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David Gemmell was born in London, England, in the summer of 1948. Expelled from school at sixteen, he became a bouncer by night, working nightclubs in Soho. Born with a silver tongue, Gemmell rarely needed to bounce customers, relying on his gift of gab to talk his way out of trouble. This talent eventually led to a job as freelancer for the London Daily Mail, Daily Mirror, and Daily Express. His first novel, Legend, was published in 1984 and has remained in print ever since. He became a full-time writer in 1986. His books consistently top the London Times bestseller list.
The third book in Gemmell's popular heroic fantasy saga, the Rigante series (The Sword in the Storm; Midnight Falcon), puts a host of characters through a load of action without much resolution. Centuries ago, after the capture of the Rigante hero, Connavar, Varlish troops subjugated the Rigante highlanders. In recent times the great-hearted warrior Jaim Grymauch promised to care for the infant son of his best friend, Lanovar, who was betrayed by the local lord, the Moidart. Now with Lanovar's son, Kaelin Ring, on the verge of manhood, the highlanders once again chafe under the Moidart's rule. While even the Moidart's son, Gaise Macon, can see the injustice in the situation, he has little influence over his single-minded father. Then the rape and murder of a young Varlish woman stirs up violence and raises questions. Kaelin and Jaim find the murderer with the help of the sorceress known as the Wyrd of Wishing Tree woods, but when Kaelin gives in to his bloodlust and kills the criminal, his aunt Maev sends him away to distant Black Mountain, near the mighty Rigante clan lord Call Jace. As each man accepts the fate laid out for him by the Wyrd, it's hard not to notice how Gemmell seems more intent on setting up the plot for his next book than on telling a balanced story. Plenty of loose ends most notably the future of Gaise clamor for expansion, but this novel seems mostly to be a place-keeper in the series. (July 3) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
British author Gemmell's books are international best sellers, and Legend, his first novel of the Rigante, has been in print since its publication in 1984. Here, the enslaved Rigante look for a daring hero who will be called Ravenheart and who will set them free. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Adult/High School-Kaelin Ring (Ravenheart) is growing up in a society torn by hatred. The proud Rigante are subjugated by the equally proud Varlish, and neither group sees much of value in the other. A series of atrocities, graphically but not gratuitously described, sharpen Kaelin Ring's hatred. He kills two Varlish soldiers who are about to escape justice for raping a young Varlish woman who dared to associate with him. The scenario will be familiar enough to anyone who sees the news reports of ethnic strife around the globe. In Gemmell's hands, the tale evolves into something more complex, and members of each group slowly recognize the nobility present in members of the other, and come to terms with some of their own weaknesses. Kaelin's awkward relationship with a young woman he desires, Chara Jace, adds to the cauldron of emotions. Gemmell gives readers heroes with deep flaws and antagonists with surprising moments of virtue, as well as a few entertainingly black-hearted villains. The frequently bloody action is interspersed with epiphanies about the value of human life, and Kaelin's experiences are balanced with those of a Varlish boy, Gaise Macon, aka Stormrider. (A sequel to Ravenheart, Stormrider is due out in February, 2002.) This fast-moving book will appeal to fans of action and adventure. The book uses material from The Sword in the Storm and Midnight Falcon (both Ballantine, 2001) for background, but since those books were set 800 years earlier, this one doesn't seem at all like a sequel.-Paul Brink, Fairfax County Public Library System, VA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"SOLID, ENTERTAINING FANTASY SET IN A METICULOUSLY CRAFTED WORLD CREATED BY A MASTER STORYTELLER."-SFX magazine "[RAVENHEART] could nestle cozily next to Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy or The Lady of the Lake. . . . [It] will thrill Gemmell's current fans and bring more readers into his fold with this tale of heroes and villains who are larger than life, yet still painfully human."-Starlog SOLID, ENTERTAINING FANTASY SET IN A METICULOUSLY CRAFTED WORLD CREATED BY A MASTER STORYTELLER. SFX magazine [RAVENHEART] could nestle cozily next to Sir Walter Scott s Rob Roy or The Lady of the Lake. . . . [It] will thrill Gemmell s current fans and bring more readers into his fold with this tale of heroes and villains who are larger than life, yet still painfully human. Starlog" "SOLID, ENTERTAINING FANTASY SET IN A METICULOUSLY CRAFTED WORLD CREATED BY A MASTER STORYTELLER."-"SFX "magazine "[RAVENHEART] could nestle cozily next to Sir Walter Scott's "Rob Roy "or "The Lady of the Lake." . . . [It] will thrill Gemmell's current fans and bring more readers into his fold with this tale of heroes and villains who are larger than life, yet still painfully human."-"Starlog"