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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Morgan’

Review: The Cold Commands

September 4, 2013 Leave a comment

The Cold Commands
The Cold Commands by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ringil Eskiath is one of my favourite characters in all fiction.

In the previous book, The Steel Remains, he was a jaded war hero without a cause, trying to content himself by trading on past glories and bedding any man he could convince to let him do so, until he was recruited into a quest that required his particular skills. The events of that quest left him hollowed out and broken in spite of his victory, and with a hatred of slavery being just about the only thing he is still passionate about.

By the time The Cold Commands begins he has made an enemy of just about every slaver in the Empire and is running out of places to hide, while also having attracted the attention of dark powers he doesn’t understand and doesn’t much care about either. He ends up back in Yhelteth, home of the other two main characters of each book, fellow war heroes Archeth Indamaninarmal and Egar Dragonbane.

However, they both have problems of their own. Egar is sexually and spiritually frustrated, unable to be with the woman he loves and with no purpose in life beyond harassing the local religious zealots. Archeth has received a dire warning of an imminent threat that could bring down the whole Empire, and has to convince the Emperor to launch a major expedition to a place that may not even exist, while also trying to manage Egar’s frustrations and Ringil’s lack of tact or respect for the machinations of empire.

At first it seems like it’s Archeth’s expedition that would be the core of the story, but her plans are overshadowed completely by Ringil and Egar, who manage to upset the tentative balance that is just about keeping the city and the nation from erupting into civil war. In the process they uncover a grave threat much closer to home, and that again needs somebody like Ringil to try and put a stop to it.

More so even than Takeshi Kovacs, main character of Richard Morgan’s brilliant sci-fi trilogy, Ringil is a broken, disillusioned man who knows that his actions won’t much matter in the long run. Like Kovacs though he still tries and he still fights, because what else is there? As long as he’s still alive he’s going to do his damnedest to be an obstacle to anybody who deserves to have their plans thwarted, who seeks to take advantage of people or start a war, because that’s what heroes do. It’s cost him every part of himself, he no longer cares about much of anything at all, but he’s still a hero and he’s a fantastic character for it.

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Reading: Woken Furies

December 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Woken Furies
Woken Furies by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The third Takeshi Kovacs novel, and currently the final one. He’s come back to his home planet of Harlan’s World, and as the book begins he’s deeply entrenched in a personal quest of brutal, pointless vengeance. Things go awry and he’s stuck in a cheap synthetic sleeve and tagging along with a group of networked mercenaries, who spend their time fighting machine creatures on a continent completely overrun with them.

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Reading: Broken Angels

December 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Broken Angels
Broken Angels by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Broken Angels is the second of the three Takeshi Kovacs novels, following Altered Carbon. Where that first book was a murder mystery (albeit it one where the victim was alive and hired the investigator and is suspected by the police to have killed himself), Broken Angels places Kovacs on a planet engaged in a major revolutionary war and sends him on a treasure hunt. It hammers home that this isn’t a series that follows one type of story or style, it’s a series that provides scenarios for Kovacs to rage against.

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Reading: Altered Carbon

November 30, 2011 Leave a comment

Altered Carbon
Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Book Number: 15

One of my favourite books, and the third time I’ve read it.

The book is set in the future, at a time when death itself has become something that can be managed and, if you have the money, avoided. Everybody has a chip in the base of their necks that saves their entire personality, and upon death it can be downloaded into a fresh body if you have the money (or connections who do), housed in a cheaper computer simulation or simply kept on file. Erasure (permanent deletion of a personality) is the ultimate punishment and used sparingly.

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Reading: May 2011’s Books

July 9, 2011 1 comment

Far later than intended, we have the May round-up posts, where I write a little about all the media I consumed throughout the month (June’s will hopefully go up next week, but haven’t been worked on at all yet). This month started with television, then came film, and now it’s time for the books.

Olaf is the only author returning from April, but Terry is back from February and Neil is making his first appearance since January. The other four are all new.

Sources: Olaf, Richard, Kurt, Neil, Yahtzee, Stanislaw and Terry.

I’m going to attempt to keep these relatively brief this month, with no more than a paragraph per book and to try and avoid wasting time making synopses and things, just a quick opinion. So without further ado:

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