E-Book, 480 Pages
Adult/ Grimdark/ Fantasy
By: Joe Abercrombie
“Defeats do men far more good than victories.”
The Blade Itself ★★★ 3/4
Before They Are Hanged ★★★★
The Last Argument of King ★★★★
Best Served Cold ★★★★ 1/2
The Heroes ★★★
Red Country ★★★ 1/2
Sharp Ends ★★ 1/2
A Little Hatred ★★★★
My interest in this series was sparked when I first saw the cover of this book! I wasn’t a big adult fantasy reader back then and I did not know that Abercrombie was such a successful author. I found the first trilogy box set in the local bookstore and I took it as a sign to start the series. I have slowly made my way through the series and I finally read this book which kind of started it all. I do love The First Law world but I am not as a die hard fan as most of the fans are. Up to this point, Best Served Cold got the highest rating from me which is 4.5 stars and I don’t think that will change. I know most readers give these books 5 stars but for me, they are not that perfect!
The first trilogy was pretty good and it has some of the most memorable characters ever! I felt lukewarm toward the standalones -except for BSC obviously- and I am glad that this series is closer to the first series when it comes to the story line or vibes it gives me.
I guess Abercrombie has two points that he really excels in: The prose and the characterizations. The prose is just awesome and he has one of the strongest most realistic dialogues ever, I actually enjoy the dialogue more than anything else in the series! The characters are very memorable, this series has mostly new and younger cast since it takes event years after the first trilogy. The old characters are mentioned and it is very interesting to see how they were affected by time.
“But that’s what growing up is, maybe. Realising what a fucking arse you’ve been.”
The world-building still maintains that rotting and dark feeling that no one is totally a good person and that everyone are working to achieve their own agendas. The new addition is that in this series, the industrial age is beginning and is bringing all kinds of change with it.
This book made me realize that my problem with Abercombie’s books are usually the plot lines. I am not saying they are bad but given the number of fantasy books I have read, they don’t blow my mind the way I expect them to do. I think this is getting a solid 4 stars because I actually enjoyed the plot line here and I think it has potential to be even better.
I gotta say that in my humble opinion, it is very necessary to read the previous books to really enjoy this one. I don’t retain everything from the previous books but it really makes a difference and the experience will be much better if the previous books are read first. I think there are always many characters and I always have to google some characters and take some time to untangle the confusion but it is more of a personal problem than a problem of the series itself!
“You have to pick your moment. He’d always said so. Told everyone who’d listen. Have to recognise it when it comes, and seize it, with no care for the past and no worries about the future.”
Summary: I think this is better read after reading all of the previous books -at least the first trilogy- this has great prose and characters as usual of Abercrombie and I think the story line and additions to the world are intriguing! I am really interested to see where it is going!