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The King Beyond the Gate The Drenai Saga 2 , David GemmellThe King Beyond The Gate is a fantasy novel by British writer David Gemmell It was published in 1985 It was the second book published by Gemmell, after Legend, published a year earlier The book is set in the same fictional world as Legend, that of the Drenai, but is not a sequel in the usual sense as the events of the two books take place around a century apart Thus the main protagonists of Legend are long since dead and play little part in The King Beyond the Gate, other than passing mentions This set a precedent for the entire Drenai series, in which very few characters appear in than one novel, the gaps between novels sometimes running to centuries, giving a epic, historical flavour to the series 2010 1389 471 9789648944631 20 The perpetually imperiled nation of the Drenai is under attack once , not by the Nadir hordes of the northern steppes, but by their own government under the tyrant Ceska Attentive readers of the awesome Legend, which dealt with the First Nadir War, are obviously gonna be confused by Gemmell s almost immediate mention of the Second Nadir War in between the first and second books Well, turns out, in the wake of the events in Legend, the Drenai formed a badass ultra elite regiment called the Dragon and they were instrumental in repelling a second Nadir invasion One of the dudes in that regiment was a Drenai Nadir half blood dude named Tenaka Khanand now he is the last of the Dragon to stand against the newly risen tyrant Ceska, who now controls the Drenai Nation with a bloody iron fist Obviously there s a surplus of ass to get kicked, and Tenaka seems to be the only one to do it Overall this story is a little bigger than the siege of Dros Delnoch from the first book but it s hardly sweeping thank the Old Gods and the NewI just finished Christian Cameron s The Fell Sword and it was a bit of a strain although a sublime one, and I will hopefully get to reviewing it soon In the meantime, start reading those books motherfuckers Gemmell was not about and I don t think really cared about extensive and detailed complex worldbuilding or unique, complex plots but the stories have been consistently and thoroughly fun so far The pretty low magic content comes from the humorously Force like Source which even has its own Jedi type superpowered knights called the Thirty with their own dark, chaotic counterparts to combat and stuff like that There s also some dark machine made man beast monstrous hybrids named Joiningsbut that s about it The basic idea is good shit It skips the detailed politicking, traveling and worldbuilding and magic systems of the usual fantasy and just goes right to the moments where nations are just gonna fucking duke it out, with guaranteed constant badassery and well crafted set pieces It s not deep stuff by any means, it s just good It s like restaurants You probably try new places, but sometimes you just wanna go a place where you know what you re gonna get and that it s gonna be good shit.Gemmell s pretty good with charactersI mean, you re not gonna find a startlingly realistic and deep human being in these pages but the man did come up with Druss the fucking Legend, so you have to give him some credit He s just good at coming up with tortured yet heroic badasses, and there s a ton in this book Tenaka Khan, unerringly deadly swordsman and outcast from two warring nations Ananais the Golden, a once handsome leader of men who was horribly disfigured and still maintains minimum level Gemmell badassery content by wearing a creepy mask Decado the Ice Killer, an unstoppable force of death who has given up the sword in exchange for peaceful living with the Thirty and Rayvan, the brave rebel general and leader of imperiled refugees who worries deeply for her soldier sons They have passionate yet unrealistic doomed love stories, angst over skeletons in their closets and hero it the fuck up with abandon, slaying hordes of enemies in desperate battles every chance they get One or two might buy the farm over the course of the story, but you know it s gonna be in an utterly badass and heroic way, so it s all good It s not like some dark gonna swallow a bottle of pills because I just finished view spoiler A Storm of Swords hide spoiler I think the blurb on my edition s cover gave the best description of the book, The greatest army of the Drenai was dead to a man and that man sought revenge There is almost nothing to say The Drenai nation is under the rule of a tyrant who can create a mutants werewolves werebears, etc to support his oppression of people A former general of Drenai army choose not to participate in the war that led to the tyrant s rise to power Now that his army is gone, and the terror stalks the land unopposed the general has really nothing to lose, but he is only one man.I cannot help but to compare this book to the first one in the series, Legend The plot resembles the one of the first book, as well as characters I could actually find which characters from the second book correspond to the ones of the first book, and vice versa Having said that, the characters from this book are much developed and interesting On the other hand, Druss the Legend alone carried the first book and there was nobody equal to him in this one I was sure the book is worth 3 stars up until the end, but it was so powerful and