Centuries after Connavar's triumphant battles against the invading army of Stone gained the Rigante their freedom, the clan finds itself oppressed once again. Magic that once flourished has been all but snuffed out. The Varlish king and his barons have stolen Rigante lands and robbed the people of their culture and liberty. From the Rigante's former seat of power the black-hearted Moidart rules; only in the north are the clansmen free. There, in the Druagh mountains, the magic still reigns, strengthened by bold, brilliant victories of the outlaw leader known as Ravenheart. In the south, civil war has drenched the land in blood, and the armies of destruction are slowly creeping north where Ravenheart waits, believing the armies of hated Moidart will come, led by the brutal ruler's only son, Stormrider. Ravenheart and Stormrider: enemies of uncommon courage, are unaware that the fate of their world lies in their hands. Both are destined to be heroes, but one of them is doomed. For a secret lost in the uncharted past has returned to haunt these two warriors as they face, not only the malice of powerful men, but the vengeance of an ancient evil, rising from the bloodshed to slake its thirst. As immense armies of darkness advance, it seems as if nothing will stop them. They crush their enemies with ease, until only a few thousand highlanders stand before them, with no help in sight. But these are not ordinary men. They are clansmen, and more than that, they are Rigante.
RAVENHEART AND STORMRIDER-heroes of uncommon courage; enemies to the death.
David A. Gemmell's first novel, Legend, was first
published in 1984 and went on to become a classic. His most recent
Drenai and Rigante novels are available as Corgi paperbacks; all
are Sunday Times bestsellers.
Widely regarded as the finest writer of heroic fantasy, David Gemmell lived in Sussex until his tragic death in July 2006.
Mythic characters painted with broad strokes populate this fourth title in British bestseller Gemmell's Rigante series (after 2001's Ravenheart), set in a fantasy world resembling medieval Scotland. Stormrider is the Rigante soul name for Gaise Macon, a young nobleman. Unloved from birth but determined to show his father his worth, Gaise becomes a general in the struggle against the king's enemies. What Gaise doesn't know is that he's waging war against a god who wants to rid the world of humans. Once Gaise realizes the depths of the enemy's wickedness, he redoubles his efforts to win. Unfortunately, the death of a woman he loves results in a disturbing personality change in Gaise. From this point on, the battle is fought on two levels the physical battle between armies and the internal battle of good vs. evil. The fate of the world and its people hangs on whether Gaise is true to his humanity or not. Gemmell fans will applaud his antiwar and pro-ecology subtext while not minding his tendency to stint on character development and motivation. As in myth, characters are largely defined by attributes that set them above others, such as strength, courage and hardiness. On the other hand, more than superficial attention to the hero's thoughts and feelings might have added more immediacy to Gaise's perils. Of course, for those mostly male readers who value action over sentiment the strong story line is enough to carry them along. This solid entry should do as well as previous books in the series. (Mar. 20) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"'Gemmell is a fireside mythmonger; his characters and plots have the authentic feel of legends handed down through the ages'" * SFX *
Adult/High School-A sequel to Ravenheart that stands on its own. It tells the story of Gaise Macon, a young and chivalrous general; his father the Moidart, a cold and calculating feudal lord; and the Rigante, a group oppressed by the Moidart, who were featured in Gemmell's The Sword in the Storm and Midnight Falcon (all Del Rey, 2001). Although Gaise, his father, and the Rigante are all natural enemies, they band together to fight the trapped soul of an ancient and destructive god who acts primarily through an agent who is clairvoyant and in charge of a vast army. Gaise, the Stormrider, becomes nearly as evil as that which they are battling, even as his father starts to show more humanity. Gaise's struggles with his internal demons are the book's focus, and his ultimate redemption involves several interesting twists. Characterizations are strong, and even the minor individuals seem well motivated, with actions following logically from personality. Minor characters who admire but then become disappointed with the general tell his story from an omniscient third-person point of view. Gemmell presents moral choices with a rich complexity as conflicting circumstances and values lead even the "good" characters to follow different and often contrary paths. The battle scenes are intense, although the violence is always integral to the plot and character development. This old-fashioned tale of courage and action is told in a modern and engaging style that should appeal to teens.-Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.