David Gemmell Wiki
David Gemmell Wiki

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.


Taking place a century after Legend takes place, this book details the rise of Tenaka Khan, descended from both Ulric (The great khan) and Rek (Earl of bronze). It is the story of the true Nadir uniter. The story opens with the Drenai under the rule of Ceska, a mad emperor. Ceska has a force of werebeasts called Joinings to help keep him in power, and the support from the Dark Templars, fighting priests without equals who possibly also seek to control Drenan by manipulating Ceska. Tenaka, once part of a squad of elite Drenai soldiers, known as the Dragon, slowly gathers allies (as well as former friends, including Ananais and Decado) together with revenge against Ceska in mind, eventually finding their way to the town of Skoda. Although they defeat the forces Ceska sends to put the Skoda rebellion down, Tenaka realises that they need more help, and leaves Skoda to obtain the help of the Nadir tribes. Eventually, Tenaka becomes the new Nadir khan and beheads Ceska, but the book however comes to an ominous end. Later, it is later revealed in Quest for Lost Heroes that Tenaka Khan eventually conquered the Drenai and even took Dros Delnoch for himself.

This book also details the tale of Decado, the ruthless swordmaster who has never been defeated. In The King Beyond the Gate Decado is known as the Ice Killer, a descendant of Skilgannon the Damned, though this is unknown until The Swords of Night and Day. Decado, much like Tenaka Khan and his ancestor Rek, is severely flawed. Unlike the self-conscious Tenaka and Rek, Decado worries about his life as a cold-blooded killer, and his 'fleeing' to Source priests for sanctuary against his previous life. In The King Beyond The Gate, Decado succumbs to the Source Priests in what seems to be redemption. His clone appears in The Swords of Night and Day.