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Publisher's Summary

Springtime in Styria. And that means war.

There have been 19 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, and 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.

First Law Trilogy

The Blade Itself

Before They Are Hanged

Last Argument of Kings

Novels in the First Law World

Best Served Cold

The Heroes

Red Country

©2015 Joe Abercrombie (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The battles are vivid and visceral, the action brutal, the pace headlong, and Abercrombie piles the betrayals, reversals, and plot twists one atop another to keep us guessing how it will all come out. This is his best book yet." (George R. R. Martin)
"Joe Abercrombie takes the grand tradition of high fantasy literature and drags it down into the gutter, in the best possible way. Monza is a beautiful mercenary who has sworn to kill the seven men who tried to kill her. No elves, no wands - just lots of down-and-dirty swordplay." ( Time)
"Abercrombie is both fiendishly inventive and solidly convincing, especially when sprinkling his appallingly vivid combat scenes with humor so dark that it's almost ultraviolet." ( Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

as good as the main trilogy

had to wait a long time for it to be narrated by setieven pacey, it was worth the wait. not a single touch less compelling than the first law trilogy and to hear it from the same talented narrator made it as if i was just continuing the same story rather than reading a stand alone book.

25 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Better than the first 3 books by far.

If you could sum up Best Served Cold in three words, what would they be?

I enjoyed the First Law trilogy. Pacey's a great narrator, better than most, and I loved Glokta. I bought Best Served Cold thinking I would get more of the same, but instead I got a much darker story with better characters and dialogue. I loved this listen!

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great standalone book in "The First Law" world.

I greatly enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to anyone who read and enjoyed "The First Law" trilogy. If I'm not mistaken, this is the 4th book in the series, but it's not part of the trilogy. It's a standalone book that follows mostly different characters and occurs after the trilogy. The narrator (Steven Pacey) is simply amazing and I found the story to be very entertaining. A+++++++

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Incredible writing, legendary narration

I've come to really enjoy Joe Abercrombie's writing, and this is his best story yet. It is fast paced, yet detailed. Hard edged, but tender. Bloody, yet touching. As flawed as the characters are, Abercrombie puts you inside each of their heads, giving you a deep connection with them all. Pacey breathes incredible life into these characters with his distinct voices and accents and his terribly consistent performance made me want to listen to every second. A narration of the top quality.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

My Favorite Book!

I found this title on a forum that listed books with strong and interesting female characters, and I can honestly say I was not prepared for what I stumbled into.This book is a stand alone work that precedes a trilogy set in the same world. I did not know this and went ahead with it first, which is honestly fine, but now looking back having read all of them, you might get more out of it having read the trilogy.Even without context this book completely blew me away, it was gritty, funny, and on an emotional level completely unique. The narration shifts frequently and each voice is so clearly driven by their own fully realized psychology,traumas, goals,hopes and fears.This inner monolog allows us to feel the characters develop outside of merely observing their actions and it really pulls you in. Take the leap, you wont regret it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great story, even greater narrator

Where does Best Served Cold rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best.

What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

His range of voices is enormous, makes it seem like he is 20 different people. It's very hard to enjoy other audiobooks with different narrators after listening to him.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Craig
  • DubaiUnited Arab Emirates
  • 04-20-16

Outstanding...

This tale grabs you right from the start and holds you to the end. The masterful narration is a real joy 😀

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Best Served via an audiobook!

Would you listen to Best Served Cold again? Why?

Having already done a read of First law series in the print version, I was forced to a revisit all of them simply by the strength of Pacey's storytelling skills. It's not a book for the faint hearted (like all of Joe Abercrombie's books). There are no clear winners, just people doing the best with what they've got. Its brutal, cold, relentless, exhilarating and gripping.

Just like life.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Best Served Cold?

SPOILERS: When Caul Shivers reiterates the Bloody-Nine's words during a melee..........

"I am made of death. I am the Great Leveller. I am the storm in the High Places.' The Bloody-Nine's voice, but it came from his own throat.

The chills.................

What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Having read the books, the most important thing Steven Pacey brings is the emotion into the dialogue. You can feel Cosca's apathy and sadness, Morveer's narcissism, Shiver's rage, Friendly's love for numbers and prison and Monza's dying thirst for revenge.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

SPOILERS: Shiver's transformation after a loss...and his eye-for-an-eye attitude (wink) after that

Any additional comments?

Don't just buy this one book read by Steven Pacey. His reading of other books in this series is just as good!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Curt
  • Fairfax, VA, United States
  • 08-08-18

If only the main character was someone I liked

Great writing, good descriptions, good character development. Had everything I look for except I could not get excited about the main character. The more that was revealed, the less I wanted her to win. Almost no one in this book has redeeming values. I listened to it to the end and only then did some characters deserve accolades.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Was Expecting Better

I absolutely loved the first trilogy in this series and enjoyed the growth that the characters enjoyed over time along with the awesome story telling and performance. It was interesting, you had characters to root for, and a dark but rich setting. Here, you have some of that but the main character gets less likeable over time and the story gets less and less interesting. I was never against the graphic nature of the book but you never saw as much sex in the last three books as you did in this one which was slightly off-putting. I found myself groaning and wishing they would get to the point more often than not. It just felt kind of lame.

Anyway, I might give the book another try later but I never did finish it. We will see.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful