From Publishers Weekly
Noir SF author Morgan (Thirteen
) delivers a promising but obscenity-laden epic fantasy trilogy opener. As the Yhelteth Empire recovers from a devastating war, embittered veterans Archeth, Egar and Ringil embark on parallel but vastly different journeys. The emperor sends drug-abusing Archeth to gather details about a rumored invasion. Egar becomes a steppes clanmaster, but the other horsemen despise him for seducing teenagers rather than leading. Ringil attempts to locate and free a cousin sold into slavery. All three soon discover the dwenda, a race of magical beings thought long dead. Despite stereotypical plot elements, including a prophecy that states A dark lord will rise, the well-developed characters and realistic battle scenes ring true, as do some gruesomely explicit sex scenes. The intriguing conclusion to the dark, gritty tale will have readers hoping for a more plot-heavy and less visceral sequel. (Jan.)
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After reading his film noir take on the future in his science fiction novels, critics were eager to see how Richard Morgan would handle fantasy. In this respect, reviewers were pleased, noting how Morgan takes plot elements that are as old as those of Lord of the Rings
or Conan the Barbarian
and gives them a freshness by importing many of the themes that drove his sci-fi work. Several critics were a little disappointed by the pacing of the novel, though they seemed to find it more acceptable when they thought of the book as the first of a series. Every critic also warned readers that while they don't detract from the overall quality of the work, many scenes from The Steel Remains
contain an awful lot of explicit sex, violence, and harsh language. Perhaps such scenes are right up your alley ...
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