3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Diappointing and ordinary,
This review is from: The Steel Remains (Gollancz) (Paperback)
I enjoyed most of Morgan's previous books: the gritty violence and flawed heroes are a welcome change from the anodyne dross that characterises much of modern SF. When I heard that he had decided to turn his hand to the fantasy genre I dared to hope that we might have someone capable of stepping into the shoes so sadly vacated by David Gemmel. Unfortunately that is not to be.
Even by his own standards the level of graphic sex and violence is startling but it's not too off-putting on its own (though the religious right will no doubt explode with horror that it's gay sex). The real killer is the appalling, cardboard cut-out characters throughout the book and the lack of any real imagination.
Morgan acknowledges the inspiration of a number of other authors, the influence of Michael Moorcock shouts from the page, but has brought nothing of his own that is new or compelling. Every hackneyed alternative reality/multiverse cliche is brought out for an airing with a little bit of deus ex machina thrown in when the situation starts to get out of hand. Even the sword and sorcery theme is flawed as we have various species with obviously advanced technology yet no one has invented a projectile weapon more effective than a cross-bow.
The plot for the novel is extensively described in other reviews so I won't rehash or pull it to pieces here. Suffice to say that you'd be a lot better off buying Moorcock's Elric novels or Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber.