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150 Reviews
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyed this serving of Abercrombie
I'd not read Abercrombie's First Law trilogy before buying this book, but rather bought it because it was 1.99 in hardback in a book sale and I'd heard he was meant to be a pretty good author. After making sure that the book was a stand-alone novel (because I didn't want to get into another trilogy) I handed over my pennies and settled down to give it a go...
Published on 3 May 2011 by Jolly Roger

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40 of 49 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Best Served Cold is Luke Warm
As there are a lot of other reviews going over story and plotline I wont bother.
This is a solid book, a good piece of writing but - its nothing special. Compared to the author's first trilogy this book lacks a certain something or somethings - perhaps its the fact the lead character isn't particularly interesting, shes a pretty buttoned down, unemotional, non quirky...
Published on 5 Aug 2009 by JingoBingo


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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Classical revenge in Styria, 8 Oct 2009
By 
H. De Witte "Remco" (Deventer, The Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
This single volume book by Abercrombie is one of the best books about revenge I've ever read. Following the murder of her brother and almost getting killed herself Monza set's out to kill everybody responsible. You're constantly on the edge with this one and can't stop reading, I've finished the book in three days.

The characters are well-developed and continue to grow, the twists are surprising and keeping you constantly thrilled and it being a single volume book also makes that you don't have to endlessly long for the next one.
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gritty serving from Mr Abercrombie, 30 July 2009
By 
Mr. S. W. Henry "Steve Henry" (West Wales and worldwide worker) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
I eagerly awaited publication of Best served cold after being totally sold on Mr Abercrombies's style and content from his "Blade itself" trilogy, and i was not in the least disappointed with this offering. Gritty and not a little raunchy at times, the author again immerses us in a hard world of cruelty, treachery, vengeance and never ending conflict.
His characters are as good as the trilogy and his telling of the story sublime. Read other reviews for the storyline. An avid reader of this genre he has placed himself at the top of my list along with Scott Lynch with his Locke Lamora books. I await his next offering which I have absolutely no doubt will be as good. Authors like Mr Abercrombie and Mr. Lynch has raised the bar in fantasy and this is all too the good. Fantasy has never been this good. An absolutely cracking read
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Above The Law?...., 10 Jan 2010
By 
M. Bowes (South West England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
...Not quite.

Monzcarro Murcatto is not a happy woman, her former employer has betrayed her in the worst way and she wants revenge. Shivers is looking to be a better man, he has moved away from his old northern "friends" and now finds himself in Styria. He needs money to survive, but when an offer is given to him will his new morals get in the way.

After reading Joe Abercrombie's First Law series I was extremely excited about tucking into Best Served Cold, Unfortunately for me it was not quite up to the standard of the trilogy. Don't get me wrong this is far from a bad book, but whereas the First Law had multiple story arcs, this book just has the one and it drags slightly towards the end.

I do love the grittiness of Joe's writing and this book is no exception, the bad language, sex and violence is not for everyone but in a story like this I think it adds realism because, let's face it, they are a part of everyday life.

Although GRRM's Dance with Dragons is currently my most anticipated book release, I still wait with bated breath to find out if we are going to get more Glokta, Logan and Jezel in the near future.

Best Served Cold ***1/2 stars
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant piece of fantasy, 24 July 2009
By 
R. Strong (U/K) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
I discovered this book by complete accident having not heard about J Abercrombie at all. After reading this i consider him to be one of the leading fantasy story tellers around today. The book is crude in place and there is a lack of compasion towards the heroine, but i found that this made the book more interesting with some of the characters simpler to understand than others but as a group the dynamics between them was quite inthrawling. The twists and turns are relentless keeping you second guessing anything that seems solid. Thie book kept me interested from start to finish, the vivid descriptions, violent twists and disturbing secrets leave you stunned and begging for my by the time you finish.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars deliciously dark, comic fantasy, 11 July 2009
By 
V. Knapp (carshalton, surrey United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
Filled with larger than life characters with hardly a redeeming feature between them but yet I did empathise with them ! Yes there is sex ,violence,bad language etc. just as there is in real life. There is also a tremendous amount of humour. I loved it.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Tedium of Revenge, 23 July 2012
By 
A. Ross (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
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I gather this is a stand-alone book set in the same world as the well received First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, The Last Argument Of Kings), but I hadn't read any of those, or anything else by Abercrombie, prior to picking this up. I was drawn to the book by a review that emphasized how it was a dark and gritty alternative to standard fantasy epics. My taste in fantasy always ran toward the darkly humorous stuff like Fritz Leiber's Newhon stories, rather than the epic Game of Thrones-type sagas, so this sounded like it might appeal. I didn't realize that although the story starts down in the gutters (almost literally), the plot is heavily geared toward the stuff of nations and regime change.

It revolves around the notoriously bloodthirsty mercenary Captian Murcatto, who is lured into a trap by her employer and tossed off a cliff. She miraculously survives, and spends the next 600 pages exacting her revenge on those who conspired to kill her and her beloved (in ways that are rumored to be incestuous) brother. The initial part of this is kind of fun, as she must escape the person who nurses her to health, and assemble a band of hirelings to join her quest. It's the usual odd mix of types one might find in any quest-based adventure game or book: a fearsome Northern warrior down on his luck, an OCD-type ex-con who's handier with a blade than he appears, a master poisoner and apprentice, and one or two other former associates and allies. I gather from reviews that at least some of these appear in the First Law trilogy, which might explain why they sometimes feel a little thinly drawn here.

After about two-hundred pages of slogging toward revenge, the book starts to feel a bit tedious. Yes, the setup to each assassination is fairly different and fairly interesting, but like far too much fantasy and sci-fi, it just takes too long. Yes, the action scenes are quite vivid and well-described (and graphic!), but there are just too many of them. As the names start to get crossed off the list, both Murcatto and others start to wonder what the point of all the bloodshed is, and it's hard for the reader not to agree. It seems like the book is intended as a kind of meditation on the inefficiency and uselessness of revenge (one might even read it as a kind of commentary on the "War on Terror"), but that never really goes anywhere truly interesting.

Meanwhile, the story also pushes deep into the politics of the setting (Styria), and the jockeying for power by various grandees and pretenders. I suspect readers of the First Law trilogy would have gotten a whole lot more of this than me, since the book is said to be set about 4-5 years after the trilogy, and they would already be heavily invested in the setting. I found it very difficult to care about any of it after a while.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another triumph, 6 Jan 2011
This review is from: Best Served Cold (Paperback)
As a confirmed Joe Abercrombie fan I am of course biased but for those that like their fantasy tales to be "believable", earthy, graphic and readable then this is a book for you.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah OK, 16 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Paperback)
I agree with several of the other reviewers, not up to the standard of the First Law; I thought it became a little dull, drawn-out and monotonous, not a bad read however!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance is Monscarro's, 8 Nov 2010
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Paperback)
A great action packed saga. I highly rated his other two books but this one is even better. There is horror, hatred, humour, battles and pillage a plenty. Oh, and a little bit of sex too. Well done Joe.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good solid 4, 21 Jun 2010
By 
P. McDonough (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Best Served Cold (Hardcover)
Not as good as his other books, but still a good solid 4 out of 5.
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Best Served Cold
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie BA (Hardcover - 1 Jun 2009)
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