Quest for Lost Heroes
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|12 April 1990|
|Media type||Print (Paperback & Hardback)|
|Pages||316 pp (paperback)|
|ISBN||0-09-964340-5 (paperback) 0712625127 (hardcover)|
|Followed by||Waylander II: In the Realm of the Wolf|
Quest for Lost Heroes, published in 1990, is a novel by British fantasy writer David Gemmell. It is the fourth entry in the Drenai series. The story is set several decades after and makes several references to the events in Gemmell's earlier title, The King Beyond the Gate. It also provides a conclusion to the story of Tenaka Khan, one of the main protagonists of The King Beyond the Gate.
The Drenai fortress of Dros Delnoch has fallen and blood hungry Nadir hordes sweep across the land, bringing desolation and despair. But, with the Nadir triumphant, slavers seize a young girl in the tiny realm of Gothir and a peasant boy sets off on a quest that will shake the world. To rescue her, Kiall must cross the savage steppes and journey through the Halls of Hell, facing ferocious beasts, deadly warriors and demons of the dark. But the boy is not alone. With him are the legendary heroes of Bel-Azar: Chareos the Blademaster, Beltzer the Axeman and the bowmen Finn and Maggrig. And one among them hides a secret that could free the world of Nadir domination. For he is the Nadir Bane, the hope of the Drenai. He is the Earl of Bronze.
Like many of the Drenai novels, this one deals with once powerful men of war or physicality becoming older and while wiser, less relevant to the world around them. It also deals with the youthful naivety of Kiall, one of the main characters. He dreams of being a great hero, playing games and make believe. Later on he discovers his heroes are much less black and white than he imagined, and despite his disillusionment he becomes eventually both a strong man and a “hero” himself.
This book is also rare as it very gently and with great sensitivity adds a homosexual relationship into the Fantasy trope. The two male archers Finn and Maggrig are shown as strong, capable and are never in any way treated differently by either the group or the people they encounter.
The character of Chien, a Chiatze noble, is a very complicated and sophisticated character- possibly one of Gemmells most sophisticated to date. An educated and arrogant man he is also fierce, moral and surprisingly ingenious. He is also likeable, witty and provides some scenes of quite genuine humour.
The final epilogue scene seems to hint at a future battle between the heirs of both the Armour of Bronze and the throne of the Nadir, a story that was never explored by Gemmell.
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