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The Dark Defiles (A Land Fit for Heroes, #3)
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The Dark Defiles (A Land Fit for Heroes #3)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,308 ratings  ·  161 reviews
The final part of Richard Morgan's fast-moving and brutal fantasy brings Ringil to his final reckoning and sees the world tipping into another war with the dragon folk. And, most terrifying of all, the prophecy of a dark lord come to rule may be coming true very close to home ...
Hardcover, 488 pages
Published November 20th 2014 by Gollancz (first published January 1st 2014)
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Panagiota
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Gary This isn't Harry Potter. It is absolutely an adult book with explicit descriptions of sex and violence. That is what Morgan writes. It's the finish to…moreThis isn't Harry Potter. It is absolutely an adult book with explicit descriptions of sex and violence. That is what Morgan writes. It's the finish to a trilogy that would leave Conan the Barbarian gibbering in a cellar. If you can't deal with that don't open the (if I'm allowed swearing here) fucking book.

But I agree with Eric - none of the above is gratuitous and there is no glory. It's there because that's the way the world works.

Oh, and it would be useful to read "The Steel Remains" and "The Cold Commands" first so that you have even the faintest idea of what is going on.(less)
Words of Radiance by Brandon SandersonThe Broken Eye by Brent WeeksTower Lord by Anthony  RyanPrince of Fools by Mark  LawrenceSkin Game by Jim Butcher
Can't Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2014
23rd out of 488 books — 2,488 voters
The Republic of Thieves by Scott LynchA Memory of Light by Robert JordanEmperor of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceThe Daylight War by Peter V. BrettThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Can't Wait Sci-Fi/Fantasy of 2013
121st out of 617 books — 3,225 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Alex Ristea
In the vast sea that is fantasy fiction, I'd (humbly) say that I'm an above-average swimmer. I feel confident—not in a cocky "I can handle anything" sort of way, but in that I will at least try anything and can reasonably expect to survive.

I've traversed the morass that is The Wheel of Time. I've tacked along the subtle tune of Rothfuss. I've ridden the comforting swells of Hobb, the whitewaters of Malazan, the unpredictable, unrelentless tides of A Song of Ice and Fire. I've even looked the mae
...more
Michael
I could hardly put down this dark sword and sorcery tale from it being so engaging and disturbing. At 700 pages I admit I had to put it down sometimes to sleep and eat and work. When I reached its satisfying conclusion, I settled on three stars to balance feeling guilty getting so much pleasure from all its outrageous anger and violence, betrayals and retributions, surprising sexuality, and thrills of battling dragons and monsters. But after a couple of weeks, I was still missing this world. I h ...more
Pallav
700 fucking pages of characters running around without any kind of definite closing. I loved the first book of the series, i tolerated the second book and the third book, this, it fucking pissed me off.

there were good things in the book, but the overall confusion of the plot and the useless characters stuffed in the book just dilute the good things and cover them with a sheen of bullshit that i just can't swallow.

reading this left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

i am so angry, i don't even wa
...more
Lady*M
One long, rambling and vague (to avoid spoilers) review ahead.

I will have to think more thoroughly about what I have read and, possibly, re-read the series once more, but... I am disappointed. The book illuminates the flaws of its predecessors. I enjoyed the books both times I've read them, but that is the thing - you cannot judge a part of the whole completely until the whole is in front of you. Having read all the books now, I am left dissatisfied.

The lost opportunities are the first thing tha
...more
Liviu
started this and seemed a bit "interesting dialogue but who cares" and I started reading forward and then the ending which is really, really powerful so I went back to read it end to end; has some great stuff so far, though it is really dark no question about it

I finished Dark Defiles and on first read I felt it was very good - maybe not fully satisfying as I thought RK Morgan went a bit overboard in trying to do "anti-fantasy" so there were moments the book read like a parody where Ringil (or t
...more
Jaclyn Hogan
Ahh, they moved the publication date! Ahh, no, no, no! Whhhyy?!
***

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley.

I waited forever for this book, and once I got an ARC, I waited another forever to finish it because I didn't want it to be over. (I also have what I call book specific ADD, but really I just didn't want it to be over.)

This might be my new favorite fantasy series. The world Morgan has built in these novels is so dense and multi-layered. We get enough of a glimpse to guess at some of the aspe
...more
Cathy
This was a bad book and a very bad ending to what I thought was a trilogy. Most of the book was pointless wandering around by characters I used to care about. It wasn't fun and it wasn't exciting. Then Archeth took on a quest that made no sense to me. I thought I was reading a story about...I have no Idea what I thought the story was about by this book, to tell you the truth, but the mystery of the Helmsmen and magic and the dwenda definitely not an endless trip back into steppes for revenge for ...more
Adam
Disappointing, at best. I really enjoyed the first book, and I enjoyed my first read of the second book.

