Best Served Cold

“Science is a system of rational thought devised to investigate the world and establish the laws by which it operates.” Joe Abercrombie, Best Served Cold

I have just finished Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold I brought back from Texas. It is even darker and more sinister than the First Law trilogy. But, despite some flaws in the (predictable) plot and in the depth of the characters, not to mention some un-mentionable sex scenes, I enjoyed this single volume well enough to recommend it to readers of the First Law trilogy. The setting is exactly the same as the world in the First Law trilogy, some secondary characters being propelled to the front stage, while other major characters become accessories to the story.

“That was rhe strange thing about games of chances. The chances were always against the player. You could beat the numbers for a day, but you could never beat them in the end.” Joe Abercrombie, Best Served Cold

Although this will sound paradoxical to any reader of the book, Best Served Cold somehow feels more “homely”  (than the First Law trilogy) in that the plot follows a single character, Monza, in her senseless quest for revenge. Once again, there is no “good guy” in the novel and every character enjoys some dark side. Monza builds up a motley group of mercenaries to carry out her revenge and most of them end up in dire circumstances. Once again, Abercrombie is able to forge a very unforgiving universe with characters that are far from flawless but attractive nonetheless. The whole story shows a world on the brink of a barbaric collapse where mercenaries keep switching sides, cities are looted and re-looted, heads are repeatedly assassinated, and harvests destroyed… This is definitely a mature book, to keep away from young adults attracted by heroic fantasy. but the unravelling of the story is (mostly) fast paced enough to make reading the book compelling and above all enjoyable. (Okay, the happy ending could have been avoided, but then no major character would have been left alive by the end of the book! And the supernatural natures of the characters Shenkt and Ishri leave a large part unexplained…)

5 Responses to “Best Served Cold”

  1. […] lies of Locke Lamora, by Scott Lynch,  as soon I finished it and he completed Abercrombie’s Best served cold, and no one touched my George Martin’s A Game of Thrones as Alex had already brought a copy! […]

  2. […] Eleven, following my son’s description of the book (he also read the book, right after Best served cold), setting a clever con artist in a Venezia-like city and following his team through increasingly […]

  3. am i a young adult?

  4. a balanced review.

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