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A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Just got the first book and I'm really loving it so far. I'm about 300 pages in, and he writes great dialogue and characters.

I'm a sucker for deep, layered worldbuilding, and that's my only gripe with this series so far. The world is barely described in a lot of cases, so it feels like a bunch of disconnected personalities floating around in a world I can't really imagine other than fairly loose descriptions like "Argiont: castle." Does this get a bit better as the series goes on?

Other than that, loving it. I don't have easy access to the last two books in the series, so I'm trying to stretch this one, but goddamn if I don't want to rip through it in one night.

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A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Bummey posted:

Nope.

Read some China Mieville if you want 2000 word descriptions of every dirty alley the main character walks past.

Nah, not that descriptive. Anyway, good worldbuilding isn't about describing every single mundane object in the environment to the point where you want to blow your brains out.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

nutnmunch posted:

In the second book the locations the characters visit are described in much more detail. Same deal with the third. The focus in these books is without a doubt on the characters more than anything else, though.

I love the damned characters so far. Logen describing crapping on a medieval toilet was hilarious, "the wind cooling your fruits."

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Oh man...Almost done with book 1, and though I've really liked the whole thing, he really picks up the pace in the last 150 pages, basically from when they go into the House of the Maker.

So loving good...I don't want to finish it because I can't get the next one till this weekend.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Mr.48 posted:

If you're more than ~50 pages from the end the best is yet to come

Just finished it, pretty great. Need to get over to the used bookstore; Hopefully they have the last two in the trilogy.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Hah, I just got the thread title. Nice.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

I'm about 150 pages into book 2, and so far I'm liking it more than book 1. It's much faster paced, and gets you into the characters at a nice clip. I loved book 1, but felt like it meandered around a bit early before finding focus in the second half.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Joshtafari posted:

Abercrombie will have a short story in the anthology 'Swords and Dark Magic' coming out in a couple of weeks for those in need of a fix before 'Heroes' comes out, along with some other unknowns like Michael Moorcock and Glen Cook.

Table of Contents

Erikson, Lynch, and Ambercrombie?

Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Welp, just finished the trilogy and moving onto BSC, but goddamn, wanted to vent a little:

The ending of that book is basically the DEFINITION of depressing. I don't think a single loving character made it through who wasn't in a horrible position. I can't think of anyone happy at the end.

I loved it, and ripped through it even though I wanted it to last, but goddamn...I can't tell how I feel after reading the last pages. A combination of "drat, this series is great" and "I want to kill myself." He definitely ratcheted up the GRRM "loving over all my characters" quotient in this one, although in my opinion he did it in a much more natural way. Everything that happened made sense, despite being horrible and sad but also kind of awesome.

One thing I admire the poo poo out of him for is that, on a level that only the Malazan books surpass, he layers poo poo in books that comes out later. So many authors don't do the stuff that works from book to book. GRRM, for example, writes great plots, but they're all fairly self contained in each book aside from ongoing storylines. I'm talking about, for example, Pike, who turns out to be Rews who we meet in book one and pick up randomly in book two. Or Valint and Balk turning out to be Bayaz, and the hints he layers in the earlier books that some of you probably got. Great stuff.

But drat...Depressing.

West about to die
Jezel trapped by Bayaz
Bayaz turning out to be possible the biggest badguy in the series
Princess Lesbo having to get down with Jezel because her lover is hostage
Glotka being basically a puppet and miserable as always
Ardee cleaning up poo poo every morning
The Northmen unhappy with everything
Ninefingers possibly dead, who the hell is ruling the north now
Ferro crazy and who knows what's going to happen to her
At least Longfoot made it out ok

What did I miss? lol...The great thing about the books, though, is that even the bad guys have realistic reasons why they do things that make you realize they aren't even that bad in some cases. If half of what they say about Bayaz is true, then Mammun probably had pretty good reasons to want to kill him and to break the First Law. Black Dow betraying Ninefingers at the end? As much as I loved Logen, there was a part of me that understood...I mean, the part where he killed Thunderhead kicked my rear end, and even though we love Logen's character, you can understand where Dow's coming from. The part where he says basically "I may be poo poo, but if I keep you from the throne I've done one good thing in my life" was loving great, and really showed you how multifacted and awesome these characters are.

They aren't just black and white, good and bad. The great evil turned out to be a lot more ambiguous then we though, and the benign old Gandalf figure turned out to be a loving rear end in a top hat. I know fantasy has been moving in this direction for awhile now, but I think this is one of the best examples of the non black/white type of characterization the genre has seen, characters who feel way more human and real.

Great stuff, great books. But god...I'm going to go watch some comedy now or something to cheer back up.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Torsade de Pointes posted:

GloktaI thought Glokta ended up pretty well all things considered. He has a hot wife to help him around. He basically runs the Union. Plus, he still gets to torture people and doesn't have to deal with as many stairs. He realizes that he is a puppet, but he's just fine with that. Isn't the end of the book him torturing the former Arch-Lector for shits and giggles?

