Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Steel Remains - Richard Morgan

Three against Melnibone?

Ok, maybe not quite. In fact, this novel is perhaps a little slow for Richard Morgan, only firing up in a full on last stand against the otherworldly invaders right at the end. However, at 300 odd pages it is nowhere near as ponderous as the usual epic fantasy tome. This novel is not one of those, considerably more to the low fantasy end of the scale. Sword and Sorcery? Maybe. Certainly if you like Sword and Sorcery this book may well appeal. These invaders being the ones to reminder you of blokes that Elric might have inflicted Stormbringer upon in his early days.

Morgan does note some authors at the end, Wagner, Moorcock, Anderson, etc. You could say that the Steel Remains is perhaps Wagner via Moorcock with a touch of Gemmell.

There are three main characters, Ringil, a rich kid that became a general and is living the simple life with enough booze to get by thanks to his alien technology sword, Egar, your Steppes Horde barbarian, similarly taking it easy, and Archeth, one of the last of an alien race left around the place, an advisor to the Emperor. The paths of these three drunken and drug addled but exceedingly dangerous warriors will intersect - and presumably quite a bit more in the books to come, having been dragged or driven out of their lives thanks in part to the machinations of a couple of godlings.

4 out of 5

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