“The Steel Remains”, the first book in Morgan’s “A Land Fit For Heroes” series, is sword and sorcery for grown ups: people who can imagine what a broad sword does when it connects with a body and what it does to a man to be standing at the end of a battle, covered in the blood of his enemies, surrounded by the bodies of his friends and to ask himself what it means that he lived (again) and they died; people who are prepared to confront the cruelty, degradation and pain of slavery with no glamorous over-lay; people who want their fiction to embrace sex that is sweat-slick, lust-driven and not in the least romantic; people who are ready to experience violence that is visceral and thrilling and ultimately leaves no outcome but more violence and death.
Those who know Morgan’s work will find familiar themes here: the brutal alpha male warrior that we would not welcome into civilized society, the abuse of the weak by the powerful, the talon-like grip of religion ripping at the belly of human emotion, the betrayal of those who fight and win by those who manage the politics of peace.
They will also find a new world so fully imagined that its scent will still linger in your nostrils after you close the book and a plot that will clearly span several books.
And of course, they will find a fierce male warrior, a leader, a fighter, a man driven by rage and passion, who is openly and vigorously homosexual in a land and time when this is punishable by death through impalement.
This is a book that sets the bar for other writers and deserves to have a massive readership.