Rating: 5 out of 5
I like Mr Abercrombie’s writings — they are full of life, mystery, and action. This one is no different though I think it still is a step below ‘Heroes’ — though probably a bit closer to it than the First Law trilogy. A boon here is the return of the dan Glokta family. Another interesting development is the casting of the technological revolution and while that seems to be more popular these days — with most fantasies dealing in guns, blunderbusses, and steam engines — it is a minor novelty looking at the wider genre.
The Northern characters in these series are true gems. Rough around the edges but hearts of gold, they are also apt to reveal much of the human nature. The lie of the land, so much less productive and more wild, is the key here, especially when compared to the (no more) duplicitous people in the White City. What is spectacular, however, is the way that Mr Abercrombie manages to fit the same broad characteristics into people who are outwardly so different.
The last bit of my ponderings will concern this trilogy in general. The first book leads us into conflict and resolves it at the same time. Having read the First Law, I have absolutely no idea what is going to happen here, but I would not be overly surprised if the sum of these books is very much a differently unhappy set of characters acting out their parts in their partially new lives.