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The peaceful Eldarin were the last of three ancient races. The mystical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen before the dread power of the cruel and sadistic Daroth. Yet in one awesome night the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth. Gone were their cities, their armies, their terror. The Great Northern Desert was their only legacy. Not a trace remained The peaceful Eldarin were the last of three ancient races. The mystical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen before the dread power of the cruel and sadistic Daroth. Yet in one awesome night the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth. Gone were their cities, their armies, their terror. The Great Northern Desert was their only legacy. Not a trace remained for a thousand years... The War of the Pearl had raged for seven years and the armies of the four Duchies were exhausted and weary of bloodshed. But the foremost of the Dukes, Sirano of Romark, possessed the Eldarin Pearl and was determined to unravel its secrets. Then on one unforgettable day a dark mon rose above the Great Northern Desert, and a black tidal wave swept across the land. In moments the desert had vanished beneath lush fields and forests and a great city could be seen glittering in the morning sunlight. From this city re-emerged the blood-hungry Daroth, powerful and immortal, immune to spear and sword. They had only one desire: to rid the world of humankind for ever. Now the fate of the human race rests on the talents of three heroes: Karis, warrior-woman and strategist; Tarantio, the deadliest swordsman of the age; and Duvodas the Healer, who will learn a terrible truth.


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The peaceful Eldarin were the last of three ancient races. The mystical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen before the dread power of the cruel and sadistic Daroth. Yet in one awesome night the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth. Gone were their cities, their armies, their terror. The Great Northern Desert was their only legacy. Not a trace remained The peaceful Eldarin were the last of three ancient races. The mystical Oltor, healers and poets, had fallen before the dread power of the cruel and sadistic Daroth. Yet in one awesome night the invincible Daroth had vanished from the face of the earth. Gone were their cities, their armies, their terror. The Great Northern Desert was their only legacy. Not a trace remained for a thousand years... The War of the Pearl had raged for seven years and the armies of the four Duchies were exhausted and weary of bloodshed. But the foremost of the Dukes, Sirano of Romark, possessed the Eldarin Pearl and was determined to unravel its secrets. Then on one unforgettable day a dark mon rose above the Great Northern Desert, and a black tidal wave swept across the land. In moments the desert had vanished beneath lush fields and forests and a great city could be seen glittering in the morning sunlight. From this city re-emerged the blood-hungry Daroth, powerful and immortal, immune to spear and sword. They had only one desire: to rid the world of humankind for ever. Now the fate of the human race rests on the talents of three heroes: Karis, warrior-woman and strategist; Tarantio, the deadliest swordsman of the age; and Duvodas the Healer, who will learn a terrible truth.

30 review for Dark Moon: A stunning, high-octane page-turning adventure from the master of heroic fantasy

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mark Lawrence

    I was given this book by a reader of my own work. It was a rather special present as the book was signed by David Gemmell "To Mark". Not to me, some other Mark, years earlier. But since DG is sadly no longer with us it's the closest I'll get to a dedicated book! I'm a big fan of Gemmell's work. This wasn't my favourite of his books but it has a lot to recommend it. To me it had a rather Moorcockian flavour to it, with strange non-human races introduced (three of them) and plenty of 'classic' magi I was given this book by a reader of my own work. It was a rather special present as the book was signed by David Gemmell "To Mark". Not to me, some other Mark, years earlier. But since DG is sadly no longer with us it's the closest I'll get to a dedicated book! I'm a big fan of Gemmell's work. This wasn't my favourite of his books but it has a lot to recommend it. To me it had a rather Moorcockian flavour to it, with strange non-human races introduced (three of them) and plenty of 'classic' magic thrown in. That felt a bit dated to me, and the writing style jumping quite rapidly between multiple points of view in places wasn't particularly to my liking. However, Gemmell is a fine writer and there were two interesting characters that saved the day - firstly the female mercenary leader turned general, Karis, who despite her slightly awkward I-can't-have-a-serious-relationship-with-a-man-cos-my-father-was-a-bastard backstory was quite fun, and secondly our split-personality hero with his peerless sword skills, Dace/Tarantio. The whole 'defeat the baddies' siege story that develops in the second half is fun and there's a fair bit of creativity. A decent read with enough Gemmell polish on it to earn 4*. If you're looking to try Gemmell on for size though I would start with Sword in the Storm. Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes ......

