Copy of Add a subheading 11 - Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

the trouble with peace by joe abercrombie - Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe AbercrombieThe Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie
Published by Gollancz on September 15, 2020
ISBN: 9780575095953
Genres: Fiction, Fantasy, Epic, Dark Fantasy, Historical, General, Action & Adventure
Pages: 512
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased Book
Buy on Amazon
five stars - Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

'Will leave fans begging for more' Starburst
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Unrest worms into every layer of society.
The Breakers lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while yesterday's heroes nurse grievances and noblemen bicker for their own advantage.
The King of the Union struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only to see his enemies, and his debts, multiply.
The old ways are being swept aside, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.
Second in the AGE OF MADNESS trilogy, THE TROUBLE WITH PEACE is the next instalment of a series which is revolutionising fantasy . . .
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
'A breakneck- speed fantasy book that brings in all the elements of a political thriller, action romp and reflective memoir. Job well done' The Sun
'Joe Abercrombie is a master of the genre' Lev Grossman
'It's smart. It's witty. This is an absolutely top-notch work of fantasy' Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
'The Trouble with Peace mauls expectations to serve up a sublime sequel that's even better than it's showstopper of a predecessor' Novel Notions
'Effortlessly brilliant' The Bookbeard's Blog
'I had insanely high expectations for the sequel. But The Trouble with Peace met pretty much all of them' The Fantasy Inn

The Trouble with Peace is Abercrombie’s best book to date.  Dark.  Bloody.  Utterly hypnotic.  How on earth do you review something flawless, something so resolutely perfect?  A story that details the travesty of war, the brutality of love, and the burden of power.  Peace can be glorious but the truth is told – it is rarely the peace a nation would come to know.  Enemies in the shadows, whispers in the halls, treason is never far from the mind.

“We’re all like children, Rikke. The older you get, the more you realize the grown-ups won’t suddenly walk in and set things right. You want things right, you have to put ’em right yourself.”

The Trouble with Peace.  The Trouble with conspiracy.  The trouble with rebellion.  Man, this book…as a bookworm you only want to be entertained, you want that feeling of meeting a favourite for the first time, this book was like crack.  When I was reading, I wanted to read more, when I wasn’t reading, it was all I could think about.  My head was a complex maze of questions and theories, trying to tie loose ends up.  I was tied up in knots, Abercrombie tripped me with his whirlwind journey.

I loved The First Law Trilogy but the Age of Madness is on another level. The characters have become some of my most beloved.  Say one thing about Abercrombie, say he is the very best at characterisation.  I have never been so invested in a gaggle of corrupt characters, Leo Dan Brock, Savine Dan Glockta, Rikke, Orso, Broad, Vik, and Clover. A few of them would like to think that they are straight-edged but that self-proclaimed straight-edge has more twists than the spaghetti junction.  Each has its journey of survival, self-development, and growth.  Being inside the minds of these characters felt deeply personal but I loved every minute of it.

“He’d grown himself a little bit of a beard, just under his mouth, while he shaved the rest. Clover couldn’t understand it. Grow it or don’t, but why leave bits? It was like leaving your wife half-fucked.”

Two favourites of mine were Clover and Savine Dan Glockta.  Clover, newly renamed…you’ll have to read the previous books to get my meaning.  He’s a sly dog, always being seen to say and do the right thing.  Whether that’s a word in Stour’s ear, or training the untrainable, he’s there always leading Stour into the appropriate path, but making it seem like it was always their King’s unique thought.  His Actions in The Trouble of Peace got more than one whoop from me. 

Savine.  Savage Savine.  She has always looked out for number one from the very beginning.  Her motives and business deals are always about self-service.  However, In The Trouble with Peace and the aftermath of Valbreck, you can see the slow but significant change in what she views as important.  She’s married Leo, she’s pregnant, it’s no longer all about her, something her father never aspired to.  Her ruthlessness is what drew me to her but her chrysalis-like change is what has kept me chained to her.

I would have read this book in one sitting if I had been able to – damn adult life!  from the first page to the last I could feel myself being sucked into the story, like a fly on the wall watching it in real-time. Joe Abercrombie examines the struggle to survive, walking on the tight rope of sanity and he does it with such raw intensity.  It was compulsive. 

The Trouble with Peace is Abercrombies’ dutifully carved out corner of grimdark.  The reader is delighted with cutting dark wit and a plot that just escapes from the pages.


Joe Abercrombie was born in Lancaster, England, on the last day of 1974. He was educated at the stiflingly all-boy Lancaster Royal Grammar School, where he spent much of his time playing video games, rolling dice, and drawing maps of places that don’t exist. He went on to Manchester University to study Psychology. The dice and the maps stopped, but the video games continued. Having long dreamed of single-handedly redefining the fantasy genre, he started to write an epic trilogy based around the misadventures of thinking man’s barbarian Logen Ninefingers. The result was pompous toss, and swiftly abandoned.

joe abercrombie - Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

Joe then moved to London, lived in a slum with two men on the borders of madness, and found work making tea for minimum wage at a TV Post-Production company. Two years later he left to become a freelance film editor, and has worked since on a range of documentaries, awards shows, music videos, and concerts for artists ranging from Barry White to Coldplay.

This job gave him lots of time off, and realising that he needed something more useful to do than playing video games, in 2001 he sat down once again to write an epic fantasy trilogy based around the misadventures of thinking man’s barbarian Logen Ninefingers. This time, having learned not to take himself too seriously in the six years since the first effort, the results were a great deal more interesting.

With heroic help and support from his family the first volume, The Blade Itself, was completed in 2004. Following a heart-breaking trail of rejection at the hands of several of Britain’s foremost literary agencies, The First Law trilogy was snatched up by Gillian Redfearn of Gollancz in 2005 in a seven-figure deal (if you count the pence columns). A year later The Blade Itself was unleashed on an unsuspecting public. It now has publishers in thirty countries.  The sequels, Before They are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings were published in 2007 and 2008, when Joe was a finalist for the John W. Campbell award for best new writer.  Best Served Cold, a standalone book set in the same world, was published in June 2009, and a second standalone, The Heroes, came in January 2011 and made no. 3 on the Sunday Times Hardcover Bestseller List.  A third standalone, Red Country, was both a Sunday Times and New York Times Hardcover Bestseller in October 2012.

The first part of his viking-inspired Shattered Sea series for young and old adults, Half a King, came out in July 2014, when it won the Locus award for best young adult novel.  The other two books, Half the World, and Half a War, followed in January and July 2015.

His collection of short fiction, Sharp Ends was published in 2016.  A new trilogy set in the world of the First Law, The Age of Madness, began in September 2019 with A Little Hatred. The Trouble with Peace followed in September 2020, and the final part, The Wisdom of Crowds in September 2021.

Joe now lives in Bath with his wife, Lou, his daughters Grace and Eve, and his son Teddy.  He spends most of his time writing edgy yet humorous fantasy novels…


five stars - Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie


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