Reading Legend by David Gemmell is like reading an expanded version of Tolkien’s Battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers. As in Helm’s Deep, the defenders at Dros Delnoch stand little hope against an implacable enemy. Hordes of Nadir, tribesman from the North united under a power conqueror, stand at the doorstep of Dros Delnoch. A small force stands against them, aided by the Legendary Druss and a few other notable heroes.
I love stories of hero-filled battles. Gemmell’s Troy series, R.A. Salvatore’s Drizzt books come to mind immediately. However, this may be the first book I’ve read where the entire book centers around a single siege. The action is fast-paced and is gripping from the start to the end. I had high hopes that it would end differently from the standard fantasy story, but alas, deus ex machina arrived to save the day. A few instances stand out as remarkable. The arrival of a band of legendary ghosts, an uprising from a nephew, and the return of a loved one worked to lessen the epic nature of the story.
In the end, it is a fun read. I can’t say anything bad about it, other than I wished it had ended in the forlorn manner in which it purported to, rather than the uplifting, all’s well that ends well way in which it did. Don’t get me wrong. I love a happy ending. But sometimes it’s alright to not get bailed out in the end. I think I’ll get to the other books in the Drenai saga, because I’m a sucker for a good fantasy book.
3 stars – see the book rating explanation here
Adjusted Rating: 3 stars