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Friday, March 9, 2007

The White Wolf by David Gemmell

The White Wolf by David Gemmell is one of the books in The Drenai Tales series of books. It introduces a new protagonist, Skilgannon the Damned. Another dark hero, he is a man in search of redemption, which is a common theme in Gemmell's books. Skilgannon was the greatest General and swordsmaster in the army of Queen Jianna, who walked away from his life when he discovered he could not live with the guilt of destroying an entire city.

As he left her service, he took with him the magical Swords of Night and Day. Jianna has put a price on his head for his defiance of her will. This is difficult for the two of them as they are old friends and love each other.

He becomes a monk in a distant monastery, changing his name to Brother Lantern. He spends three years trying to live up to the nonviolent ideals of the Source Priests. Eventually, the song of peace is disrupted by encroaching violence. A new evil has lifted its head and pull Skilgannon back into the world of power and politics he has tried so hard to leave behind.

Skilgannon is joined in this story by Druss, the Legend. Druss is the subject of previous Gemmell books. He is an unstoppable fighter, an axe wielder who deals death and violence with little remorse. But Druss lives by an iron code.

"Never violate a woman, nor harm a child.

Do not lie , cheat or steal.

These are things for lesser men.

Protect the weak against the evil strong.

And never allow thoughts of gain lead you into the pursuit of evil."

He imparts this code into Skilgannon and helps set his feet onto the path of redemption. Together with Druss and a small band of heroes they take on the source of the evil and destroy him. Skilgannon eventually meets and makes up with Jianna after he has found the inner peace he has been needing.

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