The Swords of Night and Day

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The Swords of Night and Day
Swords of Night and Day.jpg
The Swords of Night and Day book cover.
Author David Gemmell
Illustrator Dale Rippke (map)
Cover artist John Picacio
Country Great Britain
Language English
Series The Damned
Subject Resurrection
Genre Fantasy
Publisher Bantam, Corgi, Del Rey
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Softcover
Pages 492
ISBN 0-345-45834-6
OCLC 58390504
Preceded by White Wolf

The Swords of Night and Day (ISBN 0-345-45834-6) is a fantasy novel by David Gemmell, as well as a pair of legendary swords within the book. They also appear in Gemmell's book White Wolf. The book is set 1000 years following the death of Olek Skilgannon.

The novel is an exploration of the future of the Drenai world, focussing heavily on Jiamads (joinings of beast and men honed to fighting perfection). The story also contains a satisfactory ending to Skilganon's original life, including not only his first demise, but that of Jianna, the Witch Queen with whom he was deeply in love. The story however appears to deal broadly with the idea of resurrection and life-after-death, albeit in a living, breathing world. Questions of identity retention and ones place in the world are also raised, with Skilgannon (D.A. Gemmell, 2004) continuously referring to the grief of losing his world, his anger at being returned to fight a battle that is not his and at those who brought him here. Finally however there is a strong theme of redemption, in keeping with Gemmells usual plot lines, despite his having to return to blood and violence Skilgannon has in fact been offered a second chance.

Both swords are mirror polished and extremely sharp, both having been enchanted by the Old Woman. The Sword of Day is golden in colour while the Sword of Night is silver. Intended as inferior copies of the legendary Swords of Blood and Fire, they had become infamous in the hands of Skilgannon.

The swords are frequently mentioned throughout the books as curved blades, and on the two UK hardback covers, are depicted as katanas. However, the swords are also described as being scabbarded in a single, curved sheath roughly five feet in length. This would suggest shorter weapons, such as short sabres or maybe as they are being depicted as katana they could be kodachi.

The swords, as with all weapons made by the Old Woman, are possessed to a degree, in a similar manner to Snaga, the axe of Druss the Legend. However, rather than a tangible demon, the swords simply drive the wielder to blood lust.

The Swords of Blood and Fire are wielded by Decado in this novel. The character of Decado is a darkened mirror of Skilgannon himself, fulfilling Skilgannon's previous role as Jianna's right-hand man. He is the first evidence Skilgannon obtains of his bloodline continuing through Garianne (D.A. Gemmell, 2003) and fulfills a variety of roles, enemy, rival, wayward son and saviour.


  • David Gemmell Swords of Night and Day (2004) retrieved on (7/2/2009)
  • David Gemmell The swords of Night and Day Corgi Edition 2005, first published by Bantam Press in Great Britain, copyright David. A. Gemmell 2004; Map By Dale Rippke