Progress Report August ’20

August 31st, 2020

Believe it or not, The Trouble With Peace is out in two short weeks, and the US and UK hardcovers are both in my possession:

UK art by Tomas Almeida, US by Sam Weber and Lauren Panepinto, and both beautiful in their own pleasingly distinct and different ways.

Promotion ramps up, as you’d imagine. You can read an extract from the point of view of trustworthy straight edge Jonas Clover on the book page here, while you can see how ruthless socialite Savine dan Glokta starts the story over at Forbes.  Spoilers for previous books, it should be said.  There’ll be some further extracts coming on Friday 4th, from peace-loving family man Gunnar Broad, and Friday 11th, and I’ll be putting up a previously in the Age of Madness summary here in the next few days, for those who need to refresh their memories about the events of A Little Hatred.

In person events are out, sadly, but I’ll be doing some virtual ones instead, which are at least easier to get to.  You can find the details over here.  There’ll also be plenty of signed stock and special editions out there, and you can see how to get hold of those over here.  Proofs have now been out for some time, and while there’s been no communication yet from the Nobel, Pulitzer or Booker Committees, the first reviews are beginning to drift in. Publishers Weekly said:

“The impressive second epic fantasy of Abercrombie’s Age of Madness trilogy grounds the ongoing power struggles within the Union in issues that resonate with contemporary politics … satisfying plotting and expert subversion of genre expectations are sure to please. Readers will be gripped.”

While the Wertzone thought:

The Trouble with Peace (*****) is Abercrombie delivering what he usually does – a story packed with memorable characters, action and dark humour – but with also more attention to worldbuilding and pace. A lot happens in a constrained page count (by the standards of the genre) and the pages fly by. There’s also an increasing, Pratchett-esque attention to fantasy’s oft-unfulfilled potential to reflect the world we live in, making for a smarter and more intelligent book.”

And Novel Notions concluded:

“Incredibly mesmeric and brilliant. The trouble with reading Abercrombie’s newest book is that there’s no more new Abercrombie book to read.”

Just saying. Book 3, now officially called The Wisdom of Crowds, is close to finished – it just needs to be Line Edited, any issues thrown up by the release of Book 2 attended to, then a last pass through for the details. It’ll be out September 2021.  Most of the next couple of months will be taken up with promotion, interviews, events, and of course the horrifying question of what comes next…

Posted in announcements, news, progress, reviews, Uncategorized by Joe Abercrombie on August 31st, 2020.

20 comments so far

  • Ulf the Ill says:

    Great news, Joe – cannot wait to get my hands on it!

    Even though I run the risk of repeating myself: I still feel a bit sad about losing the title “The Beautiful Machine” for book three.

    Any chance it could come back as a chapter title since “Wisdom of Crowds” has gone the other way of jumping from chapter title to book title?

    Or maybe it might make for a good title for a future book/short story……:-)

  • Steven says:

    Signed edition on order from Waterstones as wanted the exclusive short story as well. Shame about the tour as you added a cool line in my book after the Q&A but will be dialling in to a virtual session. Keep up the good work.

  • Sean says:

    Can’t believe it’s a year since I flew out of work one lunchtime to say hi at the Nottingham Waterstones. You signed my 10th anniversary editions of the original trilogy. Shame its only virtual but I bet missing out on the travelling isn’t a big loss!

  • Nigel says:

    Two weeks? Can’t wait. Signed book on order from Waterstones and audible preordered for the commute. Just in case the commute starts up again.

    Having just reread Best Served Cold, if you go back to writing a few short stories, I’d love to hear more about the [first] time Castor Morveer tried to kill famed soldier of fortune Nicomo Cosca. As Cosca says, “‘I do love an author who can make death funny!”

  • An Ambivalent Fan says:

    I love progress reports where you tell us how ahead of deadlines you are and shame every slacker and procrastinator. It’s inspiring in theory although in my case it hadn’t resulted in increased productivity so far.

  • Jake Berger says:

    ❝trustworthy straight edge Jonas Clover❞

    What a wonderful line

  • Nageler says:

    One the one hand, I’ve been looking forward to this book precisely since the moment I finished the last. One the other hand, the world this year…gestures at 2020…has not been the easiest for me. As much I love your books, they do tend to be a bit rough on your characters and on me as a reader, emotionally! (I wonder why that is *looking significantly at your Twitter handle*) Definitely buying, but might have to sit on my TBR pile for a bit until the world is a little less on fire.

