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.
Both Ravenheart and Stormrider are destined to be heroes, but one of them is doomed.
But these are not ordinary men. They are clansmen, and more than that, they are Rigante.
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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
When I started reading and came across muskets I was so disappointed, thinking this is not the traditional fantasy I have come to love! And almost stopped reading straight away. By the end of the trilogy I was so disappointed there was not another volume. Some of Davids best work and the best read I have had for ages. Top read!!
Disappointing. But amazing.
I loved the first two books. And I mean loved. The time at which the books were written, with sword and shield fed my imagination. And I come to love and attached myself to the characters of connovar, and bane. Then on reading the third and fourth books. I was greatly disappointed to find that time had jumped at first 800 years and then centuries. Amazing read never the less but I hurt me to find that the story jumped so far. I was drawn to the era. And have read the 2 books over and over. I highly recommend them anyway. Fantastic.