• Mike Sliter

The Trouble with Peace review

I am behind on reviews, but as the pendulum of the world begins to swing toward sanity (hopefully), I find that I finally have the energy to catch up. So I will start with my most recent read: The Trouble with Peace by the infamous Lord Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie.

Joe rekindled my love for fantasy with The Blade Itself, and some of you might know that he is no small inspiration to my own writing. He’s on autobuy, and I’d been looking forward to this sequel for some time.

First, I want to recognize Joe for writing a summary of A Little Hatred. People need that these days, and it is a huge service. Helps that his summary was so well written. I felt almost entirely caught up.

Second, Joe continues to excel at characterization. The POVs were each distinctly fantastic. Orso had some serious growth in this book, just like his (true) father had in the first series. There are clear parallels. Savine was my favorite. Smart, cocky, and impossibly savvy, she feels so very real. Joe excels in the political intrigue, and I really appreciate how all sides of the conflict seemed to have motivations that went beyond just good versus evil. As before, I don't care for the "everyone knows about Bayaz, and his evil manipulations" take; it seems to take some of the mystery out of the environment.

Battles continue to be visceral, chaotic affairs, and I love how close to the action you feel. The theme that “war is horrible, why do we do it when little is accomplished” stands out as always. It’s helped by the new industrial setting, which really lays on the grimdark. It’s not quite as pollution heavy as before, but the theme of worker’s rights is interwoven without being over the top.

Did I mention I love Savine?

Anyhow, do yourself a favor and read this damned series, assuming you’ve lived life to its fullest and always read all other Abercrombie books.

Five stars.


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