|Ravenheart (2001) [Novel]|
by David Gemmell
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Series: Rigante Tales
In Ravenheart, the time-scale of David Gemmell's novels of the Rigante, a Celt-like people living on the fringes of other, more aggressive cultures, reaches a historical period that is the fantasy equivalent of the early 18th century. The Rigante clans are oppressed by their Varlish neighbours, forbidden their traditional dress and culture; only in the hills do the old ways hold and there are plots to destroy even those strongholds by treachery. Young Kaelin is the son of a chief treacherously murdered by the Moidart, the local Varlish overlord; everyone waits to see what will become of him, especially his rowdy mentor Jaim and his cautious foster-mother Maev. What makes this such a likable book is that Gemmell is aware of the sheer complexity of the situation he has created--Kaelin's unsympathetic austere Varlish schoolteacher Alterith becomes practically a hero in his own right through an ethic of scholarship and legalism entirely alien to the Rigante among who he lives. The Moidart's son, Gaise, is a man of more honour than his father and clearly booked to be important in a sequel.--if Gemmell has been reading Walter Scott novels such as Rob Roy, it is considerably to the book's advantage.--Roz Kaveney
Original title: Ravenheart
Genre: Fiction→ Fantasy→ Sword and Sorcery