A Land Fit for Heroes
A Land Fit for Heroes is a 'Fantasy Noir' trilogy by the British author Richard Morgan (writer of the gritty Cyberpunk Altered Carbon trilogy). It is written in a similar vein to the Joe Abercrombie The First Law trilogy; dealing with a fairly Crapsack World fantasy world.
The world the books are set in is, like the First Law trilogy, very far into the cynical hand of the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism, and the intention to subvert and deconstruct a certain number of Fantasy tropes.
The trilogy follows three heroes of a great war that took place 9 years before the beginning of the story, fought against the aquatic Scaled Folk who invaded the human lands from the western ocean hints are given that the Scaled Folk invaded human lands as they themselves were fleeing something even nastier in the west.
All three heroes, previously war-buddies, are now disgusted by their actions following the war, the way their various societies now mistreat and ignore them and are all haunted by the ones they lost during the conflict. Soon, however, they are drawn into a new adventure.
The main characters:
- Ringil Eskiath - A highly skilled human swordsman who lead a now-legendary battle against the Scaled Folk and helped lift the siege of the city of Trelayne. A Invisible to Gaydar, which is something of a problem in the distinctly intolerant League, although as Ringil points out "You don't go queer baiting when your victim has a reputation of chopping trained swordsmen into dogmeat at the drop of a hat"
- Egar Dragonbane - Clan chief of one of the numerous northern Majak Tribes. Straight. Possibly the only one.
- Archeth Indamaninarnal - A human-kiriath half-breed who was left behind when the rest of her race abandoned the world in their 'fireships' due to her mixed blood.
Books in the series:
- The Steel Remains
- The Cold Commands
- The Dark Defiles (Forthcoming, title may change)
- Action Girl: Archeth
- Alien Sky: There is no moon, just an accretion disc that the characters refer to as the 'Band'.
- Anti-Hero: All three of the main characters.
- And I Must Scream: See the Losing your head entry
- Badass: Pretty much everyone, but Egar deserves special mention, and not just because he's a dragonslayer
- Badass Bookworm: Ringil
- Badass Gay: Ringil and Seethlaw amongst others.
- Bury Your Gays: Both the League and the Empire take a rather intolerant view on homosexuality.
- The Caligula: Emperor Jhiral, who has spent most of his reign conducting executions or playing with his Harem, seems like this on first glance. On the other hand though, he's actually fairly rational and intelligent in a crisis.
- Cool Sword: Ringil's Kiriath-forged greatsword Ravensfriend.
- Cast Full of Gay: Well, two-thirds full
- Cruel and Unusual Death: And how!
- Cluster F-Bomb: The whole book.
- Complete Monster: The general opinion most people hold of Scaled Folk. They did apparently eat prisoners of war. And children.
- Church Militant: The Yeltethian Church of the Revelation
- Darker and Edgier: Whoo boy
- Deity of Human Origin: strongly hinted at with the Sky Dwellers.
- Earth All Along
- Gayngster: Grace-of-Heaven
- Ho Yay
- Knife Nut: Archeth. She has names for all of them too.
- Lizard Folk: The Scaled Folk
- The Empire: The Yelteth Empire
- The Republic: The Trelayne League
- Knight in Sour Armour: All three main characters, but Ringil most of all
- Losing Your Head: The Dwenda like to cut off the heads of those who displease them and graft the still-living heads to tree stumps as a warning to others.
- Magic From Technology: the Kiriath flashbacks make this pretty clear.
- Our Dragons Are Different: For one thing they're aquatic, don't seem to fly and (as well as breathing fire as normal dragons) have acidic spittle
- Our Ghouls Are Creepier: Steppe Runners
- Our Fairies Are Different: The Dwenda
- Puppeteer Parasite: Grave Mites, a rather new spin on zombies
- Invisible to Gaydar: Ringil, Archeth and Grace-of-Heaven and Seethlaw
- The Berserker: Egar tends to get a bit angry in combat