My wife found the author, Joe Abercrombie, while making a Border's run one day. She picked up The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) while I ended up purchasing Orcs. Let's just say that Orcs is still sitting on the library shelf while I've read through Abercrombie's first trilogy and semi-sequel. He's an excellent newish author in the fantasy realm. If you're trying to source him, I'd maybe put him somewhere near George Martin - opinion based on what I've read and heard about Martin and not because I've read any of his novels. Now let's take a quick look at my latest read book.
Best Served Cold is a sequel, of sorts, to The First Law trilogy. It takes place in the same world with a few of the same characters and a lot of name dropping from the trilogy. It's not a true sequel, but I felt that by the end of the book. I'm almost expecting to see the next book take us back North and follow the Bloody Nine(one of the main characters from The First Law). The story follows a general of the greatest mercenary group in Styria, The Thousand Swords. After all the help given by General Murcatto to secure the throne to Duke Orso, he attempts to kill her and her brother as payment for her loyalty to the cause. With her brother now dead, her body broken, and no army behind her, Murcatto vows to take revenge on the men that ruined her life. That's where the book starts and the story takes off.
Having read four books by Joe Abercrombie, I can definitely say that he's a great author. The books are well-written and the story very engaging. That's not to say that all is right with the - Abercrombie - world. The books tend to have some very perverse sections. I'm not here to read a sleazy romance novel and, up to this point, the majority of my Fantasy/Sci-Fi experience hasn't included a lot of sex. I think that Joe might have gotten more descriptive in this novel than he was in his first three. He also cusses more than the other authors that I tend to frequent - Robert Jordan, Modesitt, Cook, etc. Does it detract from the story? It does a bit, for me personally. I would prefer to not have to shade over a section of the book to get back to the meat of it. It also limits what I might recommend to other readers that share some of the same ideals.
Rating: 7 CBs - The storyline was good albeit pretty similar character stylings as the first trilogy. I can't recommended this to everyone. I would stay away from the book if you don't like cussing or have a huge problem with sex stuff. It's lewd and descriptive. This novel is a bit like the last Stephen King novel I finished. The story is fascinating; captivating, but with some big distractions.