Very little happens in the second book, and this one is even worse. The main characters spend most of the story slogging through pointless journeys that serve no purpose in terms of the plot. The characters don't develop in any meaningful way. In fact, all of them regress a bit by the end. The writing is repetitive and a bit bland in many places. How many times do we need to read about how sh
...more
Jed
Last night I finished The Dark Defiles: I'm reading an ARC thanks to the publisher and it's a great conclusionof the Ringil Eskiath story.

As one would expect, this book which I rate as extraordinary, would be greatly weakened without reading the first 2 books but even if your memory is as dubious as my own, it should serve well enough to get you into this chilling conclusion.

Having said that, I will not put anything spoilerish here because I found this to be utterly absorbing and I would not d
...more
Kdawg91
If you have not read Richard Morgan's trilogy A land fit for heroes, stop what you doing and get them and read them.

Incredibly good dark fantasy for grown folks, its a great read from top to bottom.


Dustin
I have to say, I am rather disappointed with this book. I quite enjoyed the first two parts of the series, but I feel like this one is not on the same level. The storytelling is needlessly complicated, he opens up tons of new questions, only to finish all of them of in the last 20 pages. The pacing in general is sub par, he builds up to a grand finale but compresses the finale itself to maybe 20-30 pages. Another point that quite annoyed me was the character development of the protagonist. While ...more
Steven Shaviro
The Dark Defiles is the third book in Richard K Morgan's sword and sorcery series (following The Steel Remains and The Cold Commands). I really enjoyed this book, got caught up in its intricacies and its length (nearly 250,000 words). We have the same heroes as in the previous volumes, the warrior Ringil (whose being gay has been a subject of controversy in fan discussions) and the half-human, half-alien Archeth. They are fighting a series of natural and supernatural ills in their barbaric world ...more
Liviania
I'll be the first to say that I'm not a big grimdark fantasy fan. I like more optimistic worlds. And yet, I adore the Land Fit for Heroes trilogy. It follows the adventures of Ringil, Egar Dragonbane, and Archteth, old war hero friends who get drawn back through a long and winding road for one last quest.

When THE DARK DEFILES opens, right after THE COLD COMMANDS ends, they are being separated again thanks to a sudden war and an ambush. It's the final push for what the various greater powers in p
...more
Ender
This ain't no place for no heroes. Yes, i might have been playing some borderlands, but it's still a good tagline for this series. I've been a fan of Morgan since Takeshi Kovaks, so full disclosure, i'd probably read his alphabet soup. Also in the interest of full disclosure, i was allowed to review an ARC via netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
If you're a fan of grim antihero's cutting their way through a world with no sweetness and light to be found, you're in the right place. His cha
...more
Chip
2.5 stars. Just really didn't do it for me. Very reminescent of Abercrombie's First Law trilogy but just, frankly, nowhere near as good. Characters in The First Law had real depth, and development, whereas many of the players in A Land Fit for Heroes seemed to have the depth of a piece of cardboard. Too (and two), far too much deus ex machina. Gil and Archeth, in particular, seem to develop new powers whenever and however needed. (Similar to why I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars - in the latter, ...more
Denise
Uncompromising, packed with action and intriguing twists, gritty, bleak and absolutely epic: A brilliant and utterly satisfying finale that was well worth the wait. Ringil - war hero, outcast, reluctant black mage and entirely unwilling plaything of the gods - might just be one of my favourite fantasy anti-heroes of all time.
Tara
Oct 21, 2014 Tara added it
I'm sorry to say, this was an interminable bore. Really had to force my way through. The editor should be punished. Personally have lost all interest in these mostly unlikable characters, and found the story to barely make sense. Too bad, I enjoyed the first part of the series quite a bit.
Matt Watkins
Final(?) novel in RKM's fantasy trilogy. The trilogy as a whole has some nice features: each novel tells a complete story and can be read stand-alone, though they do form a complete narrative arc across the trilogy as well. The trilogy is appropriately grim-dark for this particular age of fantasy; the heroes aren't actually, the monsters and mythology are menacing and interesting, and the violence is quite gritty. Two of the series's three main protagonists are gay, and the graphic depictions of ...more
Stretch's Books
I have loved this series, "A Land Fit for Heroes", I really have, and "The Dark Defiles" is no exception to the rule. Until the end. I am writing this review after having just finished the book, so after some more thought maybe I'll come around. Or if there is another to follow in the series. I don't know the plans so I can't really say.
What I can say is this. Richard K. Morgan can be quite the brutal motherf**ker. There are some scenes of death, blood and gore and just plain violence that wil
...more
Arthur Zhang
"An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." And that's just the way Ringil "Angeleyes" Eskiath would have it. This book is an ode to the visceral pursuit of violence and carnage. Ringil rampages through the book, tearing his way into the annals of great fantasy.

