Joe Abercrombie: My Fantasy Man

Got your attention? Okay, I read. I read a lot. Anything from Shakespeare to George Eliot to Steinbeck to Michael Gruber. However, if you catch me in Barnes & Nobles (not hard to do, I’m the Gollum to their Misty Mountains) chances are, you’ll find me in their fantasy section–if you couldn’t guess from the Hobbit reference. Now, I don’t mean Stephanie-Meyer-teenie-bopper-sexual-fantasy-wannabe’s, I mean the real stuff. The people who read Tolkien before Peter Jackson pasted it up on the big screen with his own unwanted revisions. I love the movies, but come on! Spent half of the Two Towers thinking “Where the hell was that in the book?” But I digress. My recent forays into the Barnes & Nobles fantasy section have ended with a dint in my wallet and a new love for fantasy author, Joe Abercrombie.

Abercrombie’s written four books thus far, all of which are sitting comfortably on my shelves. His first three, The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and The Last Argument Of Kings, otherwise known as The First Law Trilogy, are bloody, philosophical, thought-provoking, gritty, knife-to-the-throat fun. This is a man who is a master of characters–from the complex split-personality Logen Ninefingers, the arrogant, powerful puppetmaster Bayaz the First Magus; the feral former slavewoman out for blood, Ferro; to the narcissist-turned-idealist pretty-boy Jezal dan Luthar–a god of plot, and a wizard of wordplay. He is at turns graphic and poetic, romantic and realistic, brutal and outstandingly humorous. It was love at first read with his trilogy, so naturally when I saw his fourth book sitting oh-so-tantalizingly on the shelves and B&N, I just had to buy it.

This vengeance saga, Best Served Cold, is such an enjoyable read, I feel a little dirty. The heroine, (or heartless bitch, whichever you prefer) Monza Murcatto is a former mercenary left for dead by her capricious employer. Being not quite as dead as he would have liked, Monza is out to avenge the betrayal of her trust and the murder of her dear brother. Unfortunately, she’s not very neat about it. I cannot do this book enough justice, what with its continuing plot twists and intriguing characters. What’s really amazing about Best Served Cold is that Abercrombie set it in the same world as his First Law Trilogy, weaving in characters and plot lines from the previous novels that make this gritty, brutal, unforgiving world that much more real. I have a thing for good writing, bad ass heroines, and fantasy, but this man is a genius. Joe Abercrombie, keep it up! My paychecks will simply have to try and keep pace.

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3 responses to this post.

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ron Earl Phillips, Daniel O'Shea. Daniel O'Shea said: And the Daja jumps into the review game. Any Joe Abercrombie fans out there? http://tinyurl.com/28ela7m […]

    Reply

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