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Author Topic: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17  (Read 7146 times)

Offline Arry

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The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« on: October 09, 2013, 10:04:36 PM »
I don't have a computer this week, and so am not going to type up my comments until I get home. Opening the discussion so people can start without me.
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Offline Nighteyes

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 08:26:50 PM »
We should have ended at chapter 18, three cliff hangers in a row. :)

So the plot is here and it is the dwendas!  Oh the dwendas, should have seen that one coming! 

No, I am clueless.  No idea what a dwenda is, beyond the fact they are bad news.  Egar is in trouble at home, he has upset the priest, and unleashed the anger of the gods against him, and Ringil, well he is the worst undercover investigator since James Bond, his cover is blown straight away throwing him into trouble.  I am actually enjoying this, but it is a slow read.
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Offline ladygreen

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 09:36:10 PM »
Wellllll...

The writing is really dense and I don't know if I have the patience to wade through all the semi-colons and nearly painful descriptions of everything.  I feel awful for saying it, because I usually enjoy vivid writing, but I am not intrigued by much of the detail that is given here.  And not because what is being described is usually ugly and crude, but because I am human and I have trouble reading a sentence that is a half page long and only describes the figures hiding within a shadow.

The characters are also falling flat for me - I am not rooting for any of the three presented so far.  Once I find out what these dwenda things are, I may decide to be on their team.  And I'm pretty sure they're supposed to be the "bad guys."

With that being said, when I step back and think of it all, I think the thing that I DO like so far is the world that has been built.  I like the undertones of religion and multiple races co-existing (so Archeth isn't fully human?).  I like the concept of an eventful history, revealed in bits and pieces throughout the novel.

Hoping the dwenda pick up the momentum in the next section...we've been waiting for them for nearly 200 pages.

Offline Idlewilder

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 12:46:47 PM »
First off, apologies if I get spellings and things wrong - I'm listening to it, so have no idea on how things are spelled.

I'm finding this quite slow and ponderous with very little point to it. The occasional references Egar, Archeth and Ringil make to one another (having clearly fought together years previous or something) are....yeah, ok I get it; any chance we can move their current plots forward a bit now?

In fact, the distinct difference in balance between how much time we spend with each one is very odd. Ringil must have had at least 75%, if not more, of the narrative so far. So much that it makes me wonder if Morgan is even particularly bothered/attached to Archeth, and particularly Egar. It's certainly not making me attached to them.

The Poldar (sp?) chapters I quite enjoyed - they were a bit gruesome and I definitely cringed at one, very specific, moment.  :o Ringil's storyline is still the only one I'm really invested in - and even that hasn't really moved on much since Week One!

Although I'm being quite negative, I'm not hating this - it's just frustrating. The story (what is there) and characters (that we get any time with) are really interesting when Morgan doesn't get too hung up on throwing in backstory, and his writing seems to be very good and descriptive, yet precise - at least going by the audiobook. I hope something big happens soon (the Dwenda perhaps!) or that a couple of the plotlines merge or something.
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Offline Arry

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 02:15:17 PM »
No idea what a dwenda is, beyond the fact they are bad news.
evil. Pretty sure that was all the information we had at this point. There may have been a bit more .... but since I've read ahead, I don't want to accidentally post a spoiler.

Quote
Egar is in trouble at home, he has upset the priest, and unleashed the anger of the gods against him, and Ringil, well he is the worst undercover investigator since James Bond, his cover is blown straight away throwing him into trouble.  I am actually enjoying this, but it is a slow read.

He ... yeah. Ringil thought he was so smart. Ooops.


With that being said, when I step back and think of it all, I think the thing that I DO like so far is the world that has been built.  I like the undertones of religion and multiple races co-existing (so Archeth isn't fully human?).  I like the concept of an eventful history, revealed in bits and pieces throughout the novel.
Yep, definitely a strong point of the book. I do find it interesting how there are non-human races that seem to be very close to humans. It's almost like non-human races are more like different ethnic backgrounds. They did have some non-human traits as well, but still, seemed rather human to me.

