From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Abercrombie returns to the blood-drenched arena of the First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself
, etc.) with this skillfully crafted and bleakly humorous sword and sorcery adventure. Duke Orso imagines that he can become king by ending the civil wars that have devastated Styria, but he errs by trying to kill his overly popular general, mercenary Monza Murcatto. Recovering from her massive injuries and mourning her murdered brother, Monza vows vengeance on Orso and half a dozen of his accomplices. Employing her own motley crew of death dealers, Monza gets her revenge, but it's neither simple nor satisfying; each target requires fresh strategy, and each death has unexpected effects. Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it's almost ultraviolet. (Aug.)
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"The battles are vivid and visceral, the action brutal, the pace headlong, and Abercrombie piles the betrayals, reversals, and plot twists one atop another to keep us guessing how it will all come out. This is his best book yet." --- George R.R. Martin
"Joe Abercrombie takes the grand tradition of high fantasy literature and drags it down into the gutter, in the best possible way. Monza is a beautiful mercenary who has sworn to kill the seven men who tried to kill her. No elves, no wands - just lots of down-and-dirty swordplay." --- Time
"Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it's almost ultraviolet." --- Publishers Weekly
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