The King Beyond the Gate

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The King Beyond the Gate
Author David Gemmell
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Series Drenai series
Genre Fantasy novel
Publisher Century
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback & Hardback)
Pages 415 pp (first edition, paperback)
Preceded by Legend
Followed by Waylander

The King Beyond The Gate is a fantasy novel by David Gemmell. It was published in 1985. It was the second book published by Gemmell, after Legend, published a year earlier. The book is set in the same fictional world as Legend, that of the Drenai, but is not a sequel in the usual sense as the events of the two books take place around a century apart. Thus the main protagonists of Legend are long since dead and play little part in The King Beyond the Gate, other than passing mentions. This set a precedent for the entire Drenai series, in which very few characters appear in more than one novel, the gaps between novels sometimes running to centuries, giving a more epic, historical flavour to the series.


The King Beyond the Gate takes place a century after Legend takes place. The Drenai are under the rule of Ceska, a usurper of the throne who over time has become a mad emperor. Ceska rules with an iron fist, with the Joinings and the Dark Templars as his tools of terror. The Joinings are horrifying werebeasts, made by merging man and animal, and the Dark Templars are priests of darkness, with power beyond compare. Thus it falls to one man to overthrow the tyrant--- Tenaka Khan.


Following on from other Gemmell works where the main characters are powerful men past their prime, the three characters of Tenaka, Ananaïs and Decado are all three less able to rely on physical endurance and dumb luck, and instead use experience and bluff to survive. This story also offers a much grittier view of the Drenai world compared to Legend. The “Joinings” are new to the saga, melding of animals and men (and women).


  • Tenaka Khan ~ protagonist, warrior, brooding, calculating