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Morningstar

Narrated by: David Monteath
Length: 11 hrs and 41 mins
5 out of 5 stars (47 ratings)
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Summary

A country in desperate need of heroes.

Angostin invaders surge through the Highlands, laying waste to everything in their path. Darkness follows in their wake as a mad necromancer resurrects the eons-dead Vampyre Kings.

Only the bandit Jarek Mace, and the magicker and bard Owen Odell, have the courage to fight the Angostins and the undead. Whispers soon spread that Mace is the legendary Morningstar, a saviour who will protect his country in its hour of need. Yet Mace seems nothing more than a thief and a liar.

As the final battle approaches, Odell wonders which of the two Maces will triumph: the self-serving rogue or the saviour of his people, the Morningstar.

©1992 David Gemmell (P)2018 Little Brown Book Group

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  • Carol
  • 29-11-18

Sheer Magnificence!

Of David Gemmell's best novels, this 1992 work is perhaps the masterpiece. The story is a standalone and is, I believe, the only novel Gemmell ever wrote in the first person.

As recounted by the bard and 'magicker' Owen Odell, this is the story of Jarek Mace, a charismatic young Angostin noble turned thief, skilled with longbow and sword on on the battlefield and with his--shall we say, lance--in the bedroom. Mace is selfish, amoral, and a murderer, but it seems destiny has more in store for him. As his exploits are recounted and gilded by Odell's songs, Mace becomes the Morningstar, reluctant leader of a band of equally reluctant and seemingly unheroic heroes who will free the Highlands of the cruel Angostin overlord and his malevolent sorcerer sidekick.

You may recognize echoes of several sagas, including Braveheart and Robin Hood, but as always Gemmell's mixology of these and other elements is unique. Magic and sorcery are used both for evil and for good. There are Vampyre Kings and even an army raised from the dead. There are strong female characters and a little romance (but a lot more bromance and battles). Magic is always secondary, however, to the author's magnificent characterizations of the human spirit. And, a master storyteller at his best, Gemmell brings many seemingly unconnected details and events into magnificent fruition at the satisfying conclusion. Pay attention to the little things, they are all important!

David Monteath narrates wonderfully, doing full justice to Odell's voice and Gemmell's storytelling. Readers used to the constantly shifting POVs prevalent in fantasy novels (including Gemmell's other books) may find the focus of a linear narration strange at first; you are hearing the story through the eyes of Owen Odell, and it unfolds only as he experienced it. But this becomes a strength of the book, certainly not a drawback.

Gemmell is read and honored far more in his native England than in the U.S.; indeed, in his memory (he died in 2006 at age 58) literary awards for fantasy (the Gemmell Legend Award for best novel, and the Gemmell Morningstar Award for best newcomer) are awarded annually. Winners have included Brandon Sanderson, Joe Abercrombie, and Patrick Rothfuss, among many other well known names. I hope David Gemmell gains the listenership on Audible his finest works deserve. 'Legend,' his first published book and more typical, may be the best place to start, but don't wait too long to experience the literary treat that is the Morningstar.

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  • Utilisateur anonyme
  • 30-05-18

Exceptional!

I loved this book. It's one of Gemmell's best that I've heard. I highly recommend it.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful