Compared to Michael Moorcock and Joe Abercrombie alike, Richard Morgan's 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.
©2014 Richard Morgan (P)2014 Tantor Media
Loved this series, but if I am honest I am left slightly confused by this book. It feels unfinished, there are threads left hanging that need to be tied off and random, unnecessary revelations that leave me thinking "eh!!!!!" And not always in a good way.
This is a great read, well written, characters that live and breath and are not always easy to love. Ringil may be the hero, but there are times when he is cold bloodedly dispatching people that are difficult to read. In this series war makes monsters on every side. The world too is richly drawn though this is one place I really wouldn't want to wake up and find myself in.
My only problem is that the ending feels rushed. Revelation on revelation. Key players in the plot of the entire series that are only mentioned in the final pages, hidden secrets and unanswered questions. Ok, I am a fan of not always being given the answers, of making the reader work for some of them, but the defeat of the Dwenda leaves me feeling a little cheated.
The book is a good effort to bring this fantastic series to a close but I felt it was a but of an anti-climax. There are some great ideas and a brilliant interstellar/universal confrontation but in the end it just didnt hit the spot. I loved the characters and the story was mostly strong but lost it's way towards the end. Great narration btw.
Overall, I found the final book confusing and unsatisfying. Some elements are beautifully sculpted - Egar Dragonbane and Arketh's story wraps up wonderfully. Unanswered questions are resolved and become understandable.
There are storylines that don't get resolved to my satisfaction:
1. Dwenda history - there is a resolution of sorts but more detail would have been appreciated.
2. Grey places - not a satisfactory explanation and hints of an ancient war remain opaque.
3. Kiriath - more info is needed.
4. Ringil's last stand.
5. Talons of the Sun - what is it?
6. Hjel and his relationship with and to Ringil.
I think my biggest problem as that the story isn't linear and trying to get it straight in my head was impossible. I eventually gave up and sat back to enjoy the story.
Simon Vance is, as ever, a superlative narrator.
All of Morgan's books are terrific but I really enjoyed this trilogy. Read out by the superb Simon Vance who's one of the best narrators you could hope for. What a voice! Thoroughly recommended.
Really enjoyed the book and thought it was left hanging for a 2nd. However after reading peoples reviews I now realise this is actually the last.
This was my favourite of the trilogy. Not sure that's a common opinion but for me I just enjoyed the development of the trio. (Oh Egar - I'll say no more).
Keeping it brief, there's more swords, Mage play, dragons and Gods! All wrapped up in what I thought was some strong writing. The overall story arch is not vast but I think it's plenty rich.
Boy do I love the warrior dark mage angle! It's not perfect but it's definitely up there with my great reads (listen).
A nice conclusion to a great trilogy. If you love the first two this won't disappoint. Also Best narrator ever.
The story was gripping, the characters were compelling I couldn't put it down, well worth a look fantastic author fantastic narrator!!!! Top job!!!!
This book should have been half the length. There is a good story in there somewhere but the self-indulgent author forgot he was writing a novel for others to read and thought he was James Joyce. I struggled through his first two books and had forgotten how self absorbed he was. By the time i came across this one i had a vague memory of the story originally being interesting. Gay guy as the hero, best friend a lesbian and a big burly guy to round the team off. Condensed, i think this would make a great story but unfortunately i had to wade through the mountains of superfluous narrative before getting to the predictable end. I wont be going back to Mr Morgan's work again.
Terrible end to a sub-par series. I really struggled to get through this pile of dung.
"Morgan writes great action"
I love how Morgan writes action. The stakes are real. Interesting world building. Messy politics.
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