Critical Mind's Reviews > Best Served Cold

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
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U 50x66
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Jun 15, 2011

it was amazing

Best Served Cold is Joe Abercrombie's first stand alone novel after his highly successful First Law trilogy. It's smash full of the Abercrombie style we loved so much in the first three books; blood, guts, backstabbing, and those nasty, non-heroic characters. Then add in all that good ole experience gained from completing a trilogy and you get a novel that has solid characterization from Chapter One and a plot that keeps building and building. This, ladies and gentlemen, is called entertainment.

The best thing about BSC is the main character, Monza Murcatto. Because Fantasy has a dearth of well written female mains. And because, (forgive me if this sounds sexist) male authors don't often get it right. Either the female is a helpless twit, running into toothy situations which backlogs the plot and requires some sort of heroic rescuing. Or it's the opposite spectrum where sexy sirens armed to the teeth bull their way around, slaughtering enemies with giant weapons and steel toed shoes, bosoms spilling out of their teeny leather corsets.

Ok, I admit, I wax extreme.

But with Murcatto, What's there not to like? She's a unique combination of vain, grotesque, villainous, compassionate, evil, female badassery. Take an evil king doing bad things, add some revenge, and mix in a proper horde of turn-cloak characters like a mercenary in AA, two crazy poisoners, and a barbarian-gone-good, now you have solid, dark fantasy.

I shouldn't say more, since I didn't warn about spoilers. Suffice to say, this is probably my favorite Abercrombie jaunt thus far. Yea, of course there are things I could pick at. But in the end, what really matters to a reader is entertainment value. Did this entertain? Check. Did I laugh? Check. Inspiring? Check.

Voilà. Five stars.
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