Jayaprakash Satyamurthy's Reviews > The King Beyond the Gate

The King Beyond the Gate by David Gemmell
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's review
Jan 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read in January, 2012

I was very ready to be disappointed by this novel; second of a series as well as one of the first few Gemmells I've read. There were times when it seemed like the story was a little too similar to Legend; but for the most part this resolved into the fact that it was really the same conflict, a generation later. I also feared that the romantic interests in the novel would see Gemmell starting to emulate that other David, Eddings, in the cozy, cloying way he pairs off members of his party of adventurers, but our David here has a more complex understanding of human nature even if his emotional scenes are not the most sophisticated.

Oh but the heroics. Once again there were scenes of heroism on large and small stages, physical, mental and spiritual and always against the odds. Stirring scenes of sacrifice, camaraderie and loyalty. Gemmell wrote heroic fantasy and his conception of heroism was robust, unapologetic and downright inspiring. And once again, martial highlights are supported by equally effective magical elements and a cast of rugged, endearing characters which is if anything even more varied and memorable than the last time around (although no one quite reaches the archetypal level of Druss). Honest, effective entertainment that wears its heart on its sleeve. I can think of worse ways to spend my time.
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