Book Review – Legend by David Gemmell

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I first read Legend in my teens and loved it. Recently I was prompted to read it again and I’m delighted to say it has stood the test of time.

There are lots of reasons to like this book. It has a great cast of characters, covering both the traditional hero figures and the men who serve under them. The plot is well done, similar to other stories of a small force holding out against a much larger one, think of films like The Alamo, The Magnificent Seven, Zulu, 300 etc., and the writing is tight if a little functional. That sounds like a gripe, but actually the style suits the book perfectly.

The thing that struck me this time was the wonderful feeling of claustrophobia of a story which is mostly set in a very small gegraphical area, namely between the seven walls of the fortress of Dros Delnoch. This has the effect of pulling you right into the centre of the action, so that when you stop reading it’s like you’ve come up gasping for air.

I’m now going to have to add his other books to my ever expanding TBR list.

Do you have any books you’ve reread after a long time? Did they stand the test of time?

If you fancy a quick fantasy read, why not try The Path Of Swords? Six reviews on Amazon UK and they’re all 5 star.

www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B071LBJNTC for the UK

www.amazon.com/dp/B071LBJNTC for the US

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Pre-match Nerves

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Tomorrow my story The Path Of Swords will be for sale on Amazon and I’m a little nervous. There are all kinds of thoughts that occur at a time like this. Will it look ok on the page? Is the cover right? Is the blurb interesting enough? Have I checked carefully enough for typos etc? WILL PEOPLE LIKE IT?

But I’m ignoring all these thoughts. My goal has never been to publish a book, have zillions of sales and retire to the Caribbean. I mean, that would be nice but it’s never been the plan. The plan is to write a series that people will read and enjoy. This is the first step, and as such it’s an important one but there is a long way to go. It’s a journey that I’m enjoying so far and I’m in no rush. Too often the first time you do something slips by without you realising it. I intend to savour the moment.

Remember that you have until lunchtime today (12th May) to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

Maps and Legends

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I love books with maps so I was very happy to sit down and start mapping out the world of the Second Son series which I did fairly soon after I started writing. At first I had it all straight in my head but I got to the point where I needed to actually see it. I drew this as a working document, it’s not meant to be the sort of map that you stick in the front of a book. Having said that it’s something I want to do and I will probably draw/paint one for the omnibus that will come out after the first three books of the series. Not going to worry about it just yet though!

And if you’re wondering why I’ve added legends to maps in the title then you need to listen to more REM.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

The Song of Amhar

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The Song of Amhar

Five great ships from out of the night

Riding the waves to the land of light

Amhar the strong, with foresight blessed

Follows his destiny into the west

 

Considering I’m the sort of person who a) likes poetry, b) used to write songs and c) read the Lord of the Rings every year for about 15 years, its not surprising that bits of song and poetry crop up in The Path Of Swords. Obviously not too much, you don’t want to slow the narrative down too much, but there a times when adding something different really helps set the scene. This especially true when you consider the type of civilisation that the characters inhabit. Poetry, song and story are the way history is recorded, and knowledge passed on. Also one of the main characters is Mack, an aged minstrel, a wandering bard that befriends Luan and helps him along his way.

Remember that you have until Friday to get a free review copy of The Path Of Swords by clicking:

Free Review Copy

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of Swords.

 

The Fellowship Of The Bling

I’ve discovered a way of becoming a successful author, and that is simply to give your book a title that is very similar to another very successful book. You see I thought I had bought this book:

But I had actually bought this book:

Some time ago I got one of those Amazon emails offering books at sale prices and thought: “I’ve heard of that, probably worth a go.” So I paid my 99p, downloaded to my kindle where it sat for some considerable time among all the other bargain books I haven’t got around to reading.

Then my wife read The Girl On The Train and said how good it was. She then watched the film on the plane and remarked how she didn’t like it compared to the book. All this prompted me to start reading it myself. It was only when I was about a quarter of the way through and we started to talk about it that I realised I was reading a completely different book!

