The Dark Defiles : A Land Fit for Heroes

  • by Richard K. Morgan
  • Narrated by Simon Vance
  • Series: A Land Fit for Heroes
  • 24 hrs and 0 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ringil Eskiath, a reluctant hero viewed as a corrupt degenerate by the very people who demand his help, has traveled far in search of the Illwrack Changeling, a deathless human sorcerer-warrior raised by the bloodthirsty Aldrain, former rulers of the world. Separated from his companions - Egar the Dragonbane and Archeth - Ringil risks his soul to master a deadly magic that alone can challenge the might of the Changeling. While Archeth and the Dragonbane embark on a trail of blood and tears that ends up exposing long-buried secrets, Ringil finds himself tested as never before, with his life and all existence hanging in the balance.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

…..NC-17 Sword and Sorcery…..

Richard Morgan’s third entry into the fantasy genre again downplays the explicit scenes that were so prominent in the first book. I am trying to be discrete here. It is evident that there has been a conscious decision to be a little less in-your-face on such gratuitous scenes at the end of this series. Here the events of the trilogy are allowed to unfold without too much of the rainbow desensitization techniques he employed so copiously in the first installment—and for this I am grateful. What we are left with is a quite mundane sword-and-sorcery novel. The three main characters are back again and live up to their nicknames in every sense. It is fun to see them in action. And nobody does action better than Morgan.

At the end of the day I think that I failed to fully engage with this series because of the aforementioned salacious elements and so have not really much cared what happens to the characters. There is a dearth of redeeming social value here. As a result I just let the audio play out and tried to follow the plot, which at times was difficult because the action seems focused more on the grubby details of mercenary life than it does on the grander story arc with the fate of the world at stake. This is not, therefore, an epic fantasy by any means. The unfolding Duenda war feels like little more than a manufactured crisis to allow the characters to misbehave. Alfred Hitchcock would call this the MacGuffin—the thing the characters in the story care about who facilitate the action that the audience cares about. The characters want to save the world and we in the audience want to witness them hacking and slashing their way to victory. So, while this series may have broken ground in introducing the genre to a sympathetic portrayal of an openly gay main character, it is pretty standard Sword and Sorcery fare otherwise. Knowing the dizzying heights that Richard Morgan is capable of hitting in his Science Fiction novels, this is a bit of a letdown.

Simon Vance is a little too subdued for my tastes in his reading of this book. With such flamboyant characters the story would have been better served with a more emotional rendering in the dialog scenes. Vance is excellent in translating the words on the page into sounds in your ear. For the most part he is unobtrusive and this makes it possible for him to become the sub-vocal voice-in-your-head that every reader experiences when reading a book on your own.
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- Doug D. Eigsti "Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds)."

A dense and sharp high epic with lots of twists

Richard maintains his sharp and edgy writing on this high epic. I took me few hours to get adjusted to the style of writing that it is dense and demands attention from the reader. Book is fast moving and hits the ground running requiring reader to be familiar with previous book well at the start. So, I recommend doing some reading (wiki page possibly) of previous books before starting this one.

Book starts with Ringil, Archeth and Egar on a journey to find the Illwark changeling. Journey takes them to various amazing places looking for the changeling where story breaks into two story lines. One follows Ringil where the other story line follows Egar and Archeth. Both are great, but Ringil's experiences are more abstract where he looks to master deadly forces for incoming conflicts. This element of the story is innovative and despite of high use of powers/magic, it remains mysterious and entertaining. During the book Ringil's character starting to remind me a lot of Elric and his sword. It has been a while since I have read the Elric saga, but I kept thinking of it.

Story line for Archeth and Egar is not simple either that their decisions are riddle with political and historical considerations. Banter between Archeth and Egar is entertaining as well along with mysterious actions of demonic helms. There arw plenty of twists in the plots which kept the book entertaining throughout.

Overall, book is very entertaining but will require concentration from reader. Like previous books in this series, it is dark edgy and sharp. Simon's narration is top notch as usual. He is able to capture the subtle tones of implications utilized by the character throughout the book. I enjoyed the book and I would highly recommend it to seasoned fantasy readers.
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- Adnan

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-07-2014
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio