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Rigante: Sword in the Storm

Posted: Mon June 13th, 2011, 5:25 pm
by Gordopolis

Just wanted to share my thoughts on David Gemmell's 'Sword in the Storm'. This may already be a well-known classic to the folks on this board, but I wrote this post in thehwa and thought it would be appreciated here, too:

I'm always a bit dubious about historical fantasy, as you never know quite how off-the-wall it's going to get (gods and mythical creatures etc), and I like a story to stay fairly grounded. I don't mind a bit of magic or mysticism as long as it is not just lumped on the page in a "take it or leave it" fashion.

That said, I absolutely loved David Gemmell's Parmenion books (Lion of Macedon, Dark Prince) and they ventured boldly into mythology and magic. In fact I'd say they are right up there as some of my all-time favs. I think it was the way that the story and characters ran so strongly through work that the mythology aspects were entirely innoffensive and to my pleasant surprise added to the darkness and uncertainty of the tale.

So I have been saving the Rigante series for a while, and finally started it with 'Sword in the Storm' last week. All I can say is wow! It's written beautifully but also with simplicity (something I need to drum into myself when writing :o ), and just with all DG's other works, the characters are dark, intriguing and very 'real'.

I'm about halfway through but already I can't wait to find out what happens in the following books!
Anyway, If you're looking for a book in this genre, don't hesitate to give this a try.

Gord. :cool:

Posted: Tue June 14th, 2011, 4:02 pm
by fljustice
Thanks for the review Gordon. I understand about wanting historical fiction more grounded. My favorite historical fantasies are Gene Wolfe's Latro series, because the fantasy elements are integrated so well and mostly from the unreliable narrator's POV.

Posted: Tue June 14th, 2011, 9:13 pm
by Gordopolis
hi fl,

Thanks for the tip, I will check it out!


Posted: Thu September 27th, 2012, 3:50 pm
by Wolfshead
Gemmel's White Wolf and Swords of Night and Day are his best IMO, but he's pretty consistent. Great larger than life characters.

Posted: Thu September 27th, 2012, 5:29 pm
by Gordopolis
Haven't read those two yet, but have heard that Skilgannon is pretty special!
On the Kindle - now I just need to find the time to get to them :)

Posted: Thu September 27th, 2012, 6:27 pm
by Wolfshead
[quote=""Gordopolis""]Haven't read those two yet, but have heard that Skilgannon is pretty special!
On the Kindle - now I just need to find the time to get to them :) [/quote]

To be honest, I had read a few Gemmell books and thought they were decent, but nothing truly special. Then I read the Skilgannon ones and really got into them - the character is just such a brilliantly OTT killing machine. Really influenced me a lot in writing my own novel.

Posted: Tue November 13th, 2012, 12:19 pm
by Shield-of-Dardania
I think one could say, in a way, that fantasy was the genre which provided DG with the right environment to cut his teeth, gild his creativity & imagination and hone his skills in. Once he had those firmly entrenched in his armoury, it was just the next logical step for him to progress to HF, which I see as the more preferred genre for a relatively more mature audience. And how fortunate we are to to be the beneficiaries of this.