Some Thoughts on David Gemmel Books I’ve Been Reading Lately

I’ve spent the last 3 months consuming literature like if there was no tomorrow. I usually read a lot for research purposes, but it was a great relief to actually have some time to just enjoy a good book. I decided that I hadn’t had a chance to read much fantasy lately, so I decided to follow that road. A lot of the books I’ve read are not new at all, save the last one perhaps, but they were things I haven’t had the chance to actually dedicate time to in the past, so it was good in any case. Nevertheless, I noticed that the vast majority of these books I’ve been reading had rather unsatisfactory endings. I don’t know if that was just me being too picky…One of them I am certain is an authorship problem from what I have heard from other people, but it seems to me that in many of these cases, there was so much to the story that by the time it needed to be wrapped up, everything as a bit rushed and that almost made the entire experience a bit bittersweet. So, I’ll just give you some thoughts on the books I’ve been reading and what I made of them so you can see where I am coming from.

David Gemmell

I appreciate I am probably very late to join in this party but for whatever reason I had never heard of him until recently. My boyfriend and one of my friends really like him, they swore by the narrative so I thought, okay let’s give this a go. In general, I liked the stories. I found that a lot of them are reworkings in different contextualisation and with different characters of well known folk tales and other old stories, but he does it in a very refreshing way so I did not mind knowing how the plot was going to go. I often find this annoying if I can predict the outcome of the story, but the details were interesting enough to make me see beyond that. I started with Legend – which I have ben told is perhaps not the best one to start with, but as it was the first one he wrote, it made sense. Then I made my way through Morning Star and Knights of Dark Renown. I must said I liked the last 2 better than Legend. I know Druss is epic, but I just couldn’t get to sympathise with any of the characters in the stories – except perhaps the Thirty, who are a very interesting bunch. However, then I jump on to Morning Star and found that Owen Odell is a nice character to guide you through the story, not just because he is the bard and the breaking of the fourth wall can be quite insightful and amusing at stages, but also because of that first person approach to how any narrative develops. He is just as clueless as you are when the plot begins so his own insecurities kinda mingles with yours. It is a good readers trip in that sense, if you follow me. Morning Star was certainly my favourite just cause Jarek Mace is funny in his picaresque and outrageous way, and the entire gang are very relatable…but then again this is essentially Robin Hood without so much cheesiness to it so, it ought to be. I moved to Knights of Dark Renown and I must say out of the three, I think this one has the best pacing. I felt every character was given equal and relevant importance in appropriate correlation to their characters impact in the story, which I do not feel the other three necessarily did.

However, I have the same issue with all of them: the ending. What is up with his endings?! Legend was perhaps the least abrupt and more satisfactory, I guess that is because after such a great war and battle there are only so many possible outcomes. I feel that every character that survives does it rightfully so and their lives proceed as they should. You understand where the rest of the story goes – okay; cool. But with the other two, I felt that something was missing or better said; dismissed. I guess it is not so bad in Morning Star, as everyone is given a brief explanation as to what their futures bring and what not. Even so the last 30 pages of the book seem to go at a whole different speed than the rest and I just wanted more of the consistency of the story up until that moment in time. This was the point that the plot was driving towards and suddenly it’s upon you and there you go, story ended. It is similar but much worse, I feel, in Knights of Dark Renown, which in my opinion had a better pace. However, when it gets to the end a lot of the characters get sidelined and the ending is done in hardly a couple of pages. Also I don’t really like the fact that the people that survive in this one are just given these lame couple of lines explanations as to what happens next after they defeat the ultimate force of evil…plus the book leaves a fair few questions open, or not entirely answered.

So in general, I really enjoyed reading the books, and then the end kinda made me think…what have I been reading the last 270 pages for? Its is a bit like what I mentioned in a previous update about Orphan Black and Falling Skies…

But, I guess the art of writing is a delicate one and as much as someone may be really good at writing a story, in general, they don’t have to be great at every single aspect of it. In any case, I would like to leave the open question to the floor. Is this a thing anyone else had noticed or a problem shared by others? If so, please exchange your experiences with us.

And we shall see you on the next one 🙂

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