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3.43185185185185 out of 53.43185185185185 out of 53.43185185185185 out of 53.43185185185185 out of 53.43185185185185 out of 5 3.43 (27 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joe Abercrombie Narrator: Steven Pacey Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2015 ISBN: 9781478964216
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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, and 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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Joe Abercrombie takes the grand tradition of high fantasy literature and drags it down into the gutter, in the best possible way. Monza is a beautiful mercenary who has sworn to kill the seven men who tried to kill her. No elves, no wands - just lots of down-and-dirty swordplay. Time
  • "Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it's almost ultraviolet. Publishers Weekly
  • The battles are vivid and visceral, the action brutal, the pace headlong, and Abercrombie piles the betrayals, reversals, and plot twists one atop another to keep us guessing how it will all come out. This is his best book yet. George R.R. Martin
  • “Highly recommended—a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out.”

    Joe Hill, Brahm Stoker Award–winning author of Heart Shaped Box

  • “Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it’s almost ultraviolet.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 53.666666 out of 5 Chap | 12/22/2016

    " I just finished the Riyria Revelations and started the Riyria Chronicles by Michael J. Sullivan and was looking for a book from the same genre. I utilized the feature "people who liked this book have also read" from the Riyria series and this book came up. It's not quite Michael J. Sullivan but Joe Abercrombie is good. The plot was good and the protagonist(s) are both savage yet moral, in there own way both at the same time. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bionikchickens | 2/17/2014

    " drug on for a bit if you ask me.. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Woodge | 1/21/2014

    " Two years ago I devoured Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy. It was a gritty sword-and-sorcery yarn, full of blood and guts, a few touches of sorcery, but mostly political intrigue shot through with battles, torture, adventure and dirty deeds. Good stuff. GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire is a pretty good parallel but then again Abercrombie actually finished his tale. Then he came out with this stand-alone tale which borrows a few minor characters from the First Law and takes place in the politically fractured Styrian continent. The main character is one Monza Murcatto, the general of the mercenary force known as the Thousand Swords. After a series of victories she's betrayed by her employer, Duke Orso and left for dead on a mountainside. Then, through 880 pages, she exacts her single-minded revenge on the seven men responsible for her betrayal. Along the way, we get some backstory on the events that led to her betrayal and they shed more and more light on the proceedings yet Monza herself never really feels like a fully-fleshed character. The most colorful character in the book is Nicomo Cosca, erstwhile leader of the Thousand Swords, and one who likes the sound of his own voice. The tale is a bloody, violent betrayal-fest, brutal and dark. And, I thought, far longer than it needed to be. Part of me was enjoying the mayhem, part of me was hoping just to finish so I could move on to something else. There were no major surprises in the plot but a few eyebrow-raising small ones. I'd recommend it only for big fans of Abercrombie's First Law trilogy. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justus | 1/8/2014

    " Nice single volume fantasy book. I wish there were more of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beau | 1/7/2014

    " Bloody, blood, blood. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zack | 12/23/2013

    " Enjoyed this one but not as much as the other Abercrombie books. Got about 3/4 of the way through and had trouble coming back to it. Not sure why. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jonny | 11/26/2013

    " Great stuff more please "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hahleq Hahleq | 10/30/2013

    " Same goodness as the others by JoeA. I like that the first trilogy set the universe and now he's playing in that universe with solid, single volume stories. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Zack Kidwell | 10/26/2013

    " Only got through half the book. I really didnt like it. For me Glokta made the other books. In this book there was not a character to feel the void. Books to me, should have great characters. Best Served cold was lacking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Snicks | 8/17/2012

    " About one hundred pages too long, but still good. Not as good as the trilogy, but that was a high bar. Looking forward to Hereos. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 5/26/2012

    " okay. bloody "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric Morgan | 4/22/2012

    " Love Abercrombie's gritty take on traditional fantasy...makes it more real and like something out of our history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vince | 4/18/2012

    " Not a children's book. You got to love battle and revenge. I love how Abercrombie's characters have character. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Teddy | 11/27/2011

    " Way too grizzly for my tastes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 11/12/2011

    " Bloody good and very bloody, fantasy yarn about a mercenary and her quest for revenge. Entertaining and as quick a read as you'll get for an 800 page book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christan | 11/4/2011

    " This was a very good, very adult fantasy. Abercrombie writes in a style mature beyond his years. It feels like a sequel is forthcoming - I wouldn't mind that at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Christina | 6/20/2011

    " Loved, LOVED this book!!! However, this book is soo not for the faint of heart. There was a lot of bloody gore, 2 explicit sex scenes, and a fair bit of the 'f' word. I wouldn't say any of it was gratuitous. It was just a violent setting. You have been warned. :D "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtney | 5/18/2011

    " Great story of vengence but long read that can drag. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/15/2011

    " (I'd give it 3.5 stars if GR would let me.) Less adventure & mystery than the first three books, and much more unpleasant. Also much more visual--is Abercrombie starting to think in screenplays? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Oglaigh na | 4/10/2011

    " HOLLY CRAP on a shingle did this book rock,....revenge is so SWEET especially when you higher a psychotic team to help you plan and execute in midevil times. If you have not read this your are brain dead,....someone should hit you on the head with a tack hammer to check if you still alive "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 4/5/2011

    " Not as good as the Blade Itself trilogy but still as solid read. A little heavy handed in places. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 3/30/2011

    " This gory, vicious, bloody tale of vengeance sucked me in, chewed me up and tossed me out, happy for the experience. If you're down with fictional violence, dark viewpoints and rage-filled death scenes, this is so your cuppa. I can't wait for more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Burgoo | 3/25/2011

    " A standalone novel set in the world of his trilogy. His writing seems to have just gotten better. Recommended for fans of gritty cynical sword & sorcery. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eric | 3/20/2011

    " Love Abercrombie's gritty take on traditional fantasy...makes it more real and like something out of our history. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 C.E. | 3/18/2011

    " Not to my taste, although I do appreciate the good humor in the writing. I love classic sword and sorcery, but I'm just not a fan of the more extreme and militaristic stuff(e.g., Erikson and Cook, whose books I also abandoned). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Johnglen | 3/18/2011

    " Very well written, enticing characters, his best yet "

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About the Author
Author Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie is the New York Times bestselling author of Red Country and the First Law trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings. He is a full-time writer and freelance film editor who lives in Bath, England, with his wife and three children.

About the Narrator

Steven Pacey’s extensive work in the West End includes the role of Alec in Dolly West’s Kitchen, Stanley in The Birthday Party, Hamish in Things We Do for Love, and Bertie Wooster in By Jeeves—for which he earned an Olivier Award nomination. He was also directed by Harold Pinter in his successful productions of Celebration and The Room. Pacey has appeared in numerous television roles, including Tarrant in Blake’s 7, and has made over three hundred radio broadcasts.