Friday, 12 July 2013

Brianna Reviews - White Wolf by David Gemmell

First Published:  2004
Publisher: CORGI BOOKS
Format: Paperback
Synopsis:  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 assassins 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.

The first thing I feel like I should say is that this is one of my favourite books and this is the 4th time I’ve read it. So I think it’s safe to say I like it. White Wolf is the first of the two books of The Damned which are also part of the Drenai series. White Wolf and its sequel can be read as a stand-alone story.

One of the things that David Gemmell does really well in this book is the characters.  They have depth to them; even the very minor characters that only appear in it for a page or two.  I feel like I know the characters and I felt that from the first time that I read it. The characters aren’t over looked for the main plot line. The story is told through the point of view of various characters mostly the main characters but there are a few points of view from minor ones which allows you to learn about the characters both internally and from an external view.
The book focuses a lot on morality: What is good and evil? What are the causes of evil? And is evil unredeemable?  Most of these questions are brought up by Skilgannon. He fully accepts the title that he was given and acknowledges that he is damned. He also doesn’t think that he can redeem himself yet he still tries to do the right things – although he will not hesitate to kill those who challenge him.  Druss the Legend on the other hand lives strictly by a moral code and dreams of retiring on his farm but these two warriors strike up a friendship. Both of these men have well established views on morality but Rabalyn being only a young boy is still trying to work out his own views. Several of the characters attempt to answer the questions throughout the book but I think that Ustarte answers this best at the end.
Unlike some fantasy novels David Gemmell doesn’t go overboard with descriptions of the world, pages and pages of description is not something I particularly like to read.

White Wolf, from the first time I read it, was my favourite book. There is so much going on and you become deeply involved with both the plot and characters. I’d definitely recommend this book to..anyone!

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