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

Echoes of the Great Song

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,443 ratings  ·  89 reviews
The Times (London)

The Avatars are immortal and live like kings–even though the empire is dying. Their immortality is guaranteed by magic crystals whose influence is now waning, overwhelmed by the sheer power of a great flood and a sudden ice age. But when two moons appear in the sky, and the ruthless armies o
Paperback, 437 pages
Published November 26th 2002 by Del Rey (first published October 1st 1997)
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 Echoes of the Great Song, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Echoes of the Great Song

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,443 ratings  ·  89 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Echoes of the Great Song
Ahmad Sharabiani
Echoes of the Great Song, David Gemmell

Echoes of the Great Song (1997) is a fantasy novel written by David Gemmell. The novel explores several themes in the new-age paradigm of alternate history hypothesis, focusing on the existence, lives and demise of the Atlanteans. As is in much of Gemmell's fiction, the novel contains analogs for historical or mythical peoples and events (such as the references to Celtic history and culture in the Rigante novels).

The Atlantean-type protagonists, the Avatar
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Second time reading this book.
It is as magnificent as the first time.
Jul 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Gemmell was equally adept at series and at standalone novels. His imagination was giant. Highly recommended
Oct 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I am so glad I read this book! I read it because of a (very) forceful recommendation. I love fantasy, this didn't really seem like 'my' fantasy book. I was pretty skeptical. Holy was I ever wrong! Gemmell had me hooked after the first page. It was so different and refreshing from most of the fantasy genre I have read lately (urban fantasy). I fell in love with the characters, even the characters I disliked. I loved the use of the tribal songs at the start of each chapter, even if they contained ...more
Ryan Curry
Jan 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book is absolutely incredible!! I literally couldn't put it down the entire time i was reading. Gemmell is an amazing author who surprises me every time I pick up one of his novels. Echoes of the Great Song left me dying for more, it was definitely different compared to the other Gemmell novels I've read. It reminded me of the Tide Lords series by Jennifer Fallon , which was incredible in its own right. I HIGHLY recommend this book, as well as anything by David Gemmell to a lover of fantasy ...more
Mike Moak
Mar 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned
Another really good book. I am slowly making my way through all of Gemmell's books. How is it I never heard of this author in his heyday? I loved the story. I loved the writing. I loved the weaving of legend. This is a stand alone book that is definitely worth a read. ...more
Amazing! Definitely one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read and I do feel sadness that it is not a series.

The relatively good gender roles and lack of gay hate in this were surprisingly refreshing - as compared to the Game of Thrones GARBAGE - AND IT WAS PRINTED IN 1997. Literally 20 years ago. At one point a character made a derogatory comment on another character's supposed femininity because they were gay, and the person they were talking to flat out STOPPED THEM IN THEIR TRACKS AND SA
Brian Turner
Dec 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
The intense moral relativity in this novel is surprising - most every character begins as morally reprehensible and at odds with one another, but over the course of the story they recognize their flaws and try to work together, and become willing to sacrifice themselves for each other if required.

Yet it manages to remain a very enjoyable fantasy novel, filled with all the determined heroism and desperate struggles we'd expect from a Gemmell novel.

What I found interesting is that the first time
Stephen Roddick
Aug 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Heroic Fantasy Lovers
Great Book.
The story of the final fall of a once great empire.

The world has turned on it's ends, The poles have shifted, tipping the seas from thier bowls and changing the world forever.

With thier homeland under a glacier, and beset on all sides by barbarians, the remanents of the immortal Avatars have carved a new home. Protected only by the power of thier crystals the Avatars seek to create a new empire.

