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White Wolf [Paperback]

David Gemmell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Feb. 25 2004
White Wolf marks a return to the bestselling Drenai series and David Gemmell’s most popular hero of all, Druss the Legend.

Skilgannon the Damned had vanished from the pages of history. No-one knew where he had gone, following the terrible triumph at Perapolis, and the assasins sent by the Witch Queen could find no trace of his passing. Three years later, a murderous mob gathers outside a monastery, faced by a single, unarmed priest. In a few terrifying seconds their world is changed for ever, and word spreads across the lands of the East -- Skilgannon is back.

Now he must travel across a perilous, demon-haunted realm seeking a mysterious temple and the ageless goddess who rules it. With assassins on his trail and an army of murderous foes ahead, the Damned sets off on a quest to bring the dead to life. But he does not travel alone. The man beside him is Druss the Legend.

In this tale of love, betrayal and treachery, in a world torn by war, White Wolf examines the nature of heroism and friendship and the narrow lines dividing good and evil.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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White Wolf + The Swords of Night and Day + The First Chronicles of Druss The Legend
Price For All Three: CDN$ 32.40

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From Amazon

David Gemmell is Britain's most popular writer of hard-edged heroic fantasy. White Wolf opens a new subseries, "The Damned", set in the world of his Drenai saga and featuring the invincible axeman Druss the Legend--now well into middle age. But the central character is Skilgannon the Damned, deadly wielder of a very special pair of swords and a former general whose nickname comes from a war atrocity that he does not deny. His attempt to make a new life as a monk ends abruptly when civil unrest threatens the monastery and Skilgannon's old fighting skills come into play with appalling effectiveness. In flashbacks to decades earlier, a young Skilgannon painfully and plausibly learns the warrior's art, until his boyhood finishes in a blaze of horror. He finds true love, but his lady is also in love with power and gives the orders for a city-wide bloodbath that makes him forever The Damned. Now known as the Witch-Queen, she won't forgive him for leaving her...

