Review: Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell

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I wrote a quick review after I finished Sword in the Storm by David Gemmell. I pretty much read it in one long sitting over the weekend. Yes, there were many interruptions, but not enough to disqualify it as one sitting. My Kindle barely left my hands. As it was on my Kindle I got the option of rating it straight after and, if I wanted to, write a review. It makes rating or reviewing a book much easier this way and so I did. The review was short and quick and this is what I wrote:

“This book pushed all my emotional buttons and reminded me how much I missed reading heroic fantasy. I want to finish this series. You get invested in the characters, their heartaches, challenges, and joys, and then there’s the feel-good satisfaction well-timed revenge brings, along with the consequences. There are always consequences.

The action, battle strategies, and weapons are well described. The magic system makes sense and is equal measures familiar and strange. The plot is good and character development logical and satisfying. Nowhere did I find myself skipping pages out of boredom. I did however read faster certain parts as I became more and more enthralled.

I love the author’s writing style and will, apart from this series, read more of his books.”

And I already started. Yesterday I bought the second book in the Rigante series, Midnight Falcon. I haven’t felt this excited about an author in a long while. From the back cover:

“They called him Bane the Bastard – though none said it to his face. Born of treachery, his name a curse, he grew up among the warriors of the Rigante. They valued his skills in war, but they feared the violence in his heart.

And when, as a Wolfshead and Outlaw, he left Rigante lands, they breathed sighs of relief.

But Bane would return, the destiny of the Rigante in his hands, the fate of the world resting on his skills with a blade.

Midnight Falcon continues the tale of the Rigante, which began in Sword in the Storm, and tells the epic story of Bane, the bastard son of Connavar the King, and his quest for vengeance in a world of blood, honour, betrayal and love.”

Part of what made Sword in the Storm such a wonderful reading experience for me were the motivations of the main character and how they shaped him and influenced his decisions. It’s been a while since I read a book about honor and loyalty and duty, and the stubbornness that anchors these traits. It reminded me why I love heroic fantasy so much. It’s a terrible pity David Gemmell passed away in 2006. He wrote over thirty novels and was a marvelous writer. His background and experiences informed his stories. He grew up in a harsh neighborhood with a single parent and was bullied on a daily basis. He often sustained serious injuries from fighting with other kids. Thus, his prose shows that richness of experience and lends a trueness that made Sword in the Storm  seem so real to me, both emotionally and physically. After all, Gemmell himself said he knew and understood violent men, which was why he enjoyed writing about them. And, as over one million of his books have sold worldwide and continues to sell well, it’s clearly not just me who enjoys his writing.

That’s all for today. If you get a chance, try one of Gemmell’s books. I’m told he is most famous for Legend.

Woelf

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