unexpected that I did not hesitate to raise it This is in sharp contrast to forced happy end of the Legend In this instance it was clear that the quality of writing improved a lot. There s a reason why the David Gemmell awards are called, the David Gemell awards All fantasy fans need to read these books Granted it s only the second one I ve read but they re already amongst my favourites Gemmell writes about Valour, Pride and Friendship really well I love that this story is epic in nature, but not in page number Modern day authors might have stretched this one book out to a trilogy and milked it for everything Absolutely amazing, already added the whole series to my shopping cart onare you reading it yet 4.5. Two generations after Druss the Legend, an evil ruler Ceska has risen to power Three former protectors of the realm Tenaka Khan, Decado and Ananais are reunited in their determination to bring him down, gathering allies as they face overwhelming odds and dark forces Strong women leaders and lovers Courage, bravery, righteousness, and sacrifice, the hallmarks of epic fantasy, abound here Gory.My favorite quote Love was what mattered Love of one for one The touching of hands, the touching of hearts The warmth of belonging, the joy of sharing There would always be tyrants Man seemed incapable of existing without them For without tyrants there would be no heroes, And man could not live without heroes. 4.5 5. *Book ☜ The King Beyond the Gate ↠ Once The Mighty Fortress Had Stood Strong, Defended By The Mightiest Of All Drenai Heroes, Druss, The Legend But Now A Tyrannical, Mad Emperor Had Seized Control Of The Fortress, And His Twisted Will Was Carried Throughout The Land By The Joinings Abominations That Were Half Man, Half Beast Tenaka Khan Was A Half Breed Himself, Hated By The Drenai For His Nadir Blood And Despised By The Nadir For His Drenai Ancestry But He Alone Had A Plan To Destroy The Emperor The Last Heroes Of The Drenai Joined With Him In A Desperate Gamble To Bring Down The Emperor Even At The Cost Of Their Own Destruction I expected this to fill in the holes in Druss saga, but it was set after his time He was a legendary hero to aspire to It was a good SS tale I liked it at least as much as the first book There were a lot of conflicted characters, none perfectly good or bad No unicorns farting rainbows some things just don t work out good characters die.This isn t a deep complex series, though That is not a criticism, just an observation Gemmell just shows us the bit of the world we need, although there are hints of a larger world there is certainly room for other books While he has obviously devised a rich world, his prose is lean the story is straight forward I appreciated that.The magic isn t too obtrusive, although any deus ex machina is neatly attributed to The Source, a sort of Fate Thankfully, that s used sparingly pretty well I only really questioned it once then had to chuckle when I realized just how clever he d been Well played I have a few of these books, but think that s enough for now I m not sure when I got them nor why they wound up in my regular shelves instead of my TBR shelf That s disturbing My book memory is slipping Anyway, I look forward to reading in this series. I was super nervous when I started The King Beyond The Gate You see, I read this book 10 years ago and the hero, Tenaka Khan was my first experience of a larger than life warrior I absolutely loved him So I had all these expectations and I started it with the worry, Would this book be as amazing as it d been the first time When I read it the first time, I was much younger and I worried that my older self wouldn t be as impressed by Tenaka Khan as my younger self had been I didn t want a bitter disillusionment.TKBTG follows the life of Tenaka Khan, born half Drenai, half Nadir, shunned by both It was hard for him to live on the brink of two worlds, to be hated by both because of his mixed blood I felt such empathy for Tenaka Khan In spite of his mixed blood though, I was glad that he had friends who respected him and a mother who loved him.Then he met Renya Drenai and a Joining to boot She was spectacular, especially one particular scene where she was the one who had to save him, the fearless warrior Tenaka KhanWhere Tenaka Khan walked, there would be Renya He was unaware of it as yet But he would learnLol I kept thinking, you go, girl She fell for him and then she wanted to change him That didn t sit well with me, maybe because I did the same Throughout reading the story, I started to be a bit disappointed in Tenaka Khan Yes, I love his name lol You see, he wasn t the flawless hero I d imagined him to be all those years ago In typical David Gemmell fashion, he was an anti hero, with his flaws and issues, like Renya found out I read his story through rose colored glasses ten years ago and now I was seeing the reality and boy, was it a revelation in disbelief But he was still a decent man and he changed the fate of the Nadir by uniting all the tribes as one nation I couldn t expect him to be both Drenai and the Great Khan of the Nadir His destiny was to rule the Nadir and they needed him.Once I accepted that, I enjoyed the story a lot Add in the dry wit there were scenes which were so funny at times which I didn t expect that I laughed out loud and the plot was pretty good I don t know why Tenaka Khan got such a grip on my heart but he still had it.Posted on Blog