eBook, 528 pages

English language

Published by Orion.

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3 stars (1 review)

Chaos. Fury. Destruction. The Great Change is upon us...

Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: the Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.

With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies … while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.

The banks have fallen, the sun of …

1 edition

Polished cynicism

3 stars

Many swear by Abercrombie and his First Law series, which this continues to expand on (set one generation later, it features characters out of the first series, their children, as well as characters from the spinoffs), but I am torn.

On the one hand, there is no doubt Abercrombie is a master storyteller with a far greater claim to “realism” in pseudo-medieval fantasy than, say, G.R.R. Martin, able to conjure up both engrossing landscapes of pre-modern society and attaching characters. That he has a decent understanding of pre-modern warfare also helps his military campaigns plot lines.

On the other hand, Abercrombie’s cynicism (“everybody is either weak or evil in the end”) is a real turn-off. The first series sacrificed all investment your might have made into its protagonists for the sake of an “if magicians existed, they’d be the biggest dicks of all” message (not that I quibble with that …