Ravenheart by David Gemmell

Rating 9.5/10
The best novel in the Rigante series.

The proud Rigante are an oppressed people. Their days of glory hundreds of years in the past, they know are forced to bow their heads to the Varlish, who do everything to make the Rigante feel inferior. The Varlish profess they’re a noble and pure race, but traces of these virtues are almost impossible to find. Rigante are not allowed to carry swords, have their own restricted sections at feasts, and are despised by nearly all Varlish. In public schools they’re taught history, about the Varlish princes Bane and Connavar for instance, and they’re forced to listen to the corrupt Cult of the Tree. Originally a pacifist and harmonic religion, The Tree Cult is now ruled by corrupt and evil men, who quickly resort to threats and torture. Kaelin Ring is a young Rigante, and inspired by his big uncle, he does his best to stay true to the Rigante ways and rebels against his teacher’s lessons often. There are few Rigante left who can and are willing to stand up against the Varlish these days, most of them joined with the Black Rigante. Frequent hangings and other punishments keep most of them to fearful to end their oppression. With Kaelin being a descendant from Conn and Bane, it’s no surprise that his temper gets the better of him from time to time. When he decides to take justice in his own hands after an atrocity he flees his old village, and moves to a remote farm. Here he comes in contact with the Black Rigante, and unknowingly he insults their leader gravely. Naturally this leads to a close friendship with the Black Rigante, and even love peeks around the corner!

The style of the Rigante series need not be introduced again, since all books have the same kind of main character, who starts out as a hateful youth but grows significantly when he matures. The oppressed Rigante and the Varlish façade of justice make for a great setting, and I just can’t get it over my heart to spoil anything. Ravenheart truly is the best novel in the Rigante series, the conclusion one of the best and most touching I have ever read.

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Ravenheart reader reviews

from India

10-stars

I just happened to read this series by David Gammel. Initially ii did not expect much when I started the book but once half way through I could not stop reading! As the reviewer he put it nicely, this book is so touching that it would make you cry. The story is beautifully portrayed and the characters are so lively. Entire Rigante series is great in that, it does not have strange creatures, monsters, giants, orcs, elves or dwarves, nor does it have dragons, magic system, etc. Despite this the story is wonderfully interesting and captivating. Your heart goes out to the heroes when they suffer or die. We need authors like David Gamell who would work magic in the words of the books without wizardy.

9.8/10 from 2 reviews

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