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Publisher's Summary

The Legend

Druss, Captain of the Axe: the stories of his life were told everywhere. Instead of the wealth and fame he could have claimed, he had chosen a mountain lair, high in the lonely country bordering on the clouds. There the grizzled old warrior kept company with snow leopards and awaited his old enemy, death.

The Fortress

Mighty Dros Delnoch, protected by six outer walls, the only route by which an army could pass through the mountains. It was the stronghold of the Drenai Empire. And now it was the last battleground, for all else had fallen before the Nadir hordes.

And hope rested on the skills of that one old man....

©2011 David Gemmell (P)2017 Hachette Audio

What members say

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Gennel we will miss you

Wow, how great it was to hear a book I have loved for so long. Can't recommend Gemmell books enough. Thrilled to have audible doing them at last.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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best saga ever

one of the few stories I reread every few years, and now I can listen to it when ever I want.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic

I read this book as a young teenager and could not get enough of the story of heroism of men you doubted themselves but still tried to the occasion.
When I saw that the book was out in audio I bought it with some trepidation as it had been 15 or So years since I had read this books and was scared that it would not live up to an adult version of myself, All I can say get this book the is if anything better than I remember well read and had me riveted

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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The Legend

Having read Legend almost 15 years ago and falling in love with the works of Gemmell I was a little hesitant about listening to the audio book afraid I suppose that it could not give justice to the story I have read and reread so many time. I'm glad I gave it to ago as it brought to life the story and characters and I would recommend this audiobook to anyone. If you are already a fan of the book enjoy the adventure once more, if you are new then I am jealous that you have the chance to read of Druss for the first time, to meet and I assure you befriend Rek and Virae or find yourself in one of the many characters as I did with Orrin. Anyway enough said. Buy, Listen, Enjoy

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Amazing! !!

I love this story! so happy that DG stories finally on audible !! thank you thank you thank you! ! 😊😊

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Cult follower gained!!

I loved the book in its entirety.
it had the lot for me.
the subtle hint of magic never threatens to run away with the story, and the character's develop into so much more than i thought possible.
Im only saddened that David never continued with character progression in his books..
il miss Druss and Rehk.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic Book

One of the best novels I have read!!
David Gemmell is the best fantasy author ever.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Classic!

Narrator is fantastic. Does the characters well and easy to listen to. Story is fantastic. I love Gemmel's settings with their low magic/monster settings and focus on warrior heroes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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very enjoyable, great narration

a story of battle and glory, two things I don't believe in however still somehow thoroughly enjoyed.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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wel crafted story

character development is slow but excellent. fully developed world by the end. i was left satisfied with the ending and hoping for a second book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Carol
  • 26-06-2017

Two Legends Come to Audible

In the early 90’s, back when there were still bookstores to browse in, I picked up a copy of David Gemmell’s “Lion of Macedon” because I thought it was about one of my favorite historical figures, Alexander the Great. Well, it was and it wasn’t, but it was a great book and I went on to read “Legend," Gemmell’s first published book, and then pretty much everything else he wrote (which was a lot) before his premature death in 2006.

These books introduced me to heroic fantasy and led me into Guy Gavriel Kay and later G.R.R. Martin, Michael J. Sullivan, and Brandon Sanderson. The shifting POV that is prevalent in all these authors' works, the mixture of magic grounded in a world that is often recognizable (“history shifted 25% to the fantastical,” as I believe Kay has said), the many shades of gray between black and white—all these are present in Gemmell’s books, which now, finally, are coming to Audible. Hooray!

In “Legend,” the fort of Dros Delnoch stands between the Drenai civilization and devastation. It is undermanned and soon to be under siege by the “barbarian” Nadir under their leader Ulrich. The earl in command of Dros Delnoch has sent out two desperate pleas, one to “The 30,” an order of (surprise) 30 warrior monks with both physical and supernatural gifts; and a second plea to the legendary hero “Druss of the Axe.” The tales say Druss and his axe Skaga together once turned back an invading army of thousands. The earl, who was at that battle, knows it’s somewhat but not really true, but he needs someone to restore morale and stop the desertions. Now 60 years old, Druss is called upon for one more epic stand.

