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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.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review of Bloodstone by David Gemmell

I have just finished the final chapter in David Gemmell's Jon Shannow trilogy, and what a ride it was. I couldn't imagine a more satisfying conclusion to this thrilling series. Any fan of westerns, fantasy, post-apocalypse, or suspenseful action will love this series about a post-apocalyptic gunslinger that is known as the Jerusalem Man for his early quest for the lost fabled city.

This book has everything great about the other two volumes and more. It is the only book in the series that could not be read alone as it is dependent on so much of what happens in both of the previous books.

Here are some highlights about this particular novel:

1. This book has some very frightening moments with mutated, man-eating "wolvers" and the return of the deadly hellborn armies. This horror factor just capitalizes the heroic nature of those who survive and stand strong against the evil forces of the bloodstone.

2. All of the Jon Shannow books are philosophical. This one is doubly so, mixed with heaps of pathos and a more than a touch of melancholy, this book proves to be as thoughtful as it is exciting: a nice balance.

3. The character of Jon Shannow is shown as his most complex (and, thus, most human). His sacrifices are poignant.

4. Characters that were introduced in all three of the volumes really come to life here. Gemmell devoted a lot of pages for their development and personal tests and tragedies. When everything comes together for a real standoff with the surviving characters the reader is absolutely invested.

5. The Bloodstone is a villain that is truly fantastic and horrific. Gemmell has given us a devil that is believable and horrific in his conception.

Mr. Gemmell, like the Jon Shannow has moved on. I know I will not get the chance to read about Jon Shannow again. Except, you can bet that I won't be forgetting about his excellent adventures. In any case, if I do, I will be reading these novels again, I am sure. I can't recommend these books more to the true fantasy lover.

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