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    This was an enjoyable enough standalone fantasy story. Not that I'd not consider it one of Gemmell's better stories, but is was still worth reading. Humanity have vanquished the ancient race of the Eldarin and the Dukes that rule the four major city states in the region have been warring over possession of the last remaining magical artefact of that lost magical race. A pearl of great magic. The ambitious Duke Siriano is a sorcerer and while seeking to harness the power of the Pearl for his own This was an enjoyable enough standalone fantasy story. Not that I'd not consider it one of Gemmell's better stories, but is was still worth reading. Humanity have vanquished the ancient race of the Eldarin and the Dukes that rule the four major city states in the region have been warring over possession of the last remaining magical artefact of that lost magical race. A pearl of great magic. The ambitious Duke Siriano is a sorcerer and while seeking to harness the power of the Pearl for his own ends he discovers its true purpose. It was a spell trapping a war hungry race called the Daroth. Siriano's meddling releases the spell and returns the Daroth to the human world. The Daroth are powerful creatures and easily destroy two of the city states killing thousands. The best of the humans gather at the third city in a bid to hold back the Daroth. The story mainly focused on the exploits of three people. The pacifist mage Duvous, he was trained by the Eldarin before their fall. The troubled female warrior Karis, a brilliant general who inspires loyalty. The last was Tarantio, a brilliant swordsman who shares his body with a bloodthirsty alter ego named Dace. Together they and a host of secondary characters must work to save their city from the invading Daroth. It was fairly interesting. The main flaw was in Gemmell's slightly disconcerting writing style. The POV's jumped around a bit too much for my liking. Often a few times in the same scene! Rating: 3 stars.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dirk Grobbelaar

    Dark Moon doesn’t pull any punches. It has sex and violence, both dished out unsparingly. The latter is of a pretty graphic nature more often than not. In short: It’s grim as hell. This is probably also what makes the novel work, since the characters are very, very believable for the most part, and before you know it you’ll find yourself caring about what happens to them, even though many of them have almost no redeeming qualities. It seems that Gemmell actually understood human nature better th Dark Moon doesn’t pull any punches. It has sex and violence, both dished out unsparingly. The latter is of a pretty graphic nature more often than not. In short: It’s grim as hell. This is probably also what makes the novel work, since the characters are very, very believable for the most part, and before you know it you’ll find yourself caring about what happens to them, even though many of them have almost no redeeming qualities. It seems that Gemmell actually understood human nature better than most. I’m not sure what one of the other reviewers was referring to, but there are no orcs or elves or dragons or any such to be found here. Instead, there are three powerful elder races that have disappeared from the world and are now only known through myth and legend. I suppose an argument could be made that the Oltor are representative of the traditional Elven trope, but even that would be a bit of a stretch. The plot of the novel revolves around the return of one of these three races, the Daroth. Unfortunately, they aren’t the nice guys and without further ado set out to slaughter humankind. Quite literally. They’re also invincible and unstoppable, which is obviously a bit of a dilemma… An aspect which drives the novel, with admirable results, is the “troubleshooting” dynamic. Faced with an enemy that defies conventional rules of war, the humans have to come up with some pretty creative ideas and strategies in order to survive. It is military fantasy, and it’s all rough and dirty. It’s also a stand-alone, which is pretty rare. As for pacing: I can’t remember when last I’ve seen better. If you like Gemmell, you might as well read this, you could certainly do worse.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    Dark Moon is a stand-alone fantasy novel -- a rare thing, in my experience, and thus worth a read for that alone, I thought. It has a lot of fascinating ideas and characters in it: a warrior with two personalities; a warrior woman troubled by her abusive past; a harpist raised by a gentle and non-violent race, who gets pulled nonetheless into death and destruction. The world is surprisingly rich in history and detail, considering it's a one-shot, and without being overburdened with it, either. I Dark Moon is a stand-alone fantasy novel -- a rare thing, in my experience, and thus worth a read for that alone, I thought. It has a lot of fascinating ideas and characters in it: a warrior with two personalities; a warrior woman troubled by her abusive past; a harpist raised by a gentle and non-violent race, who gets pulled nonetheless into death and destruction. The world is surprisingly rich in history and detail, considering it's a one-shot, and without being overburdened with it, either. It feels natural. There were parts that troubled me -- the magical healing of disabled people, for example, like nobody could be a whole person with a limp or a damaged eye. The constant use of the word whore relating to a woman who is sexually active with more than one partner. But there are counterpoints to some of this in the narrative, and Gemmell doesn't shy away from presenting his damaged, unhappy characters as strong and worthwhile people. He doesn't go gently on his characters, so the end of the book feels something like real life: a horrible compromise, with lovers dead and the world utterly changed, but nonetheless, with hope for the future.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Nick Brett

