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Dark Moon

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  3,054 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
The peaceful Eldarin were the last of three ancient races.  The mystical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen before the dread power of the cruel and sadistic Daroth.  Yet in one awesome night the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth.  Gone were their cities, their armies, their terror.  The Great Northern Desert was their only legacy.  Not a trace rem ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published December 2nd 2003 by Del Rey (first published 1996)
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Mark Lawrence
Sep 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given this book by a reader of my own work. It was a rather special present as the book was signed by David Gemmell "To Mark". Not to me, some other Mark, years earlier. But since DG is sadly no longer with us it's the closest I'll get to a dedicated book!

I'm a big fan of Gemmell's work. This wasn't my favourite of his books but it has a lot to recommend it.

To me it had a rather Moorcockian flavour to it, with strange non-human races introduced (three of them) and plenty of 'classic' magi
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
This was an enjoyable enough standalone fantasy story. Not that I'd not consider it one of Gemmell's better stories, but is was still worth reading.

Humanity have vanquished the ancient race of the Eldarin and the Dukes that rule the four major city states in the region have been warring over possession of the last remaining magical artefact of that lost magical race. A pearl of great magic. The ambitious Duke Siriano is a sorcerer and while seeking to harness the power of the Pearl for his own
Dirk Grobbelaar
Apr 14, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, books-i-own
Dark Moon doesn’t pull any punches. It has sex and violence, both dished out unsparingly. The latter is of a pretty graphic nature more often than not. In short: It’s grim as hell. This is probably also what makes the novel work, since the characters are very, very believable for the most part, and before you know it you’ll find yourself caring about what happens to them, even though many of them have almost no redeeming qualities. It seems that Gemmell actually understood human nature better th ...more
May 03, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Dark Moon is a stand-alone fantasy novel -- a rare thing, in my experience, and thus worth a read for that alone, I thought. It has a lot of fascinating ideas and characters in it: a warrior with two personalities; a warrior woman troubled by her abusive past; a harpist raised by a gentle and non-violent race, who gets pulled nonetheless into death and destruction. The world is surprisingly rich in history and detail, considering it's a one-shot, and without being overburdened with it, either. I ...more
Jun 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Second stand-alone book that I read from Gemmell and, I have to say, that I found Dark Moon quite enjoyable and well written. Of course I wouldn’t put it along with his best books, but it has good action, beautiful characters, a touch of humor, which is a bit rare coming from Gemmell, and most important, an interesting story.

The Oltor, an ancient immortal race, leaved peacefully in the Four Duchies for many years until two other races, the Daroth and the Eldarin, came through other worlds so
Oct 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a very good read. Why then the 4 stars (and not 5) ? Because I have just realized that I am not experiencing this I-have-finished-the-book-but-I-am-already-missing-the-characters kind of feeling. So.
Dec 31, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
David Gemmell is one of my favorite fantasy writers. So I was happy to find this book on a recent trip to England. This is a stand alone fantasy book, which is also a rare thing.

In this book an ancient evil race that was thought extinct returns and in good David Gemmell tradition results in lots of bloodshed, heroic deeds and sacrifices in the face of overwhelming odds.

This book is actually very formulaic and very predictable. There is only one moment in the whole book when I was surprised. Up
Jun 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mike by:
Dark Moon is just "pack-jammed" (my wife's way to say it) with interesting characters, sex, violence, weaponry, tactics and potent but small doses of fantasy. All in a compact single volume. I would not have minded if he had expanded this story to a larger volume or even another book. The heroine is the general commanding the forces against an immortal race implacably devoted to destroying all humans. Several complex, interesting heroes in the story. Unique and enjoyable. 3.5 Stars. Would have l ...more
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of what's fallowing may seem like backhanded compliments, but Gemmell's one of my absolute favorite authors and they're really not.

You know when you finish a book and you really envy those who haven't read it yet because they can experience the joy for the first time?
Sure you can reread as many times as you want and it'll feel just as awesome, but you can't help but wish you were somehow able to read it again for the first time.
With Gemmell you kind of can. You can read one of his books,
Aug 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of Gemmells' best 'stand alone' reads. When it comes to character description and depth there is only one master, and I have yet to find Gemmells' equal. I am so tempted to upgrade my 4 star review to 5 stars. And by the end of this review, I may do just that.

