The Steel Remains

Richard K. Morgan, Author
Richard K. Morgan, Author . Del Rey $26 (416p) ISBN 978-0-345-49303-3
Reviewed on: 11/03/2008
Release date: 01/01/2009

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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