Hello and welcome to my blog.
I'll be voicing my thoughts and opinions on the creative process as well as other random topics that enter my mind. I can't promise to be entertaining or informative, but if you like genre fiction, movies, TV or comics then there should be something to interest you.
Any errors and foul language are my own.

Saturday, 13 April 2013

L Is for Legend

Legend, by David Gemmell is one of my all-time favourite books, one of a select few that I've re-read over the years, yet I can tell you exactly where I was when I read it for the first time (on loan from the library, I took it with me on a sixth-form trip to Guisborough, along with a copy of Mad magazine that spoofed Aliens). Paradoxically, it's far from being the best book I've ever read; the writing can be clumsy in places (allowable for a first -time author, I'd say) and his characterisation of women is suspect, but at its heart Legend is a tale about defeating the odds, how bravery and courage can triumph in the face of adversity.

Like most of Gemmell's books, his heroes are reluctant and sometimes afraid, often unwilling to do what is right simply because it is less daunting to do nothing. Courage isn't about being fearless, it's about overcoming that fear, doing what you have to despite being scared. This is a theme that echoes through most of Gemmell's works, one that struck a chord with my younger self. There's a history behind the writing of it, that Gemmell first put pen to paper when he was being tested for cancer, the ending undecided until his results came through. If positive, the city under seige would fall. If not...

Legend isn't a thick, weighty tome - it can be read in a day, if you have the spare time - but its few words speak much about the nature of humanity. Gemmell would go on to write better and bigger stories (his Troy trilogy is superb), but Legend is the book where is all began. As I say, it's not perfect, but it will stay in my mind always. David Gemmell died in 2006, but remains with us through the stories he shared, still providing inspiration for years after his passing.


  1. I love how he defines his heroes! It's a reminder that any one of us could be a hero it's not all Hollywood stunts.

  2. The Troy series sounds like something I really want to read.