Once you know Gemmell admitted to a fascination with the Battle of the Alamo, the general outline of the story of the book won’t be a surprise, although its outcome might be.

Gemmell’s books are less poetic that Guy Gavriel Kay’s and (thankfully) less dismally violent than George R.R. Martin’s. In all Gemmell’s books, the underlying metaphysical battle concerns the balance between Creation (“the Source”) and Chaos, between life and destruction. There is also the Void, a gray and dismal state of stasis (purgatory?). There is a hopeful note in most of these books that I find is lacking in today's postapocalyptic fantasy.

As a first novel, “Legend” definitely has flaws, but it sets the stage for the “Drenai tales,” one of several series and a number of stand-alones the prolific Gemmell wrote. The Drenai books (I’ve listed them below) don’t have to be read in order, and the last few are, in my opinion, not all that good--along with some great stuff, Gemmell penned several 2-star stinkers. The different books take place backward and forward in Drenai history. “Legend” is the starting point, and I think it forms a rather amazing trilogy with two of the other books, which I’ve noted (it’s just my opinion, but together the three close a circle).

Tales of the Drenai:
1. Legend (1984) – Read this one FIRST.
2. The King Beyond the Gate (1985)
3. Waylander (1986)—the "wayback" story to Legend and the SECOND in my “trilogy” (but note Audible carries the French translation, so be careful ☺)
4. Quest for Lost Heroes (1990)
5. Waylander II: In the Realm of the Wolf (1992) Ya gotta read “Waylander” first!!
6. The First Chronicles of Druss the Legend (1993)
7. The Legend of Deathwalker (1996) THIRD in my “trilogy”
8. Winter Warriors (1996)
9. Hero in the Shadows (2000)
10. White Wolf (2003) (Skilganon the Damned Book 1)
11. The Swords of Night and Day (2004) (The Damned Book 2)

As for the narration of “Legend,” Sean Barrett is a fine British voice actor who keeps the energy up and the melodrama down. I’m definitely looking forward to more Gemmell, which Audible already listed on preorder.

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

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  • Christopher
  • 25-07-2017

Epic campfire read.

A part of fantasy that has always appealed to me is how travelers would wander around sharing stories at campfires and taverns. History and legends would travel around just by word of mouth. This story made me feel like I was their sitting at the campfire eager to here the rest of a legend. Sean Barrett is an amazing narrator for this since he just sounds like some old warrior. This book has plenty of action and great supporting characters. I really do not know who to compare it to since I thought it was rather unique. This is also one of the few fantasy books where I actually rooted for two people that were in love. The feeling of many of the people just felt really genuine.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 06-07-2017

Excellent

Don't let the plot fool you. Although it does seem like the same old tale, unbreachable fortress against unstoppable army. You should take note of the fact that this book was written in the 80's, this tale can stand the test of time. Very well written, strong character development and superb narrator/actor. I will be searching for more of Gemmell's work, as this is my first book by him.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Andrew Stone
  • 10-10-2017

Epic Fantasy - A good read...

This is a good read if you love epic fantasy genre books. It is more sophisticated with character development than most books of this genre.
Legend is the first book published by the author in 1984. I will be reading more of his books.