I should have clarified...When I meant that it was hard to read, I meant that some people had lovely positions, and some people were just lovely. I mean on some level I love Glotka, but goddamn he's a bad person.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Bummey posted:

One of the things I like most about these books is how everyone gets hosed. No one ends better than they started. I hate happy endings, and it's pretty refreshing see this dismal poo poo play out.

I hate unrealistically happy endings, but I wouldn't mind a character or two finding a little bit of peace.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Meningism posted:

Finished Before They Are Hanged, why does that tsundere demon-lady call her companions "pinks" when she is colourblind?

I hope Mr. Abercrombie fixes glaring goofs like this in the last book.

Great series otherwise. I can't wait for Logen's reunion with his homies, and him tearing this Fenris the Feared a new one.

"Pink" is a common slur amongst the southerners when talking about northerners, as their skin is darker.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Yeah, what the hell should I read after Best Served Cold?

I've read these, the Malazans, ASoIaF, Locke Lamora, and WoT lately. Need something new to dive into!

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Mr.48 posted:

The Prince of Nothing series by R. Scott Bakker.

Nice, thanks for reminding me...I think this is now next on my list. The cover blurb by Erikson certainly helps. ;p

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Oh man...BSC is crazy so far. I have to admit, I think I like it better than the trilogy.

But Cosca. For that matter, Shiver's EYE.

Can you guess what part I just read?

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

TShields posted:

The part with Shiver's eye was just loving painful to read... Its rare that I actually cringe at words written on a page, but this was really rough. (Cringe at the thought of the action, not at poor writing.)

Completely agree...During that part my brain was somewhere in the "No...He wouldn't...It's gotta be fake...Aaaauuughghghhh...." zone.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

bengraven posted:

I started reading Blade Itself the other day and after a few chapters it's not getting me.

I'll reply for everyone and say "hey, bengraven, keep reading as it will get better eventually".

Okay, thanks for the heads up, will keep going.

Yeah, his first novel really felt like a first novel, to me. But I'm on Best Served Cold, and I can tell you, they get better and better to the point where this is one of my favorite fantasy novels, I think.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

bengraven posted:

I put the series to the side for a bit, but I do like one thing:

The descriptions of Glotka in pain are almost painful.

Just wait till you get to Best Served Cold. There's a scene with a main character that will make you squirm.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

John Charity Spring posted:

The first image of the rough UK cover for The Heroes has been released. Still scheduled for release on the 11th of January.



I wonder just how terrible the US cover will be?

The versions I've purchased at Barnes and Noble are all the dope UK covers. Also, they've stopped selling the lovely versions of the US Malazan books, and are selling the insanely awesome UK ones. Same with Prince of Nothing. I'm thinking that they're finally starting to get a clue.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Kellanved posted:

Went through the Trilogy and BSC again these last few weeks and I'm ready for more books with Logan , Glockta and Bayaz!

I know that The Heroes is a standalone book so it probably won't have much on the wider picture in it but I'm incredibly hyped either way.

Apparently it's going to have way more returning characters than BSC did.

Black Dow, Shivers, Dogman, Kroy, more that I'm not thinking of...Plenty from the first trilogy. He basically said that the entire book takes place over four days in the north, one dicisive, ongoing battle that has tons of union and northmen.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Ornamented Death posted:

If he shows up at all, I'm betting it's nothing more than a cameo at the very end, just enough to let us know that Logen is still alive.

Yeah, I got the imression from his last few lines of internal dialogue and such that he was pretty much saying "gently caress you" to the north and everything else. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if he went to find Ferro to help her gently caress poo poo up...the crap that happened after they parted seemed to harden him some.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Mr.48 posted:

Oh yeah, he was the really uptight infantry general right? Poulder or something was the other cavalry commander.

Yeah... The two competed with each other and hated the poo poo out of each other until one of them died, which I thought was a nice touch.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

sarsbar posted:

I finished the trilogy, and I'm almost done with BSC. Last Argument of Kings ruined my week; never has so much wrist-slitting despair and frustration been seen outside a history book.

The thing is, the only one I really feel bad about is poor Malacus. He died like a bitch in the first book, and what I thought was him developing into an interesting character was actually just an impostor. An important and very awesome impostor, but still. At least things weren't quite so bad for Glotka and Ardee. I mean, they were dickish and psychotic, but I was just so glad that at least someone didn't end up having every single thing blow up in their face at the end. Besides, who in the book wasn't dickish and psychotic?

Also, the only character I despise more than Bayaz is motherfucking Yoru Sulfur.

Despising that first character is actually a pretty huge spoiler, when you think about it, for people just starting the series.

But yeah...The ending is pretty rough. I like his stuff, but if his NEXT four books are nothing but awesome but also holy poo poo I want to kill myself, I'm not sure how much I can stick with. ;p

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

I also think you're forgetting Monza's part in it...She's really good at manipulating and reading people, an excellent leader. She knew exactly how to plant seeds to make her start doubting Morveer.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Kneel Before Zog posted:

I'm 3/5 of the way through the final book in The Blade Itself trilogy. I wanted to know if it's ever addressed exactly why Bayaz wanted NineFingers spared by Bethod? Is it solely because he can talk to spirits?

