Book Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

Warning: This review may contain spoilers for the previous book in the series, A Little Hatred.

The Trouble with Peace is classic Joe Abercrombie. It’s filled with everything that makes the First Law books great. Grittiness, violence, humour and intrigue leap from almost every page and will drag you into what is a fantastic second book in the Age of Madness series.

The story sets off almost immediately after the end of the previous book, A Little Hatred – and each of our main POV characters finds themselves thrust into new roles, responsibilities and down new paths. Freshly crowned, Orso finds the pressures of the crown weigh heavily on him as he struggles to forge a path forward for the Union with the nobles growing more fractious and unruly, while the ever-present threat of the revolutionary Burners and Breakers lurks in the shadows. Meanwhile, Savine dan Glokta is determined to rebuild her fearsome reputation from the ashes of the Valbeck uprising – no matter the cost.

In the North, Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall chafe against the restrictions and responsibilities that peace brings, while Rikke finds herself in a losing battle to control the the ‘Long Eye’ and a race against time to save her sanity.

As always, the character work is just masterful. Each character brings a very strong, unique voice and style to their chapters. This use of character is Joe Abercrombie’s biggest strength as a writer and I think everyone knows that. Personally, my favourite main POVs in this book were Orso (his character arc over the last two books is just *chef’s kiss*) and Savine. Though, tied to Savine is a character called Gunnar Broad, an ex-soldier who just wants to have a peaceful life and to put food on the table for his wife and daughter – this being a Joe Abercrombie book, I think we can all guess how well that goes. Anyway, his chapters were all fantastic and really stood out in both this book and A Little Hatred.

From an objective point of view, I have heard some people say the pacing was a little slow in the middle of this book, and I can get that. I understand, but I am not sure I agree. The pacing of this book, to me at least, felt like a boulder rolling downhill. Sure, it wasn’t always the fastest but the sense of anticipation That it was going places was always there. And what a crescendo this plot was building to! The last third of the book is a real roller-coaster of action and plot twists that, as is the nature of plot twists, I just didn’t see coming!

Over all, I have to say I loved this book and I am very excited for the third book in the series (which I am reasonably sure is being titled The Wisdom of Crowds) next year.


4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

    1. Thank you! Glad you liked it. I’ve been on a bit of an Abercrombie binge this year, having read the original trilogy last year, and have yet to find a book that wasn’t excellent.


  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Wisdom of Crowds by Joe Abercrombie – Book Reviews | Jack's Bedtime Reading

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