Best Served Cold Copy

October 26th, 2008

So, we have some copy for Best Served Cold now that all parties are happy with. It goes something like this:

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.

Artwork is pretty much there as well. I’ll be talking about that in due course. For now let me only say it’s pretty damn good. Oh, yes, sir…

And, since folks are asking, the book will be out June 2009 in hardcover in the UK, then a month later in July in hardcover in the US.

Posted in news, process by Joe Abercrombie on October 26th, 2008.

35 comments so far

  • Jebus says:

    Oh dear, I read Monza as the Aussie Bonza and now it’s stuck in my head – doh!

    (ha! Word Verification was “trull” – Steven Erikson’s insidiousness continues)

  • Anonymous says:

    Hmm… Monza… IIRC – dangerous curves, slippery when wet.
    Just what sort of book are you pushing, here?

  • Masrock says:

    Hi Joe, Hope your not doing an ‘Eddings’ and writing the same story over and over with new names.

    Monza = Glokta – broken body.
    North man who just wants to do the right thing = Logan Nine fingers.
    Mass Murderer/ poisoner = (er give me a minute) the assassin used by Glokta?

    I’m sure your aren’t and I’m looking forward to it anyway!
    Just keeping you honest 😉

  • daft sod says:

    Mmmmmmhhh sweet anticipation. I boldly assume that the least reliable drunkard of Styria will be a known character.

  • jebus,
    And now it’s stuck in my head.


    Oh, man, ‘Dangerous Curves’ would’ve been a way better title…

    I aim to imitate David Eddings in all things.

    He is a known character, as is the Northman, though possibly not the first one you’d think of…

  • June can’t come soon enough. I’m glad to see you are sticking with the world you created in “The First Law”!

    I’ll have my copy the day it comes out.

  • The Wolf Maid says:

    Damn. I want this so bad. 😀

    (Crap, why do I now imagine the cast of Best Served doing some singing? It must be the springtime in Syria line)

  • Susanne says:

    Oh MAN I can’t wait for this. Wait, Northman who wants to do the right thing? Dogman? Yes? Yes? Wheeeee!

  • Robert says:

    Is this coming out in England first with a later release in the US? If so it makes me sad.

  • bryan russell says:

    Sounds slick, Joe. I was wondering if you write the copy yourself? Or someone else? Or is it sort of done by committee? Writing that sort of mini-synopsis can be a drag, so I was curious.

  • Haakon says:

    It’s springtime for Orso and Styria. 😉
    Looks good so far. Emulating Eddings eh? I’m looking forward to the series about Glokta’s Great Uncle and West’s Grandfather’s Third Cousin (from the left).

  • mickymanga says:

    Text sounds exciting.

    Least reliable drunkard: Cosca?
    Most treacherous poisoner: new character?
    Mass-murderer: new character?
    Or both the same, who knows.
    Northman: Logen Ninefingers? God, I hope it’s him, but another character is just as likely, I think.
    Most dangerous man in the world: new character?

    Looking forward to June 2009.

  • Anonymous says:

    No probs – if you like it so much, use ‘Dangerous Curves’ for a future tome. I won’t charge much of a fee, a stuffed toad and a tube of Smarties should do it.

    Do I remember correctly? Did you say that this book would be hardback only? Hmm… how many do they plan on for the print run? More than ‘Before they are Hanged’ I hope.

  • r&,
    Why burn the sets just so you can make new ones?

    Wolf maid, haakon,
    How could you have guessed the last scene?

    A month later in the US, in July.

    It's a collaborative effort. In this case my editor wrote a rough version to give some structure – I find it very hard to boil the whole mass down to its most essential points. Then I rewrote it to give something similar to this, then we did some horse trading over the details.

    Mickymanga, Susanne,
    Cosca. Shivers.

    The print runs were short for the First Law hardbacks because the trade paperback was the main trade edition. Without a trade paperback, not only will the frist hardcover run be at least ten times the length, I'd have thought (and two thirds the cost), but they'll also reprint the hardcovers where necessary, which hopefully will be often…

  • Robert says:

    I guess I can survive a month extra.

