfhada (young magicker/future magical armourer), Ruad/Ollathair (wizard/magical armourer), Gwydion (healer/magicker), Errin (young Lord who can't fight), Grounsel (ruthless scoundrel turns good), Llaw Gyffes (outlaw blacksmith hero in the forest), Arian (in love with Llaw), Okessa (evil magicker/wizard), Nuada (kindly poet/songsmith with good intentions), Sheera, Ubadai, Brion, the Dagda (bit like the Seidh of in the Rigante novels), Elodan (one armed knight), and a whole host more including Samildanach and the other returning knights of the Red Gabala that drink the Vyre (people's souls) to make them immortal...

Blah, blah, blah... There are some really good characters and aspects to this story, of which maybe Nuada, Elodan, Errin and Groundsel have the most impact. And it comes together (a meeting of the characters and direction to the story) for a really conclusive ending. But... For me? Too many character paths and wondering if there was actually a point to the story as a whole.

The second reading better enabled me to disect the story and characters. I very much doubt that this will be one of the Gemmell's that I give a third reading to.

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Reading Progress

04/23/2011 page 12
4.0% "This is one of a handful of Gemmell's that I've only read once. Hence, I'll give it another chance."
04/25/2011 page 98
31.0% "I'd forgotton how complex this Gemmell is, in that it follows 'a lot' of character's on different journies."
04/30/2011 page 189
59.0% "This book probably follows more characters than any other Gemmell. Many I'd forgotton, though appear to be heading to a purposeful gathering. This re-read is refreshing my recollections."
05/02/2011 page 261
82.0% "Not Gemmell's best work. Well written, good characters (maybe too many)... Story? Mmmmm... Originally I gave this book 4 stars, which I later changed to 3 stars."

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