Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2021
“You were a hero round these parts. That's what they call you when you kill so many people the word murderer falls short.”

This is the first standalone novel in The First Law world and let me just say that it was a wild ride!

I love when authors expand their worlds with additional books and after reading this, I need more authors to do this with standalones. I adored Best Served Cold. It does everything a continuation is supposed to do. It expands the world of the First Law by showing us a different part of it, but also gives some side characters from the previous books the main character treatment.

Monza as the main character was just amazing! I loved her and all of her bad decisions. Her motivation is very clear from the beginning. Her mind is always on her mission and even when it feels like she may lose sight of that, she brings it back into focus. Monza also has no problem screwing people over in order to get her revenge, which makes her ruthless, but at the same time, she has these moments where she shows guilt and remorse. She is for sure a complex character, which is something Abercrombie is really good at creating.

Speaking of amazing characters, let’s talk about Shivers. He was a side character from the First Law Trilogy and all I really knew about him was that he wanted revenge for his brother’s death and he never really got it. It’s ironic that he would hook up with another person on a quest for revenge for their brother’s death as well. Shivers is another complicated character because there were moments where I understood him and his motivations and even rooted for him. There were also these moments where I was questioning his thought process. I will say that overall, I ended up quite liking him.

“All your life spent getting ready for the next thing. I climbed a lot of hills now. I crossed a lot of rivers. Crossed the sea even, left everything I knew and came to Styria. But there I was, waiting for me at the docks when I got off the boat, same man, same life. Next valley ain’t no different from this one. No better anyway. Reckon I’ve learned … just to stick in the place I’m at. Just to be the man I am.”

I also loved Nicoma Cosca. By far, one of the best characters in the entirety of the First Law so far. He brought the humor and fun to the story and I couldn’t tell if I could trust him or not, which is something I tend to enjoy in a character. I still dislike Duke Orso though. He can choke because he is still a backstabbing snake and nothing about that changed in this book. There are little cameos that I also enjoyed seeing like Jezal.

This is a revenge story, so unlike with the First Law trilogy, this does have a central plot even though the strength is still the characters. I love a good revenge plot line, so it is not a surprise how much I loved this. The story itself was full of plot, schemes, and people betraying others left and right. There is also a lot of death and violence as well, which isn’t shocking considering the type of story this is.

And that ending! The ending has me excited for future books because I wonder if what we learned at the end of the book will be important in the next trilogy. I’m excited to see.

“Sometimes men change for the better. Sometimes men change for the worse. And often, very often, given time and opportunity . . .’ He waved his flask around for a moment, then shrugged. ‘They change back.”
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