Shortlisted for the 2010 David Gemmell Legend Award.
War may be hell, but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Grand Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too.
Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Monza has only one thing left to live for: Revenge.
Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a barbarian who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation.
And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started...
The battles are vivid and visceral, the action brutal, the pace headlong, and Abercrombie piles the betrayals, reversals, and plot twists one atop another to keep us guessing how it will all come out. This is his best book yet. - George R.R Martin.
Joe Abercrombie is probably the brightest star among the new generation of British fantasy writers... Abercrombie never underestimates the horrors that people are prepared to inflict on one another, or their longlasting, often unexpected, consequences. Abercrombie writes a vivid, well-paced tale that never loosens its grip. His action scenes are cinematic in the best sense, and the characters are all distinct and interesting. - The Times.
A satisfyingly brutal fantasy quest. Best served cold? Modern fantasy doesn't get much hotter than this. - SFX.