A Note on David Gemmell

Sword in the Storm (The Rigante Series, Book 1)

David Gemmell was one of the inspirations behind my short story A Song of Blood. So, I guess, I just had to write this.

A Note on David Gemmell

It’s been over two years since I first read Sword in the Storm. I can vividly remember being blown away by the rich storytelling, infused with themes of courage, redemption and the grey nature of the Rigante world. It was a fantasy novel and of course there was magic. Magic unlike any I had experienced earlier. It was a magic not of spells and curses and incantations, but of the soul. Good acts of people added to it, while bad deeds depleted the magic.

However, the best aspect of Gemmell’s writing was his optimism. One could stare Death in the eye, guaranteed to be slain in a battle tomorrow, but still be hopeful, chat with friends and make merry and enjoy life to its fullest today. Gemmell’s novel was not merely a very entertaining read to me but a life lesson.

I recently read the third novel in the Rigante series, Ravenheart. I found it having the same master storytelling of the first two books, if anything, it was actually even better. There was a scene in which a one-eyed man beats down a fighter, trained to be the best in the land. In the hands of a less gifted writer the scene would have likely become mediocre and clichéd, where the weak beats the strong. But here, Gemmell pulls it off magnificently. My heart soared as I read the particular scene, Gemmell saying that the one-eyed man seemed to lift the mountains in the background on his shoulders.

Towards the end there were a series of scenes, in which the seed of unity is sowed between two peoples at the face of utter injustice. I was holding back tears, mesmerized by the intensity of Gemmell’s writing.

It’s sad, David Gemmell is no more. As per Wikipedia, he died writing. I consider that kind of death an honour for any writer (who wouldn’t!) The best artist often dies doing what they love, getting lost in their creation forever. Gemmell continues to live through his wonderful books, inspiring readers like me to live life at its fullest, no matter what and be optimistic in the worst of situations. Like that flower growing in the snow, not a single other plant in sight, most beautiful because it has hope.



About A J Chaudhury

A. J. Chaudhury is a young author from India of fantasy and historical fiction. His short story "A Song of Blood", set in historical Pragjotisha, has released recently, and more tales are following soon.
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2 Responses to A Note on David Gemmell

  1. Richard Powers says:

    Dear A.J.Chaudhury,

    I am excited with your idea of re-telling the Gilgamesh Epic because it is so rich with information that is still relevant today. I would like it to be based on the original elements which include the deforestation of Uruk, the more egalitarian society regarding the male/female structure, the problems of the asidification of soil and use of increased barley supplementation leading to alcoholism in the City, the change of Enkido from a forest protector to Gilgamesh’s best friend, his struggles with his sublimation to Gil’s point of city view leading to helping Gil kill another forest protector of the Cedars of Lebanon, the slaying of the goddesses bull and the mourning of Gil and journey of Gil trying to liberate Enkido from the afterlife, the journey back and story of God’s wisest of creatures the Serpent who stole the plant of eternal life and causing the Transformation, shedding the skin. The early Sumerian story of the Garden of Eden was mis-interpreted by the male supremacy of the Hebrews which usurped the feminine. The serpent has always represented the fact that we don’t reach God or higher Consciousness unless there is the “Transformation”. It was only via the serpent and the female interaction that caused that Transformation. So why was the story of Eden changed by the male chauvinist Hebrews? Ecological degradation , degradation of spiritual connection for egoistic desires, substance abuse, feminine equality perspective toward masculine supremacy and many other aspects are all there. Good Luck. I look forward to reading your take. The G Epic has it all.

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