Friday, August 12, 2016

Sharp Ends (First Law World #7) by Joe Abercrombie

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there's only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.
Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.
Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.
And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There's only one obstacle left - his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .
Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.
'Joe Abercrombie is doing some terrific work' George R. R. Martin
'Delightfully twisted and evil' Guardian
'Joe Abercrombie has written the finest epic fantasy in recent memory.' Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize Winner, on Red Country
'Joe Abercrombie is probably the brightest star among the new generation of British fantasy writers ...'The Times
If there is anything Abercrombie is famous for that is bloodshed and violence! His world building is so epic it stands just outside my top three which are Tolkien, Martin and Lachlan. If Lovecraft had a darker brother, he would definitely bare the name Joe Abercrombie. His works have always captivated me with their grand scale and political conspiracy.
Sharp Ends is set mostly in the First Law universe and is a collection of short stories. Abercrombie goes even deeper in the lives of his characters, but also brings new ones to the table. We once again meet the horrible Logen Ninefingers, Curnden Claw and Sand den Glotka.
What makes the collection a definite gemstone are the stories of Javre and Shevedich! The best thing about it is that you can still enjoy it even if you haven't read Abercrombie before. It was pure excitement  to see how he managed to contain himself within the restriction of 20 to 30 pages per story and still be able to shine with his talent for the grand and epic fantasy.
Bloody and fast-paced, it is one of the best collections of short stories out there. Not all stories a perfect, but on the whole I can count it as more of a success, rather than a failure.
Definitely read it, but have in mind that it is not a novel... Don't judge it based on that and you are up for an adventure!