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Ironhand's Daughter Paperback – Oct 19 1995

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (Oct. 19 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857238516
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857238518
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.6 x 17.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #441,642 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


David Gemmell is several rungs above the good - right into the fabulous—Anne McCaffrey

From the Back Cover

“[Gemmell] does high adventure as it ought to be done."
–GREG KEYES, author of The Charnel Prince

“For anyone who appreciates superior heroic fantasy, David Gemmell’s offerings are mandatory.”
Time Out London

“Gemmell’s great reading; the action never lets up.”

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
A lady of ice and steel... Aug. 3 2006
By Mason Sorgdrager - Published on
I consider this book special within the library of David Gemmell novels. One thing (rather obviously) that makes it special is the fact that the main character is a woman. This is not to say that David Gemmell does not have strong, female characters in his other novels. He does. And plenty of them. However, Sigarni IS Ironhand's Daughter, she is not just a character that other heroes meet as part of their travels.

Sigarni, like most great Gemmell characters, is a flawed character. Initially, she can appear arrogant and rather uncaring. It is hard to develop any sympathy for her (that comes later). Strangley, some of the male characters about her are more easy to sympathise with, particularly her brave, loyal dwarf friend.

It is not until something life-changing and horrific happens that one is completely swept into Sigarni's world. These early pages of the novel remind me a lot of the first third of the movie Braveheart, not only because the people are highlanders, but also the arrogance of the overlords and the apparently insurmountable odds stacked agaisnt our champion. But it does not end there, that is only the beginning. Sigarni also has to battle the prejudices of her own people, and the darkness in her own heart in order to achieve the destiny she finds herself thrust towards.

There are some usual Gemmell plot tools in the book, including gates to other worlds, dimensional time travel, near-immortal wise-men, demon conjuring evil sorcerors, etc., but none of these are the main focus of the book and they only add to the complexity and enjoyability of the main storyline.

I don't want to ruin the book for anyone else, so I will leave my descriptions there.

Read this especially if the female characters in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time novels really, really irritate you. This will refresh you and give you an appreciation of truly strong, well-rounded female fantasy characters.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
other reviewers must be men July 31 2012
By asia toy - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I found the hawk queen novels to be empowering. It can be a little hard to follow but that's not the story, its the layout. I couldn't put this book down. Gemmell uses portals in almost all his books, I honestly don't think this book is different from his others. I cried, laughed, and fell in love with these characters. In the end I felt I belonged to the clans in the book!!!
A slice of boredom among mostly stellar works from a great author. Oct. 17 2014
By Scott Kaelen - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
The first Hawk Queen novel is a by-the-numbers Gemmell novel, nowhere near on par with his Drenai, Waylander or Sipstrassi novels - the three Gemmell series I consider the best.

Ironhand's Daughter suffered in several areas.

The main character, Sigarni, remained unlikeable throughout. To begin with, practically all men were in love with her (the dwarf, the forester, the black man, the man from another clan, the simple villager, even the old drunkard was a letch). She had sex with three of those men, and treated all with a cool indifference.

Later in the story something happens to Sigarni which turns her into an emotionally cold person bent on vengeance. Admittedly what happened was tough, but if I'm honest it was her immediate retaliation after this event that for me was the best part of the novel.

From there on it's all about creating tactics to fight off the Outlanders, leading ultimately to a battle. Throughout this huge chunk of the novel Sigarni gradually becomes more accepting of male company again, and unites the Highlanders, commanding them to kneel to her and swear their allegiance.

The other thing that bogged the story down drastically was the heavy-handed prophecying throughout. From the very beginning we know Sigarni is Ironhand's daughter, of course. But we also know she will lead the clans against the invaders. There are several seer-type characters, and because of these there are no surprises, no twists. Even the old drunkard foresees his coming death at the hands of a few soldiers, so when it comes at the end of the novel no one's really bothered. Almost every major event in the novel is not just foreshadowed, not just hinted at, but spelled out for us way in advance.

Using too much 'chosen one' cliche and peppering a story with heavy-handed foreshadowing never does any good. It may have been acceptable in the mid-20th century, but for a novel released in 1995 by arguably one of the best fantasy authors of the time, it didn't work. These tropes are the marks of unimaginative authors, and David Gemmell has certainly showed himself to be much more than that in his earlier and later works.

I finished Ironhand's Daughter feeling unsatisfied, but I still finished it. Definitely one of Gemmell's weaker novels, and I'm in no rush to continue on to The Hawk Eternal, the second and final book in the series.
review by Lois B Jan. 29 2014
By lois baskerville - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This man is an excellent writer. I saw everything he said.
It was as though I was there with the characters.
Against all odds April 30 2013
By Wizard - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I have never read a bad Gemmell story. Some are better than others, this one was good although the plot was a bit convoluted at times. Against sometimes insurmountable odds the main character continued to prevail. Perhaps she was lucky. But then I have heard fortune favors the brave and heck, was she brave!

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