I think this might be a record, two blog tours on the same day! But both of these books are excellent and worth reading about. The Trouble With Peace is the second book in Joe Abercrombie’s The Age of Madness trilogy, following up on 2019’s A Little Hatred. A true work of Grimdark fantasy, this trilogy is set in a world more inspired by the eighteenth century than the Middle Ages, which makes it rather unique. There is technology, but no less war and manipulation, and fans of the genre will devour it.
Thank you to Patricia Deveer and Gollancz for including me in this blog tour and sending me a copy of The Trouble With Peace! I highly recommend you also head over and check out some of the posts of my wonderful co-hosts.
RELEASE DATE: 15/09/20
STAR RATING: 4/5 ✶
SUMMARY: 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.
Unrest worms into every layer of society. 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 the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever. (from Gollancz)
OPINIONS: While it took me a very long time to get settled with A Little Hatred, I enjoyed The Trouble With Peace far more from the start and found it extremely compelling – I ended up reading the five hundred page novel in two installments over a couple days (while I was already tired from working on my dissertation, so good job, Mr. Abercrombie, don’t let it get to your head!). These books are very addictive once you get into them and sort out the different strands in your head. Pro-tip: there is a list of characters at the end which helps a lot, consult that throughout, not just at the end! The ending of The Trouble With Peace is both very satisfying and an evil cliffhanger making you want more immediately, so I’m very glad that there is more to come – the third volume in the trilogy will be published next year and I can’t wait to read and review it too!
I think my favourite part of the series so far is that the women are the ones with the brains, pulling the strings, and manipulating, whereas the male of the species tend to be brawny – and to an extent, naive. Believing themselves to be one thing when they are not, only to be led in a different direction by the women close to them is wonderful to see. It is no wonder that my favourite characters in the series are Rikke and Savine. Fiercely independent women set to have their own way no matter the cost to themselves and others. That is not to say that they are portrayed as positive characters – as is befitting a Grimdark novel, they, as are the remaining characters, are multi-layered and morally murky, selfish and power-hungry.
The world-building is also excellent, as is the writing, sprinkled in with humour. Never boring, the Age of Madness trilogy is a must-read for any fan of Grimdark fantasy! Add it on Goodreads here, and order yourself a (signed) copy of The Trouble With Peace via Waterstones here.