- Hardcover: 640 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; 1 edition (July 29, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0316044962
- ISBN-13: 978-0316044967
- Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 510 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #329,349 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Best Served Cold Hardcover – July 29, 2009
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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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About the Author
Joe Abercrombie is a freelance film editor, working mostly on documentaries and live music events for bands from Coldplay to Iron Maiden. He lives and works in London. He was nominated for the 2008 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Visit Joe Abercrombie online at www.joeabercrombie.com.
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Having said all that, there was no need to worry. He does an excellent job putting together a couple new characters you quickly care about while pulling in a bunch of secondary character from the first trilogy. The fact that it is relatively a stand alone novel means it is very fast paced - actually I respect the author in not trying to pull this story out into another trilogy which he could have easily done. Definitly an enjoyable read that I would highly recommend and I look forward to reading the later books in this world.
I've come to expect greatness from Mr. Abercrombie after recently finishing his First Law trilogy. Best Served Cold, the first of three books set in the world of the First Law, met that expectation and perhaps went a bit further. His writing is tight, his pace breakneck, his characters memorable, all that I came to love about his first trilogy is back in force.
Sitting back after reading this one, and reminiscing on the first trilogy, I'm left with two main thoughts. First is this. Joe will not give you what you want. He will make you want things. You will want a certain character to do X, but have a fear that they will do Y, and Joe will laugh and make them do Z. Leave what you want behind and enjoy the ride. The second is rather bleak, and it is this; if you try to change someone for the better, more often than not they'll change for the worse. Horrible right? But interesting to watch.
If you've not read it, I recommend it. I think that you could even read this one without having read the First Law, though you'd miss knowledge of plenty secondary situations and characters. I'll be diving into The Heroes very soon.
....it was, however, perfectly up my alley.
This was a great story, set in the world of The First Law Trilogy. Even though this novel is a stand alone book, and can be read without having read the previous trilogy, I would suggest reading the trilogy anyway. It will help to have previous knowledge of the characters and some of the story line before you go in. Joe Abercrombie is an excellent writer, and as of yet I have not found a book of his that I haven't enjoyed.
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