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AncalagonTheBlack

The Traitor Son Cycle by Miles Cameron

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Man but this guy writes fast,he's already written 300 pages of the sequel to his forthcoming Cold Iron.Oh,and the sequel is titled Forge of Darkness... ahem :D

He also has a brand new historical fiction book coming out on July 12 titled Sword of Justice, #4 in his Chivalry series,based loosely around the exploits of Sir William Gold.

 

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Cameron is great..anything he puts out ill pick up. Those titles sound interesting. Is it the same world as The Red Knight?

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Hey I just remembered why Cold Iron sounds familiar. It was a recurring theme in Malazan, and the name of one of the sub-books...in House of Chains I believe.  Cameron really likes Erikson. 

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From a long blog post published this month:

http://christiancameronauthor.com/index.php/2018/08/13/no-writer-is-an-island/

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I admit that I was itching to write The Red Knight when I started Fantasy in 2011, and I might return to Alba again eventually; I certainly planned a prequel about how Gabriel becomes the Captain, and I also have in mind a series of short novellas about life after the Gates are open… actually, I’ve already written two of them…

 

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While Alba is/was the demi-Arthurian fantasy of my youth, I have long wanted to write a very different, and in some ways more ‘fantastical’ series. Cold Iron is the first in a three-book series, but I hope that there will be other adventures and other protagonists when Aranthur Timos is gone, at least in part because this is a world into which I’ve sunk a great deal of design time.  I run an active RPG set there; it isn’t going away soon . All three of these books will come out over the next 14 months.

 

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Cold Iron also has a theme, and the theme is complex.  I have come to believe that fantasy, or at least ‘good versus evil’ fantasy may actually have some role in the creation of the world in which we live; the world of apparent contrasts, of terrorism and refugee crises, of renewed racism and re-born right-wing ideologies. I worry, (despite how much I adore Tolkien and E.R. Eddison, who was himself pretty close to a fascist) that our books, which often portray lone-wolf sword-wielding heroes with piercing blue eyes, relentlessly Northern European cultural signifiers, and various forms of violent masculinity, monarchy and aristocracy and ideas of purity of race (even if the race involved is Elvish), that these books can be read to have a very different message than the one that we intend, or even that most of us receive.

And I’ll add to that, as I put in my blurb in SFX, that I worry that violence and the portrayal and fetishising of violence has become the new pornography.

 

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So the theme of Cold Iron is, ‘The World is complicated, and the bad guys are not easy to spot, and maybe violence isn’t the way to fix them.’ (It’s funny to say this, as Cold Iron has more sword fights per page then Red Knight.  However, it’s there, in the end…) Sometimes it reads more like a spy novel then a fantasy; sometimes, at least in book 2 (Forge of Darkness,already finished and handed in) it may read a little more like horror. Anyway, I confess that if I’m trying to turn the ship of epic fantasy, it’s a slow turn; I still have lots of daring do, and Book Two (Forge of Darkness, but, friends, I recently discovered that Steven Erikson, whose work I very much admire, already has a novel of that title, so I’m going to try for ‘Anvil of Darkness‘ instead) book 2, whatever its title, opens with a major battle scene… it’s not action, it’s the effects of action, and I’m trying, thematically, to use the action to tell a different story about violence, right, and wrong.

 

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Cold Iron Reader’s Guide

Click this link for a downloadable PDF. It’s free.  Enjoy! This is the player’s guide to my Cold Iron RPG, improved for readers.

 

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So I read Cold Iron. Fun book, despite being hampered by a problem with the epub file in the middle parts. I enjoy the change of perspective from Red Knight, where instead of being at the top of the whole mess with the people scheming to fix it, you're with one person at the bottom looking up and trying to guess what the fuck is happening. It's also got a nice line in subverting Mary-Sueisms.

That said, the ending was weird. There is a real ending, but it almost rushes through it to get to the setup for the next book. It just about held it together, but I felt like more time and attention could certainly have been spent on the denouement here.


As for the themes discussed in Ancalagon's post (gonna avoid specific spoilers, but still tagging coz I am mentioning some plot-relevant issues here):

I don't think he really succeeded at all there, to be honest. I found no ambiguity or difficult whatsoever about who the bad guys were-and if it later comes out that the bad guys

are fighting with a nobler aim in mind he's hamstrung that point by making their representatives here such total bastards- and violence works for the main character very well indeed. Warning bells always do ring for me when an author starts talking about doing something new to epic fantasy that they think the genre needs, and it does feel like his main reference pool is 'before the modern wave' so that, while this book itself doesn't feel old fashioned, it also isn't breaking any new ground when compared to the current state of the genre. Elizabeth Bear's Eternal Sky, Robert Jackson Bennet's Divine Cities or, in a more radical departure from epic fantasy, NK Jemisin's Broken Earth discuss similar concerns more successfully, for me. But heck, even Abercrombie, although he comes at it from another angle, doesn't fit into what he says his concerns are, and Bakker pretty much completely savages those tropes he mentions (mostly by turning them up to a disgusting 11 and icking you out morally and physically but still).



That isn't to say I didn't enjoy the book or disagree with what it did say. It just wasn't groundbreaking or anything.

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