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Best Served Cold | [Joe Abercrombie]

Best Served Cold

Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.
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Publisher's Summary

Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white.

While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in 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, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.

©2010 Joe Abercrombie (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (482 )
5 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.6 (298 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Story
4.8 (297 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (8)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Gavin Derby, United Kingdom 21/01/2012
    Gavin Derby, United Kingdom 21/01/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    "New recording"

    This book was originally sold with a change of narrator from the First Law books however the publisher has taken note and re-recorded this title and the following book with Steven Pacey. If you bought this with the other narrator you can re-download the title and it will be the new version with Steven Pacey. Excellant news given his brilliant performance.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Telford, United Kingdom 10/02/2014
    Christopher Telford, United Kingdom 10/02/2014 Member Since 2011

    I am a 28 year old man who likes to make use of a long commute by listening to sci-fi and fantasy audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    68
    67
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    4
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    "Excellent follow-on from the first law trilogy"

    Joe Abercombie just keeps getting better and better.

    Story – 5/5

    Joe Abercrombie has managed to get all of the elements of this novel perfect. His character development and sharp whit is still definitely his strongest point, but this time the story has a very fast pace, for those readers who complained about the story progression in ‘The Blade Itself'

    As the title suggests, it is a revenge plot story. But there isn’t only the main story arc, there are also a few smaller intertwined stories of revenge throughout, and it is done extremely smoothly. What I especially loved about this novel was how he took a couple of the minor characters from his first law trilogy that we weren’t too bothered about, and developed them into very likeable and interesting characters. This is a standalone novel though, so don’t be put off if you haven’t read the preceding books.

    Another thing I love about Joe Abercrombie’s novels, is how he spends about 1 hour after the “big ending” to set a picture of how the story will continue. This not only gives a better impression of an epic world, of which this is a small story within, but it also prolongs the enjoyment of the story by making the reader think about it after finishing.

    Performance – 5/5

    Steven Pacey is one of the best narrators out there. His character acting was flawless, each having a distinctive and believable voice. His narration enhanced the dark comedy and whit of Joe Abercrombie’s writing, and I felt myself absorbed into the action scenes/battles.

    Music/sound effects between scenes/chapters was a nice touch as well, although it would have been nicer to not re-use previous sound effects.

    Overall – 5/5

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul West Sussex, United Kingdom 13/01/2012
    Paul West Sussex, United Kingdom 13/01/2012 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    3
    2
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    "Hoorah for Steven Pacey"

    Imagine my delight upon just starting to listen to this book with a different narrator, suddenly I find that it is now Steven Pacey!

    And so is the final book: Happy New Year!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stuart OXON, United Kingdom 08/02/2013
    Stuart OXON, United Kingdom 08/02/2013 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Low down dirty double crossing ..."

    Steven Pacey! Steven Pacey! Steven Pacey!



    I really enjoyed this, even more than the First Law Trilogy. The book has a great depth of characters, and the narrator brings these to life wonderfully. It's a great combination of a well written book and first class narration.



    I recently reviewed The Painted Man (different author) and I wasn't kind to it, because I had no empathy for the characters and ultimately didn’t care what happened to them. In this book most of the characters are low down dirty double crossing villains, but you can't help enjoy them. The reason you warm to them is they aren't just plain bad, they have some depth to them and complexity. Joe Abercrombie has a wonderful way of building a story and getting you to care for the type character that most other authors would have cast as the villain. His world isn't black and white, there are people who just seem to get drawn into bad things … as well as those who just relish it.



    The references to the First Law Trilogy were excellent and some of the characters from that appear and get expanded upon. A word of warning though - prepared for dark deeds, dark humour and a couple of occasions where you feel like you might lose your lunch.



    Fantastic stuff

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alastair Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom 02/02/2011
    Alastair Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom 02/02/2011 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Stonking book - Narration Flaws"

    A fantastic book, great follow on from the first law series - but the change of narrator across the two really impacted my sense of continuity - a shame otherwise it would have five stars from me.
    It did feel like someone had replaced your fave actor in a soap with a different purpose and expected you not to notice.
    Outside of that, the same good pace and balance, with characters and plot lines that pulled you around emotionally with them.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Gerard A Twomey 15/03/2012 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "delightfully vicious"

    I loved the First Law series, and I think of this as a straight continuation into The Heroes. Steven Pacey's visceral reading brings this brilliant, fresh fantasy book to life with vivid sardonic character, and the book itself has a satisfying pace with lots of notches on the narrative axe. Because it is a complete story within one book I liked this the best of all the Joe Abercrombie series, but it is certainly richer reading them all in order, starting with The Blade Itself. It's satisfying to see minor characters from one book developed in later volumes, and it seems to me that this is a hallmark of Joe Abercrombie's writing - a mastery of point of view. I consider these books a real milestone in fantasy literature, and dare I say it, a bit better than Game of Thrones?

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas 07/07/2014
    Nicholas 07/07/2014 Member Since 2013
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    "Outstanding!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Logan, he is complex and although fighting his demons as "The Bloody Nine" is trying to do the right thing.


    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    His tone and accents paint the characters and story line to allow you engulf yourself inthe book.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mike grays, United Kingdom 01/04/2014
    mike grays, United Kingdom 01/04/2014 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Abercrombie + Pacey = Win!"
    Would you listen to Best Served Cold again? Why?

