Dark Things are coming and as Archeth follows another cryptic pronouncement from the Helmsman, Ringil and Egar are separated by circumstances and so tDark Things are coming and as Archeth follows another cryptic pronouncement from the Helmsman, Ringil and Egar are separated by circumstances and so the adventures begin. The three are rarely together in The Cold Commands. Their stories do overlap but each has different paths to take.
In Cold Commands Morgan fleshes out more of the back story of the characters and the why and wherefores of the various warring parties. His descriptions of the skirmishes and fights are again detailed and gory without wallowing in bloodshed for it's own sake. They are almost like dance moves using very sharp objects. While there is considerable violence Morgan paces it so well that there is a rise and fall of tension as each situation is resolved. A continuous blood fest would soon pall and there is more to this story than that.
The dialogue is realistic for its milieu and there are no forced speech patterns just to show a characters status.You can tell who is speaking without the tiresome " and Ringil said that..." to indicate the speaker. There is humour and sadness, light and shade in the interactions.
Looking forward to book three 'The Dark Defiles' to see how it all pans out....more
The Steel Remains is a blend of Fantasy and Sci Fi. It is hard and gritty; where heroes were made fighting dragon like creatures that emerged from theThe Steel Remains is a blend of Fantasy and Sci Fi. It is hard and gritty; where heroes were made fighting dragon like creatures that emerged from the oceans. The peace after that sits uneasily with our heroes. Whether resting quietly in a backwater village or restlessly trying to be a clan leader out in the steppes, you know things aren’t going to stay that way for long.
Family obligations and expectations both have our heroes battling a weird amalgam of gods and aliens. The local population is still mired in swords and sorcery at the same time as they try to assimilate living with humanoid creatures who have finally left after 4,000 years. Leaving with almost all their superior technology.
When an ancient legend starts to come to life the supposedly simple task of tracking down a distant relative sold into slavery as a debt price become somewhat complicated.
Politics, superstition, prejudice and the battle between church and state, all get a run in this fast paced adventure.
The final book in The Macht trilogy completes a saga that began with the tale of ten thousand mercenaries in The Ten Thousand, continued with Corvus aThe final book in The Macht trilogy completes a saga that began with the tale of ten thousand mercenaries in The Ten Thousand, continued with Corvus and now completed with Kings of Morning. This is a fantasy series that contains no spells, magicians or magic save that of the Curse of God armour that a few select Macht wear. Those that were the Curse of God are called 'Cursebearer' after the cuirass they wear. This lightweight armour is is impervious to all weapons, does not reflect light and molds itself to the wearer ..."clicked down the wings over his shoulders and stood, shocked, as the armour moulded to his shape, extending to fit his long torso. 'Bel's blood' - it is alive!' 'No-it's just a piece of craft we don't understand. Men made these things once, but then forgot how'. 'I thought your goddess gifted them to the Macht'. Rictus shrugged, 'Call me cynical' "
This epic is all one long battle starting and ending with Rictus the young boy who witnessed his home city destroyed and ransacked. He joins the mercenary army Macht army, looking for somewhere to belong and give meaning to the deaths of his family and destruction of all he new. Parts of the series remind me of the Black Company series by Glen Cook. They share the gritty reality of bronze age warfare, the dirt, dust and smell of army's marching and dying. They differ in that The Black company is mostly from the lower ranks POV, whereas The Macht is seen primarily from the leaders POV. Everything is seen from the soldiers view point, the general population who feed, clothe and arm these men are props to keep the army and story flowing.
Why do they fight, continue to give battle when peaceful coexistence is possible, is touched upon but not fully explored. It just seems that some men are born to fight the rest fish or farm, and even these are not safe from being pressed into service when the rulers demand it. Slavery is commonplace, slaves are mostly captured or born to slavery. There is a minor plot point concerning a subjugated people who are all slaves. This is not turned into a major theme. Both sides use and abuse the slaves with few exceptions. The plight of the women is even worse. Not a time in history to be women, rich or poor.
This is a well written, plot driven, epic series. There is some attempt at supplying depths to the characters, but in the whole they are ciphers propping up the plot....more
In the last book of the Trilogy you wouldn’t want to be a God or be worshipped by one as you follow the trials and tribulations of Sieh, child godlingIn the last book of the Trilogy you wouldn’t want to be a God or be worshipped by one as you follow the trials and tribulations of Sieh, child godling of the three warring Gods. Sturm und drang is the them of this book as we follow Sieh’s transformation from childish trickster to something no-one, not even Sieh could predict.
As we know in this milieu Gods are not perfect and can hold a grudge for aeons. The ramifications of the God’s war and Impetus’ downfall still reverberate throughout the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Combine this with the unforeseen affects of a chance encounter between two Arameri children and Sieh and nothing is what it seems. ...more