The Steel Remains

( 60 )

Overview


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 veteren of the wars against the lizards, he makes a living from telling credulous travelers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade, where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.

Archeth—pragmatist, cynic, engineer, and the last of ...

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The Steel Remains

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Overview


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 veteren of the wars against the lizards, he makes a living from telling credulous travelers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade, where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.

Archeth—pragmatist, cynic, engineer, and 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 fervor. 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—called upon by an Empire that owes them everything and gave them nothing.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Steel Remains marks award-winning science fiction author Richard K. Morgan's entry into the ranks of epic fantasy writers. The first of a projected trilogy, the novel tracks the story of Ringil, a noble warrior whose swordsmanship has been practiced in many wars.
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.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Retired swordsman Ringil lives in modest comfort in a small town, earning his keep by telling stories at the inn of his adventuring days until a request from his mother sends him back on the road-to recover a cousin sold into slavery. The world in which Ringil lives is a dark one, with corpse-inhabiting monsters and mythical sorcerers who practice a peculiarly twisted magic. 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. Ringil is a lover of men, with dark secrets in his past, yet his weaknesses become his strengths as he descends into the darkness to bring a victim back into the light. Morgan's storytelling talent and his atmospheric, hard-hitting prose make this a strong addition to mature fantasy collections.


—Jackie Cassada
From the Publisher
"Morgan's storytelling talent and his atmospheric, hard-hitting prose make this a strong addition to mature fantasy collections." —-Library Journal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400159635
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2009
  • Series: A Land Fit For Heroes Series , #1
  • Format: MP3 on CD
  • Edition description: MP3 - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Richard K. Morgan is the acclaimed author of Market Forces, Broken Angels, and Altered Carbon, a New York Times Notable Book.

Simon Vance has recorded over four hundred audiobooks and has earned over twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, including for his narration of Scaramouche by Rafael Sabatini. He is also the recipient of five coveted Audie Awards, including one for The King's Speech by Mark Logue and Peter Conradi, and he was named an AudioFile Best Voice of 2009.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 60 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(22)

4 Star

(21)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(9)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Posted November 11, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    This character driven sword and sorcery science fiction fantasy focuses on the three heroes, flaws and all

    Ringil Eskiath, the hero of Gallows Gap, found fame brought notoriety due to his sexual preference, which led to exile from his ashamed aristocratic family as his saving humans from the Scaled Folk is superseded by his being gay. Legally as a degenerate the state should execute him. He remains alive due to his family connections; his heroism; and his speed with the sword that matches the speed of his temper. Angry by the prejudice he faces and the lack of gratitude for risking his life, he has become an out of shape has-been residing in the squalid boondocks Gallows Water where he earns room and board at a dive talking about his glory days and pocket change using his Kiriath sword to battle the mighty mite populace. <BR/><BR/>His mother Ishil arrives to demand Ringil search for his cousin Sherin, whose husband Bilgest legally sold her into slavery. Reluctantly he returns to Trelayne where he acts like a bull in a pottery shop flaunting his sexual proclivity. He angers Poltar, shaman of the nomadic Skaanak, who wants to dispose of the clan master Egar the Dragonbane for his blasphemous ideas learned in the Kiriath city Yhelteth. The Emperor sends the last Kiriath, Archeth Indamaninarmal, to investigate the destruction of Khangset. She, Ringil and Egar meet as they did once before when they defeated the Scaled Folk, but that seems like a picnic compared to their foe, the Dwenda magical race that ignores the laws of physics when it comes to the time-space continuum.<BR/><BR/>This character driven sword and sorcery science fiction fantasy focuses on the three heroes, flaws and all, as they prepare for a second adventure of a lifetime. The world is detailed so it seems genuine as a wonderful hyperbole of our country (even with Richard K, Morgan being a Scottish author). Although much of the story line is inner musings and angry diatribes over unfairness, the military battles are exhilarating. From the opening gay encounter, Mr. Morgan provides a deep look at what happens to heroes when they choose to behave differently than the societal expectations of what a champion must be.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 17, 2011

    Not your average fantasy novel

    I am a pretty big fan of Morgan's Kovac novels, but unlike some of the others who gave this an unfavorable review because they were used to Morgan doing Sci-Fi (and well I might add), I appreciated what RKM was doing with this fantasy novel. This is a hardboiled style detective novel set in a fantasy world. A few people complain about Ringel's "modern sensibilities" but frankly I think it helps combined these two genre's beautifully. Also, I am not sure, but I also think that "modern sensibilities" may be code speak for, "I hate that the main character was gay". What I have to say to those people is to get over it. The fact that the main protagonist was gay was NOT hidden in the description. If you read it without reading the description, then don't blame the author for your own ignorant stupidity.

    As far as story goes, Morgan takes a lot of time to set up the atmosphere and I can honestly say there was one twist that I was not expecting. The end however was a little bit of a let down as it does not quite live up to the build up through the story line. In the end, it was pretty apparent that RKM left the ending open on purpose to make a sequel. I don't blame him for that. I just wish the ending to Steel was more satisfying. In the end however, it did leave me greatly anticipating the next novel due to be released in October, "The Cold Commands", and for ONCE I can say that a gay character in a fantasy novel has finally become the main protagonist in a genre that usually delegates them to side kicks and comedy relief. Hurrah!!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2010

    Don't waste your money.