The dual characteristics and personalities of Tarantio (and Dace) are brilliantly done. Dace being the much deadlier swordsman than the more amiable Tarantio. And, this was a really good way to start the story. Build a really s
T.L. Barrett
May 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot overstate the immense respect I have for David Gemmell's writing. Dark Moon carried me away to a fantastic world of peril and romance and desperate hope. The promise of wonder I experienced reading the Jon Shannow series is fully realized in this stand-alone fantasy epic.

Because of the greed of a Duke, the Daroth, a uniquely horrific fantasy race, or pale immortal monsters have awoken. These immortals devour all they see, including the very spirit of the land. Swept up in the hasty defe
Mayank Agarwal
Oct 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
Another good book by David Gemmell, the characteristics of the three elder races is really different from what we normally get from fantasy fiction world and Gemmell does great job in incorporating them in the standard medieval human world.He builds up the story without rushing and is still able to maintain the pace -the book is a page turner.Really enjoyed the unique personality of Tarantio/Dace and the singer Duvodas but as the story progresses they takes a back seat. With the shift of focus o ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did a re-read, found I didn't like it as much as I remember. Problem is I remembered the good bits and not the ho-hum bits padding it out. There's so many jumps around the characters and so many unnecessary plot threads. And its not a big book. The good bits are awesome - but not enough to save it. Ah well. Still worth reading.
Sep 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
David Gemmell is one of my favorite authors. I love his characters and their sense of right and wrong. I have one or two of his books that I still haven't read and I'm not looking forward to finishing them as, RIP, he's no longer with us to continue his terrific storytelling.
Geoff Battle
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a huge amount of content squeezed in to the singular tome of Dark Moon. Other authors would have stretched this out in to a trilogy, however in Gemmell's deft hands an epic struggle for a survival is tidily contained between two covers. Every character has their own arc, ranging from the anti-hero with two souls, the Ice Queen tactician, the bard with a link to a dead race and the malevolent enemy with no fear. This wild range of characters should create disbelief yet the stampeding stor ...more
Sep 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, narrative
La perla nera è un'altra gemma del buon Gemmell. In un unico romanzo (non sempre serve una trilogia per convincere il lettore) il maestro disegna un mondo credibile popolato da grandi personaggi (molti non sfigurerebbero come protagonisti principali... io un libro sul mercenario bipolare Tarantio o su Karis la regina di ghiaccio lo comprerei a scatola chiusa) che si muovono in una trama avvincente, piena di azione e scene potenti (vedi foresta che squarta l'avanguardia di un esercito). Si legge ...more
Josh Meares
Classic Gemmell. Good story, interesting hero and a few good quotes.

My favorite quote:
"Nothing in terms of the soul is irrevocable. ... Nothing is impossible - especially not in terms of the human soul. If that were true, every soldier would become evil and every priest would have healing hands."
Mike Ingle
Jun 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hero'so rise to the challenge
Rob Thompson
I read Dark Moon for two reasons:

1. It is a stand-alone work with no follow-up books, and
2. I like the way Gemmell writes (or should I say wrote).

With Dark Moon he doesn't disappoint. He was one hell of a storyteller being able to develop characters that the reader cares about. He also placed them in situations which demanded to defeat their opponents they become more evil than them. Of course, sometimes his characters choose to use love, compassion, and self-sacrifice instead.

In Dark Moon the s
PHL - Patrick's Healthy Lifestyle
Another great Gemmell novel.

He has been called the finest writer of heroic fantasy (inside cover of Corgi paper back) but his books also often contain philosophical moments and gems of wisdom.

p325 “And doubt is a demon that can defeat an army.”
p335 “Therefore it could be argued that his own carelessness killed him.” This in reference to Karis sending a soldier off to die. This will make sense when read in context
p342 Two soldiers speaking: “I don’t feel like a hero” “You don’t have to feel lik
Ian Banks
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy

Very tight and well-paced epic told over only one volume. It lacks bloat and tells its tale economically.

