"A master of his craft." - Forbes
"No one writes with the seismic scope or primal intensity of Joe Abercrombie." - Pierce Brown
A fragile peace gives way to conspiracy, betrayal, and rebellion in this sequel to the New York Times bestselling A Little Hatred from epic fantasy master Joe Abercrombie.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield . . .
Savine dan Glokta, once Adua's most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.
For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized, and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.
Unrest worms into every layer of society. The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.
The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace lasts forever.
For more from Joe Abercrombie, check out:
The Age of MadnessA Little HatredThe Trouble With Peace
The First Law TrilogyThe Blade ItselfBefore They Are HangedLast Argument of KingsBest Served ColdThe HeroesRed Country
The Shattered Sea TrilogyHalf a KingHalf a WorldHalf a War
The impressive second epic fantasy of Abercrombie's Age of Madness trilogy (after A Little Hatred) grounds the ongoing power struggles within the Union in issues that resonate with contemporary politics. Orso, "a notorious wastrel while crown prince," is now High King of the Union, but his controversial reign has sparked an opposition movement dedicated to toppling him and "making the Union great again." Abercrombie balances the ensuing intrigue, espionage, and a bloody assassination attempt with the nitty-gritty of Union politics, shining a light on corruption, tax reform, and class distinctions, on the way to a climactic confrontation between Orso's forces and those marshalled against him. Meanwhile, Leo dan Brock, the leader of the rebels, marries Orso's former lover, Savine dan Glokta, who left Orso after learning a scandalous secret, adding emotional stakes to the political turmoil. The large cast, which takes over four pages to list in a helpful appendix, becomes overwhelming at times, and newcomers to the series will have a hard time untangling the complex backstory, but Abercrombie's satisfying plotting and expert subversion of genre expectations are sure to please. Readers will be gripped.