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The Cold Commands (GOLLANCZ S.F.) [Paperback]

Richard Morgan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

9 Aug 2012 GOLLANCZ S.F.

Ringil Eskiath, scarred wielder of the kiriath-forged broadsword Ravensfriend, is a man on the run - from his past and the family who have disowned him, from the slave trade magnates of Trelayne who want him dead, and apparently from the dark gods themselves, who are taking an interest but making no more sense than they ever have. Outlawed and exiled from his ancestral home in the north, Ringil has only one place left to turn - Yhelteth, city heart of the southern Empire, where perhaps he can seek asylum with the kiriath half-breed Archeth Indamaninarmal, former war comrade and now high-up advisor to the Emperor Jhiral Khimran II.

But Archeth Indamaninarmal has problems of her own to contend with, as does her house guest, bodyguard and one time steppe nomad Egar the Dragonbane. And far from gaining the respite he is seeks, Ringil will instead find himself implicated in fresh schemes and doubtful allegiances no safer than those he has left behind. Old enemies are stirring, the old order is rotted through and crumbling, and though no-one yet knows it, the city of Yhelteth is about to explode . . .

Frequently Bought Together

The Cold Commands (GOLLANCZ S.F.) + The Steel Remains (Gollancz) + Black Man (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
Price For All Three: 18.67

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (9 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575084898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575084896
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 28,691 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Richard Morgan is 39 and was, until his writing career took off, a tutor at Strathclyde University in the English Language Teaching division. He has travelled widely and lived in Spain and Istanbul. He is a fluent Spanish speaker.

Product Description


This is dense, gripping fantasy. textually, it's rather like Joe Abercrombie without the arched eyebrow. (Guy Haley SFX)

Overall The Cold Commands is a superior effort to The Steel Remains and an excellent novel, though one that's definitely not for everyone; a little more imagination on the fantasy plot and full coherence would make it one for the ages, but even so, the author's powerful writing style, the memorable characters, superb one liners and many other goodies made it one of my top 25 novels of the year. (FANTASY BOOK CRITIC)

Sharp, fast, furious, and well written, The Cold Commands is a must read for anyone who likes gritty, edgy fantasy that is unafraid to explore complex or difficult issues. (RANTINGDRAGON.COM)

The Cold Commands sees Morgan back on top form and delivering a book as passionate, fast-paced, smart and furious as any of his SF. (WERTZONE) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

Fantasy: harder, faster, bloodier. The king of noir SF takes on Fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable Richard Morgan 27 Nov 2011
By Robert
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Richard Morgan is one of those authors I feel I can rely on to entertain me. And that is the real purpose of buying books, for me. This sequel to The Steel Remains returns to the world of Ringil and his violent comrades and foes. But as witht he earlier book there is a hint of magic which may not really be magic. Morgan's titles can be read in several ways and this indicates the puzzles in the book that kept me reading. The Steel Remains could read as a weapon is the last resort or final argument, or it could read that steel remains in the ruins of a civilisation. Both would be appropriate. Likewise the title Cold Commands, and I won't spoil it by revealing the double entendre. I suggest if you like Alasteir Reynolds then you might like this Richard Morgan novel.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There was a lot of positive buzz about this being an improvement over "the steel remains" and while I think it is a stronger book it still suffers from many of the problems the first book had. One thing I did enjouy more in this book is that the three point-of-view characters all have their own story and they fuse together quite nicely towards the end. While Ringil is clearly the main character, I think Egar actually had some of the strongest scenes this time around. The emperor still manages to steal every scene he is in again as well.

In terms of the story and world it always seemed to come to life whenever it was dealing with the pseudo-science fiction/fantasy elements. Any scene featuring the helmsmen or the dark council members caused me to become far more interested in the story. Herein lies my problem with the book though, when not dealing with the weird science/magic elements the book feels very average in that I've read far better/similar "gritty/mature" fantasy books over the last decade. There just isn't anything to make it stand-out when it's not delving into the weird. This could be partly with the story itself as there are very few "big" moments and it focuses more on indvidual skirmishes. There are some well choreographed fights but it never seems to escalate into anything "substantial". I was also frustrated by how two-thirds of the book sets up a "quest" only for it to be abandoned or left for the next installment. In defense of Richard, he does make the reason why the quest is side-lined an organic consequence of one of his characters storylines so it may be a case of the character determining the plot.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A long wait for this disappointing effort 29 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having loved his SF, I read The Steel Remains with some trepidation. I loved it, so I was really looking forward to Cold Commands. I waited and waited. Publish dates being put back. No worries, I had complete faith in Richard Morgan to produce a cracking sequel. I won't say that I feel cheated, but I'm really disappointed that he couldn't have produced something a bit more interesting. The plot is slow, probably laying the scene for the next book, and takes an age to come together. Of course it doesn't help that this sequel was so late being published, so references to characters from the first book, left me a little lost. The book has all the graphic bloodletting and sex scenes (hetero and homo) as the first book, but somehow they fail to shock or engage.

