The Cold Commands
The Cold Commands
Del Rey, Hardcover, 9780345493064, 512pp.
Publication Date: October 11, 2011
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.
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