If you like this book or this genre and are looking for other books I recommend the following books:

01) Eye of the World - Robert Jordan
02) The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
03) The Way of Kings - Brandon Sanderson
04) A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
05) The Warded Man - Peter V. Brett
06) --- Harbinger - Shae Ford
07) Wizard's First Rule - Terry Goodkind
08) The Sword of Shannara - Terry Brooks
09) Assassin's Apprentice - Robin Hobb
10) Imager - L.E. Modesitt Jr.
11) The Rithmatist - Brandon Sanderson
11) Blood Song - Anthony Ryan
13) The Final Empire - Brandon Sanderson
14) Furies of Calderon: Codex Alera
15) Thief's Magic
16) The Dragons of Dorcastle The Pillars of Reality
17) Age of Myth
18) Free the Darkness
19) The Way of Shadows

Note: the order of the books 1,2,3 is not an order for what I think is "best" although "The Eye of the World" and "The Name of the Wind" are my favorites.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Kimber
  • 08-10-2017

fantastic book! Sean Barrett perfection as always<br />

this book surprised me in so many ways! the action was almost nonstop, kept me, literally on the edge of my seat, hands over my mouth as I awaited an outcome.

the characters were well fleshed out had the depth, conflictions, individualities of real people. I came to love them and sobbed like a little child as they died.

The story is war, seige, 500 to 1 odds and the defenders of the fortress are grossly outnumbered and unprepared. Some soldiers, some outlaws, raw recruits consisting of farmers and bakers, but Druss the Legend pulls them together and trains them hard!

the old earl is dying and his warrior daughter finds love with a man she would never have expected to love, they marry and he becomes Earl of the fortress, fighting side by side with his wife, with Druss the Legend and with a 30 member group of warrior priests who can speak mind to mind with each other, can read the minds of anyone and see into the future.

the combination of all these components bring constant surprises! the end will blow your mind!

I think Sean Barrett's performance was magnificent!! his timing, his phrasing, his VOICE brings this book to life! If you buy no other book this month....buy this one! You will not be able to stop listening!

I rarely write reviews, but David Gemmell created something rare and wonderful in this first book of the Drenai series! Go spend your credits and read the whole series! Sean Barrett narrates the whole of it and he is perfection! So! stop reading this review and go buy this book! you'll be hooked!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Yonnas
  • 25-09-2017

More than I imagined!

I read the paperback when I was a teen (over 20 years ago) and I was delighted to re-experience this perfect story from a while new dimension. David Gemmel is easily my favorite author of all time...his perception of human nature along with his uncanny talent to keep the story's pace on edge is so freaking awesome!!! You are missed David Gemmel...so missed...
Now for the rest of his audio books!!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Luke
  • 06-07-2017

An epic that stands the test of time

Legend isn't the best book, it's not perfect and its not life changing at all. But it is keystone in fantasy and has all the ingredients you need to cook up a great fantasy story. Gemmell is a legend and this book is testament to his work and love for the craft. Any fantasy fan who doesn't shy away from the darker side should endeavour to tick this tale off the list. Narration is very well suited to the tone of the story and range is ample for the characters.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • joesephus.cool
  • 21-07-2018

One of my favorite listens!

I can't say enough nice things about this book. The story and the characters are developed at just the right pace, and I found myself genuinely cheering for them or sympathizing with them. Narration was equally excellent. Love finding gems like this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kevin
  • 14-06-2018

I have love this book for years.

As much as I thoroughly enjoy his later more textured, complicated characters and works, and I do, this book never fails to satisfy. I have loved it since the first time I read it 25 years ago, and am happy to return time and time again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Tap
  • 09-06-2018

Enjoyed this book

I have been reading fantasy books since childhood and don’t know how I missed this gem. Fun characters and solid story telling. Nothing new or revolutionary but solid fantasy fun.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Simon
  • 26-06-2017

Legends and Sagas!

These books have achieved near legendary status in my mind from when I read them decades ago in my formative years. They are pretty much classics of the genre albeit rather different in structure from other fantasy series that I experienced. Rather than being a single story split over a number of parts they are rather more like the Norse sagas with stories separated by generations within the same overall milieu. They reflect some of the naiveté prevalent in the genre at the time. You won't find Abercrombie's complex characters here, this is straight-up bite-yer-bum fantasy with heroic deeds and figures – in the best possible way of course.

