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Waylander [Paperback]

David Gemmell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 31 2012 Drenai (Book 3)
The Drenai King is dead - murdered by a ruthless assassin. Enemy troops swarm into Drenai lands. Their orders are simple - kill every man, woman and child.

But there is hope.

Stalked by men who act like beasts and beasts that walk like men, the warrior Waylander must journey into the shadow-haunted lands of the Nadir to find the legendary Armour of Bronze. With this he can turn the tide. But can he be trusted? For he is Waylander the Slayer.
The traitor who killed the King...

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Review

David Gemmell manages to take a familiar, generic scenario and infuse it with meaning...it's a thoughtful genre fantasy, a bit chewier than most, and quite, quite tasty—LOCUS

Several rungs above the good right into the fabulous—Anne McCaffrey

Has pace, conviction and gritty resolute vitality...The result is a book that will be enjoyed by Tolkien fans—TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

From the Publisher

David Gemmell is so committed to his work that he's offered to leap naked out of an airplane if it would appeal to readers. We haven't taken him up on the offer. However, David has also acknowledged that three of his major influences were Louis Lamour, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Stan Lee. Tolkien wrote back, Lamour passed away before David had any opportunity to contact him, and Stan Lee lived thousands of miles away from David's British home. One out of three wasn't bad, but it could be improved upon.

We were at the San Diego ComicCon, rustling up new readers, and David had just finished a two-hour continuous signing. A friend of mine spotted a familiar face, so I excused myself and darted away, returning a few moments later to say, "David Gemmell, I'd like you to meet Stan Lee." A tall, ruddy, and normally poised individual, David was struck speechless. Here was the man who, through his Marvel Comics stories, had reinvented the relationship between heroes and villains, forever blurring the barriers between good and evil. Before long the two fantasists were chatting away happily. Stan's wife, Joan, being British, was especially gracious to the London-born Gemmell. And Stan quickly demanded an autographed copy of LEGEND.

David's a dynamic storyteller. His lands live and breathe. His heroes are mighty swordsmen, ax-wielders, and post-apocalyptic adventurers. In their prime they were the best in the business, but in David's tales, they've often passed their prime, so all they really want is peace and quiet. But life (and the author) aren't that kind, and these heroes are forced out of retirement, forced to face bloody hordes of the undead, armies from Hell. Worse, his heroes are generally saddled with young, green heroes. (Nothing drives you crazy more than a cocky kid.) But they overcome, and the cocky kids become heroes, too. This is great reading.
                                                                        --Steve Saffel, Senior Editor --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars First Redemption Aug. 22 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Note: There are a few spoilers.
I once read an interview from Mr. Gemmell stating that this was his first attempt at writing a redemption story. As such, there are some areas that are, well, less than his normal stellar writing. Then again, I consider him leagues ahead of most writers, so he gets 4 stars.
The basic plot is that the Drenai are being ethnically cleansed from the face of the earth. Waylander, the protagonist, helped start the war by assassinating the king of the Drenai. As a means of atoning, he is commissioned by the father of the dead king to find the Armor of Bronze, which will rally the Drenai against the invaders, win the war, and save their nation. Along the way, he falls in love, indirectly leads to the creation of the Temple of the Thirty, and helps redeem several other characters who, like him, operated on the edge of society.
Sounds trite, no? Well, yes, actually, it does. The key to Mr. Gemmell's writing is that he's very good at characterization. Everything seems natural, nothing is forced. He's always a joy to read. The consequences of his characters' acts sometimes ring down for generations...in one moment, a single act leads directly to the creation of one of the world's greatest forces for good. Likewise, Waylander still faces repercussions from his slaughter of the Drenai king 50 years later, in Hero in the Shadows.
Go. Read him.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first of many March 21 2000
By Adrian
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I first read Waylander when i was 13. I'd never heard of David Gemmell and had no real interest in books either. The only reason i was in the library was to get away from the teasing i received in the schoolyard. Had it not been for those people teasing me i still probably wouldn't have heard of David Gemmell to this day. I don't quite remember what attravted me to Waylander, maybe the nice cover or the blurb, all i know is that every lunch time for the next 2 months i was in that library reading Waylander. Althought there were things that i didn't understand in it i was nonetheless enthralled by the story and i still am today. I've graduated from high school and am now in my second year at university and Waylander is still my favorite book to read. To a 13 year old boy it was an escape from reality to a world of adventure and heros, to the 18 year old who reads it on average 3 times a year it has become a close friend who takes me on a journey down a path that i have often walked but never tired of. Thankyou David Gemmell for introducing me to Waylander and his family. Without them my life would be infinitely different and much less bareable.
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3.0 out of 5 stars David Gemmel's Waylander Jan. 10 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The only complaint I would have about this book was that it was not long enough. Gemmel seems to develop the plot and characters at lightening speed, sometimes at the cost of depth. In fact, some of the more well-developed characters in the book were secondary to the plot (for example, Jonat, Kai, and several others). The ending was very disconcerting since I expected about 150 pages more and suddenly, it was over, with a Dragnet-style epilogue.
All that being said, David Gemmel brings back to the fantasy genre something it has sorely missed. In countless other throw-away "epics," authors fling shallow characters and weak plots at us as if we were playing some kind of printed video game. In Waylander, we are treated to characters with enough personality to actually form opinions on them. We grow to like and dislike them on their own merits, rather than through some contrived description.
I especially liked Gemmel's development of the theosophy of Drenai. The conflict between good and evil with some strongly Gnostic flavoring is something everyone can appreciate. The deeds of magic were kept at a dull roar with every one of them requiring little or no suspension of disbelief.
I haven't read any of the other Drenai books, but I intend to based on the strength of Waylander.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding fantasy writing

