9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Sadly served tepid,
This review is from: Best Served Cold (Paperback)
The plot is covered at length in other reviews so I'll cut to the chase. This is a spin-off from Abercombie's First Law trilogy, but is sadly very mediocre in comparison. It's perfectly capably written, with some exciting passages and some stretches that are even close to page-turner status; Abercrombie is a quality author after all. Some of the nods to the preceding trilogy and the larger world hint at what could have been.
But in the final analysis this book fails to engage. Where the trilogy offered three-dimensional characters with a dash of uniqueness like Logen Ninefingers, Sand dan Glokta and co, the lead protagonist here - Monza Murcatto - is paper thin. Lacking depth, empathy, humour she is also inconsistent - a supposed master tactician whose tactics are crude and blunt. Only Nicomo Cosca, a mercenary who also appeared in the trilogy, has anything at all about him.
For those who know the BBC programme - this book could have been a "Hustle"-style gem. A sequence of clever little plots neatly strung together in an entertaining fashion - good, simple fun as befits a spin-off. Instead it's formulaic and crude and - from an author who really did break the mold with the First Law - "formulaic" is probably a disappointing epithet!