Best Served Cold - Joe Abercrombie8.56

David Gemmell Legend Award nominee 2009, British Fantasy Award nominee 2010.

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 employers' 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 barbarian 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.

“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. His cast features tyrants and torturers, a pair of poisoners, a serial killer, a treacherous drunk, a red-handed warrior and a blood-soaked mercenary captain. And those are the good guys… 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

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Release date: May 28, 2009
Genres: fantasydark fantasy + high fantasy
Average rating: 8.56/10
Total ratings: 27
Updated: August 18, 2021

World of the First Law :: Series

Related series The First Law Trilogy
Related series The Age of Madness

Best Served Cold8.56
The Heroes8.84
Red Country8.78
Sharp Ends7.72


7/10 |
March 05, 2015
This book is quite straightforward compared to those of the First Law Trilogy (or at least it seems to me). The story has only one thread to follow and the characters are a bit too plain. I enjoyed it nevertheless as it has got an inkling of the ...