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The Cold Commandsby Richard K Morgan
Synopses & Reviews
With The Steel Remains, award-winning science fiction writer Richard K. Morgan turned his talents to sword and sorcery. The result: a genre-busting masterwork hailed as a milestone in contemporary epic fantasy. Now Morgan continues the riveting saga of Ringil Eskiath — Gil, for short — a peerless warrior whose love for other men has made him an outcast and pariah.
Only a select few have earned the right to call Gil friend. One is Egar, the Dragonbane, a fierce Majak fighter who comes to respect a heart as savage and loyal as his own. Another is Archeth, the last remaining daughter of an otherworldly race called the Kiriath, who once used their advanced technology to save the world from the dark magic of the Aldrain — only to depart for reasons as mysterious as their arrival. Yet even Egar and Archeth have learned to fear the doom that clings to their friend like a grim shadow... or the curse of a bitter god.
Now one of the Kiriath’s uncanny machine intelligences has fallen from orbit — with a message that humanity faces a grave new danger (or, rather, an ancient one): a creature called the Illwrack Changeling, a boy raised to manhood in the ghostly between-world realm of the Grey Places, home to the Aldrain. A human raised as one of them—and, some say, the lover of one of their greatest warriors — until, in a time lost to legend, he was vanquished. Wrapped in sorcerous slumber, hidden away on an island that drifts between this world and the Grey Places, the Illwrack Changeling is stirring. And when he wakes, the Aldrain will rally to him and return in force — this time without the Kiriath to stop them.
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.
"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
"Heroic fantasy [with] several surprising twists." The Wall Street Journal
"Passionate, fast-paced, smart and furious....This is a character-driven and intelligent fantasy....Robert E. Howard would have approved." SFX
Named one of the best books of the year by:
Kirkus Reviews • Fantasy Book Critic
“Pulpy and hard-core, but with a heart of gold.” io9
The otherworldly Kiriath once used their advanced technology to save the world from the dark magic of the Aldrain, only to depart as mysteriously as they arrived. Now one of the Kiriath’s uncanny machines has fallen from orbit, with a message that humanity once more faces a grave danger: the Ilwrack Changeling, a boy raised to manhood in the ghostly realm of the Gray Places. Wrapped in sorcerous slumber on an island that drifts between this world and the Gray Places, the Ilwrack Changeling is stirring. When he wakes, the Aldrain will rally to him and return in force. But with the Kiriath long gone, humankind’s fate now depends on warrior Ringil Eskiath and his few, trusted allies. Undertaking a perilous journey to strike first against the Ilwrack Changeling, each of them seeks to outrun a haunted past and find redemption in the future. But redemption won’t come cheap. Nor, for that matter, will survival.
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.
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