    I was a massive fan of David Gemmell and gutted when he left us far, far too early. His legacy is a range of fantastic books, mostly fantasy. This is one of his rare books that is a one off and not part of a series. It’s not quite up to his best but still way ahead of so much out there. A world at war with itself and a Duke takes a desperate step to use old magic to gain advantage. Sadly this allows the return of ancient seemingly indestructible enemy who seek total annihilation of humans. Ancient I was a massive fan of David Gemmell and gutted when he left us far, far too early. His legacy is a range of fantastic books, mostly fantasy. This is one of his rare books that is a one off and not part of a series. It’s not quite up to his best but still way ahead of so much out there. A world at war with itself and a Duke takes a desperate step to use old magic to gain advantage. Sadly this allows the return of ancient seemingly indestructible enemy who seek total annihilation of humans. Ancient knowledge and force of will may not be enough to help the human race survive, but they have a fighter with darkness within him and a female leader famed for her ability in battle and tactics. Lots of familiar themes here used by Gemmell, including a siege and a warrior with unworldly skills, but a strong female character and supporting cast balance out the familiar. I read this when it came out so a 25 year gap before picking this up on kindle, so glad to find it hadn’t aged and I still got swept up into a well told story.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Kostas

    8/10 Second stand-alone book that I read from Gemmell and, I have to say, that I found Dark Moon quite enjoyable and well written. Of course I wouldn’t put it along with his best books, but it has good action, beautiful characters, a touch of humor, which is a bit rare coming from Gemmell, and most important, an interesting story. The Oltor, an ancient immortal race, leaved peacefully in the Four Duchies for many years until two other races, the Daroth and the Eldarin, came through other worlds so 8/10 Second stand-alone book that I read from Gemmell and, I have to say, that I found Dark Moon quite enjoyable and well written. Of course I wouldn’t put it along with his best books, but it has good action, beautiful characters, a touch of humor, which is a bit rare coming from Gemmell, and most important, an interesting story. The Oltor, an ancient immortal race, leaved peacefully in the Four Duchies for many years until two other races, the Daroth and the Eldarin, came through other worlds so they could find new lands. The Oltor invited them to share what they had but the Daroth proved to be an evil race that wanted everything they had and so they killed them. The Eldarin though, seeing that the Daroth wouldn’t stop there and that they could destroy the entire world, made sure they would not hurt anyone else anymore; and so they vanished from the face of the earth. After that, came the humans, who brought their own wars, until the last of the ancient races faded through history. Now, Duke Sirano, an arrogant and selfish magician, having found one of the last relics of the ancient Eldarin will try to discover its secrets but what he will find is something he didn’t believe he would ever see again. But now their world is once again threatened and a new great war will begin; only this time they will have no one else to help them. Through this war three unexpected heroes will try to defeat this enemy, but the price for their salvation of the humanity is, perhaps, even greater than they believed. As I started the book I have to admit that some parts of the story, and especially some ideas, reminded a lot of Echoes Of The Great Song as in both books Gemmell mentions of the gates from the other worlds and about the “Great Song”. Of course I do not know if it had simply “stuck” in his mind or if he used the same ideas and wanted to develop them more in Echoes Of The Great Song since both were published within a year apart. But all other similarities stop there, although both books have definitely the same style. Besides all that I really liked how Gemmell manages, through this “small” story, to develop the characters (which I believe he does it quite good) and also make some great heroes. The story on the other is pretty good, though definitely not perfect, as it keeps the interest until the end. But I think Gemmell tried really hard to make this story really epic only he didn’t quite reach it as much as in some of his other books. Of course in ending Gemmell has put all his talents, leaving a bittersweet taste that made me wish there was more. Ελληνική κριτική: (view spoiler)[Ένα ακόμα αυτοτελές βιβλίο που διαβάζω από τον Gemmell και το συγκεκριμένο μπορώ να πω ότι το βρήκα αρκετά διασκεδαστικό και καλογραμμένο. Σίγουρα δεν θα το έβαζα στα κορυφαία του αλλά έχει κάνει αρκετά καλές μάχες, ωραίους χαρακτήρες, μια δόση χιούμορ, πράγμα που δεν το συνηθίζει συχνά ο Gemmell αλλά και το σημαντικότερο, ενδιαφέρουσα πλοκή. Οι Oltor, μια αρχαία φυλή αθάνατων, ζούσαν ειρηνικά στα Τέσσερα Δουκάτα για πολλά χρόνια μέχρι όταν δύο ακόμα φυλές ήρθαν από άλλους κόσμους, οι Daroth και οι Eldarin, για να βρουν νέα γη. Οι Oltor τους προσκάλεσαν να μοιραστούν ότι είχαν αλλά οι Daroth ήταν μια μοχθηρή φυλή που θέλανε ακόμα περισσότερα και γι’ αυτό τους σκοτώσανε. Οι Eldarin όμως, βλέποντας ότι αυτή η φυλή μπορούσε να καταστρέψει ακόμα και ολόκληρο τον κόσμο, φρόντισαν έτσι ώστε να μην μπορέσουν ποτέ ξανά να κάνουν κακό σε κανέναν και έτσι εξαφανίστηκαν από προσώπου γης. Μετά από αυτό, ήρθε η ανθρωπότητα, που έφεραν μαζί τους και τους δικούς τους πολέμους, μέχρι που και η τελευταία από τις αρχαίες φυλές χάθηκε και αυτή στην ιστορία. Τώρα, ο δούκας Sirano, ένας αλαζόνας και εγωιστής μάγος, έχοντας βρει ένα από τα τελευταία μαγικά αντικείμενα των Eldarin θα προσπαθήσει να ανακαλύψει τα μυστικά του αλλά αυτό που θα βρει είναι κάτι που δεν πίστευε ποτέ του ότι θα ξαναδεί. Όμως τώρα ο κόσμος τους απειλείται ξανά και ένα νέος μεγάλος πόλεμος θα ξεκινήσει, μόνο που αυτή τη φορά δεν θα έχουν κανέναν για τους βοηθήσει. Μέσα από αυτόν τον πόλεμο τρεις αναπάντεχοι ήρωες θα προσπαθήσουν να νικήσουν αυτόν τον εχθρό, αλλά το τίμημα για την σωτηρία τους είναι, ίσως, μεγαλύτερο απ’ όσο πιστεύανε. Αρχίζοντας το βιβλίο πρέπει να πω ότι η ιστορία σε κάποια σημεία, και ειδικά κάποιες ιδέες, μου θύμισαν αρκετά το Echoes of the Great Song (κριτική παραπάνω) καθώς και στα δύο βιβλία ο Gemmell αναφέρετε στις πύλες των κόσμων αλλά και στο «Μεγάλο Τραγούδι» (Great Song). Φυσικά δεν γνωρίζω αν του είχαν απλά «κολλήσει» κάποιες ιδέες και ήθελε να τις αναπτύξει περισσότερο στο Echoes of the Great Song καθώς κυκλοφόρησε μόλις ένα χρόνο μετά. Όμως οι ομοιότητες τους μπορώ να πω σταματάνε εκεί, αν και έχουν σίγουρα και το ίδιο στυλ του Gemmell. Εκτός αυτού μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ το πώς καταφέρνει ο Gemmell, μέσα από αυτή την «μικρή» ιστορία, να αναπτύξει τους χαρακτήρες (πράγμα που πιστεύω ότι το κάνει καλά εδώ) αλλά και να βγάλει καλούς ήρωες. Η ιστορία από την άλλη είναι και αυτή καλή, αν και σίγουρα όχι τέλεια, κρατώντας το ενδιαφέρον μέχρι το τέλος Όμως παρόλο που προσπαθεί να δώσει μια μεγάλη επικότητα δεν το καταφέρνει τόσο καλά όσο σε άλλα του βιβλία. Φυσικά στο φινάλε ο Gemmell έχει βάλει όλη την μαεστρία και αφήνοντας μια γλυκόπικρη γεύση που με έκανε να εύχομαι να υπήρχε και συνέχεια. (hide spoiler)]

