Petrik's Reviews > Lord of the Silver Bow

Lord of the Silver Bow by David Gemmell
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really liked it
bookshelves: owned-physical-books
Recommended for: Greek mythology & historical fiction fans

4.5/5 stars

Lord of the Silver Bow is my first foray into David Gemmell’s work and I must admit, it was a golden read.


David Gemmell has been an inspiration for many modern fantasy authors these days, there’s even an annual Fantasy award named after him that has been established since 2009. It’s quite crazy that it took me this long to finally get to reading Gemmell’s book, especially after hearing from many authors whose books I’ve read and loved mention that Gemmell is one of their main inspiration.

“Be lucky, Xander, and be brave. You will find that bravery and luck are often bedfellows.”


Lord of the Silver Bow is the first book in Gemmell’s Troy trilogy and it’s also his final series before he passed away. From the title of the trilogy, I think it’s safe to conclude that the trilogy will eventually be concluded with the tragic Trojan War. This war is most likely one of the, if not the most important and famous event in Greek mythology; it’s definitely one that I highly enjoyed learning about back in middle school. That said, I won’t say that I’m an expert on this subject. If you want to know how the plot and characters in this book differed to the original text, I suggest checking other people’s review rather than mine.

“Fear is an aid to the warrior. It is a small fire burning. It heats the muscles, making us stronger. Panic comes when the fire is out of control, consuming all courage and pride.”


Instead, I’d like to use my review to talk about the single thing that made me enjoyed this book immensely, Gemmell’s prose. It was incredibly stunning. I didn’t know what I was getting into but I was completely swept away by his writing. His prose was beautiful, full of inspirational and philosophical phrase, and every sentence has an urgent effect of completely sucking me into the story. For example:

“Danger lies in the extreme. A man who is always cruel is evil, a man who is always compassionate will be taken advantage of. It is more a question of balance, or harmony, if you will.”


It pretty much means “anything that’s too much is never good” but with the right context, that kind of prose was incredibly impactful to me. Here’s another one, this time about love:

“Love is not about conquest. The truth is a man can only find true love when he surrenders to it. When he opens his heart to the partner of his soul and says: "Here it is! The very essence of me! It is yours to nurture or destroy.”


Sure there were a few moments where the pacing of the book that felt a bit too slow, I will even admit that some POV and sections in the middle part of the book bored me a bit. However, the last 30% of the book and the overall quality of the writing truly outweigh the flaws. There were a lot of scenes that were done exceptionally like how the main character, Helikaon—based on Prince Aeneas—attained the name Helikaon, the Golden One, and the Lord of the Silver Bow. Plus, Gemmell’s way of building up momentum in the climax sequence and the execution of it was utterly engaging and heroic. Although there wasn’t a lot of character development except for Argurios, each character’s personality and feelings were still well fleshed out and the characters’ voice felt distinctive from each other. Even though there were more or less ten POV in this book, it was pretty easy to distinguish them from each other.

Despite the number of events that have happened in this book, the story did seems like an introductory installment for the purpose of familiarizing readers with the characters more than anything else; I think of it as a prelude before the upcoming chaos in the sequels. I will immediately continue to the second book in order to re-experience the Trojan War tale through Gemmell’s retelling. Lord of the Silver Bow was a glorious start to the Troy trilogy; truly a magnificent combination of myth, history, and legend in one package. I highly recommend this book to fans of Greek Mythology, the Trojan War, or historical fiction.

You can buy the book with free shipping by clicking this link!

You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions
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Quotes Petrik Liked

David Gemmell
“Love is not about conquest. The truth is a man can only find true love when he surrenders to it. When he opens his heart to the partner of his soul and says: "Here it is! The very essence of me! It is yours to nurture or destroy.”
David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow

David Gemmell
“Fear is an aid to the warrior. It is a small fire burning. It heats the muscles, making us stronger. Panic comes when the fire is out of control, consuming all courage and pride.”
David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow

David Gemmell
“Danger lies in the extreme. A man who is always cruel is evil, a man who is always compassionate will be taken advantage of. It is more a question of balance, or harmony, if you will.”
David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow

David Gemmell
“Listen...You could spend a lifetime trying to understand the works of evil men. Their joys are not ours. They love to inflict pain, create suffering, cause harm and death. It empowers them, for beneath the skin they are empty and worthless.”
David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow

David Gemmell
“Be lucky, Xander, and be brave. You will find that bravery and luck are often bedfellows.”
David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow


Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Birte (new) - added it

Birte This sounds great! I had to read a lot of the Aeneas in my last year of school so I hope I can see the differences and similarities when I read this. Great review as usual!


message 2: by Rituranjan (new) - added it

Rituranjan Gogoi Are there any magical elements in the book, or is it pure heroic fantasy without any magic? Because, when I think of mythology, I like the inherent sense of magic in them, apart from the action.


