Ok, you've read the Matador Trilogy and loved it (I hope). But it's not over. The Matador's have finished their prime mission in life but now what? "Black Steel", "The Albino Knife" and "Brother Death" are the continuing stories of Sleel, Emile and Bork.
In "Black Steel", our friend Sleel is as full of arrogance as ever. But life has, perhaps, gotten a little boring - not that he would ever admit that. Along comes a new contract as a bodyguard for an old thief - Jersey Reason. Fine. No big sweat for a man like Sleel. But two challenges are building on two distant planets for unsuspecting Sleel. First, the Lord of the "House of Black Steel" wants the thief dead and will let absolutely nothing stand in his way. On another planet a young women, with ties to the Matadors, is looking for her "perfect student". These four characters meet and the result (not to give too much away) nearly kills Sleel and crushes his ego, utterly.
The second half of the book is the story of Sleel finding himself (maybe), falling in love (maybe) and facing several of his greatest fears (definitely).
In the previous Matador books Sleel was an amusing character but didn't really add a great deal to the story. Many times he was simply a comical break in the story. In "Black Steel" all that changes. Sleel, it is discovered, is a person of great depth, high honor and deep pain. I particularly liked the part of the book that introduced Sleel's parents. If ever there were two people who should not have had children it's these two. Sleel's stone cold pain from trying to get through to his parents will make you want to put the book down and stare off into the distance.
I've read this book at least half a dozen times and lent it to numerous friends. Needless to say, I highly recommend it.