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Sword in the Storm (The Rigante #1)

4.24  ·  Rating Details ·  7,403 Ratings  ·  179 Reviews
Fierce and proud, the Rigante dwell deep in the green mountain lands, worshiping the gods of air and water, and the spirits of the earth.  Among them lives a warrior who bears the mark of fate. Born of the storm that slew his father, he is Connavar, and tales of his courage spread like wildfire.

The Seidh--a magical race as old as time--take note of the young warrior and c
Paperback, 448 pages
Published January 30th 2001 by Del Rey (first published 1998)
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Aug 07, 2010 Steve rated it it was amazing

Probably my favourite (yes I can spell, I'm English *laughing*) Gemmell. In fact, definately in my top 3 reads of all time. Gemmell's ability to draw an intense and gripping story through the ability to make his character's 'human' was the best I've ever come across. All his heroes had their flaws or weaknesses, with most of his villains having a side that showed them as 'not too far removed from most' or 'even holding some great skill beyond ours'.

I don't rate 'all' of Gemmell's books (though
David Dalglish
Apr 21, 2011 David Dalglish rated it really liked it
At what point do you condemn a hero?

This seems to be the overall theme in Sword in the Storm, the third novel I've read by David Gemmell. The first was Legend, the other one of the Troy series. In all three, we have legendary warriors, towering men who can stand at the center of a battle and survive through sheer skill and will. Yet of the three main heroes, Sword in the Storm seems to have the most failings, not in just his character, but in the way he is told.

In Legend, we have Druss. He's old
Jun 13, 2008 Cheryl rated it it was ok
Gemmell may be a great storyteller, but there are parts of the story that I didn't care for. Way too many pages that I had to skip over due to sexual content. Let's just say, "Too much information!!!!"
Nov 30, 2013 Estelle rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Abandoned at 70%.
It's not a bad book, but there's nothing really gripping about the story and I'm tired of reading mediocre and unoriginal fantasy.
Sep 17, 2016 Rob rated it liked it
Well, this is what I've come to expect from Gemmell. A classic story of struggle and heroism well told. A world that has parallels to historical settings with a bit of mysticism discreetly blended in. A protagonist who is an ass-kicking ass-kicker who proves beyond a doubt that he can kick some ass.

And this is where I get off the boat. Maybe I'm old and cynical. Maybe I think too much and feel too little. Maybe I'm too far removed from my 16 year old self. But I just can't buy into this kind of
Jan 11, 2013 Lucinda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An epic tale of undying love, heroic courage and ultimate sacrifice that is breathtakingly beautiful and uniquely imaginative.

David Gemmell is one of Britain’s greatest storytellers whose inspired imaginative ideas and clever creativity merge together strong themes within a fantasy setting that is astonishing. Whether you are an avid reader of the fantasy genre or simply someone who delights in powerful, affecting prose this author whose accomplished ability and remarkable depth of meaning (tha
Oct 16, 2016 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2016
5 Stars

The Sword in the Storm, book one of the Rigante series by David Gemmell. David Gemmell has been in my to-read queue for more than 30 years. I know that the Drenai series is his most popular one starting with Legend, however the description of this one had me from the start. This is a classic sword and sorcery series that is every bit epic in sense and scope. Magic plays a role here but is not the star.

I really enjoyed pretty much everything about this book. Gemmell gave us great characte
Gordon Doherty
Jul 10, 2011 Gordon Doherty rated it it was amazing
If I ever forget what good storytelling is, then I can safely turn to David Gemmell for a sterling reminder.

Sword in the Storm exhibits all the traits that made me love his style (have read Troy series, Lion of Macedon series, Stones of Power series) and in particular the very real-feeling portrayal of Connovar, the flawed hero. Every character has a touch of this, no archetypal villains or infallible good guys in this story, and the people of the Roman/Kelt-like world only become tainted as go
Jun 02, 2011 Mike rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
4 Stars may be a little generous but how can I reduce it when I found myself shouting at the characters..."No! Don't do it!!" just before they committed an act that will have terrible consequences? Most books don't get you so involved with the players. An excellent story but a very flawed hero figure.
Mar 04, 2016 Preslava rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Отдавна не бях чела книга от типа, не мога да я оставя, докато не стигна и последната страница. Давам пълно, заслужено 5. Фентъзи с класически елементи от типа на съдба, герой благословен от боговете, загатната магия, която придавата мистичност на историята, но не е решаваща и активно присъстваща в сюжета. Героите са добре изградени и балансирани със своите качества и недостатъци.
Скоро и ревю :) Ето го и ревюто:

Действието се развива сред народа Келтой и племето Риганте, в което се ражда Конавар,
Metodi Markov
Класическо епично фентъзи от Гемел - знаещият читател няма как да сгреши!!!

