Trouble With Peace (SPOILERS)


Well-Known Member
Jan 2, 2021
How did everyone rate this book? I was very excited to read it. I loved all his previous books with the exception of Red Country. And this book had by far the highest rating on goodreads (4.65), so I thought I would love it. But for me I was slightly disappointed and didn't feel the ridiculously high rating reflected the quality of this book. I preferred A Little Hatred, The Heroes, and the original trilogy.


For some reason the plot seemed a bit silly following what I thought was an interesting plot in A Little Hatred. I wasn't really buying that Savine would just go along with the treason plan. It was foreshadowed that her judgement was compromised following Valbeck. But when she just jumped on board, I expected her to have an ace up her sleeve. Especially when Leo removed his mother, and his two gay friends from the plan, and Savine never tried very hard to talk better sense into him. And not accompanying him to talk to King Jappo. It seemed an obvious disaster waiting to happen.

Orso was my favourite character by far. Followed by Savine. But just didn't care too much for the others. Would've liked to see more of Rikke using her long eye (especially when it was the only fantasy element in the book).

But judging by the book's rating maybe it's just me. Maybe I got a little burnt out with Abercrombie, having just read all his books in the past couple months. Maybe he wraps up all the characters satisfyingly in the final book.
I'm not a fan of Savine, she is a spoilt brat, her ambition was to marry Orso and become queen. Discovering who her real father was closed that option, she saw Leo as a means to an end. She could have stopped it, Leo is easily manipulated, she saw it as away to the throne. If they had won she would have got her wish to be queen, once the child was born within a few years Leo would have an accident and she would be regent.
Yea, i'm a sucker for those competent psychopathic characters and allow them too much leeway.

How would you have felt if Savine decided to marry Orso despite being siblings? (If it was out of love and not ambition). She mentions that she still loves him, and I found myself wanting that to happen. Not sure if that's weird. But could see it working since she already has a (non incest) baby.
I'm conflcted on one hand she done the right thing, it would have been easy to pass the baby of as Orso's and probably some way to stop her self getting pregnant again. I did think the two of them were well matched.
The problem is, she loves Orso but likes power more, poor Leo was a pawn. She could have been very powerful and still have an influence on the king, threw her toys out the pram, if I can't have it no one can.
Savine is supposed to be contrasted with Glokta, right? He's her father... not biologically, but he's her mentor in life. Both were young and vain and suffered calamities. Savine believes her disasters at Valbeck, of getting pregnant, of marriage, and the Battle of Stoffenbeck give her the type of wisdom and long term perspectives that Glokta got from years of torture in a Ghurkish prison. She starts the series believing she is the consumate player... constantly improving through each testing. She does improve, but she's never in Glokta's class. I think Savine is a great character to despise.

Overall, the Age of Madness trilogy was not as enjoyable as the First Law trilogy and the three stand alones. Good, but not great.
I've only read Half a King. I passed it to my fourteen year old nephew.
I really enjoyed how some of the characters came through in this, especially Savine and Rikke. I told my wife that JA had written some really good female characters. But I struggled to recommend the books to her so far because what are they about? It seems like it just a power struggle between different rich people, and they don't seem very constant, changing as the circumstances do in a remarkably adaptive way.

It's like he's trying to do a Game of Thrones but its coming across more like a soap opera with no real plot - entertaining, but somewhat superficial and driven by convenience, with the characters lacking any real deep and meaningful purpose.

That doesn't mean to say it's not good or I'm not enjoying it - this hasn't been a bad pair of books so far - and the battle at the end really underlined the confusion of war. It's just that there are no higher motivations driving the story to make it easy to sympathize let alone empathize with the characters.

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