The Trouble with Peace

(The Age of Madness #2)

paperback, 544 pages

Published July 26, 2021 by Orbit.


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4 stars (2 reviews)

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 …

4 editions

Each book better than the last

5 stars

There are some things I didn't quite like in this series. The fight of the book's Breakers (people rising up against industrialisation which mirrors fights from our 19th century, who are breaking factories) is portrayed at best as hopeless and led by idealists without plans, and at worst as utterly corrupted and devoid of principles. Sad. Of course, it's dark fantasy, but the supposed "realism" is nothing more than cynicism. All of the other types of policies are portrayed in the same way, and the end doesn't often justify the means.

It excels at cynicism. And rhythm. And structure. And characters. (the worldbuilding part has been done in the previous trilogy+novel+shorts, so I'll pass) It may not be the best book I've read in the last year, but it's easily in the top 10.