    Yes. Performance by Pacey is amazing, he does justice to the gritty dialogue


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Best Served Cold?

    Relationship between drug addled monza and shivers


    Which character – as performed by Steven Pacey – was your favourite?

    Shivers


    Any additional comments?

    Other narrators should study Pacey. Have listened to several audiobooks before and never heard any other performance even come close to the same quality. He is consistent with the voices but he goes beyond that and builds a character and speech mannerisms.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James 21/01/2012
    James 21/01/2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Thanks Audible"

    ...and thanks to Paul of West Sussex for pointing out the change of narrator. Steven Pacey's readings of the "First Law" series were probably the most enjoyable audiobooks I have come across, and although I was enjoying this title, it inevitably suffered in comparison. Now, having eagerly downloaded the new Pacey version, I may well start again from the beginning! I wouldn't normally give 5 stars to something I haven't actually heard, but having listend to half the old version and all of "First Law", Pacey would have to be having a very off day for it not to deserve them.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dale Aylesbury, United Kingdom 26/11/2011
    Dale Aylesbury, United Kingdom 26/11/2011 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    "Well worth the listen if you don't mind the blood!"

    An epic story. Bloodthirsty and lots of graphic detail (not lunchtime reading!!) A good plot and well worth the effort. I liked it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 33 results PREVIOUS124NEXT
Sort by:
  • Zati
    Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
    28/04/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fun and Twisted"

    At this point, I think it's a safe bet that I will enjoy anything read by Steven Pacey. And I honestly think Joe Abercrombie gets better with every book. Very very addictive.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Nathan
    Glen Bernie, MD, United States
    14/04/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great from start to finish"

    A great new cast of characters along with some familiar names. Things kick off right from the start and keep pace righ to the end. Great characters, well developed and in Abercrombies style often put to beffitting or undeserved ends.

    Once again Steven Pacey puts in a flawless performance, every character unique and he hits every whispered, whimppered, croaked, shouted and stranggled line without fail.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    18/03/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another excellent story from Joe Abercrombie"

    Steven Pacey is an outstanding narrator who gives life to Abercrombie's colourful characters. Its a dark tale of revenge with many excellent Abercombie twists. Things often don't go the way you might expect.

    Favourite character the swashbuckling Koska who always sees the humorous side. Another well crafted, intriguing but despicable character is the Poisoner Morvia. All of the characters are flawed but it makes them all the more interesting.

    I listened to the "First Law" prior to this and enjoyed it. "Best Served Cold" is also excellent.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Brendon
    Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
    26/01/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "11ty times better than the Michael Page version."
    Which character – as performed by Steven Pacey – was your favorite?

    All of them. Shame this version wasn't available first. Steven Pacey narrates so significantly better than Michael Page it ain't even funny.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Karen
    Banora Point, Australia
    08/08/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "not for all tastes"

    Found this book a bit too gruesome for myself. The underlying story is quite interesting for the more hardened listeners.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Chris
    Australia
    24/05/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very average"

    I listened to this book following the First Law series which I found very enjoyable.

    Unfortunately this particular book is pretty much a straight out, almost boring tale, with only a twist at the end to keep it from being rated even lower.

    Abercrombie has excellent character development, but I feel that the characters are a little too disfunctional in an almost "American sitcom disfunctional family" style.

    One particular failing that I found annoying was the eventual predictable situation of knowing something was going to go disasterously wrong when detailed and meticulously laid plans were set in motion.

    All in all it felt like the characters and story had moved from the sublime to the ridiculous.

    There aren't really any surprises here, no multi threaded grand design all coming together at the end. The characters are all so extremely flawed and hateable to point you feel nothing for them, which doesn't give the listener much to identify and feel with through the course of the book.

    Excellent narration rescues a rather forgettable storyline.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Bruno
    North Shore City, New Zealand
    19/02/12
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Story - Now With Great Narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Best Served Cold to be better than the print version?

    I believe that this audio production is the best way to enjoy


    What did you like best about this story?

    Joe Abercrombie has a wonderful talent for creating the best characters


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Steve
    Nagambie, Australia
    23/12/11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love Joe Abercrombie books."
    Would you try another book from Joe Abercrombie and/or Michael Page?

    Yes to Joe by defiantly not to Michael Page.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The narrator, shocking.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Michael Page sound like he is reading Shakespeare.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    Yes


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • matty
    chorley, United Kingdom
    18/04/11
    Overall
    "Delicious"

    Another triumph by the best current writer of epic fantasy. From the first page Joe Abercrombie's Best Served Cold is a deliciously sordid tale of revenge, murder, cowardice, triumph and trial.

    The narrative is pacey and very well constructed. The scenes each build upon each other as the book progresses. The book is also on funny. There are many moments when you can't help but laugh (and then feel guilty for laughing).

    The main characters are each triumphant yet flawed; dogged yet weak; hateful yet at the same time likeable. Although none of the characters are typically heroic, you can't help but sympathise with them, notwithstanding how despicable they can be.

    Michael Page is excellent.

    One of my top 10 audiobooks of the last 12 months. The book caused me to laugh, sympathise, despise the violence, root for the under dog, hate the hero whilst at the same time willing her to victory...a simply delicious book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Lynn
    Hurlstone Park, Australia
    20/02/11
    Overall
    "As Always"

    Thank goodness for Abercrombie a creator of real people and places unlike the usual heroic good guy fantasy schmaltz.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-10 of 13 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

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