Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a ...
Springtime in Styria. And that means war. There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king. War may be hell but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular - a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die. Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a mass-murderer obsessed with numbers and a Northman who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation. And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started...Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.
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Joe Abercrombie still delivers on the fighting, gore, and violence while weaving a fantastic plot that keeps you looking over your shoulder. Monza Murcatto (the Butcher of Caprile and the Serpent of Talins, to name a few of her titles) and her brother, Benna are the Grand Duke Orso?s best and highest praised mercenary. Hungry for power and fearful for his throne, Orso is aware of Monza?s popularity with the people. She and her brother were poor farmers, but when their father died, they were brought up in the army; how to fight, how to read reading, and learning the strategies of Stolicus. Monza does not even see it coming. Orso, along with the League of Eight, has Monza and Benna beaten to death and thrown down a mountain, like garbage. Benna will never recover from being run through, but miraculously, Monza is still alive, barely, landing and lying on top of her brother.
Starving for revenge, for her brother?s death and for her crippled body, Monza employs the Northman Shivers, an infamous and funny poisioner Morveer and his apprentice Day (?caution always?), an insane, obsessive compulsive, prisoner from Safety Friendly, an old acquaintance, Nicomo Cosca, and others. The problem is not the seemingly endless amounts of money Monza has at her disposal. (More of that later, in the story.) But, you can never trust a killer, poisoner, Northman, or traitor to not stab you in the back. To add even more spice, are the assassin Shenkt, the Eater Ishri, and the already known Carlot dan Eider. Monza and Shivers do sleep together (f*@#), but I don?t believe it has anything to do with being in love with one another. She is attracted to his optimism to be a better man. But can he, when it is Monza?s fault that he lost an eye?
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