  7. 5 out of 5

    Shima

    A lot of what's fallowing may seem like backhanded compliments, but Gemmell's one of my absolute favorite authors and they're really not. You know when you finish a book and you really envy those who haven't read it yet because they can experience the joy for the first time? Sure you can reread as many times as you want and it'll feel just as awesome, but you can't help but wish you were somehow able to read it again for the first time. With Gemmell you kind of can. You can read one of his books, A lot of what's fallowing may seem like backhanded compliments, but Gemmell's one of my absolute favorite authors and they're really not. You know when you finish a book and you really envy those who haven't read it yet because they can experience the joy for the first time? Sure you can reread as many times as you want and it'll feel just as awesome, but you can't help but wish you were somehow able to read it again for the first time. With Gemmell you kind of can. You can read one of his books, fall in love with his work, then read another one and it'll feel the same. (I am not being sarcastic. This really is a compliment, just read on.) I'm not saying the books are the same, The worlds are different, the characters are different, the stories are different, But I can guarantee you'll get the same feeling. The same awesome feeling and it's magical that the books still don't feel old or repetitive. It's really like you're reading a favorite for the first time. again. That being said, his books are of course different in quality and this one for me is sort of at the bottom. By the way, the fact that my least favorite book of his still gets a 4-4.5 stars should really give you some ideas about his work. You see, this book is really really mellow, specially compared to his other works. It's a good read, It's got awesome characters. We get the warrior woman and brilliant strategist Karis. Who "Lives like a whore, fights like a tiger and looks like an angel" And we get Tarantio, with a split personality, blue eyes and best sword skills in the world. Just based on these two you can see we have no problem in this area. The writing is simple and great like always. The ending is of course great in the typical Gemmell way. The storyline is decent and the pace while not being the fastest is alright. The problem really is what I pointed out earlier, the book is too chill. It doesn't have the emotional thrill rides of his other works, it doesn't have as many wow moments. It felt like the author didn't care about this story as passionately as he did his others. Of course overall it's still great. If you're already a hardcore Gemmell fan you don't need to worry about being disappointed, but if you're new to his work, you should start with one of the most awesome books of all time named Knights of dark renown. And then thank me later.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Quintin Zimmermann

