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The Cold Commands (A Land Fit for Heroes, #2)
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The Cold Commands (A Land Fit for Heroes #2)

3.89 of 5 stars 3.89  ·  rating details  ·  4,235 ratings  ·  322 reviews
Ringil, Egar and Archeth are back. In a world still cursed by slavery, a corrupt aristocracy and a vicious church, justice is still in short supply. Ringil, Egar and Archeth will fight for it but they need to fight for survival first.
Paperback, 481 pages
Published June 1st 2011 by Gollancz SF (first published 2010)
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So besides screaming YOU MUST can I best entice you to sample Richard Morgan’s excellent, highly original, fantasy science fiction genre-busting series?

Well, since name dropping never hurts…

Start with prose that is dramatic, philosophically-inclined and ornately descriptive, in the spirit of Dune...juxtapose it with the crisp, trope-thrashing subversion of Joe Abercrombie…inject enough graphic depictions of violence and sex to give even George R. R. Martin pause…and submerge it all in

"The world opens up and swallows you down.
This is not new. You've spent the last decade of your life at least, wondering how it'll burn down in the end. Before that, of course, you were too young and alive to really believe in your own death, but the war took all that away.

So. That looks like it's taken out of a goddamn Siken poem, and isn't that just fitting and heartbreaking all in one?

This book was one hell of a ride and I find it hard to believe I ever doubted whether or not I wanted to c
Do not despite the beggar, grizzled and crippled at the corner. For who can tell what households or kingdoms he may once have called his own. Life is a long dream whose end we cannot see and he is perhaps but a premonition, a lucky warning you may yet take.

I can't say that I enjoyed this as much as the first.

Although the first was also slow going at the start, the world building and action quickly pulled me in. That epic opening line helped as well.

Leaving a few months gap between reading these
This is a difficult book to review because like the first book, The Steel Remains, the pace was really slow for a large part of the book and I wasn't invested in the characters or the story. I wanted more time spent with Ringil and Egar, rather than Archeth, who I am still not sure if I like or not. There is also not really much plot development in this book but it does set everything up nicely for the final book The Dark Defiles.
5 Stars

I am not really bright. I was mad at myself for waiting so long to read Richard Morgan’s first book in this A Land Fit for Heroes series The Steel Remains. Well, here I am again way too late to this amazing party. Morgan continues this series in such an amazing dirty fashion that I know that I will need to read it again. This is the antihero fantasy series that you were looking for….

My friend Kristine here at Goodreads writes an amazing review that I totally agree with and think that you
Ranting Dragon

This review contains minor spoilers for The Steel Remains.

The Cold Commands is the much anticipated sequel to The Steel Remains, the 2008 fantasy debut of now-acclaimed science fiction author Richard Morgan. After a three year hiatus, the second installment of A Land Fit for Heroes has finally arrived—and it will not disappoint. No holds are barred in this fast-paced genre shake-up, its pages veritably bursting with passion, action, intelligence, and patho
Emil Söderman
So, this is a book I guess?

Honestly, I was underwhelmed by The Steel Remains, and the Cold Commands isn't that fantastic either. It has vague glimpses of interesting stuff going on, but nothing that really comes together. Mostly it's just a bunch of dicks running around being dicks, laced with extra Grimdark for no particular reason, and it all feels kind of random. Some guy is faffing around and then gets teleoported to where the plot needs him. Large amounts of sex is had (a lot of which is ga
Review from Tenacious Reader:

What I can’t get over with this book is just how beautifully written eviscerations can be done. Seriously, Morgan’s prose is just wonderfully written with a beautiful and poetic feel. This carries through for every part of his book, including the dark and gritty, violent sections like when the prose is describing disembowelment. Yes, this book, like the first one has graphic sex and violence. This series is not for the faint o
After just about three years Richard Morgan’s The Cold Commands has been released. Picking up more or less where The Steel Remains leaves this dark fantasy (I almost want to say science fantasy) novel is a bit slower than the previous volume, forgoing major strides in plot advancement in favor of maneuvering characters and events so as they are positioned for further adventures, and likely more action, in the next volume(s). While this makes for a more intense study of our three main leads; Ring ...more
Linda Palapala
Although this is a fantasy book, it's really the far, far future Earth after cataclysmic events have set civilzation back to the horse and sword era. For those of you who have read Morgan's Takeshi Kovacs books (Altered Carbon, Broken Angels and Woken Furies) you'll see this IS the Takeshi Kovacs Universe and he is a participant (one of the dark gods, sky dweller Takavach). What the people living on earth think is magic is alien tech, but we see everything from their pov, so it's ambiguous. Very ...more
Alex Ristea
Second novels are tough, but Richard K. Morgan definitely improves on The Steel Remains.

