A cracking follow-up to The First Law in which we get to meet some old friends and enemies. Set in neighbouring Styria, this is a tale of vengeance and how it can destroy almost everyone involved in its procurement. Vengeance that involves taking the lives of seven men and in that headlong rush, the taking of thousands more.
Caul Shivers thought he be like the Bloody Nine and try to be a better man so he left the North and in Styria, when he was at his lowest ebb, he met a woman who would save his life and then change it forever. Nicomo Cosca, one time leader of the Thousand Swords, saviour/destroyer of most of the cities or states in the Circle of the World and now full-time drunk must also rise to the occasion and find himself again. And then there's Friendly, a thief, murderer and ex-convict who likes to count, no, he has to count. For Friendly, chaos is simply not right. Castor Morveer is a master poisoner and along with his assistant Day, these make up the companions of one Monzcarro Murcato, the Snake of Talins, the Butcher of Caprile and the most feared and famous mercenary in Grand Duke Orso's employ...or she was...once.