My biggest gripe is the fact that Morgan seems to drift in and out of love with this book, whether or not he was distracted by other projects, it's difficult to say, but certain passages seem to be written with care, whereas others seem to be rushed (approaching deadlines?). One example of this is the incredible way (yes, I know it's fantasy, but even so) in which Ringil escapes death a few times by going into the Margins. That just seems to be a bit of a cop-out to me. I sincerely hope that this will not be a recurring theme in the next book, which I will buy if it doesn't take a couple of years to appear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Readers familiar with Richard K. Morgan's Takeshi Kovac books (Altered Carbon, Woken Furies, etc.) will be relieved to hear the author has made a seamless transition from Sc-Fi to fantasy. A closer reader will surmise that he hasn't made a transition at all, but 'nuff said there.

Although The Cold Commands lacks the narrative punch of the first in the series (the Steel Remains), it expands the cultural and political backdrop of the setting, and deepens the excellent characterizations established with the first book. It also continues to tie together the fates of the three protagonists.

Readers of the Game of Thrones series will find much to appreciate here. Morgan's work lacks the majestic scope of Martin's Game of Thrones, but his characters are every bit as compelling, and the series has a unique "fantasy noir" feel that recalls the work of Michael Moorcock's "Elric of Melnibone" series, the Theives' World books, and Frutz Leiber's "Fafhard and the Grey Mouser" series. The same moral ambiguities and pallor of doom pervade in both, though Morgan's is more of the post-modern, slow tramp into catastrophe rather than Moorcock's looming, apocalyptic feel.

What I find most interesting about this particular work of his is that all the characters seem to be struggling with the issue of age and nostalgia. Each feels that they are somehow past their prime, and becoming increasingly irrelevant in a landscape where they or their people once reigned high and mighty. They all feel that they have at least one more great adventure ahead, one last chance to make a legend in a world increasingly ruled by petty politics, cruelty, and greed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one, in some ways.
stop book one was good, but to crude and written like a 15 school boys idea of gritty realism. this one is not nearly so childishly full of terrible sex scenes and gratuitous... Read more
Published 10 days ago by Targle
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good sequel
Not as over the top with certain aspects of ringils personality if you know what I mean, I enjoyed this more be cause of this and also this book is a lot more fluent having already... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A riveting sequel
I enjoyed the first book, The Steel Remains, but the Cold Commands is a much stronger, much better book. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ra Leigh
3.0 out of 5 stars I didnt like it very much
For a start there is too much homosexuality in it for my liking. The characters werent that interesting. It was a real struggle to finish reading it.
Published 2 months ago by Rohit (NZ)
5.0 out of 5 stars another tightly plotted read from Morgan
I could live without the graphic gay sex sections but that apart it's a good read. The second of the fantasy novels featuring Ringil Eskiath moves along at a good pace and takes... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Elenderil
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent Richard Morgan book
I've read the Kovacs books (Broken Angels and Woken Furies are particularly good), and this series is just as excellent. It's not for the faint-hearted, but these books are great.
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid hit
Richard Morgan delves once again into the alternative Earth of Ringil and his various friends. This book fills in a lot of blanks and answers questions that rose in my mind from... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Little Legs
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow start but a cracking end.
It is great to have the old gang back and with much more complexity. The way it is developing is great. I can not wait for the next part.
Published 15 months ago by myles
5.0 out of 5 stars Another cracker from Morgan.
Slightly disapointed with the wait for the second half of this book. however I do like his books. Black man is a must.
Published 18 months ago by dr jeff lowden
3.0 out of 5 stars more of the same
The Cold Commands shares the same pros and cons as its predecessor, The Steel Remains.

The best parts are the hints of weird science/quantum mechanics, which suggests... Read more
Published 22 months ago by Jason
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