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The Cold Commands Hardcover – October 11, 2011


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The Cold Commands + The Steel Remains
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1st Us Edition edition (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345493060
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345493064
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 6.5 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #791,083 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Cold Commands:
"
Morgan brings a fresh approach to epic fantasy, giving his world a hard edge and blending in such sf elements as machine intelligences and extraterrestrial races...Morgan’s protagonists, with their tough outward demeanor and lofty ethics, lend depth and seriousness of purpose to high fantasy and should appeal to fans of George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire” series." --Library Journal


Praise for Richard K. Morgan’s The Steel Remains,

Book One of A Land Fit for Heroes
 
“Bold, brutal, and making no compromises—Morgan doesn’t so much twist the clichés of fantasy as take an axe to them.”—Joe Abercrombie
 
“The award-winning author of Altered Carbon and Market Forces brings the same iconoclastic approach to his fantasy debut as he did to his sf technothrillers. . . . Morgan’s storytelling talent and his atmospheric, hard-hitting prose make this a strong addition to mature fantasy collections.”—Library Journal
 
“Spellbinding . . . There’s so much to like about the adventure.”—The Star-Ledger
 
“Morgan has taken traditional sword and sorcery tropes and given them a hard, contemporary kick. The antithesis of the cosy fairytale, this one is for big boys.”—The Times (London)
 
“A powerful turn-everything-up-to-eleven reading experience . . . Morgan is a gifted writer, and his gifts are lavishly on display here.”—Adam Roberts, author of Yellow Blue Tibia
 
“It compels you to read on with its gritty, visceral writing and intelligent plot. It’s tense and fascinatingly peopled, and given that the follow-ups will doubtless be tremendous you’re encouraged to jump on from the start. Just, ahem, steel yourself.”—SFX

About the Author

Richard K. Morgan is the acclaimed author of The Steel Remains, Thirteen, which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award, Woken Furies, Market Forces, Broken Angels, and Altered Carbon, a New York Times Notable Book that also won the Philip K. Dick Award. Morgan sold the movie rights for Altered Carbon to Joel Silver and Warner Bros. His third book, Market Forces, has also been sold to Warner Bros. and won the John W. Campbell Award. He lives in Scotland.

More About the Author

Richard Morgan was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead on October 13, 2011
Format: Hardcover
A year ago, the famous swordsman Ringil Eskiath, hero of Gallow's Gap, prevented the return of the Dwenda, the ancient rulers of mankind, to the Earth. Ringil and his wartime allies, Egar the barbarian warrior and the half-Kiriath agent Archeth, stand vigilant against any future incursions by this foe.

Now Egar, Archeth and Ringil face separate mysteries. A bar-room brawl and reports of slaves being held in unusual circumstances leads Egar into an ill-advised confrontation with the Empire's dominant religion. A warning from the Helmsmen sends Archeth on a mission into the wastelands to recover a valuable item, an item which comes with a dire warning. And a chance encounter between a runaway slave and Ringil results in blood, mayhem and revelations of a dark kind.

The Cold Commands is the long-awaited sequel to Richard Morgan's The Steel Remains, the author's first foray away from SF and into the arena of secondary world fantasy. The Steel Remains was a blood-soaked, swords and sorcery adventure, black of humour and fairly brimming over with violence and sex (most of it graphic and gay, to the disquiet of some readers). It was solid enough stuff, though perhaps not as good as the billing suggested. Morgan's SF is so good because he writes with anger, flair and passion, and is at its best when he is clearly ticked off about something (in Black Man, particularly the self-destruction of a society which cannot talk to itself, only throw up barriers and tear itself apart). The Steel Remains, though a reasonably solid novel, lacked the vitality of his earlier SF.

The Cold Commands has that energy back, and in spades.
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35 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Nickolas X. P. Sharps VINE VOICE on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a truly disappointing task it is to write a mediocre review for a highly anticipated sequel. I finished reading Richard K. Morgan's The Steel Remains last week. The book had some rough edges that needed some buffering but it was a promising start to series by a well established author. I read the book as quickly as possible so that I could start The Cold Commands the moment it arrived. Sadly, this is one sequel that left me unfulfilled. This review contains some things readers may consider SPOILERS, so please read at your own risk.

This is from the Amazon product description of The Cold Commands: "An expedition is outfitted for the long and arduous sea journey to find the lost island of the Illwrack Changeling. Aboard are Gil, Egar, and Archeth: each fleeing from ghosts of the past, each seeking redemption in whatever lies ahead. But redemption doesn't come cheap these days. Nor, for that matter, does survival. Not even for Ringil Eskiath. Or anyone--god or mortal--who would seek to use him as a pawn."

Here is the problem. This expedition? This expedition never gets under way. In fact the expedition is never even outfitted. Shoot, it's two hundred pages into the book before the purpose of the expedition is brought to light. Afterward a group of expeditionaries is assembled but nothing else comes to pass, leaving readers to assume that this expedition will be part of the third novel. This is the biggest problem with the novel. At the start you can feel the momentum, the characters being guided toward this plot beacon. And as the pages fly by the characters only seem to creep closer by the inch. The gun is introduced in the first act but forgotten about completely by the third it seems.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I almost didn't buy The Cold Commands. I had adored The Steel Remains so much, and did not want my experience ruined. It wasn't. This book is outstanding. Why is it so good? I'll list a few facts for those who have read the first book in the series -- The Steel Remains. (If you haven't read that, I and many others recommend you do.)

1. This book is "tighter" than the first. Each storyline is interesting. I tuned Eg out in the first book; here he's central to the action. Every chapter, just about, is action-packed -- be the action be active battle, or artful banter, such as Archeth excels at - and Ringil, too, for that matter, when he takes command of a group of unruly merchants.

2. The story is a tight mystery, as Archeth, Ringil and Eg all -- in different ways -- pursue the mystery of the Dwenda and the Dark Court. I found this fascinating. It pulled me through the book, made me linger on every word. What are the Dwenda up to? Can we trust the Dark Court, who seem to oppose them? And what of the mysterious visitor Archeth receives? That snide little helmsman from the sky, who queries Ringil, "Where'd you get that murderous little thing?" (My wording might be slightly off). Ringil starts to tell him where his sword came from. The helmsman answers, "I was talking to the sword." Ha!

3. Egar is very likable -- a true hero and gentleman in this book, and Ringil, still an anti-hero, still bad-ass, but more human, even as he grows to be more than human. Archeth is sharper, clearer. As one reviewer mentioned, her character and storyline are perhaps the most interesting.

4. I like the sex scenes. Another reviewer mentioned this: they are natural. The stuff you'd find in a lot of sci-fi for adults, and certainly anything by Morgan.
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