David Gemmell Legend Award winner announced

Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski has won the first ever David Gemmell Legend Award , for book Blood Of Elves. The prize was awarded at a prestigious black tie event at the Magic Circle headquarters in London.

Sapkowski, born in 1948, is most famous for The Witcher series of books: Blood of Elves is the first novel in the Witcher Saga, first published in Poland in 1994 and not translated into English until 2008. It follows Witcher short stories collected in the books The Last Wish and A Sword of Destiny.

His prize was a scale replica Snaga, the axe of Druss, made by Raven Armoury .

Deborah Miller and Stan Nicholls open the ceremony.

The David Gemmell Legend Award was set up in the name of the popular author who died suddenly three years ago. Gemmell's style of heroic fantasy inspired a great many people, including co-organiser of Friday's event author Deborah Miller, who previously told us, "David’s work resonates with people so strongly; it becomes part of their lives. [His] ability to move people in such a way with his novels is the mark of a true, natural master storyteller, and there are fewer of those around than we realise. We wanted to commemorate David, but as we discussed the idea, the realisation of how under-lauded our genre truly is began to hit home."

SFX was pleased to be at the event, which was also attended by many authors and publishing luminaries. James Barclay read the call to arms which opened the evening.

Gollancz's Jo Fletcher accepts the prize on behalf of Sapkowski.

Friday night's event also included a charity auction, with prizes including an amazing signed first edition of Legend, the chance to be written as a cameo character into a novel by Stan Nicholls and a weekend driving a Jaguar sports car. The event was greatly enjoyed, and helped raise money for the Award's charity, Médecins Sans Frontières .

Congratulations to Andrzej Sapkowski, thanks to all the organisers. It was a great evening and we're looking forward to supporting the next one.

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