The writing was already good, but it only gets better in the sequel. Not just the craft itself, but the themes and ideas it explores.

There's that pervasive and foreboding sense of loss and grief throughout which I weirdly enjoy in my novels. A world-weariness that makes you feel decades older just for having read it.

Fans of Steven Erikson, try this out for a similar style if not scope.

Now, a few complaints th
So it's weird, but I don't really get fantasy-scifi. I like fantasy, and I like scifi, and I love cool genre-bendy remixy mashuppy things. So you'd think putting scifi in my fantasy would be like putting peanut butter in my chocolate, but it's actually more like putting cottage cheese in my chocolate. Just because someone on Top Chef thinks it's a good idea doesn't mean we plebes actually want to eat it, amiright?

I dunno, I've also seen this as a bit of a personal failing, a weakness of imaginat
3.5 stars. I'm one of the biggest Richard K. Morgan fans ever, so having to knock this down a little in my rating is painful, but I had to do it. I still love the style and the characters, but for the vast majority of the book nothing really happens. If it was a 1000 page Brandon Sanderson book, that would be cool, because it's pretty much all fun to read, but when nothing has happened yet by page 400 and then the book is suddenly over after one big action scene at the end, then it's a bit disap ...more
Set sometime after The Steel Remains, a book that basically blew my mind with how unflinching and hurtful it could be, while delivering more in characters, plot, dialog and worldbuilding than most fantasy series do. So the sequel had a lot to live up to, and mostly, it does.

In the first book, a kidnappd relative roused Ringil Eskiath, former noble scion and now cynical war veteran, from his drunken stupor and into battle. No one likes him much--for one, he's a spiteful bastard, and for two, he'
I am left vacant as a weed covered gravel pad. I've watched the downfall of a friend in a moment that seems heroic on its face but is the birth of his own terrible fate, and there is nothing I can do because my friend is a character on a page. All I can do is wait for his final descent and watch as he falls.

Richard K. Morgan is special. When I read these stories of Ringil, Archeth and Egar, I am captivated in a way I haven't felt since Lord of the Rings in my teens. He's speaking to me now, me
Judd Karlman
The worst part about this book was the inside cover copy. That blurb was misleading and is going to piss people off with its bait and switch tactics. I loved the book but fair warning, the inside cover of the hard-cover or back-cover of what I'm assuming will also be the soft-cover was poorly chosen.

That said, its nice to see Gil, Egar and Archeth back in action. Once again, it took too damned long for them all to get into the same place but I enjoyed the journey there so much that I won't kvetc
Usually I read genre fiction as an escape. I go into it, fully expecting to apply half my brain; one eye on the story and one elsewhere, as it were. This was different. This time, I was so absorbed, so engaged in the periods of suspense, and edge-of-your-seat-action that I lost track of what else I was doing. (Very effective escapism, this.)

In fact, I was so transported that I don't think I can articulate a decent review or an objective discussion of Morgan's skills with plot and characters. (In
The funny thing about this series is that in both books I found myself rather frustrated at points. There were times I skimmed nearly entire chapters just to get to the next part, which is probably largely because of the three main character povs:

I want to like Archeth for several reasons-- she's part of a dark-skinned race(? species? I'm still not clear on this) known as the Kiriath, who live centuries if not millenia, and came from another place. They brought with them technology that aided th
Simon Wood
I wanted to love this book. Like The Steel Remains, it's really well written - but as book 2 of a trilogy, this one suffers big time from middle book syndrome.
The opening chapter is fucking great, and what it seems to set up, (which was a big side theme in the first book) made me practically punch the air in anticipation of how awesome it promised to be. But then in the next chapter he just kind of goes - Na, I'm not doing that anymore. And instead he spends about 50 fucking pages in some nether
Great. Not quite as great as the first book, and it meanders quite a bit in the middle third, but still - great. There may be a longer review-ish thing coming soon, or maybe I'll just write something about the whole trilogy once I get to book 3.
I really enjoyed the last book, and was very much looking forward to this one. However, it fell short. The pacing is *very* slow, and the real plot doesn't coalesce and move forward until about five or six chapters from the end. The rest of the book is spent s-l-o-w-l-y gathering the main characters towards each other, which shouldn't have been so damn hard considering two of them were living together in the beginning.

