Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie (The Age of Madness #2)


Rating: 10/10

Synopsis

Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield…

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.

The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.

Review

Round two here we go….

The Trouble with Peace was another wonderous trip into the world of First Law by Joe Abercrombie. I can’t begin to express how absolutely engrossing his novels are. It’s crazy to think an author who has produced this many books is still able to consistently keep them to the highest standard. Yep, this might be another biased review…

Plot wise…phew – now this one really stood out for me in this book. The plot hooked me from page one and kept me hooked until the very last page. The amount of political intrigue in this book is staggering. While the first book focused much more on the characters, this one seemed to focus more on the rising tensions between the Open and Closed Council, with potential third parties such as the Nightfall and Rikke also in play. I think the reason the politics really caught me in this was because it wasn’t your usual black or white or bad versus good; instead the lines were much more blurred. Each side had their likeable characters and good and bad reasons for their decisions. You never really knew who was going to make what decision and why. There were at times some surprising moments and alliances, and I think it was this that drove the plot forward. At one point you could probably cut the tension with a knife and it was obvious that tension would eventually explode into some typical grim dark violence. Which it always does. No character felt safe and danger lurked around every corner. I won’t say much more about the plot in fear of giving it away, but I can say – whatever you think will happen, won’t.

As usual the characters were superb. As mentioned above, this book felt a bit more plot driven than book one, which of course did not mean the characters were not just as interesting. I think I changed my opinion about certain characters multiple times. I had my favourites in book one and I have my favourites in book two. Yes I’m looking at you Orso…you’re bloody amazing. Rikke also continued to be super intriguing and badass. Her decisions throughout the entire book and her dealings with those around her was so riveting. Savine and Leo on the other hand, while still absolutely fantastic characters, I had my ups and downs with. I actually never ended up disliking them despite some of their decision making, which is always a good sign!

The writing as before continued to immerse me in ways that books rarely do. Dark, witty, visceral….and just downright awesome. Abercrombie definitely likes to take his writing down some unique streets and if you’ve read The Heroes, you’ll know exactly what scene I mean. Yeh. Well, that scene happens again. Is it the same? Yes and no. You’ll see.

What an I say? I have zero gripes with this book and, well. I’m a sucker for this author. I’m caught in his web of books and I can’t escape. Not that I want to. If you’ve read book one and you’re reading my review, trying to decide whether to continue as you weren’t sure about book one, then I strongly suggest you continue. This book will surprise you in new ways and you just might like it better than the first.

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