Abercrombie\'s site provides samples of his work so you can decide whether you\'d like to get deeper into it. I appreciate that. The descriptive writing was excellent and there were some intense battle scenes. The words engage the senses quite vividly. This might be a good thing, if you enjoy wading into a swamp, feeling the muck cling and pull at your boots while the leeches slither up your pants and the suspicious reptile-shaped logs make ominous faces in your direction. I don\'t. I stopped. I couldn\'t like any of the characters. Everybody is miserable in a world where everything is miserable. Most memorable example: Glokta is constantly in pain and agony dwells in his 70 year old granny knees and 70 year old concentration camp granny teeth and his 70 year old starvation victim stomach. He seems to enjoy sharing that pain around. Or maybe he doesn\'t and he\'s secretly noble, it\'s all hard to tell when the thing that stands out the most is how he\'s constantly in pain and crumbling away and every other line serves to remind you of that. I listened in on some fan discussions after that. I\'ve heard good things about the author, so he sounds like someone worth respecting, not least for letting me have a free preview and decide what to do with his work from there. I haven\'t heard quite so good things from the fanbase, whose praise for the writing skews heavily toward calling it a \"deconstruction\". Quite frankly, I\'m tired of deconstructions. I\'d like to be able to enjoy something for once without everything about it going to shit so the author or their fanbase can tell me what a horrible and immature person I am for liking the thing. If being an adult means unironically hating things that make you happy, I\'m fine hanging out at the kids\' table.
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