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I write and live with my beautiful wife, Sandra, and sons (Solstice, Finnegan and Brahms) in a little-big house on a dirt road in a valley in the hills. My secret identity struggles through the grind of teaching high school English to the denizens of Vermont's Northeast Kingdom.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review of The Last Guardian by David Gemmell

This is the second novel of David Gemmell's that I have read, and the second book in the Jon Shannow trilogy. I have to say, I am amazed that David Gemmell is not a more common name in the fantasy world. I also hope that some day his works get translated into different mediums. Comic books would be great, but so would films or TV shows.

The Last Guardian picks up immediately after Wolf in Shadow, where Jon Shannow, the Jerusalem Man is continuing his search for the holy city, and being tragically accosted by villains and surrounded by death. He is a noble madman, who goes through a very satisfying arc in this second installment. David Gemmell is good at introducing lost of disparate elements into his novels until you wonder what the heck he could be thinking. He weaves these together in a most satisfying manner. He melds mythology, religion, and good old post-apocalyptic fantasy adventure in a great story. I can't wait to read the final installment, but I am hesitant, because I have truly fallen in love with this story and don't want it to end.

The story has action, and lots of despicable characters, and noble ones, too. Even the despicable ones, however, manage to find redemption. There is also a lot of weird events and historical/biblical events that are explained in an amazing way in a novel just under 300 pages. The story can be read on many levels simultaneously. It is one part pulp action, one part mythical western, and one part philosophical fantasy. If you used to enjoy the brain candy of Thundarr the barbarian, you will love losing yourself in the world of Gemmell's creation while being pleasantly surprised as an adult reader at the same time.

Perhaps, this isn't for every one, but if you're anything like me, a thoughtful lover of fantasy who get fed up with cliche and political dramas, you will love Jon Shannow and The Last Guardian.

Also, if you can't get your hands on The Wolf in Shadow, you can read this story as a stand alone novel.

Rating: five stars out of five.

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