Rick Riordan and other Reviews

June 20th, 2013

There was a time I ruthlessly tracked down and linked to every shred of opinion about my books I could find anywhere on the internet.  This was inevitable, but I’m not sure entirely helpful for anyone involved.  These days it takes something of particular interest to stir me, and I cannot help but notice an opinion on Best Served Cold from none other than NYT no. 1 Bestselling author Rick Riordan:

“When mercenary general Monza Murcatto is brutally betrayed by her employer, she decides to take revenge against all odds, regardless of the consequences. Sounds like a simple plot, but nothing is simple about the way the story unfolds. Loyalties change, good and evil become increasingly hard to distinguish, friends become enemies who become friends again. The relationships and turns of fortune are every bit as punishing and convoluted as Game of Thrones, and I mean that as a compliment. Abercrombie makes you care about each character, no matter how flawed they are. It was also great to see old acquaintances from The First Law series pop up here and there in this book. If you’re looking for an engaging story with epic adventure, plenty of violence, and characters who are three-dimensional (at least until the author puts them through the meat grinder and they come out flattened!) definitely check out Abercrombie’s work.”

Also interesting (to me at least) was an in depth review of The First Law at Shelf Inflicited.  Loads of spoilers in this if, for reasons I cannot fathom, you have yet to read that seminal example of gritty modern fantasy (strange use of lower-case ‘i’ is original):

“i felt attacked; i felt like the rug was pulled out from under me; i felt as if all that i held to be important and meaningful were simply false constructs based on lazy thinking and a complacency with what i have automatically considered as “good”, as “right”. being challenged like that is a rare thing. i like.”

And finally, good news! Red Country has been shortlisted for the British Fantasy Society’s Robert Holdstock Award for best fantasy novel.  That’s my third time in a row on this particular ballot, but with Lou Morgan, Margo Lanagan, Graham Joyce, and China Mieville also shortlisted, I shan’t be holding any breath…

Posted in news, reviews by Joe Abercrombie on June 20th, 2013.

13 comments so far

  • Deb E says:

    I’m reading Red Country now, and loving it! Good luck with that one.
    I think that means you really have made it when other big authors are reviewing your work. You’re a NAME.

  • Setsu U says:

    Best Served Cold was all about Shivers’ growth for me. It was an excellent transition between the trilogy and The Heroes. I found myself wanting more from Monza, though. Vitari came alive much more. Maybe carrying the plot on her shoulders didn’t give Monza the room to grow as other characters have. Whatever the case, the world is rich enough that Best Served Cold was an excellent transition between the foundational trilogy and book five’s the dive back into war.

  • Frank Fitz says:

    Congratulations on your nomination, Joe.

  • Michael says:

    I have always found it difficult to explain just exactly why I like your work so much. Now i shall just point them to this post from Shelf Inflicted.

    Hope the writing hiatus is going well. Ian Rankin stated that he worked so hard when he had a year out that going back to writing was like going on holiday.

    And a sad loss with the passing of Iain Banks. Like you Joe, I think he invented his own genre.

  • Michael says:

    ….and to add that Neil Gaiman has a post up about him, worth a read.

  • Drago says:

    Your style is unique among fantasy writers it reminds me of Glen Cook’s Black Company that uses the analyst and his views to shape the tone and style of the writing.I would like to see a change in the scope of the story.These last 3 books were great and i love that they are standalone cause fantasy writers like Martin are really annoying with their delays and huge volumes of mostly useless story arks that seem more filler than anything else.You did a better job than Martin but I think you are in your Feast of Crows Dance with Dragons period.That is not a bad thing cause i enjoyed those books to but i get that feeling of waiting for a bigger moment and bigger characters than the ones I’m reading about if that makes any sense.As Martin you need a big event in the Universe that changes the game.

  • Morrigan says:

    Congrats! Red Country was fantastic, totally well-deserved.

  • Scott says:

    Joe, this is my first visit to your site. I love the fact that you blog so religiously, and of course I happen to be a fan of both your books and a good Scotch.
    i don’t know if any reviewers felt the same way, but i do feel that Logen Ninefingers is the best character you’ve written thus far (and i’m looking forward to seeing him resurface!!!!!)

  • Mayhem The Coward says:

    It’s funny how you can sit alone and watch comedies with a stone face, you can Skype with friends without leaking a single squeak, I pretty much never laugh when I’m alone, unless I hurt myself against the table-leg and laugh pathetically.. Yet when I read your books I find myself laughing out loud several times, truly unique in an awesome fashion. Darkness and sharpness all the way man. THANKS!

  • Angie says:

    Personally, I don’t like comparing you to George R.R. Martin. I enjoy him, make no mistake, and without him I would never have found my way to your world, but I like what you do much more. With the characters you DON’T kill off, you often tell a more interesting and tragic story than their deaths could have achieved on their own.

  • Ryan says:

    And, unlike GRRM, Joe actually knows how to finish a story.

  • Angie says:

    Ryan, to be fair to GRRM, he’s finished lots of things. Fevre Dream was pretty decent. I’ve really begun to think he’s gotten burnt out on ASOIAF.

  • Ran says:

    Great news for you Joe, and your readers. Just finished Red Country and am left wanting more. Can’t wait for your next trilogy (or stand alone) but I hope you stick to what works. I see a hint of guns and industy on the way. Please keep fantasy where it is, magic and steel keeps us in our own world.

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