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The Steel Remains (A Land Fit for Heroes #1)

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3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,574 Ratings  ·  848 Reviews
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 ...more
Audio CD, 16 pages
Published February 3rd 2009 by Tantor Media (first published August 7th 2008)
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Charles I came away with the impression the world of the story was either an alt-Earth or the Earth very far in the future. I assumed the 'gods' were…moreI came away with the impression the world of the story was either an alt-Earth or the Earth very far in the future. I assumed the 'gods' were post-humans. In the same way, the Helmsmen were biological AIs.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Brad
May 04, 2010 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have too much to write about The Steel Remains to put it all into a coherent paragraph by paragraph review, so I am just going to ramble around a bit and write what I need to write.

Mind-Blowing: That's my instant reaction after finishing this book. But the mind-blowingness began in the midst of the first chapter. I intentionally slowed down my reading so that I could savour every word, but by the time Ringil came out of the grey mists with his dwenda lover, Seethlaw, and his lover's gang of fu
...more
Carol.
Into every life a book that destroys the rating system must come--The Steel Remains is leading for 2016. Naomi and I were looking for a buddy read, and this was on both of our TBR lists. It was on mine because I generally enjoyed Morgan's science fiction Kovacs series. Still, I've been off on fantasy lately, unless it's the genre-bending type. Once I and heard that two of the leads were gay, I was curious to see how that would play out.

The Steel Remains opens in a scene familiar to many; an agin
...more
Sandi
I wanted to like The Steel Remains so much more than I actually did. I was so looking forward to reading it. I've read two of Richard K. Morgan's science fiction novels, Thirteen and Altered Carbon and thought they were unique and amazing. Morgan takes sex and violence to a level I would never be able to tolerate in a movie and manages to glamorize neither. He reveals the damage violence does to those who commit it, even the bad guys. He really understands socio-politics and is great at extrapol ...more
Felicia
May 26, 2009 Felicia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. I loved his Sci-Fi stuff, but this fell flat to me. It felt like he was trying to break the cliches of fantasy novels but just doing the opposite of the cliche, rather than dig deep into the characters to make them real and believable. I wanted to love this book, with a gay male protagonist, but I never believed him as a character. Same for the other characters, they were missing heart and a sense of reality that could have take it from reverse ...more
Stephen
5.5 stars. Richard Morgan is one of my favorite authors so needless to say I am a big fan of his writing style, his characters and his very gritty, violent stories. I thought this was a brilliant fantasy "noir" novel that was never boring. I thought Morgan took some real chances in this book (most notably the graphic sexual descriptions involving the main character) but Morgan has never been one to shy away from telling a story his way. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!!!

Voted to SFSite Reader's
...more
Alex Ristea
This is going to sound like a total cop-out and the worst description ever, but if I had to explain this book it would simply be a "modern fantasy."

It's full of the world-building tropes (maps! magical swords! creepy demons!) that keep us coming back to the genre, but written in a style that hasn't impressed me this much since I first read Abercrombie's First Law trilogy.

There is swearing. Lots of it. There is blood. Lots of it. There is fucking. Lots of it. (See where I'm going with this?)

I kno
...more
Cathy
Nov 13, 2011 Cathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jim
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
A very interesting book. His website calls it noir fantasy. I guess I kind of get that. It's certainly not the lovely elves dancing under the moon kind of book. War, violence, intolerance, politics, and religion all play a part. There is a lot of crude language and some sexually explicit scenes. The main character. Ringil, is a self-proclaimed queer. If you find homosexuality, or outright heterosexuality, both in scenes and language, to be offensive, this is not the book for you. I actually foun ...more
Kaora
Oct 21, 2014 Kaora rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When a man you know of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you only have two basic options. You can smell his breath, take his pulse, and check his pupils to see if he's ingested something nasty, or you can believe him.

And thus begins The Steel Remains, a whirlwind of sex, violence and sorcery that sucked me in and left me wanting more 390 pages later.

