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Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie - Ed's journal
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
It's actually not very often that you can describe a book as violent and graphic, and yet ... somehow... this is. It really does take a lot of skill with description and flow of story to pull that off. It really is a testament to the author's skills, and it shows throughout the book.

I've read previous books by this author (the Blade Itself, and the rest of the First Law series) I really quite enjoyed them.
Finally got round to reading this one, and ... well, Joe really does have a knack for solid characterization, and a very plausible level of dark, nasty and evil. This book does contain torture elements, strong language and just a bit of fantasy in there. It's a story of revenge, betrayal with just a hint of a moral tale in there.

The lead characters are flawed in just enough degree as to be really very plausible indeed, but without giving away the all important empathy that lets you really appreciate why they're doing what they're doing. All too often 'flawed' characters lead into 'whiny bitches' or 'stupid evil', and there's none of that in here. On either side of the fight.

And somehow, despite all that - despite running through the story of a person who's set on bloody vicious revenge, you none the less get at the end, someone who has made a journey, and grown as a person. Maybe not to someone _nice_ exactly, but the sort of person you could admire and respect, despite a really rather brutal and graphic history.

The battle scenes are fast paced, the description is wonderfully done, and the characters are both elegant and harsh at the same time.
I'd strongly recommend a read, with a caveat about the nature of the material - I know strong language is not to everyone's taste, nor would be some more brutal violence - even if it is in text form. The only assurance I'd offer is it's not gratuitously so.
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