  • mickymanga says:

    Shivers? Didn’t think he would be someone to travel outside the North.

    Where is Styria located again? East from the Union? Can’t remember where that was stated. Maybe during the first visit to the House of the Maker?

  • If there was a map you’d know the answer to that… 🙂

  • Jason H says:

    It’s the Weakest isn’t it?

    Can’t wait looking forward to it.

    And why on earth would you want to imitate David Eddings that extremely popular, highly succesfull (and no doubt rich) best selling author.

  • Chris says:

    Really looking forward to the new book, the copy has seriously whetted my appetite.

    I was wondering whether you had much/any input in what gets written for the ‘product description’ for Best Served Cold on Amazon, as it’s quite different from the copy..

  • Robert,
    If you can survive a month you don’t want it bad enough…

    East of the Union.

    Jason H,
    Answered your own question there, I think.

    No, that was something my editor put together because they need something to go on the product description as soon as the book is listed by amazon, which might be a long way ahead of publication. Probably that will be updated with the new copy in due course…

  • Leiali says:


    Great news. Can you make sure it comes out on my birthday please, which is the 6th of June. Thank you.

    Btw, glad you survived your terrifying london gang attack ordeal. I was in London the same week and am happy to report that despite my stay in the less than salubrious east end, I had no loutish youths challenge me. Having grown up in a tough inner city council estate in the west, I might add that I’ve always thought gangs of girls were much more scary, and probably more likely to go at you with the whole stair. Or at least try.

  • As a fellow writer (I’m a historian, if yet a professional one), I deeply admire how you weave your words. Please never get writer’s block, I don’t want to have to only read drab books without any story behind them. Never stop writing, you have a gift. Glad to see Logen coming back. Say one thing about Logen Ninefingers, say he’s persistent.

  • mickymanga says:

    The featured Northman is not Logen, but Shivers.

    And I’m also excited about the torturer. We had a Styrian torturer at Glokta’s side, didn’t we?

  • Now I feel stupid. Still, can’t wait for it to come out.

  • Dear JOe.
    Forgive the misspellings, Mommy and Daddy got me hammmered. As a fan, I think it im[eritive that you have someone die form a blow form a bannister. I mean come on i’m surpised that you haven’t used one before now, i’ve almosrt killed myself on a bamnister once or twicde myself and they were attackhed to the stairs at the time, just amagine a norhman with a bannister, i shudder athe the thought

    -Drunk Ptarek Mallsiter

    ps…since ADWD is gonna take forever and Juging eye im not sure about, and wisze man’s fear is a year a way and scotty lynch is mia (at least internet wise) Im counting on you my einglish brother.

    pps… i just watched ia m legend and your review hit the mark…gimme a break, good movie if iu didnt reatd the book

  • Leiali,
    18th I believe is the current date, so you might have to think of it as a belated present…

    Vitari. Yes, she’s in it.

    Ptarek Mallsiter,
    Thanks for the vote of confidence. Now remember to drink some water before bed.

  • Tim says:

    I can totally see Shivers leaving the North. After the comment he made about being better than both Dow and Logen I could see him desiring a change of locale. Now I just have to deal with the wait for this book to come out.

  • Anonymous says:

    Glad and relieved to see I’m not the only one obsessed with Logen Ninefingers, Glokta and all the other unforgettable characters in The First Law. I find myself casting wistful glances at the books lying on the shelf. Man, I miss Logen. Say one thing for Lars Bo, say he’s a cry baby…

    One grateful Danish reader …

  • Anonymous says:

    Hey – don’t lament the Bloody Nine too soon …

    “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…

    Hmmmm … say one thing for Logen Ninefingers, say he’s very, very dangerous …

  • Anonymous says:

    I want logan back too! where did he go after the window exit?

  • Anonymous says:

    Please let Logan be in this book. Every other fantastic author is letting us down, not you too. I could be run over by some inadequate driver or killed by swine flu or…….. oh what’s the point.

  • Anonymous says:

    So I'm on book 2 of the trilogy. I swear to god I have never laughed this much when reading a book except maybe with Calvin and Hobbes. Keep up the great work and I hope the humor continues

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