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The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan
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The Steel Remains (2008)

by Richard K. Morgan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: A Land Fit for Heroes (1)

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963468,982 (3.8)61
Recently added bylessonz, racetank, JR.Raluces, MaeveKane, private library, Me-chan, erikt80, libraryman_76021, mindlace
  1. 00
    The Iron Wolves by Andy Remic (bj)
  2. 00
    The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (imyril)
    imyril: Two very different authors tackle fantasy stereotypes and subvert them with glee. Abercrombie focuses on antiheroes - the coward, the torturer, the berserker - whereas Morgan takes more traditional heroes and then soaks them in noir. The results are delightfully wicked, blood-soaked and utterly readable.… (more)
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» See also 61 mentions

English (45)  Swedish (1)  All languages (46)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
My full review: http://tenaciousreader.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/the-steel-remains-by-richard-k-m...

I'm debating star rating on this. Beautifully written. Also, loved the ending. These make me want to give it 5 stars. But a few places slowed a bit for me, which might make me bump it to a 4. Either way, great book, would definitely recommend. May update with a full review at some point. ( )
  tenaciousreader | May 24, 2014 |
The main character is gay, but it's not his main personality trait which is fantastic.

The story, once you get into it, is okay, but it is confusing with all names for characters, places, things, and races. It is a fantasy world, so nothing is something I can relate to in order to remember who is whom and what is what. Took about half of the book until I had some control over who I was following of the three "POV" that was present in the book. ( )
  sororicida | Apr 10, 2014 |
Writing 5/5
Imagination 5/5
Plot 4.5/5
Setting 4.5/5
Characters 4/5

My Overall Enjoyment 5/5

From Goodreads-

"A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease."

Add Richard K. Morgan to Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence, and David Gemmell as a writer to be known for his prose as well as writing dark and gritty fantasy set in a large, vivid world. The writing was truly outstanding! This is one of the smoothest, page turning books I have read in a long time. There was only one quick part about 1/3rd in that I felt was a little slow/too descriptive but once I was past that it was back to non stop happenings, events moving the plot along, not needlessly defining and describing. The book had some memorable philosophical passages which strongly reminded me of Mark Lawrence and David Gemmell, two excellent writers. Two memorable passages here-

"But I’ve also learnt that the tongues of men are not much leashed by concern for accuracy or truth. It seems lies come very easily to your race. They lie to those they lead, to their mates and fellows no matter how close drawn, even to themselves if it will make the world around them more bearable. It is hard to know what to believe in this place."
"Humans, short-lived and locked out of the grey places for life, do not do well with uncertainty. If they cannot have what might, what could, what should, and perhaps most awful of all what should have been, then they will dream it up instead, imagine it into being in whatever twisted or beautiful form suits, and then drive their fellows to their knees in chains by the thousand and million to pretend in chorus that it is so"

This is no coming-of-age story. After a brief opening scene, involving "corpsmites", a scene which will be with me for a long time, we are introduced to the plot and thrown right in with the mercenary and former soldier Ringil on his mission to rescue his cousin who was sold into slavery. Relentlessly violent, although I really did not feel it was over the top, humorous, a dark and twisted world full of interesting characters and monsters, great lore/mythology, very cool magic which was extremely imaginative and also disturbing, I couldn't have asked for more in a fantasy book. To top it all off, there were strong elements of science fiction but I still consider this as fantasy, not science fiction. The mix was amazing and I would love to tell about these elements but it would probably be a major spoiler.

This whole book was refreshing for me and was another reminder of 1) why I am a compulsive reader, often putting down books which don't interest me and 2) why I usually give a book at least 2 chances before giving up. I tried this book a few months back and didn't really get into it. I thought it held promise so I tried again and it really blew me away.

If you are looking for something new and refreshing; rich, imaginative, and immersive; often dark and violent yet at the same time with a sense of hope and redemption, pick up this book. However, if you are overly sensitive, you may have a hard time with some of the materiel but give it a try anyway. Highest recommendation! ( )
  pw27 | Feb 15, 2014 |
Posted to my Livejournal in January 2009:

Morgan is the author of Thirteen and many other science fiction novels, and this is his first fantasy novel, which is quite good in its mix of traditional quest elements, a corrupt political landscape, and contemporary-feeling characters and language. Ringil is a war hero living in a backwater village, where he gets free room and board for telling stories of his legendary deeds and for taking care of the village's occasional supernatural predators. Basically, he's wasting the rest of his life, but that changes when his noble mother arrives and asks him to find one of his cousins, sold into slavery. Because slavery has become legal since the war ended, Ringil's investigations attract the attention of some powerful forces and bring him into contact with two comrades from the war: Egar the Dragonbane, a Majak clan leader; and Archeth, a kiriath half-breed advisor to the Emperor of Yhelteth. They discover evidence that the Aldrain, an otherworldly race supposed to have been driven from the world long ago, have returned to make war. This book has a lot of sex and violence and profanity, but it all fit with the characters and the pretty dark world Morgan created. At the end, there's the suggestion that Ringil may be becoming something he isn't sure is good, and that'll keep me excited for the next book. ( )
  Crowinator | Sep 23, 2013 |
I don't read much fantasy, science fiction or mysteries are more my style of light reading, but Richard K. Morgan's novels have all impressed me. His first fantasy novel is a noir take on a standard fantasy plot, with some interesting additions, like a gay protagonist, a lesbian protagonist and some doubt about whether magic is simply technology so advanced that it might as well be magic. I'm looking forward to the next book in the projected trilogy. ( )
  nmele | Apr 6, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard K. Morganprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chong, VincentCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rostant, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
'I think you look on death as your friend,' she murmured. 'That is a strange friend for a young man to have.'
'The only faithful friend in this world,' he said bitterly. 'Death is always sure to be at your side.'

Poul Anderson
The Broken Sword
Dedication
This book is for my father, John Morgan, for carrying me past the seaweed.
First words
When a man you know to be of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you only have two basic options.
Quotations
"Forget the law. It isn't going to help. They'll cite it where it suits them, ignore it where it doesn't. They're clerics, Archeth. They spend their whole fucking lives selectively interpreting textual authority to advantage."


Emperor Jhiral to Archeth, p.325
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345493036, Hardcover)

A dark lord will rise. Such is the prophecy that dogs Ringil Eskiath—Gil, for short—a washed-up mercenary and onetime war hero whose cynicism is surpassed only by the speed of his sword. Gil is estranged from his aristocratic family, but when his mother enlists his help in freeing a cousin sold into slavery, Gil sets out to track her down. But it soon becomes apparent that more is at stake than the fate of one young woman. Grim sorceries are awakening in the land. Some speak in whispers of the return of the Aldrain, a race of widely feared, cruel yet beautiful demons. Now Gil and two old comrades are all that stand in the way of a prophecy whose fulfillment will drown an entire world in blood. But with heroes like these, the cure is likely to be worse than the disease.
 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:22 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Fantasy fiction. Ringil, the hero of the bloody slaughter at Gallows Gap is a legend to all who don't know him and a twisted degenerate to those that do. A veteran of the wars against the lizards he makes a living from telling credulous travellers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade. Where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives. Anti-social, anti-heroic and decidedly irritated, Ringil, Archeth (pragmatist, cynic and engineer, the last of her race) and Egar Dragonbane (steppe-nomad and one-time fighter for the Empire) are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world. Called upon by an Empire that owes them everything and gave them nothing. Richard Morgan brings his trademark visceral writing style, turbo-driven plotting and thought provoking characterisation to the fantasy genre and produces a landmark work with his first foray.… (more)

» see all 4 descriptions

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