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The Neil Gaiman Reader
Best Served Cold126
Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started... Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.
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Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out -- Joe Hill Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold is a bloody and relentless epic of vengeance and obsession in the grand tradition, a kind of splatterpunk sword 'n sorcery Count of Monte Cristo, Dumas by way of Moorcock . . . 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 * Overall this is an immediately rewarding experience. There are reveals in the final third that are unexpected yet satisfyingly logical . . . Best Served Cold? Modern fantasy doesn't get much better than this * SFX *
Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings). His standalone novels (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country) are also set in the First Law world. His novels have been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards, John W. Campbell Award and the David Gemmell Legend Awards. His covers are also award winning, and have won both the David Gemmell Legend Award and the World Fantasy Award for best artwork. Joe formerly worked as a freelance film editor and is now a full time writer who lives in Bath with his family. Follow @LordGrimdark on twitter for more information, or visit www.joeabercrombie.com.