    A rare stand alone fantasy novel by David Gemmell about a mystical, non-Drenai world that was once inhabited by three ancient races, the Eldarin, Oltor and Daroth. Enter our three heroes:  the delightful dichotomy that is Tarantio/Dace, the tortured, genius strategist Karis and the musical healer, Duvodas. "It seemed almost blasphemous to consider music in such a cold and empty landscape, but music was all he had, and his slender fingers danced upon the strings, sending out a stream of melanchol A rare stand alone fantasy novel by David Gemmell about a mystical, non-Drenai world that was once inhabited by three ancient races, the Eldarin, Oltor and Daroth. Enter our three heroes:  the delightful dichotomy that is Tarantio/Dace, the tortured, genius strategist Karis and the musical healer, Duvodas. "It seemed almost blasphemous to consider music in such a cold and empty landscape, but music was all he had, and his slender fingers danced upon the strings, sending out a stream of melancholy notes to echo among the rocks." Re-reading David Gemmell has been a joy, like returning to a long-last friend and realising that the magic is still there, albeit with a tinge of melancholy: I am now much older in years from our first encounters and there are only a finite amount of Gemmell books...

  9. 4 out of 5

    Férial

    It was a very good read. Why then the 4 stars (and not 5) ? Because I have just realized that I am not experiencing this I-have-finished-the-book-but-I-am-already-missing-the-characters kind of feeling. So.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brian Turner

    Didn't enjoy this book as much as other David Gemmell novels. The story began interestingly enough, but as it progressed it seemed to increasingly lose focus. The opening character, Tarantio/Dace seemed to drift away from his own story and end up with nothing resolved. Instead, other characters were introduced who spent a lot of time talking about themselves, and talking about other characters, then talking about logistics, then more about other characters. It was hard not to imagine that the pu Didn't enjoy this book as much as other David Gemmell novels. The story began interestingly enough, but as it progressed it seemed to increasingly lose focus. The opening character, Tarantio/Dace seemed to drift away from his own story and end up with nothing resolved. Instead, other characters were introduced who spent a lot of time talking about themselves, and talking about other characters, then talking about logistics, then more about other characters. It was hard not to imagine that the publisher had told Gemmell to pad the story with an extra twenty thousand words, just for the sake of wordcount. There was a lot of promise and potential in the story, but by the end I felt as though it just fizzled out with the same lack of focus it suffered from early on. By all means, there are the classic siege and morality relativity typical of Gemmell's work, but in this instance it just didn't really come together very well for me. Not a terrible book, but pretty average fantasy fare and below average for Gemmell. 2.5 stars.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Steve

    This is one of Gemmells' best 'stand alone' reads. When it comes to character description and depth there is only one master, and I have yet to find Gemmells' equal. I am so tempted to upgrade my 4 star review to 5 stars. And by the end of this review, I may do just that. The dual characteristics and personalities of Tarantio (and Dace) are brilliantly done. Dace being the much deadlier swordsman than the more amiable Tarantio. And, this was a really good way to start the story. Build a really s This is one of Gemmells' best 'stand alone' reads. When it comes to character description and depth there is only one master, and I have yet to find Gemmells' equal. I am so tempted to upgrade my 4 star review to 5 stars. And by the end of this review, I may do just that. The dual characteristics and personalities of Tarantio (and Dace) are brilliantly done. Dace being the much deadlier swordsman than the more amiable Tarantio. And, this was a really good way to start the story. Build a really strong and complex character to draw your reader in. Another great character (and dual/secondary lead) is Karis, the warrior woman general who has the best strategic skills for the coming war. Her complexity makes her one of the best female characters that Gemmell has written. And her skills are tested to the max as they face a war with the Daroth - a deadly, inhuman race that are hard to kill. The Daroth aim to wipe humans from the face of the earth, and they like the salty taste *smiling* (more of a *grin*, actually)... Though Tarantio, along with Dace (you'll understand if you read this book) and Karis remain the best and main characters, many others are also really well written. There are three ancient races, all of which have been destroyed, apparently. The sadistic Daroth, the magical and peace loving Eldarin, and the Oltor - known for their healing magic. It may sound complex, but this is (IMO *smiles*) one damn fine read. Yes, I'll upgrade this book to 5 stars, and I don't give a book 5 stars so easily. If you doubt this, then take a look at my reviews on my 'Not-Good-Crap' shelf *smiling*... Enjoy!

