Del Rey, Apr 2002, 25.00, 400 pp.
Eight hundred years after Connavar and Bane defeated the Stone (see SWORD IN THE STONE) freeing the Rigante, the clan needs a hero to end their current oppression. That champion appears to be Kaelin Ring, better known as Ravenheart, who becomes the leader of the still proud but slaved Rigante clan. He leads the demand for freedom from the Varlish and their Lord Moidart.
Ravenheart takes his revolution to the north where Moidart's son Gaise Macon, the Stormrider, awaits the confrontation. As the war comes closer, the Knights of the Sacrifice obtain a skull said to contain the evil of the Orb. If true, an evil artifact owned by unconscionable individuals who slaughter innocents for fun will spin the war-wracked lands into deeper dismay and chaos. Then there is the anticipated impact of preadolescent Feargol who as the Ghost Walker might prove to be the ultimate savior or destroyer of all.
STORMRIDER is an exciting sword and sorcery fantasy that never slows down for a moment. The keys to this exciting, action-packed tale are the prime characters. Ravenheart and Stormrider, in spite of their respective positions, seem real and will remind the audience of Harold and William. The two rival stars are giants whose persona overwhelm the support cast, even the evil orb; yet they entice readers to refuse to put David Gemmell's latest fantasy down until the novel is complete to see how the final battle between these giants ends.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner