Year of release - 2009
Genre - Fantasy
Plot - Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started... Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.
Thoughts - After reading a few of Abercrombie's short stories I was interested in picking up one of his novels, being a fantasy author and fantasy being my favourite genre I thought I would enjoy this book. When I think of fantasy I think of things like mystical creatures, magical lands and of course war, now there is plenty of war but a lack of all the others things I love about fantasy. The story is war, death, betrayals etc. but that was really it, the characters were travelling across Styria but they were there one place and then at the next, no talks off travelling which is something I would have liked to have seen. None of the characters had redeemable qualities, I didn't like any of them, I didn't care what happened to them, maybe that was the point? But when I read a book I need to like the characters, I need to be on their side and I wasn't with any of them. Other than that the book was descriptive, his attention to details in describing battles is something I enjoyed reading. I can't really pinpoint anything else that I enjoyed about it. It was a struggle getting through this book.
Have you read any of Joe Abercrombie's book?