  12. 5 out of 5

    T.L. Barrett

    I cannot overstate the immense respect I have for David Gemmell's writing. Dark Moon carried me away to a fantastic world of peril and romance and desperate hope. The promise of wonder I experienced reading the Jon Shannow series is fully realized in this stand-alone fantasy epic. Because of the greed of a Duke, the Daroth, a uniquely horrific fantasy race, or pale immortal monsters have awoken. These immortals devour all they see, including the very spirit of the land. Swept up in the hasty defe I cannot overstate the immense respect I have for David Gemmell's writing. Dark Moon carried me away to a fantastic world of peril and romance and desperate hope. The promise of wonder I experienced reading the Jon Shannow series is fully realized in this stand-alone fantasy epic. Because of the greed of a Duke, the Daroth, a uniquely horrific fantasy race, or pale immortal monsters have awoken. These immortals devour all they see, including the very spirit of the land. Swept up in the hasty defense of one mortal city are Tarantio, the greatest swordsman with two spirits sharing one body, Karis, a haunted warrior-woman (and a stellar character study of a strong, but tortured woman), and Duvodas, a healer who had been raised by the gentle Eldarin. Of course, with all of David Gemmell's books, the side characters are well executed and take on an emotional life of their own. All are round and fluid characters, fully realized, fully human. It is hard to leave behind this world and these characters. More pathos and action are in this four hundred + sized novel then in many-volumed fantasy epics by other writers. I cannot think of a more poetically satisfying read for a fantasy lover, nor can I think of a more frightening and fully realized villain as the Daroth. My only wish is that some day these fantasies will be discovered by someone as talented as Peter Jackson and given life on the big screen.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    David Gemmell is one of my favorite fantasy writers. So I was happy to find this book on a recent trip to England. This is a stand alone fantasy book, which is also a rare thing. In this book an ancient evil race that was thought extinct returns and in good David Gemmell tradition results in lots of bloodshed, heroic deeds and sacrifices in the face of overwhelming odds. This book is actually very formulaic and very predictable. There is only one moment in the whole book when I was surprised. Up David Gemmell is one of my favorite fantasy writers. So I was happy to find this book on a recent trip to England. This is a stand alone fantasy book, which is also a rare thing. In this book an ancient evil race that was thought extinct returns and in good David Gemmell tradition results in lots of bloodshed, heroic deeds and sacrifices in the face of overwhelming odds. This book is actually very formulaic and very predictable. There is only one moment in the whole book when I was surprised. Up to that moment I thought that I knew how the story would unfold. that moment (which I'm not explaining because of spoilers) changed the course of the story, but I immediately knew the new course the story would take and I was right about this. But this was still a very entertaining book because I really like David Gemmell's characters and his action scenes. I also think that Joe Abercrombie read this book, because there were some things in here that also seemed to show up in his the first law books.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Dark Moon is just "pack-jammed" (my wife's way to say it) with interesting characters, sex, violence, weaponry, tactics and potent but small doses of fantasy. All in a compact single volume. I would not have minded if he had expanded this story to a larger volume or even another book. The heroine is the general commanding the forces against an immortal race implacably devoted to destroying all humans. Several complex, interesting heroes in the story. Unique and enjoyable. 3.5 Stars. Would have l Dark Moon is just "pack-jammed" (my wife's way to say it) with interesting characters, sex, violence, weaponry, tactics and potent but small doses of fantasy. All in a compact single volume. I would not have minded if he had expanded this story to a larger volume or even another book. The heroine is the general commanding the forces against an immortal race implacably devoted to destroying all humans. Several complex, interesting heroes in the story. Unique and enjoyable. 3.5 Stars. Would have liked more on some of the various races and characters.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jason Wilson

    3.5 Stars

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Griffin

    Very good! If you are looking for a stand-alone fantasy, I highly recommend this one. I like the ending is my favorite.

