The Wisdom of Crowds.

A Little Hatred (2019), The Trouble With Peace (2020), and The Wisdom of Crowds (2021) were all finished and delivered JA's publisher before ALH was published.
Any reviews yet? I did not pre-order and my store was sold out by Sunday.
Spoiler Alert. I cannot guarantee that I will not discuss some of the finer points of Joe Abercrombie's stories.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive nor definitive review.... heck, it'll hardly be a review.... just some thoughts.

Finished yesterday on a flight from John Wayne to DIA.

I did not guess the plot twists from the start, but I figured them out along the way.

I liked it better than The Trouble With Peace, because there was closure. And yet throughout this series, I did not find the characters as engaging. Broad is not as pragmatic as Logen. Rikke is not as uncertain as the Dogman. Savine is not as heartless as Monza. Vick is not as pitiable as Glokta. Tallow is not as developed as Severard nor Frost. Leo is neither as righteous as Shy nor as intelligent as Glokta. Jonas, aka Steepfield, aka Clover, is not as forthright as Threetrees nor as jaded as Craw. Perhaps he is supposed to be the Cosca of the story, but I don't buy it.... there really is no Cosca. And Vick is not quite as continually cornered as Glokta....

I will say that Orso is more engaging, sympathetic, and likeable than his father. And there are plenty of characters from the first trilogy and the stand alone novels who reappear at points in this trilogy.... Glokta, Ardee, Jezal, Gorst, Shivers, Isern, Calder, Yoru, Bayaz, Rews, Curnsbick, and Sworbreck.

For me the major comparison of The Age of Madness trilogy to The First Law trilogy and to the three stand alone books are the characters. I do not feel there are enough main characters nor enough memorable characters nor enough sympathetic characters. I felt The Heroes had more characters in quantity, quality, and sympathy than this trilogy.

I've probably posted before comparing various musical theatre productions to Les Miserables. The Phantom of the Opera deals with the themes of love and obsession. Miss Saigon deals with dreams and despair. Camelot deals with possibilities and realities. Chicago deals with crime, corruption, and celebrity. Grease deals with coming of age during American car culture. But I have not seen, nor am I aware of, a show which deals with as many themes as Les Miserables. Romance and heartbreak, patriotism and commitment, freedom and servitude, fatherhood and legacy, sin and righteousness, self-righteousness and introspection, responsibility and opportunism, redemption and depression, tomorrow versus yesterday, hope, debt, humanity, and God are all easily identifiable themes. The story is phenomenally ambitious....

Anyway, Abercrombie may have used so many great themes in his first six novels that these last three are hard pressed to compare. Life, death, new frontiers, vengeance, forgiveness, redemption, coercion, corruption, friendship, animosity, family, country, autism, alcoholism, torture, crippling, war, chaos, cruelty, and concern are explored often and well through the first six books. He pushed the boundaries of improper behavior so far that incest and callous industrialism (which was always on the edge of the Union's story) may be the only new themes.

Now don't get me completely wrong... I liked The Age of Madness... and I think The Wisdom of Crowds may be the best of the trilogy. The closures we get for Savine, Leo, Orso, Vick, Risinau, Sworbreck, Judge, Gorst, Glokta, Ardee, Yoru, Zuri, Brint, Rikke, Isern, and Shivers are enough. The futures for Bayaz, Tunney, HIldi, Clover, Vick and Broad remain open.

I did not expect the endings for Vick, Hildi, and Orso. I thought they'd all go the opposite ways from which they went...
On my list after finishing the current Adrian Tchaikovsky series I'm on :)
Woops forgot to say I'd finished this.
Very enjoyable a few twists that took me by surprise.
Not happy with Orso's ending, wished Savine had finished Leo off.

I'm excited to see what the next books bring.
Currently about halfway through this, but can't say I'm enjoying it. Rikke's confrontation with Bayaz was good, but the madness and misery of the city doesn't make for entertaining reading for me.

The characters also feel increasingly more like plot points than anything else. For example, Leo, upon receiving like-changing injuries in book 2 is now simply less rash and more thoughtful - as if his injuries barely have any mental impact at all and are just a hindrance to his mobility, which is a big contrast to the very first JA book where Glotka's injuries defined everything he did..

Will still press on to the end, though. :)
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I found this a somewhat miserable book, much of it not enjoyable. Sabine was a standout character to me, and Glotka's reveal was great. But aside from that there was too much focus on misery and too often the plot seemed to move for the purpose of convenience. There was a lot to like in the first two books, not so much with this one.
But aside from that there was too much focus on misery
Hard to disagree with that. It was very grim. I found it to be my least favourite of the trilogy aswell.
I'm relieved Joe is currently working on a new completely different series. I will be reading it as soon as it comes out because I love his writing and the characters he makes. I think it's still a long way off though. I heard its something to do with elves invading Europe.
Thanks for the thoughts guys. I's been a year since I finished Wisdom and I find that I cannot remember much of it. I don't remember the twists nor the characters' ends.... though I do recall every twist and turn of Glokta's story, every fight of Logen's (you can never have too many knives), and every promotion and setback for Jezal in The First Law trilogy. I just did not connect with any characters nor find them intriguing. Maybe the main point was that Bayaz created the Union through trickery and lies for selfish reasons and it was no wonder that all of the characters followed suit. You have to be realistic about these things.

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