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The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
The Mirror Empire
Kameron Hurley
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (Audio)
Jack Weatherford

The Steel Remains

The Steel Remains - Richard K. Morgan I was told this was an "edgy" book, but it read more like Black Company lite. The characters may not be nice, but they're all beautiful, born into powerful families, and warriors without parallel. Yes, yes, there's blood and guts and swearing and sex--and this is different from half of what comes out of the fantasy genre these days how? "Gritty" has been the byword of choice for over a decade. You need to do more to catch my interest.

Unfortunately, Morgan didn't. The first three hundred plus pages suffer from a serious lack of protagonists protaging--instead, they wander around largely without motives or goals, letting other characters make all their choices for them. Egar in particular is guilty of this, and I'm still unconvinced the book wouldn't be improved and basically unchanged if his chapters were excised wholesale.

So why two stars instead of one? Because around page 350, the characters actually start making decisions, their characterization starts developing, and some interesting tidbits of world-building enter the picture. It's almost intriguing enough to make me read book two--but only if I hear from several trusted reviews that it follows the path of those final few chapters, and not the first part of this book.