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Publisher's Summary

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.
©2010 Joe Abercrombie (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Zati on 04-28-14

Fun and Twisted

At this point, I think it's a safe bet that I will enjoy anything read by Steven Pacey. And I honestly think Joe Abercrombie gets better with every book. Very very addictive.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Chris on 05-24-12

Very average

I listened to this book following the First Law series which I found very enjoyable.

Unfortunately this particular book is pretty much a straight out, almost boring tale, with only a twist at the end to keep it from being rated even lower.

Abercrombie has excellent character development, but I feel that the characters are a little too disfunctional in an almost "American sitcom disfunctional family" style.

One particular failing that I found annoying was the eventual predictable situation of knowing something was going to go disasterously wrong when detailed and meticulously laid plans were set in motion.

All in all it felt like the characters and story had moved from the sublime to the ridiculous.

There aren't really any surprises here, no multi threaded grand design all coming together at the end. The characters are all so extremely flawed and hateable to point you feel nothing for them, which doesn't give the listener much to identify and feel with through the course of the book.

Excellent narration rescues a rather forgettable storyline.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Stuart on 02-08-13

Low down dirty double crossing ...

Steven Pacey! Steven Pacey! Steven Pacey!



I really enjoyed this, even more than the First Law Trilogy. The book has a great depth of characters, and the narrator brings these to life wonderfully. It's a great combination of a well written book and first class narration.



I recently reviewed The Painted Man (different author) and I wasn't kind to it, because I had no empathy for the characters and ultimately didn’t care what happened to them. In this book most of the characters are low down dirty double crossing villains, but you can't help enjoy them. The reason you warm to them is they aren't just plain bad, they have some depth to them and complexity. Joe Abercrombie has a wonderful way of building a story and getting you to care for the type character that most other authors would have cast as the villain. His world isn't black and white, there are people who just seem to get drawn into bad things … as well as those who just relish it.



The references to the First Law Trilogy were excellent and some of the characters from that appear and get expanded upon. A word of warning though - prepared for dark deeds, dark humour and a couple of occasions where you feel like you might lose your lunch.



Fantastic stuff

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful


By Gavin on 01-21-12

New recording

This book was originally sold with a change of narrator from the First Law books however the publisher has taken note and re-recorded this title and the following book with Steven Pacey. If you bought this with the other narrator you can re-download the title and it will be the new version with Steven Pacey. Excellant news given his brilliant performance.

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15 of 16 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By David on 10-24-16

Great listen. Dark and vivid storyline.

Loved it. Good narrator. Easy to listen to. Dark and foreboding. Kept me interested from start to finish.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful


By Anonymous User on 09-07-17

Favorite one sofar

Has to be one of my favorites books now. Joe Abercrombie spins a good story. This is the 4th I have read following the sword itself series and I loved it. I was worried I wouldn't get along with the characters and that a story of revenge would be boring but I was pleasantly surprised the entire way.

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