Where other men see only the rim of the world, you must look beyond. You
...more
Stephen
5.0 stars (would give it more if I could). Incredible fantasy novel by one of my favorite authors. Morgan's first fantasy novel is an outstanding accomplishment. Stands beside (1) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, (2) the Gentleman Bastards series by Scott Lynch and (3) the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie as the most entertaining fantsy novel to come out in the last 5 years. Highly recommended!!
Liviu
I've been a big fan of R. Morgan ultra violent, ultra dark and quite explicit novels since his extraordinary debut Altered Carbon. Though in his last novels the repetitions of themes, plot and gimmicks became a bit tiresome, in The Steel Remains Mr. Morgan moves to epic/adventure fantasy and reinvigorates said themes. While longtime readers of his novels will be less surprised at the twists and turns of this novel because of the echoes of previous works, there is a lot of new stuff here and the ...more
Freakout
Nov 03, 2015 Freakout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-books, fantasy
dark and gritty non-standard fantasy, excellent !!!
Robin Hobb
Feb 23, 2013 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An engrossing read. Sometimes fate just won't leave you alone. Excellent.
Ben Babcock
Goodness, it’s been a long time since I read Altered Carbon , and nearly as long since I heard about The Steel Remains, Richard K. Morgan’s foray into fantasy, and knew I needed to give it a try. I was intrigued by the promise of a gritty approach to epic fantasy. Much like in the shooter genre of video games, the term gritty as applied to fantasy can get tossed around a lot without much accuracy. But I was pretty certain Morgan would deliver. In this respect he did. As a novel, however, The St ...more
James
Sep 10, 2008 James rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Richard K. Morgan completists, fantasy haters
Before you ask, I got my copy of this book through Amazon.co.uk, where the book is in print today. This is my habit with Morgan's books, rather than waiting another year for them in the United States.

Traditionally, in Noir, it's customary to have a protagonist who is morally compromised, but who at least tries to better himself/herself, the world, etc. Morgan seems to have missed that point with the utterly unlikable Ringel, protagonist of The Steel Remains. Ringel is an empty husk of a human be
...more
Wealhtheow
Mar 13, 2010 Wealhtheow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of badass warriors dealing with complicated political realities
Recommended to Wealhtheow by: Lightreads
Basically, this book takes high fantasy tropes and screws with them. This is not a parody; it's not so facile. But the author has clearly read and loved a great deal of fantasy in his life, and knows the basic stories well. And when he grew tired of the easy answers and Light vs Dark epic battles, he created this.

The elves have left Middle Earth--but they were actually aliens, driven half-mad by their flight across the stars, and the half-Elven Princess they leave behind them is a black lesbian
...more
Monica
Dec 11, 2014 Monica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
End of the year reviews have me swamped, but expect reviews for all three books in this series soon! Until then: this novel is an incredibly original fantasy with a complex protagonist with a strong and engaging narrative voice. The secondary POV characters give the reader a glimpse of the complexity and intricacies of Morgan's world building, and once the plot grabs your attention it will not let go until the novel's end.
Marc Aplin
Sep 02, 2011 Marc Aplin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Joe Abercrombie fans
Recommended to Marc by: Jon Weir
The Steel Remains is an interesting book to say the least...

It seems to be the results of renowned Sci-Fi author 'Richard K. Morgan's' attempt to shake up the at times stale Fantasy Genre. In traditional fantasy we tend to expect a hero who is loved and admired, merciful, an honorable and triumphant past, women to swoon over him and of course; a noteworthy quest he must complete.

Well, The Steel Remains gives us a character who is pretty much immoral, bloodthirsty, hated among his people, gay an
...more
Perry Whitford
Oct 02, 2011 Perry Whitford rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Richard K. Morgan has made quite a name for himself as a hard-edged, contemporary science fiction novelist, winner of a good number of the awards available after just a handful of publications. Here he tries his hand at writing a fantasy with a grim, visceral presentation and a couple of unusual, contemporary tropes.

To give due, The Steel Remains is fairly strong on narrative drive. However, it is simply horrid when it comes to dialogue. Clearly Morgan wants us to like his main characters - tho
...more
Stefan
Oct 10, 2014 Stefan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, library-loan
If you're familiar with Richard K. Morgan's other works, you'll be pleased to know that "The Steel Remains" combines many strong points of his Takeshi Kovacs novels, but places them in a fantasy setting instead of SF. This is a very recognizable Richard K. Morgan novel - in an unrecognizable setting.
Ringil Eskiath, son of a wealthy merchant family, has made a name for himself in several ways before the start of the story. For one, he is a hero of a past war, in which humanity had to defend itse
...more
Michael
Feb 26, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
Richard K. Morgan has made a career of taking the familar elements of science-fiction, breaking them down and building them into something that respects its past but it willing to challenge readers by trying something new. After a successful and award-winning run in sci-fi, Morgan is now turning to the world of fantasy to take the familar and make it new and fresh again.

"The Steel Remains" is the first of a new trilogy by Morgan. The story has the usual fantasy tropes on display--a hero with a g
...more
BookBandit
Jul 18, 2014 BookBandit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first Richard Morgan fantasy novel and it won't be my last.

Take 1 part grimdark add 1 part epic fantasy; blend well; bake 45 mins = bloody corpses, ghouls, sex-sexual violence, multiple races, broadswords, axes, politics and political maneuvering, potassium sorbate (to preserve freshness) and science-magic.