The characters are well-differentiated and have realistic motives and histories. Dace/ Tarantio start off as an intriguing pair but having their origin explained away as a result of childhood trauma feels a bit pat and (given the number of similar books written about the same time about multiple personalities and repressed memories) pandering to popular tastes. I did enjoy the possibility of

Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of Gemmell's best, IMHO. Despite having a "furry race" with an elven-sounding name, which I would normally count as a negative mark, I couldn't find a fault with this book. Too bad is a standalone but luckily I still have some Gemmell left.
Paolo Zanella
Anche se questo è il primo romanzo di Gemmell che leggo, so bene che è un esperto del sottogenere chiamato Heroic Fantasy e su esso ha fondato le sue fortune letterarie. In Dark Moon dà un chiaro sfoggio della sua abilità: in poche pagine delinea un piccolo cast di interessanti protagonisti non bidimensionali e un discreto stuolo di comprimari. Quando necessario definisce con pochi tratti un'ambientazione perfettamente funzionale alla trama: non aggiunge neanche un dettaglio di troppo, evitando ...more
S.E. Lindberg
Drenai Series Remains Gemmell’s Best:
I was initially attracted to Dark Moon because I had already enjoyed much of Gemmell’s entertaining Drenai Series, which ostensibly is Sword & Sorcery (really 90% sword, 10% sorcery) and I wanted to see how he could handle more magic. Dark Moon promised to be that book.

The first portion was outstanding: a complex protagonist (Tarantio/Dace) emerges in a world with an apparently rich history of magic/creatures (three races of alien like humanoids: Daroth E
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 2000.

Dark Moon is not a particularly successful fantasy novel. It is set in a world originally inhabited by the extinct Oltor, who were exterminated after inviting the gentle Eldarin and ferocious Daroth to share their lands when their own worlds were threatened by catastrophe, continuing in their altruism to add humans to the list of intelligent species. For the moment, the Daroth are no more, having been imprisoned by the magic of the Eldarin,
Jun 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gemmell-read
This was a good read. not great, just good. I liked some of the things that were going on. I feel alot of the more interesting aspects were glossed over and could have been a more compelling book if it were longer. The more I read of Gemmell the more I see a pattern of book length. Its too bad because some of his characters could use some more fleshing out. I wouldn’t mind spending more time getting to know his characters. So a possible great story turns into a good read. As with other Gemmell s ...more
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book - it's a "typical fantasy" setting - complete with "elves" and "orcs" - but it's done in an interesting way, the characters are unique (how often do you have a protagonist with mutiple personalities?) and the stoey itself compelling. It provoked a lot of discussion on the book group - ranging from what makes a soul, as well as a form of deus ex machina - there always being the correct character in the correct place when the plot needs it - but is this because of the plot ...more
Jan 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The excellent character in the form of Tarantio/Dace are what made me really like this book. Some familiar themes appear and if you have read Gemmell's other books you will spot them. However they don't detract from what is an excellent read with vibrant characters and plenty of action. As a standalone it does skim over some bits that could have been developed a lot more. I know some readers find Gemmell formulaic in his writing but in my opinion he was one of the best writers of heroic fantasy ...more
May 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Shelves: fantasy
This is a rarity in the fantasy world -- a story being told in one book instead of a lengthy series of books (see: Terry Goodkind, or better yet, skip him). Even more rare is that the book is engaging and original, and I wished it were longer than it was (which I realize is a paradox, because I was also happy it was a stand-alone book).

Note that despite the fantasy setting, Gemmell does not use elves/dwarves/orcs or any other Tolkien-style characters.

This is the first book I've read by Gemmell,
VS Drakkan
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another book in my top list for sure.
I was introduced to this book under a strange and extraordinary circumstances by a character in real life that very much reminds me of a character you would find in Gemmell's novels.

Sadly, we are no longer in touch.

Suffice to say the trio of Dace, Duvodas, and the warrior woman Karis really help to weave a fantastic plot of stimulation and swordsmanship, sex and savagery, and the power of music and art as a healing mechanism for the world.

Tarantio, the ot
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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
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“Heroes are people who face down their fears. It is that simple. A child afraid of the dark who one day blows out the candle; a women terrified of the pain of childbirth who says, 'It is time to become a mother'. Heroism does not always live on the battlefield.” 31 likes
“There's no shame in fear. But understand this - the coward is ruled by fear, while the hero rides it like a wild stallion.” 29 likes
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