David Gemmell's "Drenai" Novels
February 17, 2012 | ~2 mins read time.

After reading Reamde, I felt the need to re-read Legend, the First Chronicles of Druss the Legend, and the Waylander series. I'll probably dive into The Swords of Night and Day and White Wolf as well, because I adore the Skilgannon. There wasn't anything that really connects Neal Stephenson's writing to David Gemmell's. I just simply had an urge to revisit stories that continue to entertain after many years. Maybe I'll finally get around to reading the Rigante novels, but I've waited this long already.

I told myself I wanted something lighter to read after getting through Reamde, but the fact of the matter is that while Stephenson's work was really long, Gemmell's characters seem to have more depth. That's probably because I've read Gemmell's stories repeatedly. Every year or two, I find myself wanting to revisit Druss, Sieben, Waylander, and Skilgannon in their worlds, and I usually do so when I'm waiting for a new book to come out (in this case, Kim Harrison's latest, A Perfect Blood). I don't want to start something new that might take forever to finish. I wasn't worried that I'd not have Reamde read in time for the new release because I can get through one of his thousand page epics in a matter of a few days, but who knows what might happen if I pick up a new book that isn't as interesting as it should be or is difficult to read for whatever reason.

So, Gemmell it is. If you are reading this now and you've never heard of David Gemmell, a quick Internet search brings up a few interesting things. He was born in the late 40s, and he died in 2006. Thankfully, he didn't leave his readers hanging in the middle of a plot line. I find myself a little bit sad sometimes when I remember that there will be no more lovely stories coming forth from Gemmell. His style is fantasy with an alternate history bent. His characters have depth, and so does the world he's created. I would recommend starting with Legend, Waylander, or The Swords of Night and Day if you give his books a go. As for me, I'm going to go have lunch and fall back into Waylander- he's about to have his first full scale battle of the book and while I've read it at least 30 times before, I always learn something new.