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The Steel Remains

Narrated by: Simon Vance
Series: A Land Fit for Heroes, Book 1
Length: 15 hrs and 6 mins
4 out of 5 stars (260 ratings)

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Summary

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. There, he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.

Archeth - pragmatist, cynic and engineer, the last of her race - is called from her work at the whim of the most powerful man in the Empire and sent to its farthest reaches to investigate a demonic incursion against the Empire's borders.

Egar Dragonbane, steppe-nomad and one-time fighter for the Empire, finds himself entangled in a small-town battle between common sense and religious fervour. But out in the wider world, there is something on the move far more alien than any of his tribe's petty gods.

Anti-social, anti-heroic, and decidedly irritated, all three of them are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous, and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world.

©2009 Richard Morgan (P)2011 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What members say

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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • B
  • Newry, United Kingdom
  • 12-01-13

Up there with Hoffman, Lynch and Rothfuss,

I loved this book, it has the same edgy feel that Name of the Wind, Left hand of God and the Gentleman Bastard books have. It could have been sharper and allowed the reader more use of their imagination by restricting the long descriptions he is so fond of. With that said im going to start into his next book immediately. One of the few new Sci Fantasy authors that entertain without harking back to Tolkien. As one of the main characters is gay, this book is definitely not for the homophobic. it was good to see something different tried in this genre. hope the next one is as good if not better.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining story, fantastic narration,

Ringil Eskiath, wielder of The Raven’s Friend. Ask a half-dozen people to describe him and you'll get ten answers. Noble by birth; warrior by training; hero by accident; legend despite himself; perverted, degenerate, twisted abomination to many of his countrymen; outcaste and viciously proud of it; drunkard, because of all of the above. Every bit of it true, depending on who you ask. All HE asked was to be left alone. He’d done his bit. He’d saved his people... and then been rejected by them once the cheering died down. When his mother came to him for help, all of his instincts told him to run. He certainly didn’t want to go off on some stupid search for a missing cousin, sold into slavery and abandoned by her immediate family, simply because his mother felt guilty about it. He would have been even more vehement in his refusal if he had known exactly where the search would take him. But mothers always know what levers will move their recalcitrant children. And so begin his first steps into a world where myths and gods of ages past walk the streets.



I believe this is Richard Margan's first foray into fantasy and it is an excellent debut into the genre. I've read his SF for years, though I lean towards fantasy. Simon Vance's narration is perfect. There are a handful of audiobook narrators that can almost make me ignore the author & genre simply for the pleasure of listening to his narration. I lost hours listening to this and I suspect that reading the book would be one of those times when I start reading in the evening and realise that the sun is coming up just as I finish it. The sequel, The Cold Commands, is calling to me now.



So, to sum up... An entertaining story with excellent narration that kept drawing me into another world

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • A. Davis
  • Hastings, East Sussex United Kingdom
  • 26-02-15

Excellent

The themes, characterisation and narrative are very grown up. Homosexuality, bigotry and power are intrinsic to the story and often depicted graphically and uncompromisingly. In my view, this is utterly justified, as this is what gives the book such a edgy and for once, fresh take on a familiar story.
I say familiar but there are enough twists to keep me intrigued and keen to get book 2.
Simon Vance just terrific as always, he doesn't hold back at all and gives every expletive just the right amount of venom when it's being spat in a bad guy's face.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David
  • Sanderstead, United Kingdom
  • 05-07-11

Warning!

I am enjoying this book very much. Simon Vance does an excellent job as usual of narrating the multitude of characters. The writing itself is excellent, lyrically descriptive in parts and the story is everything it should be in this genre - fast moving, complex, violent.

A word of warning however. The characters language is coarse at times, absolutely filthy at others and there are scenes of graphic homosexual sex which are probably a little overdone for their context. You wouldn't want your mother or children to listen to this book, which is a shame because it's a great example of the genre.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Absorbing, unique, fascinating

Where to start reviewing a story that is entirely unique?

Ringil Eskiath, a war hero, is a man with a rigid morality. This makes him ill equipped to cope with his society's lack of morality. He finds himself in direct conflict with virtually everyone around him. Society, in turn, is unable to understand him. Instead, he is censured for his homosexuality and is either dismissed as naive or villified as depraved. He's a sensitive man who can only survive by alienating himself and his superlative sword skill makes him a reluctant killer.

Brief synopsis: Ringil is asked to track down and retrieve a family member who has been sold into slavery. He stumbles into a deep laid plan by a mythical race of beings who intend to take back Ringil's world that they consider theirs by heritage. He is forced to carve his way through people and and problems with his sword.

The story twists, turns, doubles back, confuses and thrills.

A word of advice: listen very, very carefully. All three books are out now and I had to go back to the beginning to re-read. The entire story line contains clues that only become clear by the end of book 3. The story is not linear, so some actions taken make no sense until seen in relation to the entire story.

Richard Morgan has created a detailed, unique world that will catch and hold you tight till the very end. His characters are deeply sketched and nuanced. The support characters are just as carefully crafted as the main ones. The writing is superb and Simon Vance is an experienced, versatile narrator.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Amo
  • UK
  • 22-08-19

Disjointed

I really struggled following this totally disjointed, to me, book. Too much going on with too many characters in their own stories. Maybe it can mesh together at the end but I’ve 4 hours left and really can’t drag myself through it when there are other books waiting in the wings. Sorry but a huge fail and nothing like a good Abercrombie or Lawrence.
Simon Vance was good, not so much drawl as he has had in previous books which I found grating.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This story is good

I really liked this story, there are moments where it got quite graphic but that is very much a trait of this writer. The story was intriguing even though I was a bit lost with the story at some points. Not sure if this is set in some post a apocalyptic Earth world as there are some references to the past at certain points in the story. So very good story in my opinion.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome!!

what a great story. If you're a fan of gritty, dark fantasy, this is the book for you. The characters are all interesting and the story won't let you put this down until finished. thank God there are another two books!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Slow start

Narrator was excellent, a bit slow to start and didn't really get into it until the later chapters which made me feel like I missed information in the earlier ones.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant, gritty fantasy!

One of the best books I've listened to this year. A raw, gritty fantasy with a touch of sci-fi invasion.