Rating: 3 out of 5
I thought I couldn’t dislike a Joe Abercrombie novel and I haven’t disproven myself of that notion although I have also not picked up the next Shattered Sea immediately. Other people have said that this is unlike Mr Abercrombie’s First Law series and that is very much the truth. The style and feel of the characters is absolutely different even if some are still written to have the caustic snarkiness that was the key to dan Glokta and others.
The mystery is still in the book but what seems to be missing for me is the constant introspection — or perhaps not: the main character involves himself in plenty of this throughout the novel. Yet, we are left with much the same character in the end though perhaps somewhat wiser — but it wasn’t even Prince Yarvi’s slow change during the book which wasn’t to my liking. Similarly, the action was fast paced, and the reader had some surprises sprung upon them (I did not see them all coming).
Perhaps if this book had been written by not Joe Abercrombie I would have loved it — and that would be my word of warning to the reader. I recommend reading this, but it would be better to get rid of any ideas of what will be in here lest you end up disappointed.