Best served cold
The failures, the disappointments, the regrets, they stay raw as the moments they happened. (…) This is the stuff the past is made of. The wretched moments that make us who we are.
Best Served Cold is, as one would imagine, all about revenge. It starts off very akin to Kill Bill, only instead of The Bride, whose life changed on her wedding day, we have Monzcarro Murcatto, general to the mercenary army The Thousand Swords, whose life will change on the day of one of her biggest victories. As she and her brother share the news with Duke Orso of Talins, their employer, he will order them both dead, for fear that her popularity might push her to aim at his own throne. Benna, her brother, is killed, but Monza is left for dead on the side of a mountain, with an array of broken bones. She’s found, put back together as best as possible – and so starts her journey all through Styria in search of vengeance on the 7 men who were present (and thus to blame) at her brother’s death.
Of course, she assembles the classic ragged band of misfits (a wild Northerner, a prisoner and his assistant, a torturer, her former commander – whom she betrayed and a convict obsessed with numbers) to help her out in the task – and all through 600 pages we travel to all the provinces that form Styria to sow death, destruction, war and, little by little, to find that no one (and mostly Monza) isn’t exactly who they’re painted out to be. But more than the story (which holds some good twists– up to the last 3 chapters at least, when things got a little too riding-off-into-the-sunsety for my taste…but I’d rather not spoil it for anyone here) Joe Abercrombie’s sense of humor, his sarcastic dialogues and dark, violent and occasionally twisted atmosphere are what makes this such a fun read. Sure, it took me 3 weeks to finish it – but I’ve no one to blame but myself.