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Summary

The prophecy was clear. Upon the death of three kings, the world will be plunged into chaos, and all the cast-out demons of history will return to bring blood and horror to the world. Two of the kings are dead. The third, about to be born, is hunted by the Demon Riders of the Krayakin, Lords of the Undead.

All the terrifying forces of evil range against a pregnant queen at bay in a haunted forest. But she is not alone. Three warriors stand with her, the last remnants of the once proud Drenai army. Three old men, ancient heroes, discarded by the king: Nogusta the Swordsman, Kebra the Bowman, and the hulking fighter, Bison. The fate of empires rests on their fading skills as they journey through a tormented world on a perilous quest to save the unborn king.

©2017 David Gemmell (P)2017 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about Winter Warriors

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A Man to Walk the Mountains

the more I listen/read of the late great Dave Gemmelll the more I realise just how amazing his work is.

I read everything he ever wrote When I was a young man, strong and in my prime. now a year off fifty I see everything he wrote in a different light. I was Confused, now I am Bison. still strong still young in my heart. life behind me when once before . I hope I fly above the mountains when it's my time.

Listen to the stories. live the legend

6 people found this helpful

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One of Gemmells best books

Love this book, read it multiple times, first time listen and thought narration was excellent.

2 people found this helpful

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Make Sure Your Deeds are Always Noble

The prophecy says that 3 kings must die; only then will the gateway be open for the Illohir to return from the Great Void. Two down and a newborn heir is left, guarded by 3 aged warriors who show that strength is not only limited to the young. They are flawed, but determined to protect the newborn.

When two demon brothers go to war with each other, things will not end well and the fallout for everyone will be devastating. However, Emsharas shows that, although he is no longer in demon form, he still has the strength to deal with Anharat.

This is slightly different from the previous Drenai books insofar as it concentrates on demons, magick and the void. It is also a standalone.

1 person found this helpful

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A ripping yarn.

An excellent adventure, the narrator read beautifully with a gravelly voice and imbued the story with great atmosphere.

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Great

Excellent story, one of Gemmell's best in my opinion, and great performance- accents amd pronunciation much more consistant than in some other series on audible.

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Brilliant

The narrator really brought the characters to life. Love Gemmels style too. . . .

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The Grand Finale of the Drenai

The biggest disappointment of this book is that it's the last one in the Drenai series! Sean has done a marvellous job of reading David's masterful Drenai saga and I am already looking forward to listening all over again. A must for any Gemmell fan.

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One of his best

Winter Warriors will feel instantly familiar to anyone who has ever read a David Gemmell book, particularly one in the Drenai series. Once again we have the aging warrior who is also a reluctant hero-archetype that Gemmell so readily relies upon.

Winter Warriors is different though.

This time there's three of them.

You might think this would make the story even more formulaic, but that's not the case as the writing and characterisation are strong. In fact, it's some of Gemmell's best work in that department.

While our grizzled warriors all share certain traits, we're not dealing with three Druss the Legends™ here. All of them are concerned about their failing physicality and about a future without soldiering, but that's where the similarities end. Even superficially they're quite different; Nogusta the swordsman, Kebra the archer, and Bison the wrestler. They have nicely contrasting personalities and you get the sense that they know each other well; there's a real sense of camaraderie with this geriatric band of brothers. Nogusta and Kebra are especially well fleshed out, and both are wrestling with the demons of their past whilst tackling the more literal ones in the present. Bison is a little more simple minded and his motivations are more straightforward, but he's no less likeable for it.

There's also a large cast of side characters, but they too are mostly well written and likeable. A lot of minor characters suffer in Gemmell's books as they receive little page-time and lack characterisation. Luckily the vast majority of the characters in Winter Warriors get sizeable povs to flesh them out and make us care. Even the primary villains of the story, literal Demons, get the pov treatment, which humanises* them to some degree. There are a couple of weak links but mostly I enjoyed my time with the characters and was bothered by their deaths**.

The plot itself is strong and features demonic sacrifice, prophecy, magic, undead warriors, a hulking monster, possession, brotherhood, battles and a princess. There's elements of the Western in Winter Warriors, as the three old men go on one last mission; escort a princess through various dangers to an abandoned city where we have our showdown. There's also a wonderful section early on that almost slips from fantasy to outright horror, as one of our characters navigates a city at night that is full of possessed and murderous citizens. The fantastical elements are also welcome here, a nice change to the fairly generic source priests that feature in some of the other Drenai books. There's even mention of Dryads, which is nice. Still no dragons, although Winter Warriors comes close.

There's a lot to like here, with a strong story, likeable characters and the familiar Gemmell themes of "Love, friendship, honour, courage and redemption". Winter Warriors has a depth and creativity that is lacking in some of the authors earlier work. The book even touches on racism at points, for you see, one of our heroes was a black man all along. With cool blue eyes no less.

8/10

*Demonises isn't quite right
**There are a few and some are rather shocking

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Excellent Story

David Gemmel never wrote a bad story but this is one of his best

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One of his best works

Fantastic book narrated perfectly, audio books don't come much better, if you love Gemmell you'll really enjoy this version.

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  • bart
  • 13-12-17

Another Awesome bk by David Gemmel & Sean Barrett

About 6 wks ago I found David Gemmells "Legend" The story of Drugs the Deathwalker & have burned through the Drenia series @ a pace that saddens me cause I know it's drawing to an end. Everytime Iv read/listen to one of DG's bks voiced by the outstanding Sean Barrett (a top 3 narrator in my personel pantheon on narrators) I think of Nine Fingers & for those of you that know the genre that's high praise. So staying with that thought if you love the "Bloody Nine" don't wait, start with Legend & I'll meet you @ the end of the Drenia series. Yes, it's that good!

4 people found this helpful

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  • John Lavette
  • 20-08-21

God! I miss Gemmel!

Listening to all of his books is a trip back to my teens, when I first read them. Clean writing, set in a full, lovely world!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Janette F.
  • 08-03-22

As rich and wonderful as I remembered…

This was the first novel by Gemmel I read. It has taken me more than thirty years to return to his world, and I’m so glad I did. It’s one of the most elegantly compelling warrior tales I’ve ever read or listened to.

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  • Jeff
  • 01-10-20

It's David Gemmell

Loved but I loved it when I first read it, probably not his best book but I love them all and have never been able to put one down

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  • Brant
  • 21-07-20

A master at the top of his game

Compelling plot, excellent character development with no filler. Amazon wants me to write more here.

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  • Fabrice
  • 29-05-20

Wonderful characters

This is one of my favorite Gemmel book. The beginning is a bit slow but once the action starts, I love the cast of characters and how every detail is used to reach the end.

At the start, the story is aligned with the blurb : a demon prince and 3 old warriors to oppose him. What matters is the characters themselves and how they face both age and fear to confront the demon, not because they know they will win but because they have to !

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  • Ron Shelton
  • 20-11-19

These are some of the greatest books.

I feel the story in my heart and soul. He writes with all the emotion that is felt in the lifes of people.

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  • Brian Abeyta
  • 29-11-18

Voice actor does an excellent job

Loved it. Voice actor does an excellent job. A little weird hearing him do women voices but it was overall good.

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  • T. Bonnette
  • 21-01-18

Sean Barrett is the perfect voice

for David Gemmell's work! Turned a long drive alone into an adventure in Gemmell's world. Thoroughly enjoyable!

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  • filip
  • 16-09-17

The worst part of the Drenai series. But still OK

All jokes repeating over and ovet. The plot doesnt make much sense either. But still enjoyable.