This particular saga is centred around the legend that is Druss of the Axe, also known as, among other things “Deathwalker”. This grizzled veteran is a warrior of the hugest renown and when he is called upon to defend a mighty fortress against all the odds a fantastic siege results. His opponent, Ulric of the Nadir is very much Gemmell’s Genghis Khan figure. It’s a heady mix of military fantasy with a fair amount of magical mayhem and mysterious shamen all mixed in. While it does have a relatively simple approach it is seriously compelling stuff and I thoroughly enjoyed myself reliving it and will no doubt devour them all once more.

As for the narration, I have spent quite some time in Sean Barrett’s company, most recently with the Angus Watson books. Listening to this my respect for the man went up another notch. The Watson books see a much more contemporary approach to fantasy with the characters providing much mirth as well as excitement and intrigue. Barrett delivers that in great style but it would be very wrong to apply the same treatment to Druss Deathwalker! Barrett approaches this with a much sterner gravitas reflecting the granite of the character himself which elevates the book to another level.

At the end there is a brief afterword written by Stella Gemmell. It is fascinating to hear how the book came about and in particular how the ending was decided. If, like I was, you aren’t already aware of some of the background about the characters and the development of the story it makes for interesting listening.

So, a fine package and one I enjoyed tremendously. I regard these books as classical in terms of modern fantasy writing so maybe some of the sophistication of more recent authors is missing. Regardless, they are quite simply great stories and entertainment from one of the original masters of the craft.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

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  • Johnny
  • 26-06-2017

Legend

David Gemmell and Barrett absolutely gold...

Growing up in my teens and early 20s are used to wait anticipated the next book of David when I found out he died I was truly upset his books taught me how to love books

I didn't know him but I miss him and have always tried to find writer to replace him which is impossible

Thanks for the adventures


9 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Sam
  • 20-07-2017

The first book I ever read made into audio

The book that captured my imagination was once again new to me all these years later. The narration is perfect, the story flowing the characters vivid. I had some real moments with this book. Cannot recommend this enough.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Sean
  • 26-06-2017

download it

if you like anything like game of Thornes or lord of the rings your going to like it.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • mollyeyre
  • 29-12-2017

2nd time to try posting review

This is the first of David Gemmell's fantasy books that I have read, I was lured by my experience with his two stand alone novels.
This probably isn't my type of book, but even so I found it was excellently written with real life characters, and I really did enjoy it. There was a lot of action and the characters were well developed with real personalities. I do find that if I can relate to the people in the book I am more likely to enjoy the story.
Sean Barrett was brilliant in this story, he rarely disappoints.
I might be tempted to try the second in the series, but not immediately.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Chriswarburton
  • 06-09-2017

stunning audio book

I have loved this book for years, and this takes it to another level. outstanding.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jason M.
  • 12-07-2017

Great story.

This audio book, brought back to me the magic in David Gemmell's books, my favourite author from my teens. The production is great very well narrated by Sean Barrett. I recommend this book from the bottom of my heart.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul
  • 12-07-2017

Legend-ary

Loved this series when I first read it. Glad to see it on Audible.

The tone of the narrator is spot on for the tone of the book. (minor spoilers) The way the grief of one character was conveyed after the death of a loved one gave me chills (a and maybe a few tears)

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Glendenning
  • 11-07-2017

Pure nostalgia

This works as an audio book as well as it read in the printed vesion. I last read the book around 1985, so approached this version expecting the simple story to have failed to live up to my memory of it. However the themes of honour, pride and love never go out of fashion and the basic conceit of the ultimate fort under seige by the ultimate invading force is as exciting now as it was to my teenage self. Recommended on many levels.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Arbuckle
  • 11-07-2017

Loved it 25 years ago..audible version is superb

This is easily in my top 3 book of all time, so when it appeared I greedily snapped it up. The characters, story, ending live long in the memory, Druss particularly will keep you listening. Lastly the narrator has turned in a top notch performance .. enjoy

1 of 1 people found this review helpful