NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
Kirkus Reviews • Fantasy Book Critic
“Pulpy and hard-core, but with a heart of gold.”—io9
The otherworldly Kiriath once used their advanced technology to save the world from the dark magic of the Aldrain, only to depart as mysteriously as they arrived. Now one of the Kiriath’s uncanny machines has fallen from orbit, with a message that humanity once more faces a grave danger: the Ilwrack Changeling, a boy raised to manhood in the ghostly realm of the Gray Places. Wrapped in sorcerous slumber on an island that drifts between this world and the Gray Places, the Ilwrack Changeling is stirring. When he wakes, the Aldrain will rally to him and return in force. But with the Kiriath long gone, humankind’s fate now depends on warrior Ringil Eskiath and his few, trusted allies. Undertaking a perilous journey to strike first against the Ilwrack Changeling, each of them seeks to outrun a haunted past and find redemption in the future. But redemption won’t come cheap. Nor, for that matter, will survival.
Morgan's gory fantasy delves deep into the war-torn world introduced in 2007's The Steel Remains. Three veteran warriors, briefly reunited, split up once more to take vastly different paths. The semi-immortal Archeth, disillusioned and apathetic, wearily continues serving her emperor as he slowly adjusts to the news that humanity's ancient rivals, the magical dwenda, have returned. The tribesman Egar fidgets restlessly in his self-imposed retirement, and the powerful sorcerer Ringil is off slaughtering slaver caravans in an attempt to atone for his failure to rescue his cousin. When the three heroes meet again, they uncover the dwenda's new, subtle plot. Vivid, bloody battle scenes and enthralling, multifaceted characters are more than adequate to prop up the sagging story line, and the slow pace is at least forgiving to readers new to the series.
Amazingly great book!
Just finished and I'm blown away by how good this book was. Even better than the first in e series with lots of promise for the next. I think the thing that sets Morgan's characters apart is the fury and passion they exude on the page or in the voice of the narrator if you listen on audible. It's one thing to 'read' a great story, but Morgan enables you to read and 'feel' a great story.
Btw Apple's bookstore category is totally ignorant, possibly bigoted. Disregard them and hope they grow up and mature some day.
Unfortunate that the Apple bookstore rates this as Gay lit, it's not, and neither am I, I loved it. This series is absolutely fantastic, a modern Lord of the Rings, full of good, evil, and every shade between. A masterpiece.
I read hundreds of books, while writing journal articles, and technical scientific pieces each year, RK Morgan is among the very best.
I am a huge fan of Morgan. Love his stories. I would recommend this, but not as a first read. This was a bit of a hard read though, and probably my least favorite. There are a number of passages where frankly I simply was not cogent of what was going on...None the less, well worth reading. Some terrific imagery.
Complaint for Apple: they categorized it as "Gay Fiction". Unnecessary. This is fantasy/sci-fi with two main characters who are gay, and a third main character who is straight. It's not "Gay Fiction". It is epic sword & sorcery stuff in the vein of Michael Moorecock, though grimmer for certain.