It has been forever since I read this book. Still, I really should review it. Here goes.
At Bel-Azar, four friends held out against hopeless odds, only to be spared by the Nadir Khan. Known by the Nadir as the “ghosts yet to be,” they enjoyed the fame of heroes for a time, but now live in obscurity in their own kingdom.
When a band of slavers raze a village and carry off the women, however, a young, reckless boy named Kiall calls upon the forgotten heroes to help him free his unrequited love. And so the “ghosts yet to be” join together for one last quest, only to find that the stakes are much higher than any of them could have forseen…
David Gemmell writes awesome fantasy! Some of the best I have ever read. This one, while not quite as deep and meaningful as others like Legend, had its moments. Let me just say, Gemmell knows how to kill off his characters.
The story started off very well, with some interesting introductions. It felt a bit like a cowboy movie, where the heroes are all outcasts, unable to find their place in mainstream society. I immediately took a liking to the main character, Chareos–Gemmell knows how to write heroic characters, even dark heroic characters.
The action began immediately, with blood and battle in every chapter. As usual, Gemmell did an excellent job getting to the meaning (or lack thereof) of it all, but at times, it felt a little bit superficial. Not very much, but sometimes, it seemed that he threw the action in just to keep the story interesting. It didn’t pack quite the same punch as Legend, which was a much superior book.
It took me a few chapters to feel that the story was progressing–Gemmell isn’t always strong on plot–but once I did, it really took off. I finished the last hundred or so pages at a sprint, and the ending, like all of Gemmell’s endings, did not disappoint.
Overall, I’d say this book is more fan action-adventure story than anything else–light reading, compared to Gemmell’s other work. Still, it was definitely entertaining, and much deeper and well-written than your typical thriller. If you like heroic adventure stories with lots of action, you’ll love this book.