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The Cold Commands (Gollancz S.F.) by Richard Morgan
Gollancz Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780575077935
Date: 13 October 2011 List Price 12.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

After a three year gap, Richard Morgan (author of the modern classic Altered Carbon)is back with The Cold Commands, a sequel to his previous novel The Steel Remains which, though marketed as fantasy, was very much thinly disguised science fiction in my opinion. This wasn't the only issue I had with that novel, which I described back then as "the fantasy equivalent of shoving a large stick into an overstuffed hornet's nest and poking around very vigorously indeed". At the same time, Morgan is one of the most unflinching and uncompromising writers that he field has produced in recent years (perhaps ever) and for that reason alone, I recommend his work without reservation. Published in hard cover by Gollancz.

"Ringil Eskiath, scarred wielder of the kiriath-forged broadsword Ravensfriend, is a man on the run - from his past and the family who have disowned him, from the slave trade magnates of Trelayne who want him dead, and apparently from the dark gods themselves, who are taking an interest but making no more sense than they ever have. Outlawed and exiled from his ancestral home in the north, Ringil has only one place left to turn - Yhelteth, city heart of the southern Empire, where perhaps he can seek asylum with the kiriath half-breed Archeth Indamaninarmal, former war comrade and now high-up advisor to the Emperor Jhiral Khimran II. But Archeth Indamaninarmal has problems of her own to contend with, as does her house guest, bodyguard and one time steppe nomad Egar the Dragonbane. And far from gaining the respite he is seeks, Ringil will instead find himself implicated in fresh schemes and doubtful allegiances no safer than those he has left behind. Old enemies are stirring, the old order is rotted through and crumbling, and though no-one yet knows it, the city of Yhelteth is about to explode..."

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