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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars

on 13 August 2015
I have read a lot of Gemmell. Only one have I felt slightly disappointed, with the first of the Damned books. Sword in the Storm the first of the Rigante books, why did I wait so long to read this one! I find Gemmell is a goood choice when stuck for something to read. Nothing taking your fancy, just finished an epic size series or need a break from one. Great after just finishing a bad book.

The characters are developed increadibly well as always. Connavar the lead character is a tormented soul and you hope he just ends happy. Does that happen? Not quite. He is a damaged character, he makes bad choices, he is not a great person but you like him. He is so single minded that he makes mistakes with everything else around him.
My next favourite character was his brother "can't remember his name now." The impact of everything that occurs to Connavar on him is done wonderfully as he turns into a jealous and bitter man.

This book is slightly different to Gemmells others as the character is developed from a young age growing up, were usually they are already adults. This was done masterfully and I would advise everyone to read this book if they are a fantasy fan.

My favourite Gemmell book you should read is Knights of Dark Renown, a stand alone but brillant.
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on 23 April 2012
Sword in the Storm is the first of David Gemmell's four-book 'Rigante' series, and Connavar another of his troubled heroes. In the other Gemmell books I've read to date the hero has been an older character, haunted by his past. Connavar is different, in that the story drops into his life at important moments, starting (naturally) with his birth, then jumping forward as he grows up and eventually learns of an enemy who will eventually engulf the Rigante, and sets about preparing his people for war. He is a character dogged by fate - in fact, the whole book seems to be about fate in one way or another. Each of the characters has a geas, a prediction about their lives that they mustn't break. If they do break it, then death will surely follow. There are characters who receive visions, such as the witch Vorna, and the mysterious Seidh, who have the ability to grant wishes - although, as Conn quickly learns, be careful what you wish for.

This is one of Gemmell's later novels, and I found it noticeable how his writing style had developed by this stage. It is such an easy, flowing read. I would never describe his books as challenging. His stories are marvellous entertainment with strong, memorable, flawed characters, painted in shades of grey, and a thought-provoking, solid moral centre. The way the characters develop over time is beautifully handled, and even those who only appear briefly leave an indelible mark, such is Gemmell's skill. You want to love them and hate them, often both at the same time. They all do what they do because they believe in it, and they all live with the regrets and consequences. Gemmell loved to kill off characters, too, and they are always treated in a believable way, high on emotion but without melodrama.

This is probably my favourite of his books that I've read to date, and I'm starting to find his books a real comfort read. They are object lessons in how to tell an absorbing fantasy tale in 450 pages or less. The ones I've read so far have never been less than entertaining, and always involving and exciting. The epilogue to this one is so ominous and full of foreboding that I wanted to jump straight into the next one, but I've managed to restrain myself - for now!
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on 22 February 2016
David Gemmel is one of the handful of authors whose books I have kept on my shelves and re-read over and again ranking with Roger Taylor, Katharine Kerr, Raymond Feist and the like.

As always an excellent novel packed with action.

Classic David Gemmell. Yet another of the most brilliant of fantasy writers no longer with us and greatly missed.
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on 8 October 2016
This is the first David Gemmell book I have read,it came highly recommended and I am glad I read it.I have read a lot of books but few gripped me to the point that I would devour page after page,hungry for more.
There are too many clean cut hero or dark brooding anti heroes,this one has an almost tragic figure struggling to maintain a equilibrium between light and dark and failing by tilting first in light,then in dark.
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on 12 September 2013
Let me make it clear that this is not just a review of Sword in the Storm; instead the rating is given for the entire Rigante series of books, each of which deserves 5 stars in its own right.

I have never read a bad David Gemmell book, but these are quite exceptional. The variety and depth of the characters is wonderful, and the ease of the dialogue throughout is always engaging. It is as if the characters are actually speaking, not just a set of empy words on a page. There is no needless padding in the book either - every passage has a purpose and each chapter brings a worthwhile new development.

It is such a shame that David Gemmell is no longer with us. The positive news is that his books can be revisited time and again and still bring a huge deal of enjoyment with them.
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on 8 April 2018
I have read many David Gemmell books a number of years ago and had forgotten how good they were, for some reason I have missed the Rigante series and am now back to good reading. Thanks.
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on 20 June 2018
Decent read, but by the end I was almost bored of how invincible connovar is. The action is described in such a manner that it leads to little tension and no doubt as to the victor from the first pass.
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on 14 July 2010
After being recommended on many occasions to try David Gemmel's work, I finally bought the first Rigante book 'Sword in the Storm' and I was not dissapointed. Gemmel is excellent at creating 3 dimensional characters that are both flawed and complex. There are also no simplistic difference between good and evil in Gemmels work and that has to be appreciated. The influences behind this book are easy to spot but the subtle changes in the way he implements them to fit his work is exceptional and utterly convincing.

If, like me, you are new to David Gemmels work, then this is the perfect book to start on. As soon as I had finished 'The Sword in the Storm' I ordered the follow-up 'Midnight Falcon' from Amazon.
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on 14 June 2018
The usual David Gemmell, full of brave men and beautiful women. Silly, really, and lacking any substance, but entertaining, which I imagine is all they’re intended to be.
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on 13 March 2018
I bought this for 99p and boy it was worth it! A great story with an interesting if not flawed central character. Well worth a read.
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