Petrik Birte wrote: "This sounds great! I had to read a lot of the Aeneas in my last year of school so I hope I can see the differences and similarities when I read this. Great review as usual!"

Thanks, Birte! Oh really?? I actually haven't read a lot about Aeneas that's why I find it difficult to make a proper comparison between Gemmell's version and the original one :D


Petrik Rituranjan wrote: "Are there any magical elements in the book, or is it pure heroic fantasy without any magic? Because, when I think of mythology, I like the inherent sense of magic in them, apart from the action."

Not in the first book, there are a few hints but it was never shown. I'm on the second book right now and I still haven't seen it so far.


Mayank Agarwal I am so happy you found your way to a Gemmell book, he was my favorite fantasy author before I discovered Brandon Sanderson. Happy reading.


Petrik Mayank wrote: "I am so happy you found your way to a Gemmell book, he was my favorite fantasy author before I discovered Brandon Sanderson. Happy reading."

It was great! I hope the second and third book will live up to it! Well, Sanderson is amazing so I can't blame you for that xD Thank you, Mayank!


Mitesh You are in for ride.


Gavin Great review, Petrik! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Gemmell feels weirdly under the radar nowadays even with the Gemmell Award on the go! It always shocked me that he never gained a great amount of popularity outside the U.K. as here libraries and book stores were packed with tons of his books when I first found my way to reading fantasy.


message 9: by Reynar (new)

Reynar Swan LOVE THIS SERIES. Good review!


Starr (AKA Bam Bam) Rivers I LOVE ancient rome/Greece/Sparta, etc. I might just check this out! And wonderfully enough, it's less than 500 pages!!


message 11: by Reynar (last edited Nov 15, 2018 05:56AM) (new)

Reynar Swan Starr (AKA Bam Bam) wrote: "I LOVE ancient rome/Greece/Sparta, etc. I might just check this out! And wonderfully enough, it's less than 500 pages!!"

I, too, share a love of Ancient Rome. Please consider checking out Mystica Books or
Magica (Mystica - Fantasy Intrigue Series - Book One) Lifestone. Deathstone. Godstone. by Reynar Swan.


message 12: by Reynar (new)

Reynar Swan Petrik wrote: "Mayank wrote: "I am so happy you found your way to a Gemmell book, he was my favorite fantasy author before I discovered Brandon Sanderson. Happy reading."

It was great! I hope the second and thir..."


Second book is just as good, IMO. Third is a bit uneven, though still a great read.


message 13: by Reynar (new)

Reynar Swan Mayank wrote: "I am so happy you found your way to a Gemmell book, he was my favorite fantasy author before I discovered Brandon Sanderson. Happy reading."

That's true for me, too, except Sanderson didn't supplant Gemmell for me. They're right at the top, neck and neck.


Petrik Mitesh wrote: "You are in for ride."

Haha thank you! I hope so! :D


Petrik Gavin wrote: "Great review, Petrik! I'm glad you enjoyed this one. Gemmell feels weirdly under the radar nowadays even with the Gemmell Award on the go! It always shocked me that he never gained a great amount o..."

Thank you, Gavin! I know right? A lot of authors have mentioned him as their inspiration and yet his books rating are so low compared to some of the current big names in the genre. Come to think of it, I think the authors that mentioned him came from UK so you're probably on to something there! :D


Petrik Reynar wrote: "LOVE THIS SERIES. Good review!"

Thanks, Reynar! :)


Petrik Starr (AKA Bam Bam) wrote: "I LOVE ancient rome/Greece/Sparta, etc. I might just check this out! And wonderfully enough, it's less than 500 pages!!"

Same here, Starr! I hope you'll love this one as well! :)


Michael Great review, Petrick! I hope you enjoy the other two books in this trilogy.


Petrik Michael wrote: "Great review, Petrick! I hope you enjoy the other two books in this trilogy."

Thanks, Michael! :)I have the last book left. I'll start it tomorrow!


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