1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
If you liked Game of Thrones, you will enjoy this as well,
This review is from: The Cold Commands (GOLLANCZ S.F.) (Hardcover)
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!