More opinions on my writing pour out into the ether with every exhalation, it sometimes seems, and some over the last few weeks from notable sources too. We begin with a review from Lisa Tuttle in no less historic organ than The Times:
“Joe Abercrombie is probably the brightest star among the new generation of British fantasy writers”
Probably? How dare you, madam?
“Abercrombie never underestimates the horrors that people are prepared to inflict on one another, or their longlasting, often unexpected, consequences. I am not the target audience for this sort of story but it hooked me. Abercrombie writes a vivid, well-paced tale that never loosens its grip. His action scenes are cinematic in the best sense, and the characters are all distinct and interestingly different.”
Closely followed by a review from Time magazine’s book critic and geek supremo Lev Grossman:
“Abercrombie writes dark, adult fantasy, by which I mean there’s a lot of stabbing in it, and after people stab each other they sometimes have sex with each other. His tone is morbid and funny and hard-boiled, not wholly dissimilar to that of Iain Banks … Like Fritz Leiber he has a gift for describing hand to hand combat — you can see in your head where the blades are going, what is clanging off what, the sweat, the blood, the banter. And like George R. R. Martin Abercrombie has the will and the cruelty to actually kill and maim his characters … Volumetrically speaking, it’s hard to think of another fantasy novel in which this much blood gets spilled.”
There you go. I am like all the best bits of Iain Banks, Fritz Leiber, and George RR Martin combined. Honest. Lev Grossman says so, so it is fact. I’m reading his book at the moment, as it goes, and muchly enjoying it, of which more in due course. Best Served Cold has also been perused by the star of Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog, The Guild, and much more, Felicia Day, also a connoiseur of all things geekly, who tweets:
“OMG Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold is out today and its great! LOVE his “First Law” Trilogy. Hard-edged, gritty fantasy at its best!”
Seems like a throwaway line, but I am shocked to be informed that whenever she twitters it reaches over a million people. That is some internet muscle right there. Probably that’s more people even than my blog reaches, if you can believe it.
But it’s not all champagne and oysters over here, oh no. I have always undertaken to provide the world with both sides of the coin, the rough with the smooth, the bad reviews with the good, and so to a consideration of The First Law trilogy from Jonathan Goodwin, Assistant Professor of English at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. I will quote its searing conclusion:
“A book, presumably written during this decade, which seems to specifically invoke various doctrines of power and the exercise thereof, and which prominently features torture, might be said to be a political allegory malgre lui. To extend this would take me to into the type of quasi-Zizekianism that I warded away earlier; but I think it’s there. I hear echoes of the Drurian Strauss in some of the discussions of power and (not to) the people, and what popular revolt there is in the novel is eaten or led by the Eater. Vaguely pregnant with meaning, this.”
Oh, man, he made mincemeat of me! Or, at least, he might have, if I had the foggiest clue what the hell he was talking about.