Първата част е за младостта на Конавар от племето риганте, бъдещ крал на едни останали малко встрани от реалността и времето Британски острови, населени с келтски племена, които подобно на траките воюват основно едни с други. Има и жестоки северняци (викинги), както и заплаха от континента - изгряващата Римска империя. Съчетание от лични качества, магия и съдба, формира един велик стратег, който трябва да се противопостав
Jan 19, 2016 Shima rated it really liked it
Gemmell's books are always hard to review, because it's hard to explain why they're great.

This one in particular is tricky, looking back at the plot it seems like it should have been at least a bit boring yet it was captivating and utterly enjoyable.
After some thought I believe there are two main reasons for that :

First there is Gemmell's way of writing in a simple no-nonsense way which holds your attention completely. It actually reminds me of the writing of A Game Of Thrones.

Second there is
Jan 09, 2015 Keri rated it liked it


This was a good story. It spans many years so there are jumps in time which keeps things from bogging down. The writing is good but very simple, there wasn't a lot of complexity to the technical aspect of the writing but the story was still well thought out and fully developed. Connavar, the MC, is an interesting character. He's a good guy with heroic and honorable tendencies and yet he does some awful deeds. He struggles with who he is and what he needs to do. Again, good st
Dec 20, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is the first book in the Rigante series, which introduces us to Connavar, a hero in the classic mold. The setting is a recognizable but altered Europe and Great Britain, with substitutes for Kelts, Vikings, and various Germanic tribes, as well as an alternate Roman empire. This first book takes Connavar from childhood into early adulthood, and to a leadership role among his people, the Rigante. Excellent character development, excellent action and battle scenes, and a compelling story line, ...more
Steve Haywood
Jan 08, 2012 Steve Haywood rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
In a terrible storm that doomed his father, the young babe Connavar was born. His father died running from battle, and he vowed never to be a coward, never to betray his friends. He grows in strength and skill, but is also impulsive and quick to anger. But this must be tempered if he can save his people from the terrible armies that one day will attack the tribes of the Rigante.[return][return]This is a damn fine fantasy book. Unlike most in the heroic fantasy sub-genre, this book is set at the ...more
Jan 25, 2011 Trayana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, owned, eng, deities
В съзнанието ми Дейвид Гемел обитава същата равнина като Гай Гавриел Кай. И двамата са създатели на светове близки до нашия, но съдържащи зрънце магия. Точно толкова, колкото да създаде мистична атмосфера без да се стига до там, че развитието на сюжета да зависи от магически битки. Но и при двамата писатели, запомням не магията или големите събития, а дишащите, истински герои – със своите добри и лоши качества, радости и страхове, правилни и погрешни решения.

Sword in the Storm, която изчетох за
Jun 04, 2010 Rodolfo rated it really liked it
Shelves: gemmell-read
Gemmell has a way of writing about heroes that brings new life into the genre for me. I love how he seems to pack so much into so few pages. By 2 3rds of the book I am wondering how so much has happened already. Not a page wasted. His characters come off the page and into the story and leave a lasting impression, even after they have died. and many of his heroes will die.

He makes courage and honor something real to me. His characters are terribly flawed and their actions have consequences, usua
Nov 07, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-it, favorites
This book definitely deserved the five star rating I have given it. Gemmell really knows how to enchant the reader and bring them into the story. It's been awhile since I've gotten that "magical" feeling of being swept away from reality and stepping foot into a new realm.

Gemmell also does a really good job of portraying human emotions. All too often, I scratch my head when reading a book thinking to myself that some characters do the most ridiculous things for absolutely no reason. Well with Ge
May 30, 2010 Daniel rated it it was ok
Well-written. I liked the main character and thought his motivations and experiences were compelling. I liked the culture and the interesting fantasy world; stayed up till 3 am reading.