The crystals are failing and with them the Avatar's power and immortality. The Gr
Barry Mulvany
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It has a lovely melancholic feel as you would expect from a book set just after the end of the world. It is a fast paced book as Gemmell's usually are but as always he makes you feel for the characters in such a brief period of time. It is a standalone which is always handy in the usually epic series of the Fantasy genre and it provides a beautiful bittersweet end. Would thoroughly recommend. ...more
John Donaghy
Another good read by David Gemmell... just not one of his greatest. It bears similarities to his much better standalone title, Dark Moon, but unfortunately gets a little too crowded with characters that are never truly fleshed-out. The fundamental ideas for a great read are all here, but the odds never truly seem insurmountable in the true sense of heroic fantasy. Its greatest failing is perhaps its inability to create a character or characters that we truly wish to root for. Don't get me wrong, ...more
Sep 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Another outstanding fantasy epic from one of the world’s greatest writers of heroic yarns. Echoes of the Great Song contains elements familiar from other Gemmell stories, and yet this is different, thought out to the finest detail, and told with passion and drama.

Gemmell pretty much mixes genres again, throwing in war, romance and mystery, but overall this is a story of adventure, with real flesh and blood heroes to guide us through the carnage.

Gemmell is fine at weaving political detail into h
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Due to almost supernatural events life for a once vast, powerful, and intellectual nation seems to be running it's course. Soon there will be a new threat and those who still reign as near gods to the normal inhabitants are'nt to happy about it, and wont give up what they've still got without a fight. And boy are there some fights.
I realy liked this book because in many sences it was a tragedy, and a real struggle for the elite few to try and hold onto their former and glorious lifes, while thei
Apr 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
What I love about Gemmell's books, is that they can be read as stand alone novels. Don't get me wrong, a love a good fantasy epic series, with 20 odd books and thousands of characters, but sometimes there just isn't the time to invest.

I loved the story set out here - a race of super humans, immortal through the use of crystals, using them to heal, communicate, power weapons or other devices. The arrival of a similar race from another world (our own maybe?), makes them re-evaluate exactly what it
Jul 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
It's a Gemmell, no doubt. The characteristic style is unmistakeable. He KNOWS how to write, and especially how to convey information and atmosphere in a few sentences. After a few pages you know the scope of empires, without info-dumping.

Unfortunately, it's far from his best book.
It felt a bit preachy to me, and more than a bit obvious. I didn't really connect with the characters, and the storyline was unsurprising, if not foreseeable.

If you don't know anything of Gemmell, you'll probably enj
Aidan Strickland
Feb 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
This was truly a stunningly executed book. Really satisfying end (view spoiler)

David Gemmel has a way of making almost every character likable in some way. (view spoiler)
(view spoiler)
VS Drakkan
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The only thing I have to say is that people should read this book.

There is one quote I will always remember from one of the villains in this tale.

He says that an enemy is like a man's most prized flower. It brings him joy to see it buried in the ground.
Daryl Bishop
Sep 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: david-gemmel
A stand alone masterpiece; this is one of the very few books I have ever read again. Bristling with concepts and characters that you will never forget; this one off story from the great mind of Mr Gemmel is often overlooked and I loved it!
Ric Douglas
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the first books by Gemmell I ever read and we'll worth the re-visiting. A seemingly clichě fantasy novel that subtly touches on some interesting socio-political views. A great read and one of Gemmell's really solid outings. ...more
Alex Jones
May 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Standard opinion I have of one of David Gemmell's books, once again I loved it. Really enjoyed the world, wish it wasn't a stand-alone! Loved the characters as always too! ...more
Richard Barnes
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is epic, and yet, David Gemmell has crammed a colossal adventure, taking in the fall of one civilisation, a massive existential threat to all civilisations and a shedload of heroic deeds into one, novel sized package. George RR Martin, please take note.

