I have spent the last week on a Project management course, namely PRINCE2 Practitioner. I hated the course as it didn’t have anything to do with practicing
the approach , but instead was a one-week-long cramming session with two exams.
So I am going to give myself a reward and talk about Joe Abercrombie.
I have finished all 6 of his up-to-date books and in short time he has become my favourite fantasy writer of the moment. I even like his works more than.. gasp.. George R. R. Martin’s! Mostly because Abercrombie fits more with my personal perception of the world: "Yes, life is hard, yes, everyone is neither good nor bad, but the right thing as concept still exists and doing the right thing is good". As opposed to Martin’s philosophy of: "Yes, life is hard, yes, everyone is neither good nor bad, AND there is no such thing as the right thing AND if you are trying to do the right thing you are going to DIE HORRIBLY, so better don't try".
The books in the order of how much I liked them:1) The First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself,Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings).
The trilogy has the largest scope of events, the largest conflicts, and more magic than any other book. Plus, the other books make no sense without reading the trilogy. 2) The Heroes.
I might be a rare few among Abercrombie fans, but gosh, did I like this book! May be because I am the Northern girl. May be because I loved the way the military conflict between the Union and the North was shown through personal POVs on both sides. I couldn’t help but root for the Union one minute, for The North the other minute, depending on whose POV I was reading.
Also I found the everyday running of the army to be hilariously similar to running of any other big company I have worked in, so I could really relate to many going-ons.3) Red County
(Really close to 2 ) – more personal story than any other books, with the return of one of my all-time favourite characters.4) Better Served Cold
(really close to 2 and 3). It started as Monza’s personal story and I adored the book up to a point. But in the second half the book had large dozes of Cosca, my single most disliked character in the world of The First Law. I honestly can’t stand him, and there was too much of him in this book, especially towards the end. My favourite characters (in no particular order):Female:
-Monza ( Monzcarro Murcatto). Monza is just pure awesome. I can go on and on and on and I will never be able to express every single great thing about her character. Just one thing: she is one of the rare few characters who managed to stay true to themselves, without getting drawn under the influence of the two main powers (Bayaz and Khalul).
-Ferro Maljin. I just wish she appeared in more books! She is also a very independent character, I like it that the two of the most independent characters in the books are females (Monza and Farro)
Shy – loved her to bits. Male:
- Sand dan Glokta. There are many POVs in Abercrombie books but I have found Glokta’s to be the one I looked forward the most, it was just so amusing.
Logen Ninefingers – the character I have probably found to be the most mysterious. Who is he? Half-demon? Something else? I want to know. Also I seem to love all his sayings and can’t stop repeating them. Plus Logen always wanted to do the right thing.
Bayaz. As Finley said, I don’t think I have ever had a character that I disliked and admired so much at the same time. You have to admire the puppet-master.
- Prince Calder. From the beginning of The First Law, his is the best character developmentSmaller characters I also loved
-Morveer and Day
-All the Northern guys: Craw (and his all dozen, especially Whirrun), Dogman, Three Trees, all o of them.
-Mamun and the Eaters. I loved the magical aspects of the books and the old grudges of the old guys.
-Bremer dan Gorst
In short, I loved all the many characters in the books apart from 3 (yes, just 3):The characters I disliked:
Nicomo Cosca. I think I could have found this useless drunk to be fine in small dozes, but he is almost in EVERY BOOK, in big dozes. I don’t find him funny , I find him disgusting, and there is just plainly too much of him!
Caul Shivers - I thought he had a great potential at first , but at some point Abercrombie decided to turn him into a copy of Sandor Clegane, and I don’t really like copies. Plus, ( spoilersCollapse )
Black Dow – I have a personal grudge against him. ( spoilersCollapse )