First off, apologies if I get spellings and things wrong - I'm listening to it, so have no idea on how things are spelled.

I'm finding this quite slow and ponderous with very little point to it. The occasional references Egar, Archeth and Ringil make to one another (having clearly fought together years previous or something) are....yeah, ok I get it; any chance we can move their current plots forward a bit now?


In fact, the distinct difference in balance between how much time we spend with each one is very odd. Ringil must have had at least 75%, if not more, of the narrative so far. So much that it makes me wonder if Morgan is even particularly bothered/attached to Archeth, and particularly Egar. It's certainly not making me attached to them.
It is interesting. Although there are multiple POVs, this definitely seems to be Ringil's story and the others are just there to eventually bring something to his story. At least that is how I felt.

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they were a bit gruesome and I definitely cringed at one, very specific, moment.  :o
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Offline DBASKLS

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 05:32:31 PM »
Hmmm. So there were a couple of chapters (or parts of chapters) that got a bit grim - the bit with the Shaman and a bit of Ringil's back story. But like others have said it's not very fast paced and the characters aren't likeable enough to care so much. I prefer Ringil but maybe that's because he's had more pagespace. I do hope it picks up because at the moment I'm finding it slow going.
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Offline Effing_Rainbow

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2013, 01:40:07 PM »
As I did last week, I've blogged my thoughts on these chapters (link here) but for the clicky-averse, here's what I thought (quite literally as I read it)...


* * *

Some history, and a couple of new characters. It's all a bit Game Of Thrones so far. Not a complaint, mind you... I'm intrigued by the setup, in which there's apparently a lot of history between our three protagonists (Gil, Archeth, Egar) but we're picking up Years Later. A lesser-used approach? I like it.


Majak essentials are "bakeries, butchers, whorehouses and taverns". Hah. Okay.


Ooooookay, gods mean business ... Ouch. OUCH.


...Ghostly servant girl?! Iiiiiinteresting. Okay, this part definitely has my attention. Between that and the, er, encounter mentioned previously, I'm finding this book catching my interest even if it perhaps hasn't really gotten hooked up to a plot yet. That Game of Thrones comparison is definitely apt, methinks.

That said... Yeah, bring on the plot please.


Also, Egar? Come on. The signs are practically neon. Put down the unwanted leadership and step away from the clan... BEFORE THEY STRING YOU UP.

Ahem.


Quote
"What your brother is trying to say is that there is no need for seconds, or any other element of this ridiculous charade. Iscon Kaad will not fight, and neither will you. We will resolve this with intelligence."

"Yeah? What if I don't want to?"

*Snort* Oh, Gil.


...Okay, that following scene was hard to read... Consider this a trigger warning, folks; spoiler or not, said scene features male rape. Sympathy for Gil just went sky-high...


Aha, now (actual plot or not) this is getting more interesting - the idea of returning vengeful gods is starting to solidify now, it seems, from the randomly-scattered-mentions sense of it that I was getting before into something that's being explained and making proper sense. Maybe that scattered impression is partly down to me reading before morning tea/too late at night, but still. Now I'm listening ... Also, the 'more science, less magic' angle is an interesting one, where all this explanation is concerned.


Infodump time! Woo.


Okay! Etterkal, finally. Here we go...

...Don't really care about the wine, Gil, get on with it ...

...Ah. Well. Crap.


* * *

...Heh! So, yes. Gil could use a lesson or two in the espionage department. Oh dear...

I... am liking this book so far. It's got some fascinating stuff going on, and I can easily see myself sticking with it. It's just... as I said, that GoT comparison is getting more apt by the minute. I like the characters, and I like their stories. But Morgan (like Martin) is certainly taking his sweet time getting to whatever point is being made here...
« Last Edit: October 18, 2013, 01:41:38 PM by Effing_Rainbow »

Offline AnneLyle

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2013, 02:19:40 PM »
Hmmm. So there were a couple of chapters (or parts of chapters) that got a bit grim - the bit with the Shaman and a bit of Ringil's back story.