Yes. He thought he needed someone who could talk to spirits to get The Seed.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

To be fair, those of you thinking about starting the Malazan novels, by the time you get through the current 9 and the two side novels the 10th will be out and the series will be done. Last book comes out in January, I believe.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Yadoppsi posted:

Bayaz says in TBI that his specialties are fire, force, and will. So possibly, but I don't think there is any direct evidence for it.

Actually, Bayaz used his powers to make Jezel a better swordsman so he could win the contest, so he must be able to effect your mind/body somehow in a way you don't realize as he's doing it.

Wow that was a poorly constructed sentence. You get the idea.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Daveski posted:

Yeah, this is what I meant too. It's very clear when he does it during the tournament, but after that I didn't notice any instance when he is clearly manipulating things with magic

Yeah, unless a minor part of that scene is to show you that he can.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

My impression of Bayaz:

He's not evil, he's just ruthless. He'll do whatever it takes to further the ends he sees as necessary. He's certainly power hungry, but in many cases his views fall in line with folks you'd consider "good" in the series. He wants to control the world in his way, but I don't get the impression he's doing it because he's an evil bastard, just that he thinks he can do it better than anyone else.

His long life and power and the poo poo he's seen has basically put him in a position where he holds the common man in contempt, and doesn't care if innocents die to get him where he wants to be. That said, he's not a murdering, raping, kill all good in the world and let evil reign rear end in a top hat, either.


Pretty complex character, and another reason why Abercrombie is dope.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

I read somewhere that he's writing a few standalones, and then he IS tackling another trilogy. Wish I could remember where. =/

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Unkempt posted:

Mmmmm.



I haven't actually read 'Best Served Cold' yet, but I think I'm going to read this first anyway.

You may want to read BSC...Some HUGE poo poo happens to Shivers which changes his character quite a lot, and he's in The Heroes, too. So if you've read the original trilogy, post BSC Shivers is going to be really weird to you.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

eyebrow posted:

So, just to clarify is Shenkt in any of the first trilogy at all? I figure that's probably not his real name, especially given the interlude with Vitari, but I wasn't sure. I want more backstory, he's badass.

Nope, it doesn't seem so.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Skellen posted:

If it turns out to be number two, then Abercrombie can go gently caress himself.

I seriously doubt he would have ended that storyline so ambiguously if it was the last we were going to see of that character. Leaving things in doubt isn't really something he does much, if at all.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Hating you right now.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Axeface posted:

Burned through First Law in about four days, just starting up with BSC now. About the short story: I don't have any interest in buying the anthology it comes packaged along with, so is there any other way to get my hands on it? I don't have a Kindle or iPad or anything, for what difference that makes. I'm happy to pay, I just don't often find myself a fan of fantasy and would rather not slog through (and put dollar down for) a whole collection of it for one story I'm interested in.

Also, if that untagged spoiler about Shivers on the first page of the thread is true, I'm gonna be really full of impotent rage at the internet in about a day or two.

Read this if you want to know whether that spoiler is true or not: It's false.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

DangerDummy! posted:

I don't mind that, though I don't think it's great or anything. I'm talking more about phrases he reuses a lot, like horses eyes rolling madly when they're injured, such and such a person being a black outline against the blue sky. There're a couple more I can't think of the top of my head. It's such a stupid thing to complain about, considering how much I'm enjoying him so far. More of an observation, I guess.

Meh, it's not stupid. Writing is a marriage of amazing ideas and style, so if one of those falters it's noticeable. You can read an author who has an amazing loving world built, but is a lovely writer, or vice versa.

I've alawys thought Abercrombie strikes a good middle ground. His world isn't nearly as developed/though out as it could be, but he writes great loving characters.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

That's not a bad map at all, but yeah...I don't think it's very accurate.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

sarsbar posted:

That is one very tiny planet they have there.

I assume he'll expand it beyond all that if he keeps writing in the same universe, like Feist did from Riftwar to Serpentwar.

A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

Hollis posted:

I had these books recommended to me at a bookstore , I read the first one and was just completely blown away and devoured the next books fairly quickly. I did not realize these were Ambercrombies first series.
I read a lot of fantasy fiction , I think Ambercrombies style has gotten loads better with each book. I thought Best Served Cold was amazing.


I really wish I could find another writer who even came close to his style he's basically writing pulp noir fantasy. What do you even call that? If anyone can recommend anything close to similar to him I'd love to hear about it. The closest I can even say in theme is Bakker's Prince of Nothing series. That's not even close though really.

I assume you've read Martin's Song of Ice and Fire? Probably a stupid question, but they're pretty close in terms of themes and how loving dark they are.

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A Nice Boy
Feb 13, 2007

First in, last out.

There's only one character we need to know more about, immediately.

I want Shenkt, Shenkt, and more Shenkt.

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