Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

The Cold Commands The Cold Commands
by Richard Morgan

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The Cold Commands is Richard Morgan’s seventh novel, is a return to the storyline started in The Steel Remains (his previous outing), and is a sequel of sorts. I say of sorts because The Cold Commands functions as a story just as well with or without one having read The Steel Remains. The Cold Commands continues the stories of Ringil Eskiath, disavowed scion of a Trelayne merchant family, Egar Dragonsbane, Majak steppe-dweller and itinerant sword for hire and Archeth Indamaninarmal, a half kiriath warrior.

Stylistically, The Cold Commands is very much like The Steel Remains with three separate and essentially disparate storylines told alternatively through the book and tying together somewhere near the two thirds mark. The characters have the vocal expressive range of the chronically under-educated; and the luck of babes and fools. In short there was a lot to set my teeth on edge, but still the story was fast paced, engaging and had characters I carried about and wanting to know what happened next to them.

Given the speed with which The Cold Commands concludes, with a plot event that is almost at right angles to the main story arc for at least one of the characters I predict a sequel in the not too distant future. Hopefully, this time the central characters will start the story together – as I am really getting fed up with the current vogue authorial affectation of starting with different threads and slowly weaving them into a whole.

My overall impression of this book: hamburger, coke and chips (hamburger with tangy sauce).

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