I have to say that most of Ringil's backstory is totally bloody grim. It took me two attempts to get through this book because of the flashback to when his lover was executed.
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Offline DBASKLS

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2013, 08:17:24 PM »

...Ghostly servant girl?! Iiiiiinteresting.

I'd forgotten that! Which is a shame because yes that was interesting - hopefully we'll come back to it later.
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Offline Effing_Rainbow

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2013, 11:30:22 PM »
I have to say that most of Ringil's backstory is totally bloody grim. It took me two attempts to get through this book because of the flashback to when his lover was executed.

Yes. I can see this one being a bit of a difficult read for me on account of that. Not to mention the rape scene...

Offline AnneLyle

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2013, 06:53:52 AM »
Yes. I can see this one being a bit of a difficult read for me on account of that. Not to mention the rape scene...

If it helps, IIRC the rape scene is the last of the really wince-worthy bits. Not that it suddenly becomes fluffy bunnies after that, but it's more Abercrombie levels of "grimdark" than "OMG let this not be happening" :)
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Offline Effing_Rainbow

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2013, 09:17:22 PM »
Good to know! I don't consider myself nearly so squeamish nowadays as I used to be, but yeah, some things still get to me. That said I will carry on with this one. (My track record here needs a bit of nudging in the positive direction, heh...)

Offline Fellshot

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #12 on: October 25, 2013, 05:29:07 AM »
It's as if someone replaced Ringil's plot arc with frozen molasses. I suppose they had to do the flashbacks to prove "grittiness" for its own sake... because neither scene seems to do much to explain Ringil any more than he had been explained previously. Ringil is angry at the men in his family because his dad disapproves of Ringil's inherent sexual preferences and his bother won't stand up in Ringil's support. All of which was abundantly clear before each flashback, so they must be there to be gratuitous. This is of course leaving aside all the cultural world building concerning what is considered gender appropriate behaviour for men and women in this story and how homosexuality is perceived outside of the bedroom that was omitted in favor of rape and torture. It's rather disappointing that the story is relying so much on dominant default settings in its world building.

It has occurred to me that it would be really interesting if Ishil, in the process of exhausting all of her other options to get Sherin back uncovered that the Aldrain were coming back and were very bad news and decided that the time had come to throw a sledgehammer (ie Ringil) into the works as a means of drawing attention to the problem since no one in the Eskiath household seems to listen to her.

Archeth's end of the book is at least moving like normal molasses. Egan's end rather bogged down after a visit from the Aldrain (who are living up to creepy standards).

Offline Jeni

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2013, 12:00:41 AM »
I'm liking this, but I'm not loving it...so far, anyway. Although the fact that I've only managed to read this in 10-15 minute snatches of time may be a contributing factor, I suppose.

Ringil seems to be firmly centre stage at this point - but I am still more interested in the Archeth storyline.  She is a much more intriguing character and seems to be negotiating quite a tricky line around the Emperor dude .... I get the impression that she is biding her time, waiting for something and is putting up with him because it serves her purpose. I'll be quite disappointed if her storyline fizzles out and ultimately eturns out to be just 'meh'.

I don't really have an opinion on the Egar storyline at the moment.... other than I don't like the shaman guy - Poltar?


Also...this is a bit random and I'm probably reading something into this that's not there....but - is this the same universe that the Takeshi Kovacs books were set in....one of the 'Gods' - I think the one someone said had many faces - is called Takavach which is verrrry similar??

Offline Arry

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Re: The Steel Remains Week 2: Chapters 9 - 17
« Reply #14 on: November 02, 2013, 07:36:22 PM »
Also...this is a bit random and I'm probably reading something into this that's not there....but - is this the same universe that the Takeshi Kovacs books were set in....one of the 'Gods' - I think the one someone said had many faces - is called Takavach which is verrrry similar??

Hmmm… I didn't think so. But I could have missed something as well. Definitely curious of what you think of this one as you get to the end. :)
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