By David Gemmell
Written originally to be a standalone novel, Wolf in Shadow eventually became the first in a trilogy of stories set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy version of Earth. It’s been three centuries since the Earth toppled on its axis, causing huge devastation and the downfall of an our current civilisation. And into this devastated planet – which has recovered to a similar level of technology to the nineteenth century which means, yes, cowboys!!
Jon Shannow is the lone gunman in this book and the rest of the series. A compelling character who, like all the best protagonists, is a man with shades of grey. He is on an unexplained mission to find “Jerusalem” but becomes unwillingly involved in the lives of the people he tries to help so that, ultimately, he finds himself coming up against the equivalent of the devil on Earth.
This is a fantastic story, taking in the legends of Atlantis and, believe it or not, the Titanic. It is a self-contained story, but introduces a universe interesting enough to sustain the books that follow. Gemmell uses spare and efficient prose that gets to the point and leaves plenty of room for the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks.
Highly recommended whether you’re a Gemmell fan or not.