  17. 4 out of 5

    S.E. Lindberg

    Drenai Series Remains Gemmell’s Best: I was initially attracted to Dark Moon because I had already enjoyed much of Gemmell’s entertaining Drenai Series, which ostensibly is Sword & Sorcery (really 90% sword, 10% sorcery) and I wanted to see how he could handle more magic. Dark Moon promised to be that book. The first portion was outstanding: a complex protagonist (Tarantio/Dace) emerges in a world with an apparently rich history of magic/creatures (three races of alien like humanoids: Daroth Eldar Drenai Series Remains Gemmell’s Best: I was initially attracted to Dark Moon because I had already enjoyed much of Gemmell’s entertaining Drenai Series, which ostensibly is Sword & Sorcery (really 90% sword, 10% sorcery) and I wanted to see how he could handle more magic. Dark Moon promised to be that book. The first portion was outstanding: a complex protagonist (Tarantio/Dace) emerges in a world with an apparently rich history of magic/creatures (three races of alien like humanoids: Daroth Eldarin Oltor). But the plot shifts away from Tarantio and never really capitalizes on the dynamics of the magical cultures. Sorcery quickly takes a back seat with the first protagonist. Instead, the latter half is dedicated for explaining the intricate working of catapults and ballistae…and instead of developing Tarantio’s awesome background, we are introduced to a dozen other characters as they defend a city (sound like Legend?). In fact, the first 6 books of Drenai were published by the time Dark Moon emerged as a stand-alone book (~1996), but the similarities with Drenai were obvious: the Daroth might as well have been “Joinings” and the city of Corduin could have been “Dros Delnoch.” So more sorcery was presented, but it was delivered superficially. It did not seem like a new Gemmell experience; instead of offering a new experience, Gemmell demonstrated the limits of his formulaic approach. Not bad, but not nothing spectacular either.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mayank Agarwal

    Another good book by David Gemmell, the characteristics of the three elder races is really different from what we normally get from fantasy fiction world and Gemmell does great job in incorporating them in the standard medieval human world.He builds up the story without rushing and is still able to maintain the pace -the book is a page turner.Really enjoyed the unique personality of Tarantio/Dace and the singer Duvodas but as the story progresses they takes a back seat. With the shift of focus o Another good book by David Gemmell, the characteristics of the three elder races is really different from what we normally get from fantasy fiction world and Gemmell does great job in incorporating them in the standard medieval human world.He builds up the story without rushing and is still able to maintain the pace -the book is a page turner.Really enjoyed the unique personality of Tarantio/Dace and the singer Duvodas but as the story progresses they takes a back seat. With the shift of focus on Karis and siege in the city the other main characters lost their shine. Enjoyed the weird and unexpected ending, it’s a great read, only complain is none of the main characters were heroic type, the stuff which inspires legend and emotions, stays with you for life, the stuff I have come to expect from Gemmell’s heroes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peat

    Did a re-read, found I didn't like it as much as I remember. Problem is I remembered the good bits and not the ho-hum bits padding it out. There's so many jumps around the characters and so many unnecessary plot threads. And its not a big book. The good bits are awesome - but not enough to save it. Ah well. Still worth reading. Did a re-read, found I didn't like it as much as I remember. Problem is I remembered the good bits and not the ho-hum bits padding it out. There's so many jumps around the characters and so many unnecessary plot threads. And its not a big book. The good bits are awesome - but not enough to save it. Ah well. Still worth reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    John

    David Gemmell is one of my favorite authors. I love his characters and their sense of right and wrong. I have one or two of his books that I still haven't read and I'm not looking forward to finishing them as, RIP, he's no longer with us to continue his terrific storytelling. David Gemmell is one of my favorite authors. I love his characters and their sense of right and wrong. I have one or two of his books that I still haven't read and I'm not looking forward to finishing them as, RIP, he's no longer with us to continue his terrific storytelling.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Druss

    At least my third reading of this novel And I enjoyed it the most this time. Pace, action, world building and taut storytelling. I miss new Gemmell

  22. 4 out of 5

    Brian

    The War of the Pearl had raged for seven years between four Duchies. But the Duke Sirano of Romark, possessed the Eldarin Pearl and was determined to unravel its secrets. But in his quest for glory he unwittingly unleashes the Daroth, a powerful immortal warring race who are hell bent on wiping out all other races. Then along come three heroes. Karis, warrior-woman; Tarantio, the deadliest swordsman of the age, and Duvodas the Healer. The fate of the human race rests in their hands. This is the f The War of the Pearl had raged for seven years between four Duchies. But the Duke Sirano of Romark, possessed the Eldarin Pearl and was determined to unravel its secrets. But in his quest for glory he unwittingly unleashes the Daroth, a powerful immortal warring race who are hell bent on wiping out all other races. Then along come three heroes. Karis, warrior-woman; Tarantio, the deadliest swordsman of the age, and Duvodas the Healer. The fate of the human race rests in their hands. This is the first fantasy book I have read by David Gemmell, I have previously read his Troy trilogy which I loved, Dark Moon isn’t as good as those books. It’s lightweight and flimsy in comparison. It offers nothing new in the fantasy genre, it has heroes, swords and sorcery, and a foe with no purpose other than to kill everyone. But having said that it isn’t bad either. If you want a light entertaining read and love fantasy fiction, then I would recommend it. But if you want something more substantial and grittier then you may be disappointed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Geoff Battle

