The Swords of Night and Day
A thousand years after they fell in battle, two heroes—Druss and Skilgannon—are revered throughout the war-torn lands of the Drenai. Yet men and women live in abject fear of the Joinings, abominable meldings of man and beast, and of their mistress, the dark sorceress known as the Eternal. None can stave off these ruthless foes.
But what if the soul of one such hero could be called back from the void, his bones housed again in flesh? An ancient prophecy foretold that Skilgannon would return in his people’s darkest hour. To most, this is a foolish hope. But not so to Landis Kan. For years, as the power of the Eternal grew, Kan searched for the tomb of Skilgannon the Damned. And at last, he found it, gathering up the bones and performing the mystic ritual.
But the reborn hero is an enigma: a young man whose warrior skills are blunted and whose memories are fragmented. This Skilgannon is a man out of time, marooned in a world as strange to him as a dream, remote from all he knew and loved.
Or nearly all. Before bringing Skilgannon back, Landis Kan experimented upon other bone fragments found in the hero’s tomb. That ritual resulted in a surly giant who possessed astounding strength, but no memories. To Kan, he was a dangerous failure. But to Skilgannon, this giant represented their last hope. For as the ageless evil of the Eternal threatens to drown the Drenai lands in blood, two legendary heroes will once again lead the way to freedom.
In this engrossing science fantasy, the latest in British author Gemmell's long-running Drenai series (White Wolf, etc.), 1,000 years have passed since the age of the heroic sword fighter, Skilgannon. A priestly class has reawakened ancient technology that allows them to prolong life indefinitely, create lycanthropic man-beast combinations called Jiamads and fashion magical weapons such as the two legendary blades Skilgannon once carried, the Swords of Night and Day. The greatest of the priests, Landis Khan, brings Skilgannon back to life in order to fight against the arrayed armies of another of Landis's resurrections, the empress Eternalâ"aka Queen Jianna, Skilgannon's former lover and nemesis. Druss the Legend, the ax-fighter friend of Skilgannon from the past, has also been brought back in body. Skilgannon and Harad, the clone of Druss, join forces with Askari, a clone of Jianna, and various temporal locals, in a fight against the Eternal's Mongol-like hordes of were-creatures and ravaging soldiers. Though the story brims with standard swordplay and unremarkable battle sequences, the puzzling out of what a possessed sword might actually be (a nanotech-based artificial intelligence?), or how resurrection works (bio-engineered cloning?) provides delightful diversion and should make this one popular with idea-starved fantasy readers.Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. In the latest of the prolific Gemmell's tales of the Drenai--a direct sequel to White Wolf (2002)--the half-animal, half-human creations known as the Joinings stalk the land, guided by their conquest-mad sorceress mistress, the Eternal, and they and their leader are again well developed and more than adequately terrifying. Various ancient champions also return for this volume, including Druss, who has a new comrade in arms, Skilgannon the Damned, who has been dead for a thousand years. What with the magical swords these two Barbarossa-like figures wield, the already fast and furious action get ratcheted up to virtually nonstop for more than two-thirds of the book. With that much action, Gemmell is guaranteed to hold readers, despite his not-always-top-flight world building and sometimes less-than-lucid prose. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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- Corgi (March 14, 2005)
- Literature & Fiction
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