The King Beyond the Gate (Drenai Saga #2) ★★★☆½

kingbeyondthegate (Custom)This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The King Beyond the Gate
Series: Drenai Saga #2
Author: David Gemmell
Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 321
Format: Digital Edition



Several generations after the events that took place in Legend, Drenai is now ruled by a mad sorcerer who discovered ancient machines that allowed him to fuse men and animals, thus creating super warriors completely under his thrawl. Ceska started out as just an advisor but now he rules. Along the way he destroyed the one group that could have destroyed him, The Dragons. Elite Warriors, the Dragons chose not to oppose Ceska when he initially took control but were later destroyed by him. A few of them survived the ambush mainly by not being there. One such Dragon was Tanaka Khan, a half caste of Drenai Nobility AND Nardir nobility.

He sets out on a quest to assassinate Ceska, not caring if he lives or dies afterwards. Along the way he comes across old and new friends and realizes he really doesn’t want to die. He gets help from the new 30 and eventually must seek the aid of his Nardir brethren. However, the only way to gain such aid is to become their Chief. He does so but visions of Nardir supremacy begin dancing through his head like sugar plums on Christmas Eve.

Ceska is destroyed along with his Dark Templars (dark versions of the 30) and Tenaka returns to the Nardir. The Epilogue reveals how he comes back to Drenai with a Nardir army in several years and is opposed by former allies from this story.


My Thoughts:

I enjoyed this a tiny bit more than Legend even while the action was a bit less. It “almost” bordered on the repetitive what with the multi-walled stalling approach but the Joinings (the man/beast hybrids) were a cool idea even if a bit under utilized.

I was talking with someone on Librarything about Gemmell and I realized that I would have enjoyed this stuff much more 15-20 years ago. I think this is geared a bit more towards the adolescent and young adult male but I don’t know how the modern soyboi would take it. Anyone CAN read this but if you’ve read fantasy for close to a decade I suspect this won’t tickle your fancy quite as much.

Nothing bad and I enjoyed this and plan on continuing the series, just not “fantastic” if you know what I mean.



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17 thoughts on “The King Beyond the Gate (Drenai Saga #2) ★★★☆½

  1. savageddt says:

    I was around 26 when i first read Legend and still loved it just because I had the bit in the front telling the story about the story. I could appreciate it then. I would like to read more Gemmel some time again. Just not his White Wolf series.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nicole says:

    I know what you mean about reading books at the wrong stage in life. I’ve come up against a few of those myself. Books that I enjoyed, but I know I would have gotten a lot more out of them several years ago. Oh well.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. H.P. says:

    Gemmell may be one of those writers who suffers from their own influence. I want to read more Gemmell (I’ve only read Lion of Macedon) but I am a little afraid the ideal time has passed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. HCNewton says:

    I had a friend… Maybe back in college… who swore I’d dig Gemmell
    I could only find book 2 of various series anytime I looked. So I never got around to them. If I could’ve found just one #1 (or a stand alone)…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It’s funny what you said about Gemmel’s work leaning toward a younger audience: a long time ago I was following a Usenet group about fantasy, and back then Gemmel was one of the authors most talked about, but for some reason I never felt the need to read his works, and I’m now wondering if my “book vibes” were already warning me that I was not the right age for it – and if it was true then, it is even more so now… 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I sort of hate finding out that it is better suited for a younger audience when I’m in the middle of it all…

    Liked by 1 person

  7. ivebeenbookedblog says:

    Thank you for reviewing this. I read the first book legend a while ago. I enjoyed the book but not enough to continue it on. After reading this, I may continue it.

    Liked by 1 person

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