I have to admit at this point that this may have coloured my view slightly, in that I felt a little bit conned. Having said that I did read it to the end and actually quite enjoyed it, in a light holiday read kind of way. All in all it left me a little conflicted so I looked up the reviews on Amazon:

So you can see that although it’s not The Girl On The Train it is pretty successful, in fact it’s sold a lot of copies, although how many were bought by people who thought they were buying something else is impossible to know.

Note:Spoiler alert

If I was to review Girl On A Train it probably wouldn’t be a good one. I know I said I quite enjoyed it, but on reflection it is a load of old tosh to be honest. It starts off pretty well with our heroine, Anne, investigating the suspicious death of a girl, Elly, that she happened to sit next to on a train. Turns out that Elly has left all sorts of clues that Anne tracks down in a kind of low budget Dan Brown Angels and Demons style but set in Brixton rather than Rome. Her motivation for this is that she doesn’t believe Elly committed suicide, and she knows about such things because her (Anne’s) husband killed himself 2 years previously because he was gay (!). It soon appears that the whole thing might be related to the abduction of Elly’s 2 year old nephew also 2 years previously. The problem is that it starts out a bit far fetched and then just gets more and more unbelievable. I’m pretty good at suspending disbelief but this had me going “Oh come on!” by the end. It also had a completely unnessessary section in the middle where the story up was retold from the point of view of Elly up to the point where she died. This added nothing to the book and felt to me like the author had just stuck it in to make the book longer. Also one of the characters does one thing that is completely out of character, the act simply does not fit with the way they are portrayed. The character is question, Lewis, comes in as a nice guy, a policeman who takes Anne for rides on his motorbike and gets her heart all a flutter. He looks after his drug addicted sister and is acting as stand in parent for his tear away 9 year old niece. Then it turns out he was Anne’s gay husband’s secret lover (what!) who raped Elly (!) because Elly found out he was gay and that was his way of shutting her up.

I didn’t get that bit either.

It turns out that Elly didn’t commit suicide, she was attacked by the niece with a stun gun that she bought off the internet and that made Elly fall in front of the train, and the gay husband didn’t commit suicide either, he just had an argument with Lewis, dramatically climbed onto a bridge in a kind of ‘if you don’t love me I’ll kill myself’ moment, and then fell off by accident.

So there you go. I’m now going to write The Fellowship Of The Bling so that loads of people buy it by accident and I make a pile of cash. I’ve already got the start.

“One Ring to rule them all. One Ring to…Hey don’t gimme that one ring crap! Nobody wears just one ring! I want at least ten! And a gold chain!”

 

I need a little help!

To all you marvellous people in blogosphere, I’m asking for a little help.

It’s just over 4 weeks until The Path Of The Sword is released on Amazon (looking at 15th May) and it would be wonderful if you could do something to help get the word out.

Here’s what you can do and any of these would be a great help.

  1. Like this post.
  2. Tell people.
  3. Share this post via reblog, Twitter, Facebook etc.
  4. Go on my Twitter @someidiottalk and retweet the pinned post.
  5. Blog about it – I can arrange an interview with the author, or even one of the characters.
  6. Download a free copy by clicking here:

Free Review Copy

Read it and give me some feedback or even then review it on your blog.

The book is a fantasy novella set in alternative Dark Age where boys train as warriors and the world of the spirit is never far away. As the first in the series it introduces Luan, the hero who is taking his first steps on The Path Of The Sword.

It is a readable fantasy adventure with a hint of the celtic about it and people who have read it so far thought it was great. It’s also not very long so won’t take too long to read!

(That sounds like a great advertising slogan doesn’t it: Get my book, it’s short!)

 

Anything you can do is much appreciated.

Thanks

Martin

(PS. Yes I have changed the cover again. Just can’t stop tweaking.)