Cathy 's Reviews > The Steel Remains

The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan
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's review
Nov 13, 11

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, read-in-2009
Recommended for: Jim
Read in February, 2009 , read count: 2

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 found it refreshingly honest.

As I was reading this fantasy novel, I found myself trying to keep in mind what I know about the author's style and intentions from reading his other books and website; I'm VERY curious where he will take the characters and story. He always has a point, usually several, well masked in the guise of an amusing tale.

It was definitely the first book in a trilogy. It wrapped up at the end but clearly foreshadows continuing conflict. First engagement in the long battle and all of that.

Overall, it was a joy to read a book by such a brilliant guy, who's intelligent observances and use of language makes him seem witty and fascinating instead of off-putting or uptight. His website is very enjoyable, I would recommend checking it out:

I especially enjoy his article Sound and Fury, Signifying ...? about the intense and sometime savage community of sci-fi/fantasy fans and authors.

Update November 2011: I enjoyed it even more the second time around. I got it from the library intending to skim through it as a reminder before reading The Cold Commands but I immediately became completely engrossed. Remembering a bit about the characters made me more interested in paying attention to their individual stories. I remember being a bit confused the first time because they don't meet up until almost the end of the book; it made me somewhat less interested in Egar's story in particular. And there are just a lot of details and nuances that I absorbed more easily this time with a bit of familiarity. Since I joined Goodreads my to-read list has been so long that I very rarely re-read books, but I'm glad I made an exception for this one, it was fantastic.
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Reading Progress

02/09 page 37
8.89% "Very easy to get into. I was worried because I LOVE his sci-fi and this is his first fantasy. So far, very good!"
11/10 page 1
0.0% "I'm doing something I haven't done almost at all since I joined GR and got a huge to-read list - re-reading. So much happened, I want to remember the details. Glad I had the foresight to reserve this from the library to go with the release of the new book."
11/11 page 86
20.0% "I think I'm enjoying it even more than I remembering liking it the first time. I'm picking up more of the nuances of the politics and society not as confused by the POV changes."
11/11 page 86
20.0% "Whst happens when the world's biggest war hero is queer (his word) and it's illegal?"
02/14 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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message 1: by Occamsbeard (new)

Occamsbeard HAH! I loved that particular essay on his website as well Cathy. I was astounded when the person who commissioned the piece for a writers convention found it too negative. On the contrary i found it terrifically optimistic in it just told people to shut up and write and accept the inevitable choices that you know you are taking when you choose certain artistic choices. I have to ask you though i have never found that Richard Morgan has any well formed clear points in any of his novels save the many many small points and an overall attitude he conveys. but I might be just not putting it together. What did you think The author was trying to say in the Takeshi Kovacs books? Rest assured this is not a gotcha but a genuine question -- feel free to respond privately to my email. I simply had to respond though because I loved that you reacted to his website same as I did. Not sure that I agree with Mr Morgan on all things but I do think he is a thoughtful man that often saves his rage and disappointment for various aspects of life or human nature for his books.
Cheers hope to get a response Ockam's Beard

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