Echoes of the Great Song by David Gemmell

7/10 Sadly this was not a book I enjoyed

Echoes of the Great Song is a 1992 novel by David Gemmell, the bestselling author of the Rigante and Drenai series of heroic fantasy novels.

The prophecy had come true. The world spun. Tidal waves lashed the planet, and a new ice age dawned. The few survivors of a once great empire struggled to rebuild, to hold their ground against the rising barbarian tide. Then two moons appeared in the skies, unleashing a terrible evil that threatened not only the new empire, but the survival of the world itself.

During my life I have read and thoroughly enjoyed more than a dozen David Gemmell novels. Sadly, this, one of his lesser-known works, failed to hold my interest throughout despite a promising opening.

If you read a healthy number of books by the same author you will begin to notice recurring themes, and recurring character traits. This is rarely a problem and the familiarity can often be comforting but in the case of Echoes of the Great Song my issue was that neither the story arc nor the characters moved me at all. I felt no excitement or tension whilst reading and felt no empathy towards the plights of the characters.

To put it bluntly - Gemmell has, in my personal opinion, written better stories and better characters. And that’s why I can’t recommend this particular David Gemmell novel. And it makes me feel somewhat disloyal because if this book was written by another author I may have felt that this was a good solid fantasy with fast pace and plenty of action. But Gemmell has written such great novels and provided me with so much reading pleasure that I felt underwhelmed by this offering. And I’m aware that judging a novel by the author’s other works and finding it lacking is not really fair. And I accept that but sadly this was not a book I enjoyed.

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