Jan. 2 1997

By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Among the thousands of fantasy/sci-fi novels that have entered my brain via my eyes over the years, "Waylander" shines above the crowd. Author David Gemmell exhibits true epic-saga-creation talent, and a genuine skill in telling an entertaining and gripping tale.

In search myself of creative inspiration as a screenwriter, I pulled several old favorites from my shelves. It must have been the hand of fate (which looked suspiciously similar to my own manipulative member) that added "Waylander" to the stack. A sufficient interval had passed since my last reading for the force of this excellent work to once again make an impact.

I remember clearly the first time I had the good fortune to experience this particular story, because I immediately followed up by journeying to several bookshops seeking other Gemmell novels. Alas, at that time, I quested in vain.

Since then the Internet has brought mankind out of the dark ages of information (hallelujah!) Thus I came here to Amazon, where fortune smiled and my search rewarded by the discovery of a large number of other Gemmell works.

I shall look forward to returning at last to Gemmell's Realm.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of my most favorite series June 26 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
i really love the drenai saga, it's not like books that i've read before. It seems so real life at times that i can never put any of the books down. But the one thing that is on my mind is what book starts the series? I've read it beginning with "Legend", "The King Beyond the Gate", "The Quest for Lost Heroes", "Waylander", "In the Realm of the Wolf", "Druss the Legend", and "The Legend of Deathwalker". But it seems that after reading all of these that "Waylander" and "In the Realm of the Wolf" should come before "Legend" and all the others. If anyone could offer any help that'll be greatly appreciated, but other then that, i really have found that these books are just great reads. -Ray
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best!
This novel was teriffic. David Gemmell could stand a chance to win fantasy's best writer award! Keeping in his tradition of heroic charicters and dark deeds this book kept me on... Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2004 by Phillip
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Reading this book is like watching a brilliant movie; you don't have to concentrate at all reading it. Read more
Published on Nov. 5 2001 by Andreas Skylstad
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, utterly amazing
Waylander is the most unlikeable main character. He has little to no redeeming characteristics, yet he becomes the hope of a nation. He was the exectutioner, then the saint. Read more
Published on Oct. 4 2001 by Jarrett Bray
4.0 out of 5 stars Very close to 5 stars
If you like the other Drenai books then you will love Waylander! This story is set before "Legend", and can either be read before or after. Read more
Published on Feb. 9 2001 by Paul Greatrix
5.0 out of 5 stars Waylander
All of Waylander's instincts had screamed at him to spurn the contract from Kaem the Cruel, the killer of nations. But he had ignored them. He had made his kill. Read more
Published on Jan. 12 2001 by Michael
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books i have ever read.
This book has it all. Swords, sorcery, war, religion, who could ask for anything more. Gemmell ties it all together as only he can do, if you buy this book, prepare to lose some... Read more
Published on Nov. 29 2000 by Sam Nirva
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
David Gemmell must live in a fantasy world to be able to create storys as satisfyingly readable as this the waylander is a dark brooding man with astonishing skills yet he is also... Read more
Published on Jan. 31 2000 by Daniel Farah
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clearly cut characters
This book is marvelous. I read it from the first edition it was published in. I still re-read it every now and then. I couldn't believe I actually missed its sequel. Read more
Published on Nov. 23 1999 by Faebinder
4.0 out of 5 stars A tale of a trator assasin in a land torn apart by war.
Anyone who has a love of gritty no nonsense heroic fantasy will love this Drenai classic.Gemmell dispenses with the dragons and magicians and tells a great tale of of a man you... Read more
Published on March 13 1999
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