Iset's Reviews > Fall of Kings

Fall of Kings by David Gemmell
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Jan 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: bronze-age-5000-to-1100bce-fiction
Read from September 25 to 28, 2011 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Once again, forgive the brevity of this review, but much of what I had to say about this last novel in the trilogy I have already presented in my review of the first book. I must admit, there was a note of concern going into this final instalment – Fall of Kings was sadly left as an unfinished work by David Gemmell’s passing, and his widow Stella used his notes to complete the novel and see it to publication. Obviously, I was somewhat concerned that there might be a visible join in the novel where David’s writing ended and Stella’s began, in two completely disparate styles, but there simply wasn’t. I couldn’t distinguish between the two styles of writing or discern where one ended and the other began, and this was excellent news as it really keeps the flow of the novel going and helped it to retain its cohesion and purpose. If anything, we encounter even more action and adventure than in the previous novels, as the overarching plotline reaches its climax with the unfolding of the Trojan War and the thematic tearing down of the establishment of previous instalments. The eventual fate of Helikaon and Andromache was not a surprise to me, but only because I’d been keeping the established mythos in mind, not because I expected it – Gemmell altered a fair bit of the Aeneas story throughout this trilogy, so much so that I wasn’t certain Aeneas’ tale would be wrapped up in concordance with "canon". However the eventual fate of characters such as Kalliades and Odysseus is left a mystery, and certainly wasn’t predictable – to the point where I almost wished, just because I connected with those characters so much, that there could have been a little bit more resolution. The fate of certain other characters was definitely surprising, and deviated a great deal from the "canon" of Homer and other ancient story-tellers, but it came across as surprising and interesting rather than an unacceptable alteration. The sheer pace and action of Fall of Kings really made it a rip-roaring read too – I was torn between wanting to find out what happened next and drawing out the moment when I’d have finished reading the trilogy! It actually inspired me to get a hold of Gemmell’s duology about Parmenion, just so that I could once again enjoy Gemmell’s absorbing story-telling style in an historical setting.
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