Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Hero in the Shadows by David Gemmell

Hero in the Shadows (2000)

by David Gemmell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Drenai (9), Waylander the Slayer (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
640715,108 (4.11)5



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Substance: Waylander, after another long retirement, is once again forced by events to hate a hand in saving the world, leaving his comfortable and anonymous life as a wealthy land-owner to defend against the forces of evil. His investment counselor, Matze Chai, has a delightful supporting role.
Style: Gemmell has an easy-reading style with well-paced bursts of action punctuating the calmer narrative, which itself is never dull. ( )
  librisissimo | Feb 1, 2015 |
Characters: Very believable and memorable. Love the Waylander.

Plot: Pretty solid. World is crumbling and they have to save it. Magic is reasonable.

Style: Gritty-ish. Classical fantasy. Good pacing.


Revisited, flesh out my thoughts.

Characters: Well of course Waylander is the reason you are here, but this time Gemmell did so much more. The enemies are real people with real conflicts. There are other heroes (The two samurai are a great addition and a great contrast between each other.) The elder merchant is classic. And the young females actually don't make me go 'bimbo!'

Plot: Solid. There's not even a siege this time! Sure, he pulls some 'multiverse' stuff out his ass, but it's tastefully done. And at the same time it's all a very logical takeover with a simple Waylander in the way of things. I found it enjoyable.

Style: This is just blood-stirring epic action adventure. It's not epic because of the scale of the world, it's epic because of the scale of emotion. These people are real, and yet larger than life at the same time. Gemmell has a gift. It just seems that when he's writing about people other than Waylander he gets a little pompous and predictable. With Waylander, you know it will stay dark with questions of redemption mixed with a touch of badass action. ( )
  Isamoor | May 8, 2009 |
Waylander is without any doubt one of the most fascinating anti-heroes ever created. Previous books follow the path from his creation as an assassin and his journey to achieve redemption with expert character development from Gemmell. In the final volume Waylander is set to journey across the sea in a final attempt to be alone and contemplate life; for he is old now, grey and ready to receive the Source. Gemmell has other plans for Waylander. Following on from the demon story created in a previous Drenai novel, Winter Warriors, Hero in the Shadows once more plunges heroes against magic, although Gemmell has crafted this tale with it's roots firmly in action and development of the new heroes, who fight alongside Waylander. The magic used here is insidious and the the body count just keeps rising! There are strong emotional currents throughout and Gemmell weaves action, tension, mystery, sorcery and the pull of emotions most expertly - Hero in the Shadows is a sublime read. The dialogue is Gemmell's sharpest too, with many wry smiles to be had with Waylander's dark retorts. Recommended to any fantasy reader, although previous Drenai novels (especially the Waylander ones and Winter Warriors) would create a perfect backdrop. ( )
  SonicQuack | Jan 14, 2009 |
Again, I am thinking Gemmel overload stopped me from enjoying this as much as I may have. Nice to read a book about Waylander though. ( )
  kale.dyer | Oct 30, 2008 |
Hero in the Shadow is the next book in the Drenai Saga, I believe it is book 9 in the series. For people who have little to no idea who David Gemmell is, you are in for a treat as you embark on this incredible journey through his plethora of novels. The first book in this saga is simply titled Legend (Drenai Tales, Book 1). It's a great read and one that starts a grand adventure. If you have not read Waylander (Drenai Tales, Book 4) and In the Realm of the Wolf (Drenai Tales, Book 5) by Gemmell you really need to at least read those two before reading this one. It will add much more depth to the main character and the demons he carries with him.

This novel actually has many plot layers to it. The main plot involves attempting to stop an invasion by demons in the land. This takes on many interesting turns and provides a brief history lesson to some things that have been mentioned in earlier books. Some of the sub-plots involve very emotional pieces such as Waylander's personal demons, Chardyn doubting his belief in the Source, Ustarte wanting to prevent deeds from happening, and a few more I won't mention due to being possibly spoilers. I think it is safe to say that no matter what type of fantasy books you enjoy there will be something in this novel for everyone. There are large scale battles, there are political underpinnings, there is the human element of striving for goals, there is revenge and retribution, but most importantly the story itself is well written and highly entertaining.

Mr. Gemmell has a knack for writing very engaging characters. Every character seems to be the most important character in the novel when they are on the page. Main characters such as Waylander and Eldicar all the way to minor characters such as Matze Chai and Lalitia. Gemmell imbues each of these characters with very real elements that allow the reader to love or hate them at the reader's discretion. Also, the character development in this novel is second to none. From where Walyander starts in the novel to where he ends up is simply fantastic. The journey the priest Chardyn undertakes in his search for believing in the Source is very good as well. Rarely in fantasy books is an author able to capture both great characters and a great plot. Mr. Gemmell has done just that in this novel.

When picking up a Gemmell book it is much like putting on a pair of old shoes, it's comfortable and you know just what to expect. While Mr. Gemmell may not write epic plots like G.R.R. Martin his novels are certainly worth while. His prose allows for an ease of reading. He doesn't use the flowery language one can expect from, say Tolkien. His books are much like he was in life, to the point and honest. If you are a fan of the fantasy genre and have not yet read a Gemmell book you are doing yourself a tremendous disservice. Take a chance and pick up Legend today and maybe you will continue on in this saga as I have. I will surely recommend these books to many fantasy fans. ( )
  BeezerMN | Oct 22, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Gemmellprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bolton, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Held in de schaduw wordt met veel liefde opgedragen aan Broo Doherty, met dank voor je steun, je bemoedigende opmerkingen en je onverwoestbare goede humeur gedurende zoveel jaren. Veel geluk, Broo!!
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Camran Osir, de huurlingkapitein, hield op de top van de heuvel zijn paard in en draaide zich om in het zadel om naar de bosweg achter zich te kijken.
Last words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0345432258, Mass Market Paperback)

In Hero in the Shadows, Waylander, the assassin hero of some of Gemmell's earlier books, is now a middle-aged man looking for peace in a world that will, for the most part, let him alone. The crimes of his past come back to haunt him, as he finds himself responsible for a young prince whose grandfather he murdered, and as creatures of doomed legend come back to rule the world with blood and horror. An aging paladin, a loud-mouthed braggart whom a magic sword has chosen, and a kitchen girl who is unusually handy with her knives become his allies, along with a priestess who is not telling all she knows, or all she is.

Gemmell is one of the best writers of fantasy adventure--this new book is attractively gloomy in its atmosphere and has a pervading sense of the ironic. The action sequences are powerful and well visualized; Gemmell always knows how a particular sort of fight would feel. And there are no simple morals here--most of the characters, heroic or villainous, exist in the gray hinterland between dark and light, where evil acts are often performed in sorrow and good actions often have mixed motives behind them. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:34 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the ruined city of Kuan Hador, enslaved beasts with an insatiable appetite for death are about to break free and wreak vengeance against all who live. Facing them will be a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, led by a man of destiny known as Waylander the Slayer.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
6 avail.
14 wanted
3 pay2 pay

Popular covers


Average: (4.11)
1 1
2 3
3 20
3.5 2
4 43
4.5 11
5 37

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,788,498 books! | Top bar: Always visible