Ringil Eskiath, scarred wielder of the kiriath-forged broadsword Ravensfriend, is a man on the run - from his past and the family who have disowned him, from the slave trade magnates of Trelayne who want him dead, and apparently from the dark gods themselves, who are taking an interest but making no more sense than they ever have.
Outlawed and exiled from his ancestral home in the north, Ringil has only one place left to turn - Yhelteth, city heart of the southern Empire, where perhaps he can seek asylum with the kiriath half-breed Archeth Indamaninarmal, former war comrade and now high-up advisor to the Emperor Jhiral Khimran II.
But Archeth Indamaninarmal has problems of her own to contend with, as does her house guest, bodyguard and one time steppe nomad Egar the Dragonbane. And far from gaining the respite he is seeks, Ringil will instead find himself implicated in fresh schemes and doubtful allegiances no safer than those he has left behind. Old enemies are stirring, the old order is rotted through and crumbling, and though no-one yet knows it, the city of Yhelteth is about to explode....
©2011 Richard Morgan (P)2011 Tantor Media
Everything about this book is new - new world, new magic, new characters. The hero is a disenchanted war hero - and gay. This is significant because homosexuality is illegal in his world.You'll know all this having read The Steel Remains.
Ringil Eskiath is such a strange character. Charismatic but too confrontational and savagely judgmental, a sublime warrior but without a creed that others can understand. Only he would give himself the task of destroying the slave trade and address the supreme Radiant Emperor as the 'Shiny' Emperor.
His support cast is magnificent: vibrant Lady kir-Archeth Indamaninarmal (say that name with a couple of beers under your belt) - also gay and the sole remaining member of her race that left this world (no clear reason why, yet) and loyal Egar Dragonbane. Detailed characters with depth and scope. These are not one dimensional people who are too good to be true. In fact, even the minor characters are rich and complex and deeply flawed.
Simon Vance is an excellent narrator - experienced and unflappable.
Some of the aspects of the book were good, the action scenes were well put together. I did feel however, that some of the chapters seemed to be drawn out just for their own sake, I found myself fast forwarding a couple of times. There was also a lot of swearing, no big deal but unnecessary. There was also a lot of gratuitous sex, all of it gay which did absolutely nothing for me. I think I'll give the next book a miss.
I like the evolution of Ringil into something greater. There's an overarching story thats very interesting and i love the supporting characters that make up the trio. The 'strangely' reference in the headline for this review is that you feel the overall story doesn't really progress. Its feels very much a filler book. However i still enjoyed it, more so than the first book. Your heart sinks when you realise the book is suddenly fast approaching the end and you grudgingly have to accept that there is going to be no real closure on anything really. Just more questions.
Ring is still may favourite character but Dragon Bane is great, i enjoyed his sections.
I'm going to go headfirst into the final instalment.. Fingers crossed!
A lot of book for not much happening with some dashes of good action and character development. Not enough to put me off the next in the series but a bit flat overall.
Yoo much swearing
Boring and hard story to follow
Edit out the foul language
will be asking for a refund
A stunning book with loads of depth and exciting characters. The Narrative is brilliant and keeps a strong pace throughout. The Narrator is great and the recording superb. Well worth a go and 100% better than Game of Thrones
"Surprising Story and Good Action"
Believable characters. Close and dirty fighting. Cold and comfortable love making. Beautiful betrayals. Surprising story.
Egg. He is a mean mofo.
I finished listening to the 16 + Hours book in two days. While I made drawings for my blog
"Spell binding writing, truly amazing word craft"
I'm not often or easily impressed, little more so these days by the vast amounts of fantasy fiction out there. However, Richard Morgan is a serial risk taker, a devils who goes outside the lines at every opportunity. Only 1 in a million can do this and it pay off everytime, that's exactly what Morgan is. I thought Steel Remains was a great book, and it is, but what do I call The Cold Commands? Nothing short of an excellent book by a brilliantly talented author who has one of the most vivid imaginations I've ever had the pleasure of being able to explore.
Simon Vance is another surprise here, an absolute professional and master story teller. All the range this type of story needs and a perfect paring for the series.
I am beyond impressed, this is fantastic book and an incredibly brilliant story I will enjoy again and again.
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