The King Beyond the Gate

  • by David Gemmell
  • Narrated by Sean Barrett
  • 12 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A century has passed since the heroic defence of Dros Delnoch. But the people of the Drenai face a new terror: a mad emperor kept in power by two forces of unsurpassed evil. The Joinings are werebeasts of awesome power. The Dark Templars are warrior-priests whose fighting skills are without equal. Against them the Drenai face certain defeat. One man, an outsider hated by the Drenai for his Nadir blood and despised by the Nadir for his Drenai ancestry, sets out to bring down the emperor. He is one man against the armies of chaos.
He is Tenaka Khan - the Prince of Shadows.

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Of Might and Magic!

Gemmell's second tale of the Drenai, a people modelled loosely on Roman society. This is set a few generations on from "Legend" so while there are some excellent references and indeed cameos for those characters they are by the time of this one very much legendary. These books are like sagas, glorified episodes in history rather than any kind of contiguous series. There is once again a siege and again there is a cast of larger than life characters who excel at various marshal and magical disciplines to take Gemmell's grandiose stage. They are great fun and heroic deeds abound, heroes are made and broken and great evils are encountered. Characters go from first meeting to deeply in love faster than your average boy racer goes from nought to sixty. Magic comes in the form of a brand new version of The Thirty - white cloaked warrior priests dedicated to the cause. Of course they are matched by their own nemesis, The Templars, and as I don't do spoilers I won't tell you what colour their cloaks are but you can might just guess . . .

It's all a great cacophony of saga and legend. Gemmell allows his characters to strut their stuff across the lands of the Drenai and even infuses a bit more humour into proceedings in the process. It's all delivered by Sean Barrett with his usual aplomb and marches along with plenty of fighting and action in an almost Cornwellian style applied to the fantasy genre. You can guess of course that I thoroughly enjoyed it.

It would be wrong in 2017 though to not sound at least a small note of caution for anyone who comes to these books afresh. This is 1980s fantasy, actually correction it's GREAT 1980s fantasy, among the very best. However, in the following decades numerous writers, many of them inspired by Gemmell have honed the craft and taken it to new levels of sophistication. This is John Wayne's True Grit rather than Tarantino's Django Unchained, it's The Great Escape more than it's Hacksaw Ridge. Everyone will have an opinion on which are better and personally I love them all but you won't find anything like the sophistication of a Sanderson or Rothfuss here. You will find a bloody good yarn though and for this reviewer that's what's most important.
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- Simon

loved it

loved it well worth a listen to, would highly recommend this to any one out there
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- Amazon Customer

Book Details

  • Release Date: 22-06-2017
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio UK