Other stories intertwine with Skilgannon's. There's a young lad who wants to be a swordsman; a fey girl haunted by voices; twin brother fighters, one with a personality ravaged by brain cancer; and Druss the Legend, still indomitable but beginning to worry about his heart. Their paths entwine in a land full of disorder, hostile troops, desperate refugees, and escaped arena beasts (sorcerous hybrids of man and animal). Gemmell excels at combat scenes, with a pace, timing and gripping conviction rare in the genre. He makes it clear, with grim compassion, that opponents aren't just straw men to be knocked over. Skilgannon is forced to kill people he admires, or who admire him; even legitimate self-defence turns sour when we hear the version told by the dead man's fiancée. At the climax, Skilgannon, Druss and their surviving companions stage an audacious assault on a particularly obnoxious villain's well-defended fortress. Much bloodshed follows, with satisfactory settlement of many debts and a final gleam of hope for the future. More tales of Skilgannon will surely follow. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This new heroic fantasy in Gemmell's engrossing Drenai series takes place immediately before his first published novel, Legend (1984), but stands well on its own. Skilgannon, swordmaster and former general of Queen Jianna's army, walked away from the queen's service after his forces sacked a city with such savagery that his name is ever after followed by "the Damned." He's spent three trying years submitting to monastic discipline in hopes of understanding the places of man and evil in the world. His dreams are disturbed by a white wolf; his thoughts by memories of his dead wife and hopeless love for Queen Jianna. Now the surrounding town is torn by civil unrest and the monks debate fleeing: Skilgannon might have stayed with them but for the price on his head and the futility of his disguise as Brother Lantern. The abbot sends him to the capital, Mellicane, escorting an unworldly monk. In the woods outside town, they pick up the boy Rabalyn, whose troubles with a town bully ended with the torching of his aunt's house and the killing of the aunt and the bully; his ne'er-do-well parents are said to be in the capital. Thus begins a journey that will continue beyond Mellicane and draw in the author's most famous character, Druss the axeman. The plot seamlessly supports the predictable violence. Magic plays little part in everyday life, but when it affects the deeds of rulers and leaders, Gemmell describes it in a concrete, nuts-and-bolts way in welcome contrast to much airy-fairy fantasy.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book! Jan. 26 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I've read from cover to covre pretty fast. You need a little time to actually get into the story and the settings. But once you're sucked in, it gets to you!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "Must Read!" May 7 2004
By SG1 fan
Gemmel is in my opinion the best author of heroic fiction living or dead period. His best character is Druss the Legend. White Wolf has plenty of Druss and introduces a new heroic figure in the form of Skilgannon. Together they are an unbeatable team. If you are a David Gemmel fan this book is a must read. If you have never read Gemmel White Wolf is a great place to start. White Wolf has earned a special place on my bookshelf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  47 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wolf Among Sheep May 11 2003
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
White Wolf is the tenth novel in the Drenai Tales series. It features Druss the Legend at a later point in his life, five years after the death of his wife Rowena and ten years before Dos Delnoch, in a quest tale involving his old friend Orastes and his daughter as well as another warrior seeking relief from his guilt and sorrow.
In the chaos following the death of the Emperor Gorben at Skeln Pass, civil war racked Ventria and spread to Tantria. The Tantrian king has attacked Datia and Shakusan Ironmask, leader of the king's guardsmen, has sent Arbeiters out among the people to stir up anger against agents of the enemy, foreigners and the churchmen.
In this novel, Skilgannon the Damned has left the Witch Queen of Naashan, his lover, and is living as Brother Lantern in a community of monks. The Arbeiters have led the townsfolk in torturing and hanging foreigners and burning down their houses. Now they are arousing the people against the churchmen. A crowd has badly beat old Brother Layban and Brothers Lantern and Braygan have come to obtain healing herbs and potions from the Apothecary. There an Arbeiter strikes Brother Braygan and attacks Brother Lantern and thereby seriously hurts himself.
Brother Lantern can see that the monks are very much at risk of attack by the townsfolk, but the Elder Brother will not flee, for the monks' duty is to the flock even if it costs their lives. Brother Lantern stands against the mob and cannot refrain from resisting after the Elder Brother is attacked and wounded. After a few assailants are killed or maimed, the townsfolk cease their assault of the monastery. Brother Lantern now knows that he cannot remain a monk, for he is not willing to die for "scum". The Elder Brother returns the Swords of Night and Day to him and asks only that Skilgannon escort Brother Braygan to Mellicane to take his vows from the Elders of the church.
On the way to Millicane, Skilgannon and Braygan find the boy Rabalyn, wounded and delirious, fleeing from murder accusations by a town councillor, and take him with them. Later, they encounter refugees running from the armies attacking Tantria and witness a calvary patrol attacking women and children among these refugees. Before Skilgannon can intervene, Druss kills all but one of the patrol and sends the survivor away with a warning. After an attack on the refugees by Joinings, great beasts created by magically combining man with animal, Druss and his friend, Garianne, join Skilgannon's company to escort the refugees to Mellicane.
Druss has been searching for Orastes and his daughter, Elanin. In Mellicane, he learns from his friend, Diagoras, a Drenai warrior, that Orastes' servant was found in the dungeons, but none know where Orastes has gone. He discovers, however, that Elanin has been taken by her mother with Shakusan Ironmask to a ruined fortress.
This novel is about love and loyalty, evil and remorse, and, above all, revenge. The plot is simple, but the characters are complex. It contains violence, yet even more compassion, and it involves lovers, but is not romantic. The author has produced another gripping tale that reflects the contradictions and mysteries of human nature.
Highly recommended for Gemmell fans and anyone else who enjoys tales of high tragedy and great loves.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Exciting Gemmell Novel April 14 2003
By Scott Masterton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
David Gemmell's new novel 'White Wolf' is a great read. Although marketed as a Druss novel, Druss is a secondary character in this morality play. Skilgannon is the real star of this novel; a deadly young warrior with a twisted past. As in all of the David Gemmell novels, Skilgannon is a damaged and in many ways morally corrupt individual reminiscent of the early Clint Eastwood, 'Man with No Name' characters.
As is all of Gemmell's work, the writing is sharp and the dialogue clean and clear. Gemmell's real gift however, lies in his utterly human, 3-dimensional characters. Interestingly, the author explains (via his characters dialogue) how a warrior must think in black and white terms; wrong and a right; good and evil. Gemmell's characters are none of those things. They are all wonderfully filled with shades of gray, just like all of us.
'White Wolf' and all of it's new characters are a wonderful addition to the continuing Drenai saga. I for one would like to see more of Skilgannon. Although complete in and of itself, this novel begs to be followed with more stories of Skilgannon.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW.... May 30 2005
By book jock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Honestly the best book I have read in the last four months.. Thats coming from and avg. of 6 books a month. Kudos to David Gemmell with this stuning novel of a warrior with a trubled past who has to face his undecided future and has to attempt the impossible to try to releive himself of some of his sins by bringing back one of the many who have suffered by his mear existence. The writing is fantastic with David Gemmell's fluid and visual battle writing skills and exiting turns at every chapter. Just a wonderful book......
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars When you want action, mayhem, and great characters, pick up Gemmell Feb. 16 2006
By Catfish - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read a lot in my job - mostly technical stuff, but it requires me to think hard and dig deeply. I write a lot, too. So when it is time to relax with a book, I don't feel particularly called upon to work hard. I typically don't select so-called Great Literature. I know, I know...I am sure there are people out there that can relax with Spinoza or Faulkner, but I am not one of them. I work hard during the day and darn it - I want blood and thunder! Mayhem! Great characters! The good guys beating the tar out of the bad guys! Gemmell delivers all of this and more in almost all of his books. I smile when I see a new Gemmell...because I know that his plots are good with intriguing twists, his characters are really wonderful, and his worlds believably drawn. This is the kind of stuff that I can really relax with. So get yourself a beverage, sit in a comfy chair, and let yourself join characters like Skilgannon, Druss, or Waylander and get ready to have a ball.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroic Fantasy ( THE BEST ) May 24 2003
By "strangwidge" - Published on Amazon.com
Every time I read a David Gemmell novel I really become an extra character , he is that good . I have read avidly every offering and still eagerly anticipate Gemmells' next . His heroes are flawed , if old craggy Druss is new to you its' time to be acquainted , his return in White Wolf is wonderful . Read this , there is no better .
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