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The Dark Defiles (2014)

by Richard K. Morgan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Land Fit for Heroes (3)

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2681371,786 (3.8)11
Ringil Eskiath, a reluctant hero viewed as a corrupt degenerate by the very people who demand his help, has traveled far in search of the Illwrack Changeling, a deathless human sorcerer-warrior raised by the bloodthirsty Aldrain, former rulers of the world. Separated from his companions-Egar the Dragonbane and Archeth-Ringil risks his soul to master a deadly magic that alone can challenge the might of the Changeling. While Archeth and the Dragonbane embark on a trail of blood and tears that ends up exposing long-buried secrets, Ringil finds himself tested as never before, with his life and all existence hanging in the balance.… (more)

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» See also 11 mentions

English (12)  French (1)  All languages (13)
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
Won't say too much about this other than that I loved it. Loved the conclusion especially which is the part I want to but won't say too much about. Morgan is a master, and while I'd like my sci-if a little more explicit, this did not disappoint. ( )
  livingtech | Mar 18, 2020 |
Not bad, but disappointing compared to the first two. The various challenges and plot twists are difficult to take seriously when the protagonists are at times either invincible or helpless, at random, and they're matched with fickle divinities that may or may not intervene, at random. ( )
  tombrown | Feb 21, 2020 |
Oh my word. I was hoping for a good, punchy ending to the series after the slow build-up of the first two books, and I was definitely not disappointed. Morgan does a fantastic job of wrapping up his loose ends (almost all of them, if you read carefully between the lines), with a legitimate twist or two that left me cursing and staring at the pages in disbelief. With the sheer volume of fantasy that I've read, the fact that Morgan still managed to surprise me ensures this book will be among my favorites for a very long time coming. ( )
  LuckBe | May 10, 2017 |
I love Morgan's writing and I love fantasy, so I was very excited about this series. Unfortunately I was often confused reading the first two books. This one seemed to be much clearer, but the ending was a let down. Still definitely worth the read. They're all available on audio and the narrator is great.

I don't usually like the blend of sci-fi with fantasy, but what he's doing here works for me. It's kind of "grimdark" too, which I like. I could do without the graphic sex scenes, straight and gay. I understand they add to the grittiness, but a little less detail would be good. It's almost embarrassing to be in line at the post office listening to (basically) porn.

Morgan will be sorely missed as a writer. I think I've read all but one of his books now. Still waiting on this Kovacs novels to become a TV show or movie. ( )
  ragwaine | Mar 22, 2017 |
It's a testament to the power and craft of Richard Morgan's writing that I completed this book - and the whole Ringil trilogy - despite its monstrous length and a distinct sensation of 'so what?' when I eventually limped to the end. If it is the end. Oh please, let it be the end. (If it's not the end, even my loyalty to RM won't inspire me to read another novel set in this world).

There are a couple of deeply compelling characters, and there's an intriguing scenario, and masses of skilled dialogue and accomplished storytelling. I also enjoyed playing 'spot the homage' to the myriad historical / quest / fantasy / sci-fi mythologies which the author gleefully references throughout his epic saga. But. Oh. There's just so much of all of it, most of which comes under the GNDN* heading.

The best of the new characters (which bear a sneaking resemblance to Iain M Banks' nutter knife-drones and sentient psycho warships) is woefully underused and barely gets a chance to gleam in the spotlight. Instead we're saddled with repeated versions of the same scenes, shrouded in mist, powered by mermaids, and all foretold by the infuriatingly opaque Dark / Grey godlings. And there's hardly any X-rated shagging in this episode - which at least spiced up the previous books...

If you've not read the first books in this series then definitely don't start here. I have read the first two and could only just keep a grip on the (disposable, almost indistinguishable) supporting characters.

I need to go read something simple, straightforward and satisfying now - like Murakami, or maybe War & Peace.
6/10


*goes nowhere, does nothing ( )
1 vote RowenaHoseason | Jun 22, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard K. Morganprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
Dinnae ask me how majic works ... but wun way or the uthir it canny be oll its craked up tae be or ah suppose the wurld woold be toatally fukin wunderffil an happy an aw that an folk woold live in peece an harminy an so on; thatill be the day, if ye ask me. Enyway its no like that ataw, so it isnay, an just as well to, say I, coz utherwyse thay wooldnae need peepil like me (and itid be ded fukin boarin to). Naw, ahm doin no to bad these days; servises in dimand ...

Iain Bank, The Bridge
Call for justice or explanation, and the sea will thunder back with its mute clamour. Men's accounts with the gods do not balance.

George Steiner, The Death of Tragedy
Dedication
This book is for Daniel

I'll be there for the seaweed, mate
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"Well, that's that, I suppose."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Ringil Eskiath, a reluctant hero viewed as a corrupt degenerate by the very people who demand his help, has traveled far in search of the Illwrack Changeling, a deathless human sorcerer-warrior raised by the bloodthirsty Aldrain, former rulers of the world. Separated from his companions-Egar the Dragonbane and Archeth-Ringil risks his soul to master a deadly magic that alone can challenge the might of the Changeling. While Archeth and the Dragonbane embark on a trail of blood and tears that ends up exposing long-buried secrets, Ringil finds himself tested as never before, with his life and all existence hanging in the balance.

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Fast-moving and brutal science fantasy reaches its final volume as Ringil comes to his final reckoning and sees the world tipping into another war with the dragon folk. And, most terrifying of all, the prophecy of a dark lord come to rule may be coming true very close to home...The Dark Defiles is a supremely fast moving 240,000 word epic. A massive yet tight story that both shines a light on some mysteries from earlier volumes and reveals deeper mysteries yet. We encounter the artifacts of an ancient race, learn the true story of the ghostly Dwenda and follow three old friends as they face their greatest test yet.
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