Morgan (and in turn his character Ringil) is clearly someone who understands vengeance. Never have I seen such brutal comeuppance been served in a book nor have I ever been so perversely glad to see it. This book is sumptuously dark
...more
Tiko
The final book? Well, I won't give away any spoilers, but I do feel like there's at least a whole other book (if not series) that could be written given it's ending and things that were introduced that leave some serious loose-ends. Probably for that alone, I had to take a star-off. Otherwise, the exposition, the dialogue, the characters, roped me back into this world pretty quickly even after the year I had to wait between reading this book and the last. His writing adds a sense of on-the-groun ...more
Jason
WOW, this book was painful to finish. It just went on-and-on without any evident reason for some of the diverging plots.

In the end there is a something very interesting about this so-far-future-scifi-that-it-is-fantasy. It manages to do a take on war between elves and dwarves but they're both really alien races. It has a really good take on "technology so advanced as to be magic".

But there's just way too much "book" getting in the way of that. If this was about a third of the size then the vagu
...more
Tasula
Although complex and at times confusing, with an ending that left loose ends aplenty, this was still a fascinating read. I love the trio of flawed heroes- Archeth, Gil and Egar.
Patrick St-Denis
Well, things have certainly changed since 2008. Back then, advance rave reviews regarding Richard Morgan's forthcoming The Steel Remains proclaimed that fantasy was about to get real. The author's fantasy debut was heralded as the work that would turn the genre on its head. With such lofty expectations, before the book even hit the shelves worldwide, it was no wonder that The Steel Remains failed to amaze SFF fans eagerly awaiting its release. Indeed, although it was an entertaining and action-p ...more
JJ DeBenedictis
I want to bump this up to five stars, because I really like this author, and this book was a gloriously fat, entertaining fantasy yarn. I spent many happy days ploughing through this book's bulk, and I enjoyed every moment.

The reason why I shaved the last star off is that the climax isn't quite as satisfying or solid, plot-wise, as I would have liked, although the book ends on one of the most wonderfully weird, squickily upbeat notes I've seen in a novel. I mean, the sexual implications of that
...more
Ruth
c2014: FWFTB: Archeth, Dwenda, Changeling, Helmsman, ikinri'ska. The star rating that I finally settled on does not really reflect the enjoyment that I had reading this book. I was involved, engaged, awed, but then confused and rather upset. I re-read much of the book and I still do not 'get' the ending at all. There was not a 'What has gone before' nor was there a dramatis personae so I had to rely on the Internet for a bit of memory jogging. Other readers have put a kinder spin on this than I ...more
Jennifer Povey
If you like George R.R. Martin, you're clearly Morgan's target audience here. (Note that I'm covering the entire trilogy here, rather than writing separate reviews).

Land Fit For Heroes has the same moral ambiguity and even more grit.

It also has a high level of genre ambiguity. Although it's marketed as high fantasy and definitely wears a high fantasy outfit, the underpinnings of the world seem entirely too science fictional. I was even left wondering if the world was actually a simulation and th
...more
Judy Lesley
This third book in the Land Fit For Heroes trilogy will, once again, give readers the opportunity to become totally involved in the lives of the characters, both main and secondary, because you just never know who or what that character may turn out to be. Of course the three main focuses of this segment of the story are Ringil (Gil) Eskiath (a hero, albeit a reluctant one who sneers at being called a hero), kir-Archeth Indamaninarmal the 209 year old half-human half-Kiriath (the imperial envoy ...more
Kevin
In this, the last book in his “A Land Fit for Heroes” trilogy, Richard Morgan continues down the path he started in “The Steel Remains”, proving the irony of his overarching title. Along the way, he carries on gleefully twisting every expectation of the fantasy genre. By now readers will know not to expect the protagonists to be particularly straight, caucasian or especially heroic or to do what is expected of them either by the reader or the genre’s conventions. Morgan also pulls of a neat tric ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Richard K. Morgan (sometimes credited as Richard Morgan) is a science fiction writer.
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Other Books in the Series

A Land Fit for Heroes (3 books)
  • The Steel Remains (A Land Fit for Heroes, #1)
  • The Cold Commands (A Land Fit for Heroes, #2)
Altered Carbon (Takeshi Kovacs, #1) Woken Furies (Takeshi Kovacs, #3) Broken Angels (Takeshi Kovacs, #2) The Steel Remains (A Land Fit for Heroes, #1) Thirteen (Th1rte3n)

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“What others believe is not my concern, unless they attempt to force it on me.” 3 likes
“The city you speak of will be built—will stand in all its undeserved serenity—on the bones of a billion unjust, unremembered deaths. Its foundation stones are mortared with the blood of ten thousand suffering generations that no one there recalls or cares about. Its citizens live out their safe, butterfly lives in covered gardens and brilliant halls without the slightest idea or interest in how they came to have it all. She comes abruptly back to the here and now. Turns and flashes him a hard little smile. Do you really think that you could stand to live among such people?” 3 likes
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