  • Drew Foster says:

    Hi Joe, out of curiosity why is the ‘previously in the Age of Madness’ summary not in the book?

    Always wondered why more authors don’t do this given some of the lengthy gaps between books. Mark Lawrence does and I always find it very helpful.

  • Pharcee says:

    Joe – You’re the best. Period.

    While A Song of Ice & Fire opened me up to reading fantasy, The Blade Itself ruined the genre for me.

    It’s been years and I still ask myself before diving into a book, “how does this compare to Joe’s work?” I know I shouldn’t say it, so I’ll write it, it’s all shit compared to your work. Brilliant, completely brilliant; having Steven Pacey for the audiobooks are amazing.

    A true master class in writing and reading.

    I have to ask, again, but will you ever have a book/story/new material with Logan? For me, Ninefingers is my absolute favorite character throughout readingdom.

    I know you’ve said it multiple times, you don’t like prequels and prequels are what you write when you don’t have anything left to write about, but damn, brother, seems as though a lot of your fans want it. So it’s not really about the lack of material, but your fans want more material. Look at it this way so you don’t feel as though you ran out of material: You wrote these characters so well that people want more from them and more about them.

    So if you can, please give a fan, who purchased all your books and audiobooks, and recommended and gifted your books to every dolt who knows you not, an answer to this question: will we see more of Logan Ninfingers aka The Bloody Nine aka The Great Leveler aka “a brute of a Northman?”

    Had to include the additional monikers to avoid some weird “cross your fingers” voodoo on answering in a vague sort of way.

    Looking forward to reading and listening to more of your work.

  • Sam G says:

    Looking forward to getting my hands on the second book.

  • Simon says:

    Those early reviews are very promising. You better be careful Joe or one day someone will accuse you of writing literature.

  • NeilM says:

    Hello Joe,

    I definitely enjoyed the first book of the new trilogy, and as you have mentioned before, it has been a while.

    I only just finished Age of Madness, so only a small gap between books, though I always like a good summary of the previous books. It just makes getting into the next book that much more comfortable.

    Anyway, I hope the sales are excellent.


  • Twerker says:

    @Pharcee I feel the same way. I think Caul Shivers is such an amazing (and interesting) character because you get to see the way he became what he is, you see how the metamorphosis takes place starting from “Best Served Cold”. Hell, who wouldn’t love to read about Logen’s early days? Or Glokta’s? That being out of the way, Joe’s in charge here and he’s the one choosing what to do next so I guess, at the end of the day, we’ve no room to fucking talk, weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Mark Jones says:

    @Twerker, if you haven’t read Sharp Ends, there is one short story in there which shows how, in true Abercrombie style, Glokta’s valiant defence of the bridge which leads to his imprisonment and torture is not all that it seems, and another which features a truly terrifying Logen/Bloody Nine as Bethod’s champion. These might do the trick. I agree with you on Shivers, a real favourite of mine (but there are so many!). I think Joe is right to avoid prequels, but he might have to consider it soon because having done the First Law world analogue of the Industrial Revolution, he only has about three trilogies left, maybe four, before he reaches the present day…

  • Pharcee says:


    Completely agree, but a passenger on the Abercrombie ride can still wish.

    You nailed it on the head with my other two favorite characters.

    It means a lot when someone can create such amazing characters that we ask for more.

    God’s breath, Joe…..

  • Twerker says:

    @Mark Jones Sure, I did read “Sharp Ends” and enjoyed it heaps. “Made a Monster” is my favourite story of the lot and, even though I know I shouldn’t have, I found myself chuckling at the ending…I guess dark humour is my thing. So yes, you do have a point there. As far as prequels, I’d absolutely love to read one but, like I said, let Joe do his thing as we’re not in charge when it comes to his creative choices. I’ll be happy with whatever road he chooses to follow.

  • Pharcee says:

    “…….fuck and list spoken in sequence.”

    Killing it, Joe…..killing it.

  • Pharcee says:

    “By the dead, did he glimpse a muscular pair of buttocks in the shadows?”

    And now I’m dying….

  • HJM says:

    Can’t wait for Wisdom Of Crowds! Finally those capitalist pigs will pay for their crimes, eh comrade?

  • Chris Ward says:

    Hey Joe. Just finished “Wisdom” fantastic–albeit I spent the whole book hoping for a cameo from Logan and or Ferro. You kept them alive for a reason . ? Love to know what happened to them.

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