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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable Richard Morgan
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...
Published on 27 Nov 2011 by Robert

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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating read as there's some excellent moments.
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...
Published on 27 Nov 2011 by Neil J. Pearson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reliable Richard Morgan, 27 Nov 2011
By 
Robert (Uxbridge, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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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
3.0 out of 5 stars A frustrating read as there's some excellent moments., 27 Nov 2011
By 
Neil J. Pearson (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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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. I know the author isn't a fan of his books turning into phonebooks but I think this story could have really benefitted from having a bit more occur - such as the quest.

I'll see the series through as there is only one book left but as it stands it feels like there is a lot of untapped potential within this series. For anyone who enjoys this style of fantasy, I think they'd get more enjoyment out of Bakker's "the darkness that comes before" series.
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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
By 
A. DAVIES - See all my reviews
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars If you liked Game of Thrones, you will enjoy this as well, 13 Jan 2013
By 
Dr.Ofnothing (Emerald City, Oz) - See all my reviews
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. It's that issue, a very human dilemma, that really drives the novel more than the high adventure, violence, and "sorcery" elements, though those are all _very_ well done.

As with all his other works, I find that I couldn't put this one down until the end. I imagine most discerning readers will feel the same way!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Took a while to build, but was worth it in the end, 9 Oct 2012
Not too bad. Took a while to get going and was really good at the end. Could have been 100 pages shorter if the writing was tighter and better edited.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Back to his best, 21 April 2012
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I was disappointed with The Steel Remains but loved all of his other novels (Kovacs is one of my all time favourite characters) so I gave this book a go. It really is excellent, it's beautifully written, error free and a great tale.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great continuation, 28 Oct 2011
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I loved the Steel Remains so I was happy to find that I loved the Cold Commands even more. In SR I found myself missing Ringil whenever he wasn't in the narrative, this time around I found Eg and Archeth more interesting, although there was still a Ringil shaped hole. Hopefully that will no longer be an issue in the third book when they all get to play together some more.

With this book I also found myself noticing even more that there is a huge debt owed to Moorcock's Elric novels, but you know what, that's a good thing!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a non event., 19 Mar 2012
By 
Book Addict "jackie" (ABERGAVENNY, MONMOUTHSHIRE United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
I've been a fan of Richard Morgan ever since I first read 'Altered Carbon'. It was such a well written and exciting book, I still reread it about once a year. Since then I've read every other book he has produced but never recaptured that thrill supplied by that first book.
When he switched genres to fantasy from Sci-Fi I had high hopes that I would enjoy his new books as much. And 'The Steel Remains' was just excellent , I liked the world he created and I loved Ringil Eskiath, an anti hero with a heart of gold.
After a long wait I finally got my hands on 'The Cold Commands' and looked forward to reading it so much.
Perhaps my anticipation was a bit too much because I felt quite let down by this latest offering. All the characters are there, but nothing seems to happen very much until the very end and then it seems rushed.
Each character, Ringil, Egar, and Archeth wander through the story, the POV changes as you would expect but there seems to be no link up between them until the very end. They meander through the pages, doing not very much and I kept waiting for the story to begin. When it did, it was during the latter pages and it was over in a flash. I felt a little cheated.
The writing is wonderful, no one brings such dark characters to life in such a sympathetic way as the author, but during all the description, I lost my way and while I kept on reading hoping for it all to come together and make sense, it just didn't.
I don't know if Mr Morgan plans on writing a third novel in this series, I hope he does, but please, can we have a beginning, a middle and an end in the next book.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Better than the last one, in some ways., 10 Aug 2014
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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 language.
it is a bit confusing, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the plot points are also quite clunky; there are several events that don't seem to move the plot along, or make very much sense, but are just too position the characters. they don't even seem to be very necessary for positioning either.

I'll have to read the third one now, but I have kind of lost interest.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid Fantasy, 13 Oct 2011
By 
Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog "Falcata T... - See all my reviews
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As a fan of Richard's first Fantasy title, The Steel Remains, I really was looking forward to seeing what would happen in the next outing. The world is wonderfully designed, the characters fantastic and when added to Richards, hard combat style which when backed with double dealing and cunning, makes this a title that's hard to put down.

Finally add to this a cracking pace, great plot and wonderful writing style which makes this series a definite one to watch as it exhibits the best of the genre. A thoroughly magical read and one that will have me reaching for Steel Remains for a refresher pretty soon. Cracking.
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The Cold Commands (GOLLANCZ S.F.)
The Cold Commands (GOLLANCZ S.F.) by Richard Morgan (Paperback - 9 Aug 2012)
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