Review – More Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie

Posted: April 24, 2016 in Fantasy
Tags: , , , , ,

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Joe Abercrombie has the ability to take what is ostensibly a set piece and imbue it with all manner of depth and insight into the world he has crafted with his First Law novels. Much like the excellent work The Heroes, his short feature The Fools Job is a character driven riot of a story. It’s the small details and the honesty of the actor’s inner thoughts that reveals so much and makes these tales so engaging. Yes, there’s plenty of Abercrombie’s patented action sequences but there’s also just as much of his sagacity.

The Fools Job centres around the Named Man, Curden Craw; slightly younger but no less honest and no less cynical about his role in the world. Leading his dozen on a mission to steal a certain item, Craw, along with his second Wonderful and new member Wirrum, does his best to keep everything on track. Yet, with sketchy information at best, things, obviously, don’t go to plan.

It’s a fantastic, action packed look into the lives of a Named Man and his crew trying to make things work in a world where everything is mud.

In Skipping Town we are back with Shevedieh and Javre as they try to find a way between making more enemies and, well, making more enemies. After a catastrophic though successful job to steal a jewel the unlikely pair discuss their options. Skip town and leave behind more marks against their names or enter into what is very possibly a double-cross and trap.

Javre opts to take it all on head first whilst Shev tries to do her best to avoid the inevitable violence. Whilst both these characters are new to me they’re equally and brilliantly fleshed out. Skipping Town results in a bar fight of epic proportions that shines a light on Javre and her intriguing background. It’s an another example of Abercrombie’s skill at crafting engaging protagonists and writing brutally effective battle scenes.

Sharp Ends continues to be a brilliant collection of stories full of Abercrombie awesomeness.

Review copy
Published by Gollancz

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