    This book became very disappointing pretty quickly. I found the plot and characters hard to engage in due the "in your face" use of alternative life styles (homosexuality, drug use, and what people in real life would call child molestation). The main characters in continueing in these practices (and the plot line which seems to state that this is OK) made the book very difficult to stomach after the first 30 pages. I just wish the reviews would have been a little more explicit about what "alternative life styles" meant or I would not have spent my money or the two hous I lost reading on this book.

    2 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2010

    A Hardboiled Detective Story AND a Sword & Sorcery Epic!

    This was a terrific read. If you're looking for a noir, tough hero detective story like Altered Carbon (with a complex mystery, steamy sex, etc.), this is your book. If you're looking for a tale of an epic swordsman, dark magic, and ancient rivalries between gods, this is also your book.

    Morgan has taken the best of his Takeshi Kovacs series and mixed it into a fascinating world that will satisfy fantasy lovers (like me). Highly recommended if you're looking for a book to draw you in and race you to the finish.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An "Altered Carbon" Fan extremely disapointed

    I abosultely loved the Takeshi Kovacs novels and thought Market Forces innovative. Then Thirteen - thought it missed the mark, but was generally enjoyable.

    Now Mr. Morgan makes an attempt at fantasy. I cannot say I enjoyed much here. The character types felt reused from other fantasy series. The plot was predicatble and bland (except for the chapters overly dependent upon sexuality - shock value?).

    I apologize to anyone who is a bigger fan than I am, and was able to take away something from this. I failed at gaining a appreciation for Mr. Morgan's new genre.

    I hope, eventually, he returns to cyberpunk sci-fi.

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not your usual sword and sorcery book, and I loved it. Don't prejudge before you have read it.

    This book didn't follow the usual plot you find in most fantasy books. You know, where a poor, country boy in the typical fantasy land finds out that he is more powerful than he knew, gets into trouble, gets chased around by bad guys and eventually takes down the head bad guy. Not at all with this book. I found the main character in the story very refreshing, because he had faults and so deviated from the norm. It was raw and rough. I loved it, and I hope people will not judge it prematurly based on the word of some insecure homophobe.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    Thank you for your useless review

    Your review said nothing about the book but plenty about your ignorance and hate filled bigotry. Is morality, your own standard no less, a good critiria to judge a book? Are you the kind of people who would trash a painting because the subject is naked? Seriouly.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 26, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Great take on the cynical protagonist

    Morgan continues to write new and exciting fiction. Great twist on the fantasy theme. Highly recommend this one if you like the thrill of a good read.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2010

    couldn't get into it

    Its just me, but I can't stand period type pieces where the character is given modern sesnibilities and dialogue. The heros alternative life-style isn't a negative so much as a disappointment for the female reader looking for the world weary hero to embrace and fantasize about. After all fantasy novels are supposed to be grist for our OWN daydreams!!

    Can't beat Lynn Kirnard, Lynsay Sands, and Karen Marie Moning for great grist !!!

    1 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    My kind of fantasy

    Simply the best fantasy I've ever read. If you like dark, human stories that are also "sword and sorcery" and are tired of "heroes and happy endings", this book is for you. And a hint of "magic is simply science beyond our understanding".

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2013

    Good read but a bit hard to get started

    Overall a good sci fi read but I felt that I was dropped in the middle of something at the start and had to founder around for a bit before the story started to come together. I think the paper book would be easier to read than the nook book I was reading having said that I just bought the 2nd book on my nook and cant wait to start it. Mr Morgans reliance on place settings would have worked better if a map of his world would have been included.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2013

    DARK & INTENSE

    A fascinating read with incredibly well developed characters, non-stop action, blood, gore, and a terrific otherworld setting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 30, 2012

    Very good, but with a caveat

    The feel of The Steel Remains did a lot to remind me of Takeshi Kovacs novels. And to some extent this was seen in terms of the plotting being much more precise and well implemented than many other low-fantasy novels.
    Depicting a gritty and dirty world is the most distinctive characteristic of the setting, and at times the level of self-loathing seen in the characters can seem a bit overtly dramatic. But in this case (and getting to the controversial part) the gay character in a world where any such thought is heretical earns this level of pathos. It is also remarkable in that the character's own personal suffering changes, but is never happily over come or easily assuaged.
    But, the caveat is that there is a fair (maybe 10 pages?) worth of very explicit sexual encounters. There is no fade to black, and what is depicted is not always of the kindest sort of action. If such things are acceptable than it is definitely worth enjoying this well written book. That said, I would not fault anyone for saying that this is not within their taste.

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    Posted September 24, 2013

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    Posted March 17, 2009

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    Posted December 27, 2010

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    Posted February 5, 2010

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    Posted August 14, 2009

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    Posted December 8, 2010

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    Posted March 14, 2009

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