However, I have two beefs with the book. The first was that several scenes had way more detail about sexual encounters than I wanted. I was able to skip over these for the most part, and I was prepared to forgive the author since the book was so well done in other ways.

Unfortunately, near the end, the main charact
Jan 18, 2008 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was loaned the Ravenheart series by a good friend and read it during a summer camping trip to a state forest; one of those trips that the extended family goes on and spends a week at a 4 campsites with tents and picnic tables. I was surprised that I'd never heard of Gemmell at the time, but really loved his storytelling! For the past 4 years, I bring the four Rigante books (Ravenheart, Midnight Falcon, Stormrider and Sword in the Storm) with me for this annual trip and have a great time reread ...more
Riki Strydom
I don't know how to begin this review as I was very disappointed. A man character should have a flaw or two to keep him interesting, but this one has way too many! A couple of times a passage of time took place and the reader was not informed then you have to work out how long during the conversations.

All you know is a war is coming and only one person thinks to prepare. There was no real story to build up to and once the big war took place it was finished so quickly the reader barely noticed.
VS Drakkan
Jul 07, 2013 VS Drakkan rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I started writing a screen play for it, and even got about half way through before I had to shelf it.

I was in university at the time, but I will return to the time where I will pick up this tale of the man who inherits the sword in the storm. The young boy born of a lightning storm like Nikola Tesla, who will grow to become a great King.

This is book 1 of 4, and starts an amazing saga of family, fortune, fable, and fantasy amidst a myriad of fantastic characters with b
Mar 23, 2010 Dolphe rated it it was amazing
This beautifully crafted fantasy tale is a true example of David Gemmell at his finest. I know ... I know .. I am running the risk of entering the realm of uber geekdom, but in our current political and social atmosphere which promote lies as truth, scandal as honor and bigotry as acceptable; how could I not find respite in tales where men live by their word, where honor is something done not said and where the greater good extends beyond your own back yard?
Alexandra Mardlin
Jul 16, 2016 Alexandra Mardlin rated it liked it
This book was definitely a new genre for me and if I'm honest I didn't really expect to like it all that much (my boyfriend lent it to me so I felt obligated to read it) but wow was I gripped! This book has everything, sword fights, magic, romance, a bear! The only reason I rated it down at all is because I did find the preparation for battle parts a little long winded.
 Charlie - A Reading Machine
Oct 18, 2012 Charlie - A Reading Machine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Ahh the Rigante! A noble and strong race of warriors connected to the earth through gods and magic. Frigging great series The Rigante series. Spanning generations and will be readable for that long.
Jun 18, 2010 Cass rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This series is my favourite. Especially the first book.
Jun 11, 2015 Michele rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this. Conn is a great warrior hero - very brave, and a genius, but not without his flaws. Can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Aug 22, 2015 Pickle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
fanastic... great characters throughout from thre witch, to the travelling merchant etc.. great story. Need to buy second book.
Mauro Padovani
Jan 27, 2014 Mauro Padovani rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece!
Beth York
Aug 28, 2016 Beth York rated it really liked it
okay, bring on book 2!!
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David Andrew Gemmell was a bestselling British author of heroic fantasy. A former journalist and newspaper editor, Gemmell had his first work of fiction published in 1984. He went on to write over thirty novels. Best known for his debut, Legend, Gemmell's works display violence, yet also explores themes in honour, loyalty and redemption. With over one million copies sold, his work continues to sel ...more
More about David Gemmell...

Other Books in the Series

The Rigante (4 books)
  • Midnight Falcon (The Rigante, #2)
  • Ravenheart (The Rigante, #3)
  • Stormrider (The Rigante, #4)

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“It is hard to be angry when one has seen the sun rise,' she said.
It seems to be true,' he admitted. 'I wonder why.'
Because it makes one feel so small and insignificant. It has been rising forever and will rise forever no matter what we do or do not do. All our problems are as nothing to the sun.”
“Not one of the creatures of blood can escape death. We all face it, and succumb to it. It follows us like a dark shadow. Yet if we live in terror of it, then we do not live at all. Yes we are born alone, and yes we will die alone. But in between, Tae, we live. We know joy.” 11 likes
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