Book Review: Sword of the Storm by David Gemmell. (Four Stars)


Book Review: Sword of the Storm (The Rigante #1) by David Gemmell.

(Four Stars)

“We are born alone, and we die alone. In between we may be touched by love, but we are still alone.”

A rousing opening to a historical epic fantasy series based on the northern European clash of expanding Rome with the resident Celtic and Germanic populations. Good characterization and storytelling. Deep point of view of main characters shows all to be flawed, driven and occasionally very wrong. Just like us.

“I’m not saying not to fight. I am saying do not hate. It is not war that leads to murderous excuses but hate.”

Celtic and Roman analogs hew close to the history, except for these almost-Romans being monotheists. Rome-analog acts mostly as philosophic hand puppet.  References to Celtic ethos and mythology add depth.

“It is said a man doesn’t get old while his mother lives. But you know, when they’re gone, you’d give the earth just to hear them treating you like a child once more.”

How might Julius Caesar have fought (and won) Teutoburg Forest?  Yes, the introduction (or, in this case) invention of stirrups would (did) change history.

“All our actions … result in consequences–consequences we do not always welcome.”

Quibble: No, chain mail will not “stop any arrow.”

“You cannot alter the past, but you can use it to alter the future.”

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