Ravenheart: A Novel of the Rigante Paperback
Part of the The Rigante series
Eight hundred years have passed since King Connavar of the Rigante and his bastard son, Bane, defeated the invading army of Stone.
In that time, Connavar has become a legend, and the Rigante have lost the freedom so many gave their lives to preserve.
A conquered people, they live and die under the iron rule of the Varlish, their culture all but destroyed.
One woman remains who follows the ancient paths once trod by the Rigante.
She is the Wyrd of Wishing Tree Wood, and she alone knows the nature of the evil soon to be unleashed on a doomed and unsuspecting world.
In a perilous land, facing an uncertain destiny, she pins her initial hopes on two men: Jaim Grymauch, the giant Rigante fighter, a man haunted by his failure to save the friend he loved from betrayal, and Kaelin Ring, a youth whose deadly talents will earn him the enmity of all Varlish.
One will become the Ravenheart, an outlaw leader whose daring exploits will inspire the Rigante.
The other will forge a legend and light the fires of rebellion.
The Wyrd knows that ultimately all hopes will rest on a third man. Of the bloodline of Connavar the King, he will need to overcome generations of fear and hatred if he is to achieve his destiny.
For he is a Varlish nobleman, and - worse - the son of the Rigante's greatest enemy...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 512 pages
- Publisher: Transworld Publishers Ltd
- Publication Date: 01/04/2002
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9780552146753
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Review by eleanor_eader
Ravenheart is ostensibly the third book of the Rigante saga (The Sword in the Storm, Midnight Falcon, Ravenheart, Stormrider), although given the way the history is woven throughout the books, Ravenheart could easily be read on its own merits.As someone who is a craven fan of David Gemmell in all his humours, I cannot explain the glorious thrill of reading a book where he gets every aspect right – the pace, the detail, the characters, every thread of plot – and still takes every opportunity to have large men with swords batter the hell out of each other. That this doesn’t get old is testament to sheer force of storytelling.The Rigante tribe are reduced to small townships and ‘Black Rigante’ rebels under oppressive Varlish law and rule… banned from carrying swords, muskets, owning businesses or horses more than fifteen hands high, they are the despised underclass and it is this thread that gives the book its richness, its adversaries and injustices to be fought, and its moments of triumph and sadness. The character of Ravenheart is held apart from young warriors in other Gemmell tales by the expertly drawn journey of character and spirit… with room to play, Gemmell’s characters take on more depth and become more than mighty sword-wielding heroes (although much fun is to be had with those, too). The same goes for other principle characters in this book; they are all alive within their own stories, and engaged in one another’s. I have yet to read the concluding book in the Rigante saga, but Ravenheart raised the bar, and I will now be holding it to high standards.