Tal's Reviews > The Steel Remains

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan
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's review
Jan 06, 2012

liked it
bookshelves: library-book, sf-fantasy
Read in January, 2012

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 have two 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. Ringil Angeleyes had already tried the first course of action with Bashka the Schoolmaster to no avail, so he put down his pint with an elaborate sigh and went to get his broadsword. And he's not the only one to be dragged from the serious business of drinking for something as mundane as the walking dead. Archeth - pragmatist, cynic and engineer - is called from her work at the whim of the most powerful man in the Empire. Ekar Dragonbane finds himself entangled in a small-town battle between common sense and religious fervour. And after a personal encounter with the vengeful gods Poltar the Shaman is about to be an awful lot more careful who he prays to. Anti-social, anti-heroic, and decidedly irritated, all four of them are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world.

i wanted to like this, and in a lot of ways i did - it's fairly standard military/political/warrior fantasy (i could see this fitting nicely with the Raven series) - and it got plus points for having a gay hero who was a lot more than just-gay. ditto the black woman engineer who wasnt a love interest/damsel in distress/had agency and motives.

on the other hand, "c*nt" is a favourite insult, and one of the most insulting, and that just... made me wince.

as far as brutal vicious fighting-the-evil-forces goes, this is a pretty good book (although definitely the start of a series), with a good set-up/lots of world-building/3-D characters.


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