The book can fall into the occasional lull; however, as a whole, it is a strong 1st novel of a series. It is a no holds-barred introduction into a dark and epic world which has yo
...more
Emma Sea
15 Sept 2012

I was not destined to ever read this book.

First I had a buddy read set up with Moss, for which I ordered the paperback from the other side of the world. It arrived about two days after Moss deleted her GR account forever.

Then I lent the book to someone, who subsequently had a bad breakup and had to walk away without her furniture, or my book!

So, I can see this isn't going to happen.

13 July 2015

then I got the book back!

So I guess this means it goes back in the queue
Kirstine
Nov 14, 2015 Kirstine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed, 1-men
The last line on the back of the book reads;
"The Empire owed them everything and gave them nothing. Now someone is going to pay."

That sounds like the beginning of a rebellion, doesn't it?
Like someone's pissed and seeking revenge?
Like someone has had enough of living off of a fading-hero status, of being spurned by their own family and society, of cheap fucks, of never meeting respect nor admiration, with no friends left to speak of?
Like someone is ready to take back what is theirs?
And that t
...more
Carly
Aug 05, 2015 Carly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
What on earth did I just read?

First off, the disclaimers.
Disclaimer #1: this is a Morgan book. Thus, my review will contain profanity.
Disclaimer #2: I'm writing this right after I finished the book, and it's past midnight. Do not expect coherence.

I got into a discussion (well, a monologue; I only stop talking when I'm asleep) with a friend about endings. One of tropes that I dislike most is what I'm going to call the Comic Book Event Horizon, where the character either experiences such terribl
...more
Jason
Jan 09, 2013 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
5 Stars


Move over Takeshi Kovacs, I will take Ringil Eskiath as my hero to follow. I loved every bit of this book and was equally enamored with conclusion and the epilogue. This is Richard Morgan’s foray into the realm of epic fantasy, a huge leap from the futuristic cyberpunk that he has previously written. This book like all his book is an action novel done up to its setting. This means that his books are easy to chew up as they are never dull and there is little introspective time. It was just
...more
Ais
I debated whether I'd put 4 or 5 stars on this and am going with 4.5 at the moment. I was intrigued by the first chapter of this book and was a bit curious about the other plots/characters. Halfway through the book I hadn't decided if I liked anyone as much as Ringil and whether I cared about their plots because I kept being impatient to get back to him.

There are a lot of words thrown around in the book that honestly for about the first half were just that to me: words. Maybe I was just reading
...more
Em
This is such a difficult book to rate. It was hard to get into at first and one of those books where you have to concentrate really hard, just in case you miss something vital to the story.

I plodded through the first part of the book, sort of enjoying it and starting to get interested in the main characters Ringil and Egar. However, there were so many complicated names, titles and places, which I kept on having to bookmark, then go back to time and time again, it just got confusing. At this sta
...more
Kenchiin
Apr 26, 2016 Kenchiin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is far from being an easy-going story. At some points I had to stop and think what I had just read, not only for how it was written, but also for WHAT was written.
The story mixes some 'unusual' tropes, sex, and violence in a very interesting way, and even though it takes some time to adapt to Richard's writing style it was a pleasure to read.
Antonio Diaz
Oct 05, 2015 Antonio Diaz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-owned
Richard Morgan es uno de los autores invitados para la Eurocon del 2016 en Barcelona, razón por la que decidí adelantar puestos en la pila a este libro para poder echarle un vistazo con tiempo.

The Steel Remains es un libro que empieza cuando hace tiempo que la historia principal se acaba. El mundo en el que se ambienta fue invadido por hordas interminables de lagartos humanoides de todo tipo (dragones incluidos). Sus gentes se unieron para combatirles y, tras muchas pérdidas, vencieron. Diez año
...more
Nathan


So stop me if you have heard this one. Our hero, a burnt out warrior, is recruited for a simple rescue mission. Along the way he learns that his small problem is part of a much larger one, a threat that CAN DESTROY THE WORLD!

That's ok, because a lot of great books can have this premise. As long as the author adds something new we can forgive a trite beginnings, hell some of my favorite reads start with entirely predictable premises. So what is Morgan going to give us that is new, interesting, an
...more
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Flights of Fantasy: September 2014 - Fantasy: The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan 22 58 Sep 08, 2014 10:34AM  
From England 1 94 Sep 18, 2008 06:40PM  
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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 Cold Commands
  • The Dark Defiles

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“When a man you know to be of sound mind tells you his recently deceased mother has just tried to climb in his bedroom window and eat him, you only have two basic options. You can smell his breath, take his pulse and check his pupils to see if he's ingested anything nasty, or you can believe him.” 11 likes
“...the tongues of men are not much leashed by concerns for accuracy or truth.” 9 likes
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