The cover of The Trouble with Peace by Joe Abercrombie

The Trouble with Peace is the second book in the Age of Madness series by Joe Abercrombie, and follows on immediately after the events of the first book, A Little Hatred.

Thank you so much to Gollancz for sending me an Advanced Review Copy of The Trouble With Peace via NetGalley.

In The Trouble with Peace, wars are fought on the battlefield and on the Open and Closed Councils. We catch up with Savine dan Glokta, one of Adua’s most powerful investors, who has lost her influence and judgement after the first book. In the north, we catch up with Leo dan Brock, Rikke, and Stour Nightfall. As always, the book switches each chapter to follow a different character.

The Trouble with Peace was released on 15th September 2020. It’s available from Amazon, Waterstones and Hive.co.uk in audiobook, eBook and hardback formats. Plus there are exclusive signed editions available from Waterstones (with an exclusive short story) and Toppings & Co bookshop. Need a recap on A Little Hatred? Joe Abercrombie has got you covered with this one on his website.

My review

I absolutely loved this book! I was hooked from start to finish. I am a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie’s books, and reading this series has felt like coming back to see old friends. But that doesn’t mean that this is a fun, comfortable read — as always, it’s dark, violent and with plenty of shock twists. The characters always feel real — no one is ever good or evil, they are always mixed (as all people are!).

I love that this series has many unique, strong female characters, too. Savine is one of my favourites of this new series — she is clever, witty and elegant. I also really like Rikke, who in this book learns to control her Long Eye and is as unpredictable as ever. She has really grown as a character from The Age of Madness to this one, which is always enjoyable to read! Mothers also play a big role in these books — Orso’s mother Terez, Leo’s mother Finree and Savine’s mother Ardee all have a big impact in this book, too.

As always, the pacing is fantastic, with each scene having importance (even if you don’t realise it until later). During the action, the point of view switches from one character to another in a fantastic, smooth way. Many will be minor characters that have only a few paragraphs, but still you feel as though you know them and their hopes, dreams and loves. It’s incredibly moving and you are thrown from one character to the next very quickly. We’ll follow one character, who then stabs another, and we then switch to their killer’s perspective, and then on to another that they speak to. It’s one of my favourite things about Joe Abercrombie’s writing and as always, done so well — he is the master of writing combat!

Once again, Joe Abercrombie has written another must-read book. The Trouble with Peace is a fantastic, fast-paced story, with all the elements and characters that we have come to know and love. I loved it and it’s one of my favourite books of 2020! It was certainly worth the wait — and now I wait in desperate anticipation for the final instalment in the series, out in 2021!

The blurb for The Trouble with Peace

Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion. Peace is just another kind of battlefield…

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.

Unrest worms into every layer of society. The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.

Joe Abercrombie, the author of The Trouble with PeaceAbout the author, Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings). His standalone novels (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country) are also set in the First Law world.

His novels have been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards, John W. Campbell Award and the David Gemmell Legend Awards. His covers are also award winning, and have won both the David Gemmell Legend Award and the World Fantasy Award for best artwork.

Joe formerly worked as a freelance film editor and is now a full time writer who lives in Bath with his family.

Follow @LordGrimdark on Twitter for more information, or visit his website, joeabercrombie.com.

The Trouble with Peace is available from Amazon, Waterstones and Hive.co.uk in audiobook, eBook and hardback formats. Plus there are exclusive signed editions available from Waterstones (with an exclusive short story) and Toppings & Co bookshop.