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Legend Audiobook

Legend: Drenai, Book 1

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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

Average Customer Rating

4.8 (285 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Johnny Dublin 26/06/2017
    Johnny Dublin 26/06/2017 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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


    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 26/06/2017
    Simon Waterlooville, UK 26/06/2017 Member Since 2017

    A man with a child in his ears - @shutterspin

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    "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.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jason 22/06/2017
    jason 22/06/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Finally david Gemmell books on audible"

    Epic amazing loved every minute
    druss the legend. cant wait for waylander. and the troy series.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam 20/07/2017
    Sam 20/07/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean 26/06/2017
    Sean 26/06/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "download it"

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

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ian 24/06/2017
    Ian 24/06/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Well worth the wait"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes this was the start of my journey through gemmells work and I want others to start on the path


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Legend?

    WALL FOUR I have heard complete strangers say " I hope this isn't my wall four" it had left a strong impression on them


    Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

    I have other books read by Sean he can create a narrative with the tone of his voice


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Any thing around 10hrs gets one sitting but this I would cancell other stuff to finish


    Any additional comments?

    Just surprised it's take so long to get on audible

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha Alice Wolfgang 29/07/2017 Member Since 2013
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    "Five star story"

    At long last Audible have discovered the genius of David Gemmell and I am ecstatic to be able to listen to his totally engaging stories in this format. The narrator delivers the story with great depth of feeling; one of the best narrators I've ever listened to and indeed one of the world's top notch author's. I can't wait to start the next book as Sean Barrett is narrating all of David Gemmell's brilliant books. As I write only a few have been released with more due out in the future, something truly lovely to look forward to. I won't go into the material of the story in case I spoil it for anyone, suffice it to say think of Helms Deep with far more elevated themes. It is one riveting read.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    M 24/07/2017
    M 24/07/2017 Member Since 2017
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    "Please continue to bring more Gemmell to Audible!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Legend to be better than the print version?

    I wouldn't say it was better than, it's different. When you read a book you disappear into a story in a way you can't in any other format. I am an illustrator and I want to spend time reading books but rarely have the time, so audio format is ideal and Sean Barrett is perfect for these stories.


    What other book might you compare Legend to, and why?

    I don't have another book to compare it to except to say that if you love high fantasy and heroic endeavours then this is for you!


    Which character – as performed by Sean Barrett – was your favourite?

    I think Druss is my favourite here.


    Any additional comments?

    Ideal for those of us who want to read books but don't have the time! If I have spare time I am usually wanting to paint or draw. These books mean that I can listen to them at the same time. Ideal!! Plus they're so inspiring too.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dwiver London 14/07/2017
    Dwiver London 14/07/2017 Member Since 2009
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    "Legendary"

    Everyone who loves the fantasy genre knows the name Druss. About two years ago I emailed audible to see if they would record the David Gemmell's books. I got a reply to say that they had no plans to. I was disappointed but it did get me thinking about who would read them and how vital a good narrator would be. This performance is everything I had hoped for and only enhances an already great story. I would strongly recommend this audio book to anyone who loves fantasy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Paul 12/07/2017
    Paul 12/07/2017 Member Since 2012
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    "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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  • Carol
    Massachusetts
    26/06/17
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    "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.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Chicago, IL, United States
    25/07/17
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    "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.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Paul
    06/07/17
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    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • wiliam olsen
    04/07/17
    Overall
    "Legend "

    This is really good and I have read most of David Gemmell's books over the years and liked his writings. Find him really good.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Josh Dorfner
    03/07/17
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    "Favorite Book Ever"

    The best book I have ever read. If you haven't read it, check it out.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • B. Slack
    02/07/17
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    "Favorite Audio Book"

    This is without a doubt my favorite audio book so far.

    David Gemmell has a way of drawing so many emotions out of a reader with what seems like minimal effort. And he has a way of handling the big themes (love, honor, friendship, bravery, redemption, etc) without ever seeming forced. I definitely consider him to be one of the best storytellers of all time.

    Unfortunately, a large number of books on audible have what I consider to be poor or weak narrators so when I saw that this was coming to audible but that no narrator had been announced I was concerned. Turns out I didn't need to be. Seen Barrett did an excellent job and I'm not sure that I can think of any narrators that I am familiar with who would have been a better choice.

    I highly recommend all Gemmell books with the caveat... read/listen to them in order.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • ikaris
    16/08/17
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    "love Gemmel"

    Love this book. Read it several times and now I can listen as well. Marked the performance a 4 but only because Druss' voice was different in my head. He did a good job and I think a 4 is pretty good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Darren H Smith
    16/08/17
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    "A wonderful reading of a beloved childhood tale."

    The narrattion was bardic with his delivery and intonation. 11 out of 10. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Mock
    13/08/17
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    "Still amazing."

    My favorite book from a beloved author. I am happy to see Gemmell's work made anew in audio.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • clayda nicholas
    09/08/17
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    "wow"

    I cheered ...i cried.. ...i will remembered...it was even better than the book...i cherish these books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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