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If any character was deserving of immortalisation on the big screen it would be Druss the Legend. David Gemmell created the character in his first novel "Legend" way back in 1984.
The book itself became a classic and it's creation was borne of passion as Gemmell wrote the central story as a metaphor some years earlier when he was diagnosed with cancer that at the time he believed was terminal.
"The Seige of Dros Delnoch" which became "Legend" was on the surface a story about the Fortress of Dros Delnoch being attacked by hordes of Nadir warriors. However, beneath this was the passion wrought from the fact that the Fortress was Gemmell's body and the Nadir represented the cancer.
Because of the passion poured into his writing it is an immensely moving and poignant story. With the success of Legend, Gemmell went on to write other excellent work but eventually I think it was inevitable that he had to come back to Druss. Two prequels therefore were created, "The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend" and "The Legend of Deathwalker"
In "The First Chronicles" Druss was a humble lumberjack in a small village, clumsy and awkward. It tells the story of how he fell in love with his wife and when she was taken from him, how he cut a swathe across the world killing everyone who stood in the way of him getting to her.
The Legend of Deathwalker which follows on from the First Chronicles is centered on Druss, the warrior and how he becomes the Legend, how he earns the title of Deathwalker with his might axe Snaga.
The story's central thread is that a young Nadir called Talisman is searching for the eyes of Alchazzar, two jewels of great magical power that he believes will lead him to the uniter of the many tribes of the Nadir and bring them together into one united and powerful force.
An army of the Gothir nation are searching for the jewels also and are not going to worry about wiping out a small band of savages that Talisman has drawn together on his way. However, Druss joins with the savages to defend as he too needs to borrow the jewels so that he can use their healing properties on a friend.
Thus, the story is told of how one man can make a difference against insurmountable odds. How one skilled axeman who refuses to give up can turn his enemies hatred into fear and respect.
The book although an excellent read is not even one of Gemmell's finest but it is nevertheless a superbly written story well worth reading. Even if you are not an avid fantasy reader, this book and it's characters tell a story not restricted to the plot but of the indomitable human spirit.
Like most of Gemmell's books it is an inspiring story that makes you want to look inside yourself and find the strength and courage to cope with some of lifes challenges. Maybe not for most of us an army of Gothir or hordes of Nadir but as Gemmell's style intended maybe the armies are just metaphors for the difficulties that have to be overcome.
Druss does reappear in some of the other Gemmell stories but the circumstances under which that happen may be spoilers for those books and if this review leads you to an author that you had not discovered yet, I would not wish to spoil a page, line or word of your enjoyment.
Unfortunately David Gemmell passed away in 2006 but left behind him a legacy of fine writing that is spell-binding and utterly inspirational. This is but one superb example of his story-telling ability.
I heartily recommend "The Legend of Deathwalker".
The Legend of Deathwalker continues the extraordinary tale of Druss among the Nadir started in Legend.