Many of Gemmell's usual tropes are here, the noble maverick hero, the stuck-in-the-past sort of villain who learns and grows, power drawn from crystals. None of this is a bad thing; the setting is a neat alternative to the quasi-medieval, Eur
Raymond Walker
Jan 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
David Gemmell is nothing less than a master within his favored genre. His blend of Historical fiction and fantasy is rarely paralleled and never surpassed though many make valiant attempts to steal his crown. This (rare) stand alone novel shines as so many of his works do. Obvious fantasy themes, romance, swords and sorcery and heroism are interspersed with redemption tales and comfortable love lifting him higher than your "average" or even your "good" fantasy author.
Here his tale of (unspecifie
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: spec-fic
c1997 (5) FWFTB: Avatars, tribesman, sacrificed, crystal, arcane. Not a particularly joyous story. The only character that I really liked was the madman Viruk who must have been great fun to write. It was pacy with succinct world building. There is a definite 'enemy' in the book but as far as the protagonists are concerned - its the age old question of a good person doing bad things or a bad person doing good things - not particularly original, but an enjoyable read. Would recommend to the norma ...more
Aug 14, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was very easy to read. Nothing complicated, just easily digestible pulp fantasy. Most characters are heavily one dimensional archetypes, some barely scraping two dimensional, but due to being one book and not a series this is probably a smart move as there isn't much time for character development with a decent amount of backstory, numerous characters and the overall plot taking the main focus. The book had interesting themes, and a fairly satisfying ending but I can't say I'd ever put ...more
Jul 10, 2018 rated it did not like it
I struggled so hard to get through this book. I found it dull and difficult to get into. There was lots of violence and battle and killing and I didn't click with any of the characters.

I'm really glad I read the book as Gemmell is a fantasy legend so I've ticked him off the list.

Fans of pyramids, powerful beings that ruled the Earth before humans and military strategy enthusiasts will love this
Graham Heslop
Oct 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Typical Gemmell: triumphing against the odds, unexpected heroics redeeming characters, breathtaking action, and lots of twisting and turning. Negatively, as someone who is enamoured with Drenai, Rigante, and the Troy trilogy I haven't been convinced by the parallel universes of Gemmell's other works ...more
Gino Kutcher
Jul 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I enjoy most David Gemmell books, so the fact that I enjoyed this one is not really a surprise. I was a bit worried at the beginning though and took a while to get into it. The 'myths' to begin the chapters were a nice touch though and ended up being one of the best parts as (view spoiler) ...more
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Epic novel by Gemmell. Big heroes, difficult decisions. Loved it.

'Evil is like a poison,' he said. 'That is why we cannot use it. To defeat evil with its own weapons, only replaces one evil with another. I believe the Source has blessed you with power. It must not be stained or sullied.'

Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Great Book.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Back to my basics with this one shot in the fantastic and creative Gemmel universe.
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • White Knight, Black Swan
  • The City
  • The Wolf Hunt: A fast-paced, action-packed historical fiction novel (The Whale Road Chronicles Book 3)
  • Odin's Game (The Whale Road Chronicles, #1)
  • The Raven Banner (The Whale Road Chronicles, #2)
  • Wrath of the Forgotten (Descendants of the Fall #2)
  • Warriors of Blood and Shadow: Boxed Set 1 (The Silent Champions #1-2, 2.5)
  • The Expert System’s Champion (Expert System, #2)
  • Malison: The Complete Series
  • The Redemption of Althalus
  • The Fates of Yoran (The Chain Breaker Book 3)
  • Stoneblood Saga Boxset: Books 1-6
  • Besieged (The First Crusade Book 2)
  • Godblind (Godblind, #1)
  • The Last King (The Ninth Century #1)
  • The Black Hawks (Articles of Faith, #1)
  • Tommo and Hawk (The Potato Factory, #2)
See similar books…
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

Related Articles

Kazuo Ishiguro insists he’s an optimist about technology.  “I'm not one of these people who thinks it's going to come and destroy us,” he...
293 likes · 27 comments
“An enemy is like a man's most prized flower. It brings him joy to see it buried in the ground.” 11 likes
“It is the nature of men to build walls around themselves. They think it will protect them from hurt. It does the opposite. The hurt still gets in, but now it rattles around the walls, unable to get out. So you build more walls. You are now seeing the world without walls. You are free, Ro. Free to hurt and free to heal.” 2 likes
More quotes…