For years, David Gemmell has been the best kept secret in fantasy fiction on this side of the Atlantic. A perennial London Times bestselling author in his native England, Gemmell combines fast-paced, powerful storytelling with vivid, unforgettable characters; he pits world-weary heroes challenged in profound new ways against bloodthirsty foes as dark as night. Now Gemmell returns to the savage lands of his acclaimed Drenai saga in an action-packed tale of malevolent ancient sorceries reborn--and the brave men and women who dare to stand against them.
THE HERO IN THE SHADOWS
The ruined city of Kuan Hador reeks of dark mystery. Shunned by brigands and merchants alike, it is home to fearsome wild things and legends that freeze the blood--tales that speak of a time thousands of years past, when Kuan Hador was the capital of a vast empire ruled by evil sorcerers. These mages were able to meld beasts and men into unholy Joinings--foot soldiers of a ruthless demonic army. When the forces of men finally did prevail, the sorcerers and their half-human slaves escaped through a magical doorway . . . only to find themselves trapped in another world. The doorway sealed behind them, locked with an enchantment too powerful to break. Or so the legends say.
But at the heart of every legend lies a glimmer of truth, and truth can kill. Especially when it comes in the form of slavering white beasts who possess an insatiable appetite for death and destruction. Millennia have passed, and the spell of imprisonment has begun to fade. The sorcerers and their foul minions will soon be free to wreak a horrible vengeance against all that lives.
This time, no army waits to oppose them--only a rag-tag group of unlikely heroes: Kysumu, the rajnee swordsman; Yu Yu Liang, a humble ditch digger with dreams of glory; Taliana, a warrior woman as fierce as she is beautiful. Leading them is the mysterious Gray Man, an enigmatic figure hated and envied for his fabulous wealth. A man with a blood-drenched past, who has killed for principle and for payment. A man of destiny known throughout the lands of the Drenai as Waylander the Slayer.
Now, to defeat a timeless evil, an ancient riddle must be solved . . . and Waylander, the prince of assassins, must kill a man who cannot die.
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In Hero in the Shadows, Waylander, the assassin hero of some of Gemmell's earlier books, is now a middle-aged man looking for peace in a world that will, for the most part, let him alone. The crimes of his past come back to haunt him, as he finds himself responsible for a young prince whose grandfather he murdered, and as creatures of doomed legend come back to rule the world with blood and horror. An aging paladin, a loud-mouthed braggart whom a magic sword has chosen, and a kitchen girl who is unusually handy with her knives become his allies, along with a priestess who is not telling all she knows, or all she is.
Gemmell is one of the best writers of fantasy adventure--this new book is attractively gloomy in its atmosphere and has a pervading sense of the ironic. The action sequences are powerful and well visualized; Gemmell always knows how a particular sort of fight would feel. And there are no simple morals here--most of the characters, heroic or villainous, exist in the gray hinterland between dark and light, where evil acts are often performed in sorrow and good actions often have mixed motives behind them. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.ukFrom the Back Cover:
"On the surface, David Gemmell's Hero In the Shadows has everything a fan of heroic fantasy could desire: dramatic heroes, an exotic sorceress, deep evil, mood-drenched settings, an array of likeable characters, and a well-designed plot. But the book also has something more, a quality which raises Gemmell's achievement to a much higher level: an empathetic and convincing grasp on the complexities and conflicts of real human beings. As a result, Hero In the Shadows has true power and poignancy."
--STEPHEN R. DONALDSON
Author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever
"Gemmell's great reading; the action never lets up; he's several rungs above the good--right into the fabulous!"
"Gemmell . . . keeps the mythic currents crackling."
"[Gemmell] examines our assumptions about good, evil, and the nature of quests."
"David Gemmell tells a tale of very real adventure, the stuff of true epic fantasy."
--R. A. SALVATORE
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Book Description Del Rey, 2000. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0345432231