Ringil, the hero of the bloody slaughter at Gallows Gap is a legend to all who don't know him and a twisted degenerate to those that do. A veteran of the wars against the lizards he makes a living from telling credulous travellers of his exploits. Until one day he is pulled away from his life and into the depths of the Empire's slave trade. Where he will discover a secret infinitely more frightening than the trade in lives.
Archeth - pragmatist, cynic and engineer, the last of her race - is called from her work at the whim of the most powerful man in the Empire and sent to its farthest reaches to investigate a demonic incursion against the Empire's borders.
Egar Dragonbane, steppe-nomad, one-time fighter for the Empire finds himself entangled in a small-town battle between common sense and religious fervour. But out in the wider world there is something on the move far more alien than any of his tribe's petty gods.
Anti-social, anti-heroic, and decidedly irritated, all three of them are about to be sent unwillingly forth into a vicious, vigorous and thoroughly unsuspecting fantasy world. Called upon by an Empire that owes them everything and gave them nothing.
Richard Morgan brings his trademark visceral writing style, turbo-driven plotting and thought provoking characterisation to the fantasy genre and produces a landmark work with his first foray.
Praise for The Steel Remains
'A brilliant book! This has to be one of the best books I've read this. A raw, gritty fantasy that pulls no punches.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Well, wow. A gay aristocratic war hero fallen into rough living, a bisexual knife-wielding black woman from a race of near-immortal engineers, and a hard-hitting, tough-talking, dragon-slaying warleader from the steppes who is immensely loyal to them both.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Fantastic book! I love Morgan's twisted world and his complicated characters. A gritty, shocking, refreshing, dark epic fantasy. I can't wait to read the next one.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'So... What does this book do right? Everything. Gay main characters - done to perfection. A truly dark, grotesque, yet realistic and complex world. Action? Suspense? Horror? All of them.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'One of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. Better than Tolkein, better than A Game of Thrones, better than A Wheel of Time. It's a relatively simple story that involves the right amount of backstabbing, bloodshed and political intrigue.' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
'Wow what more do you want from a fantasy? Viciously smart humour with a sort of dry, tongue in cheek delivery, paired with rich worldbuilding that subtly unfolds, a trio of broken heroes with complex inner worlds grappling with the mess of human existence in a dangerous world, all propelled at breathless breakneck speeds - yet nothing rushed. Well developed secondary characters, sexual politics that I can't get behind, rape recognized as the disgusting horror it is, yet plenty of violent fun to be had. Damn I can't wait to start the next, this is just picking up speed' Goodreads reviewer, ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Noir SF author Morgan (Thirteen) delivers a promising but obscenity-laden epic fantasy trilogy opener. As the Yhelteth Empire recovers from a devastating war, embittered veterans Archeth, Egar and Ringil embark on parallel but vastly different journeys. The emperor sends drug-abusing Archeth to gather details about a rumored invasion. Egar becomes a steppes clanmaster, but the other horsemen despise him for seducing teenagers rather than leading. Ringil attempts to locate and free a cousin sold into slavery. All three soon discover the dwenda, a race of magical beings thought long dead. Despite stereotypical plot elements, including a prophecy that states "A dark lord will rise," the well-developed characters and realistic battle scenes ring true, as do some gruesomely explicit sex scenes. The intriguing conclusion to the dark, gritty tale will have readers hoping for a more plot-heavy and less visceral sequel.
Worth a read
Interesting characters in a good story. It lacked the grit I was hoping for