THE COLD COMMANDS
This is a gritty and visceral continuation of the story begun in The Steel Remains. Ringil is a complicated and unlikely hero whose past is littered with betrayal and death and whose future doesn’t seem to be much brighter. Like the first volume, this is a challenging read but absolutely a worthwhile one as well.
Ringil Eskiath, on the run from his family and the slave traders whose merchandise he’s been liberating, thinks he can find safety in the city of Yhelteth as his former comrade, half-Kiriath Archeth Indamaninarmal, is an adviser to the emperor. However, Archeth has her own problems with a newly discovered Kiriath machine intelligence telling tales of a mysterious island where the Illwrack Changeling sleeps. But perhaps not for long: there are signs that the changeling is waking up, and when he does, the demonic Aldrain will rally behind him and return to the world. Ringil is caught up in these schemes and doesn’t know who he can trust. (DEL REY, Oct., 512 pp., $26.00)