    There's a huge amount of content squeezed in to the singular tome of Dark Moon. Other authors would have stretched this out in to a trilogy, however in Gemmell's deft hands an epic struggle for a survival is tidily contained between two covers. Every character has their own arc, ranging from the anti-hero with two souls, the Ice Queen tactician, the bard with a link to a dead race and the malevolent enemy with no fear. This wild range of characters should create disbelief yet the stampeding stor There's a huge amount of content squeezed in to the singular tome of Dark Moon. Other authors would have stretched this out in to a trilogy, however in Gemmell's deft hands an epic struggle for a survival is tidily contained between two covers. Every character has their own arc, ranging from the anti-hero with two souls, the Ice Queen tactician, the bard with a link to a dead race and the malevolent enemy with no fear. This wild range of characters should create disbelief yet the stampeding story offers no time to consider the implausibility of it all. The endgame, the Gemmell standard, is fresh and inventive. Gemmell remains one of the masters of fantasy fiction and Dark Moon is a very good example of his talent.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Darren Kloss

    While this is not one of my favourite Gemmel books, it was still very good. The characters were very unique and the three main story lines linked together about three quarters of the way through to follow through to a strong climax. I am always amazed with how Gemmel can weave a strong, peace driven message in a book that is predominantly about war and death. The honour of those who are basically good and the power of doing what is right in the face of a lot of horror. I always tell anyone that if While this is not one of my favourite Gemmel books, it was still very good. The characters were very unique and the three main story lines linked together about three quarters of the way through to follow through to a strong climax. I am always amazed with how Gemmel can weave a strong, peace driven message in a book that is predominantly about war and death. The honour of those who are basically good and the power of doing what is right in the face of a lot of horror. I always tell anyone that if they haven't read Gemmel, they are in for a ride.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jimmy

    This is the first book I've read by David Gemmell and now I can understand why others do recommend him. Dark Moon is a good, fast-paced, highly imaginative, and a hard book to put down. When it comes to heroic fantasy, this book is right up there with Dylan Doose in my opinion. There is a lot of myth and not much fact on the Eldarin race during the war for the Pearl. The human race is facing extinction if they can not put a stop to the Daroth invasion. This is the first book I've read by David Gemmell and now I can understand why others do recommend him. Dark Moon is a good, fast-paced, highly imaginative, and a hard book to put down. When it comes to heroic fantasy, this book is right up there with Dylan Doose in my opinion. There is a lot of myth and not much fact on the Eldarin race during the war for the Pearl. The human race is facing extinction if they can not put a stop to the Daroth invasion.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Paul,

    Classic Gemmell. Good story, interesting hero and a few good quotes. My favorite quote: "Nothing in terms of the soul is irrevocable. ... Nothing is impossible - especially not in terms of the human soul. If that were true, every soldier would become evil and every priest would have healing hands." Classic Gemmell. Good story, interesting hero and a few good quotes. My favorite quote: "Nothing in terms of the soul is irrevocable. ... Nothing is impossible - especially not in terms of the human soul. If that were true, every soldier would become evil and every priest would have healing hands."

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    david gemmell has always been my favourite heroic fantasy author, especially his Rigante series. I found this book rather slow moving,far fetched and hard to get into.Barring all that i did enjoy it once it got moving ,although i maybe wouldn't reccomend this one as i would some of his others, three stars is all i can give. david gemmell has always been my favourite heroic fantasy author, especially his Rigante series. I found this book rather slow moving,far fetched and hard to get into.Barring all that i did enjoy it once it got moving ,although i maybe wouldn't reccomend this one as i would some of his others, three stars is all i can give.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Otto Benz

    Sci-fi/fantasy, set in a world where an ancient race allowed 2 other races to move to a planet, and then disappeared, and then so did another race. Subsequently, humans turned up and forced the third race to disappear, but the second one turned up again - and they turned out to be a bunch of homicidal maniacs. Follows adventure story where heroes and heroine win back control over the planet. Nice, fast paced plot, but characters are a bit simplistic. Plot seems a bit dated, also, but that's beca Sci-fi/fantasy, set in a world where an ancient race allowed 2 other races to move to a planet, and then disappeared, and then so did another race. Subsequently, humans turned up and forced the third race to disappear, but the second one turned up again - and they turned out to be a bunch of homicidal maniacs. Follows adventure story where heroes and heroine win back control over the planet. Nice, fast paced plot, but characters are a bit simplistic. Plot seems a bit dated, also, but that's because the book was published in 2009. Still enjoyed it, though.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Oliver

    Pretty standard fantasy, thought it would be somewhat more interesting based on reviews. Positive that it is a stand-alone novel (not a fantasy series of many books), and the story has a start and an end, which is not always the case with fantasy lately.

  30. 4 out of 5

    C.S. Wright

    This is one of my all time favourite stand-alone fantasy novels. It has a great cast of interesting characters and three new brilliantly inventive fantasy races.The fearsome Daroth are a particularly scary enemy and the story is compelling. I may have to re-read this one again soon!

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