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Summary

The Knights of the Gabala were legendary protectors of the Nine Duchies - until they disappeared through a demon-haunted gateway between worlds. Manannan, the Coward Knight, held back. Now he lives in torment.

Yet war is coming to the Duchies - and with it Manannan's chance for redemption. But to regain his honour and save his land, he will have to confront his deepest fear. He must ride through the gateway and seek out his lost companions in the unknown world beyond. And the secret he will learn there will tear his soul apart.

©2017 David Gemmell (P)2017 Little Brown Book Group

What listeners say about Knights of Dark Renown

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Ohh dear, where to start?

So, in the interests of transparency I did read this book years ago and liked it enough that I still have the original paperback on my bookshelf. I went into this with some excitement as I haven't read it for a number of years and was expecting as one does in these situations that it would be like putting on an old coat or pair of shoes that fit perfectly. Well it seems the old coat is now too tight and the shoes have worn thin. I have long since come to terms with the fact that the much missed Mr Gemmell's writing style was not Tolkien-esk but was faced paced and the characters, even though they where sometimes very similar to ones in his other books were always entertaining. My issue with this rendition unfortunately is with the narration. The narrator seems to be unprepared for the words he is saying, in one passage that I actually had to rewind to make sure I'd heard it correctly the narrator pronounces the word sword with the w intact, as SIR WARD. The characters switch and change accents, sometimes northern sometimes upperclass and more than one changes whilst in the middle of a conversation. I almost returned this audiobook but decided to soldier on, more out of respect for Mr Gemmell than anything else. There are other books available by the same author and Sean Barrett is excellent reading LEGAND, give those a try perhaps before this particular offering

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Superb

I read this book in my early twenties and twenty years on i thought I would give the audio book a go i wasn't disappointed in the slightest ,the narrator is excellent and brings this superb story of sword and socerry to life with heroes that have flaws and villains that are likeable it s Gemmell at his best . A stand alone novel so not part of any of his series, so if your new to the author i r recommend this as a start point . Brilliant .

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Fantastic

Fantastic reading , finished this in 2 sittings. The narrator really sets the scene and keeps the tension going

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Slow starter

I’m fairly new to audiobooks and this was my first attempt to listen to a story rather than a biography type. I found it hard going keeping track of all the characters movements and relationships with one another, I also felt the story took a long time to get going but once it did it was a rather good one! This is also the first David Gemmell novel that I had t previously read. Looking forward to getting into the Drenai series on these long journeys

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An entertaining escape into myth and magic

In summary, a lively and action-packed tale with a distinctive and sonorous narration, a cast of many characters and a mix of swordplay, magic and mythos all packed very tight into 14 hours. Sure, not a timeless classic like Legend (but what is?), and not the classic fireside lilt of Sean Barrett (but who is?), but more of a "side dish" of storytelling with a some interesting plot twists, and a sincere, earnest narrator with a rich and deep vocal tone. I would specifically and strongly recommend this once you have a few David Gemmell books under your belt (especially listening), NOT as your first sample, as familiarity with his style and his themes will make the speedy pace of this one easier to manage.


On to the narrator Ben Onwukwe - he has a deep and musical voice, excellent enunciation and his default style is perfect for this (and I'd say this genre), as he conveys both gravitas, power and the range of sadness, anger and urgency. The large cast, multiple set-pieces and heady mix of character name styles (many with Celtic origins) don't make this easy, and he occasionally races through some of the back-and-forth exposition, but he was also able to bring a rich Shakespearian tonality which I think added emotional depth to the listen. Maybe there were a few more London-ish accented moments than you typically get in this genre (obviously Steven Pacey's Black Dow is a classic), but I'd be happy for him to re-vocal some of the Gemmell books not already read by Sean Barrett, who lest we forget has 50 years more experience than most of his competitors!


Back to the story - set in a different era from the Drenai universe, and with a different kind of storytelling from the climactic battles, epic journeys and redemptions of Druss, Waylander and the rest, this was still an enjoyable and fast-moving standalone adventure with many distinctive Gemmell touches. Incorporating a number of well-known Celtic mythological character names (but not the characters themselves, so watch out for assumptions), a simple but elegant magical system, and a conflict between our world and a world beyond, it felt something like a retelling of ancient myths and legends, but with an interesting if lightly-sketched ensemble cast of flawed and reluctant heroes and heroines stepping up to meet the eternal challenge of good and evil. Almost every step is unpredictable, with murderous bandits, rogues, failed warriors, crippled knights and blacksmiths all unexpectedly (and often unwillingly) playing their part, and with many deaths, dangers and defeats to both friend and foe.


The storytelling is episodic and step by step draws the characters and central themes together without revealing all the strands to the participants or the reader until deep into the narrative, and from that point the action moves very quickly, so I wouldn't describe it as immersive or atmospheric, but a pacy series of decisive set-pieces. The characters wrestle with their weaknesses, they argue and compete, but this is softened by Gemmell's typically wistful and honest style of writing, and further diluted by the speed of the narrative arc. Sometimes feels a bit hasty or arbitrary, but it's easier to just go with flow, as there is a always a lot happening or just about to happen, and nothing is deeply mysterious or madly complicated.



So for anyone needing a quick fix of Gemmell (or -esque) adventure, and remembering this is a one-off (so you won't have seen these these characters before, and you won't see them again), I'd recommend this as a convenient, quirky and digestible in-betweener before you start the next epic series.

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Dark fantasy at its best

This must have been the twentieth time I have been lost in his fantastic story. The realism and believable storytelling in a heroic fantasy setting are testament to Gemmell’s brilliance. A perfect read!

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review

slow start and pace but pick up in the end, story told with good depth

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Very good book 📖

This is a very good story which bring an end that shows there more to come

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Great book , performance could be better

Great book , performance could be better . still worth a listen as the story is so good

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Gteat

Really enjoyed this one. Massive imagination. David gemmell always delivers. Can't wait to get into some more.🤗

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  • T. Bonnette
  • 14-04-18

Excellent!

The narrator did justice to a great story. David Gemmel is one of my favorite authors and I thoroughly enjoyed the Audible version.

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  • Robert
  • 04-04-18

One of Gemmell’s earliest, one of the best

Gemmell would return many times to the themes and elements in Knights of Dark Renown. A child of power finding his destiny. A story teller turning villains into heroes. A simple man becoming a legend. Women to walk the mountains with. Gemmell would eventually polish and greatly refine the mythology of his shared multi-verse, but we would continue to hear the legends of the Knights (or possibly their alternate selves) through the Drenai saga. Worth reading both on its own merits and to give insight into Gemmell’s other work.

The reader does a good job overall, with only a few slips that don’t detract much from the experience.

Highly recommended.

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  • steve sheppard
  • 23-12-18

Classic

Great one off story. Wish it left the characters more room to grow in the after. Classic none the less. Great book.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-04-18

Exceptional!

I love this book definitely one of my favorites of all Gemmells books. I highly recommend this to any fan of his

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  • Kimber
  • 12-04-18

fantastic!

as all Gemmell's books, this is a truly great listen! Don't Mus it! i didn't have enough credits too pluck this uip becausr I'd already spent them on 2 other books by Gemmel, so i paid for it with cash and i don't regret a penny of it!

whatever it takes, get this book!!