Wolf in Shadow by David Gemmell. Review by R.S. Gibson

Book Cover

In Print
Set in a post-apocalyptic world, this novel follows the struggles of a few good men and women to build a better world in a land plagued by lawless men and an ancient evil stirring in the North. The fate of this new world will lie in the hands of Jon Shannow the demon-haunted killer known as the Jerusalem Man.

This book by the late British fantasy author David Gemmell was originally published in 1987 and was his fourth novel. It was also his first published work after the bestselling Drenai series.

All of David Gemmell's books feature redemption and forgiveness as major themes. Time and again he writes about how the world is naturally harmonious and there must be a balance between Good and Evil. Neither of these two absolutes can prevail for long. His books can be very stereotypical with all the same stock characters and situations appearing in different guises over and over again. That is certainly the case with this early work, however it also has Gemmell's characteristic strengths of being a ripping yarn, well-plotted with memorable characters, troubled men who find redemption in taking up arms in the cause of the helpless and weak. In John Shannow, the old Testament quoting gun-slinger who rides through the pages of Wolf in Shadow Gemmell created one of his greatest characters.

Going back to this book after a number of years, I realized that while it's not a great book, it's still a gripping easy read and actually has a very encouraging positive message for readers. David Gemmell would go on to hone his craft and write many better books than Wolf in Shadow, but this is where it all began.

R.S. Gibson works by day to support himself and his growing book collection. By night he dreams of a career in comics. He is a long time fan of alternative reality fiction.