Still, I really enjoyed the characters, and was happy Archeth finally (view s
Guy Haley
Richard “Altered Carbon” Morgan’s first fantasy saga continues. An invasion of the mortal realm by evil magical types looms. Ringil, Egar and Archeth – veterans of a terrible war against lizards – stumble toward the truth.

This is solid, gripping fantasy. Morgan in real life is morally outraged by society’s exploitative aspects. The planet Earth he rages against perhaps doesn’t quite exist, but it makes good fuel for his writing engines, even if it means Morgan’s characters, good and bad, tend to
An intense sequel to the first book and where we left the main characters and their many dilemmas.

Once again, the author keeps shaping his characters' mentality, needs and grievances in a deeply penetrative way and most of the time they felt quite real to me. I could identify with them in many instances, I empathized with them and, in the end, I actually care what the fuck is gonna happen to them.

Same goes for their environment, their setting, so to speak. Places were never described in detail,
Stretch's Books
"The Cold Commands" is an entertaining, interesting, intense and brutally gory follow up to "The Steel Remains". Destroying the boundaries that separate epic fantasy and science fiction the "A Land Fit For Heroes" trilogy is shaping up to be the founding books of a whole new genre. Much like the "Grimdark" fad has taken hold recently in the fantasy world with authors like Joe Abercrombie and Mark Lawrence, Richard K. Morgan has created a genre I'm christening "Sci-Fan", and making it well worth ...more
Abi Walton
I was hooked to this series from the first book "the steal remains." The sequel is (if possible) even darker. Ringil is back and not off to a sympathetic start as we see him when he is at his all time low. He allows Poppy a slave trade merchant to be raped. I'm still not sure how I feel about this scene as it was upsetting but I still sympathise with Ringil. He has lost everything. he is broken from the war and abandoned by his family, he has no where to go. Ringil isn't cruel and he takes no pl ...more
Giving any sort of a review to Richard Morgan's fantasy series A Land Fit for Heroes is difficult. On the one hand, Morgan's brilliance shines through when it comes to building characters and his action scenes. Cold Commands far outstrips The Steel Remains on almost every level, but especially when it comes to focusing in on the minutia of its three main characters and their struggles. It's also more focused on advancing the plot, though whether or not this is successful really is yet to be seen ...more
Will Caskey
It's not...bad, per se. But the sequel to The Steel Remains has a definite drop-off in quality and I feel ambivalent about reading the conclusion.

The same basic structure is there. The three main characters kill/maim/degrade their way across the story, and if there was any "hero" left in their anti-hero natures from the first book, it's gone now. The sarcastic jerk gods return, as does the seemingly endless black humor. Within that context it's a fun read.

On the other hand, the book doesn't real
The Cold Commands is a seriously great read. The rating is higher here than on The Steel Remains for a reason! It`s better than the first, which gives me such high hopes for the third.

- The pacing is fixed, leaving hardly a dull moment to speak of.

- The three main characters are just as tough, interesting, and well-rounded. They continue to grow as people and their friendships are strong and heartfelt. No one could ever make the mistake of calling these people true heroes - they're shaded compl
Alain Dewitt
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I liked "The Steel Remains", Richard Morgan's first fantasy novel in this series, but didn't think it was perfect and thought that it wasn't as good as the best of Morgan's Science Fiction novels. I had a similar reaction to this book, the plot took a while to really get going but did become interesting towards the end of the book and I would say again that it is a good book but one with the potential to be better.

By the standards of fantasy series most of the book isn't particularly epic, two
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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 Dark Defiles (A Land Fit for Heroes, #3)
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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“I am Welcomed in the Home of Ravens and Other Scavengers in the Wake of Warriors," Ringil recited for him, hollowly. "I am Friend to Carrion Crows and Wolves. I am Carry Me and Kill with Me, and Die with Me Where the Road Ends. I am not the Honeyed Promise of Length of Life in Years to Come, I am the Iron Promise of Never Being a Slave.” 2 likes
“Well than try giving it some thought, why don’t you? Apply that finely tutored mind of yours to all those bullshit hero-with-a-high-destiny legends you people are so fucking fond of telling one another. You really think, in a mudball slaughterhouse of a world like this, where war and privation harden whole populations to inhuman brutality and ignorance, where the ruling classes dedicate their sons to learning the science of killing men the way they consign their daughters to breeding till they crack--you really think the gods of a world like that have got no better thing to do with their time than take some random piece of lowborn trash and spend long years carving him into shape for a cat’s-paw?” 1 likes
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