Gemmell’s Drenai series has new covers

Orbit have re-released 6 of David Gemmell’s Drenai books with brand new cover art.

You can read the press release here on the Orbit website.

A quote from that press release,

To celebrate Gemmell’s legacy, we’ve reissued the classic Drenai novels that orginally earned him his reputation as a master storyteller. All six novels have gorgeous new covers courtesy of our designer Sean Garrehy and the talented illustrator Tim Byrne, who together have perfectly captured the grittiness of Gemmell’s books. In addition, two of the biggest names in modern fantasy – Brent Weeks and Joe Abercrombie – have given their seals of approval.

I think the covers look fantastic and reflect the gritty realism that David brought to all of his work.  If you’ve never read David Gemmell before, then check out my post on why you should.  If you have read Gemmell and are looking for something similar, check out this brief list.

David Gemmell’s Legend

David GemmellIt’s been five years and a couple of months since David Gemmell tragically died, and a great storyteller was taken from us.  His final two books were published posthumously, with Fall of Kings being completed by his widow, Stella.  Even now writing these words isn’t easy; I was lucky enough to consider David a friend, and to spend time in his and Stella’s company.

I haven’t read any of David’s books since Fall of Kings, in fact I’ve read very little since completing Fall of Kings, and anything I have read has been distinctly not heroic fantasy.  I don’t think I’ve been avoiding it intentionally, but there’s definitely a small part of my reading soul that doesn’t want to accept David is gone and doesn’t want to move on.

I read a huge amount of fantasy literature in the late 80’s and throughout the 90’s but eventually I struggled to find anything fresh and enjoyable, with the sole exception of David Gemmell’s work.  His books were always entertaining, always enjoyable, and always emotional.  People can discuss style and prose as much as they want, but in his heart, David was a storyteller and that shines through in everything he wrote.  His ability to engage you, to show you the hearts of the people in his stories, to embroil you in their lives and their emotions is unparalleled in modern fantasy literature.  I struggled to find that engagement anywhere else in the genre, and although I’m sure it exists, not finding it left me jaded and put me off fantasy fiction for a long time.

While helping Grete sort out the book collection and get them all onto Good Reads, we went through all my David Gemmell books and it was the first time in a long time that I’d seen them all lined up.  I resolved to start reading them again, and there’s no other place, no better place to start, than Legend.

I picked it up last night, and put it down a hundred pages in and a couple of hours later.  It’s still as good as I remember, instantly engaging and enjoyable.  I hadn’t realised, or had forgotten, just how much of the world Druss inhabits is described in the first few chapters, and how many of the later books are based on short throw-away lines or character names in Legend.  David’s style is just so easy to read, and that’s because it’s like being there with him, listening to him tell you the story.

Legend is about honour, courage, fear, duty, age and faith.

It is as poignant and as relevant now as it was when he wrote it.

I would have sat in the darkness and listened to David tell stories to hold back the night, without that chance, I’ll re-read all his books and share my life with him again.

The David Gemmell Legend Award For Fantasy – 2010

Stan Nicholls just sent over this press release, for next years (2010) David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy.

New Award Categories

When we established The David Gemmell Legend Award For Fantasy it was with the intention of subsequently introducing further award categories to cover other aspects of the fantasy genre. We are now pleased to announce two new, additional awards, to be presented at next year’s ceremony. They are –

The David Gemmell Morningstar Award for Best Newcomer


The David Gemmell Ravenheart Award for Best Fantasy Cover Art

The Morningstar Award will give recognition to emerging talent in the field of fantasy fiction. As David Gemmell always took a keen interest in new writers, and helped many onto the path to publication, we regard this as an appropriate category to add, and one we feel sure David would have approved.

The Ravenheart Award will honour the best fantasy book cover art. The importance of fantasy cover art deserves admiration, as do the artists who produce it, yet there is no major UK award acknowledging this. The Ravenheart Award will fulfil that role.

Like the Legend Award, the winners of these new awards, for best debut author and best cover/artist, will be decided by popular vote. The first Legend Award, for best fantasy novel of the year, presented at a ceremony in London in June of this year, garnered an incredible 11,000 votes from around the world. We are confident that the Morningstar and Ravenheart awards, which are being created with the full approval of the Gemmell family, will be greeted with no less enthusiasm.

Details of the process whereby these new awards will be administered can be found on our website.

Our aim is to establish, over time, a set of awards covering all aspects of the fantasy genre. Launching this pair of new awards takes us a step nearer to that objective.

The 2010 David Gemmell Awards ceremony will again be held at The Magic Circle headquarters in London, on Friday 18th June.

Please feel free to contact either of us if more information is needed.

Stan Nicholls (Chair)

Deborah Miller (Awards Administrator)

The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy

The first David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy was held last night in London, the following press release gives information on who won.

The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy

Winner announced

The first annual David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy has been won by Andrzej Sapkowski for his novel Blood of Elves (published in the UK by Gollancz).

The Award was accepted on Sapkowski’s behalf by his UK editor, Jo Fletcher.

Presented before an audience of publishing industry professionals, authors, media and fans at the Magic Circle headquarters in Euston, London on 19th June, the Award has been established in memory of fantasy author David Gemmell, who died in 2006. The trophy, supplied by Raven Armoury, takes the form of a butterfly axe, named Snaga, that featured in Gemmell’s fiction.

Born in Poland in 1948, Andrzej Sapkowski worked in business before turning to writing. His cycle of tales set in the world of The Witcher have made him a bestseller in his native Poland and internationally.

The other shortlisted authors were:

  • Joe Abercrombie: Last Argument of Kings (Gollancz & Pyr)
  • Juliet Marillier: Heir to Sevenwaters (Tor)
  • Brandon Sanderson: The Hero of Ages (Tor)
  • Brent Weeks: The Way of Shadows (Orbit)

Each of the runners-up were presented with a miniature version of Snaga.

The Award was decided by an open ballot, and attracted over 10,000 votes from 75 countries.

**Photographs of the award ceremony to follow.

Further information:

Official website:

Stan Nicholls (Chair)
Deborah Miller (Award Administrator)

The David Gemmell Legend Award for Fantasy