Have you ever built up an author (or director, musician, etc.) in your head as being one of the greats? Maybe even a genius in their respective field? Now I don’t think David Gemmell is a genius, but I’ve always considered him a skilled writer who excels at certain types of stories. Those stories often focus on tough men put in situations where their survival is in question but the situation often leads to their redemption as heroes for having done the honourable thing in said difficult situation. I’ve pointed out his weaknesses as a writer before (female characters!) and his stories can be similar when looking at them side by side (yet they’re usually varied enough in the details to remain separate individual works). Sometimes he plays with big ideas and when he does, he rivals many of the other great fantasy authors. To be clear, I think David Gemmell is pretty great and up until a few weeks ago, at least, he was one of my favourite fantasy authors, comfortably sitting amongst the other greats in the literary pantheon of my mind.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.