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Richard K. Morgan (The new 'god' of Cyber Punk) jumps the genre to keep himself free from pigeonholes. All Mr. Morgan's books have had extreme feminist leanings and his comics where a feminist steroid of the next generation! This book does not disappoint on those fronts, but if you have issues with Male on Male homosexuality or any homosexuality for that matter than stop now.
Now that everyone with a pre-disposed dislike for a majority of the books interpersonal views has left, Mr. Morgan has written a good, strong book. This is not Cyber Punk, or anything remotely close to the corporate mechanisms of 'Market Forces' of the past. This is a book of swords, horses and wagons, and not in a War Hammer 40,000 version either. The book is well written, as can be expected of any Morgan book, and his character inter-play has lost none of its wit. Strong story, good characters and a lengthy listen. A good book that missed a five star for some over the top gay sexual verbiage that seemed to be there only to antagonize the intolerant and not to strengthen the story.
Even so this is not your average medieval dandy prancing the countryside. He is a strong male character who cleaves Demons, and annoying toadies. The character isn't a perfect specimen of human gayiety to spite the intolerant either. He is flawed, (as with EVERY RKM novel) with horrible family relations, misses what he sees as a simpler time who has been out of favor and action just long enough to not know the right people, who has the power, and seems to be complaining about a small widening of the midsection. Him and his sword still kick some butt. A well rounded book, and many thanks to Mr. Morgan for his hard work. The narrator's voice lends a gruff voice to polish off the strong male character Mr. Morgan has written.
59 of 69 people found this review helpful
Would you be willing to try another book from Richard K. Morgan? Why or why not?
After reading and enjoying no less than 5 other Richard K. Morgan books, I had high hopes for this one, but I'm sad to say that it did nothing for me. Everything just felt a little overwrought. I was excited about the prospect of a gay hero, but found that Ringil's character fit into Morgan's usual mold of hyper-masculine protagonist - only much more so, and to the point of being just being an asshole. With all that his character has been through due to his sexuality, much of his rage is justified, but he's just such an asshole to *everyone* that he's hard to sympathize with. And some of his one liners are just painfully over the top. For example:
""Simple enough," he whispered. "A cheap fuck doesn't need to have a name. But I like to know what to call the men I'm going to kill.""
All the fantasy elements - the hard to pronounce names and places, titles, weapons, mythologies - felt forced. It's possible that listening to it in audiobook form with a less than stellar narrator had something to do with it, but there are plenty of books I've listened to in this format that didn't leave me nearly as weary.
Did Simon Vance do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
I think Simon Vance is great at voicing tough-guy male characters (as he did in Richard K. Morgan's "Thirteen") but when it comes to female characters, they all sound equally wispy and sibilant and ineffectual.
6 of 7 people found this review helpful