The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie – An Audio Book Review

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.


Author: Joe Abercrombie

Narrator: Steven Pacey

Running Time: 21hrs 56mins

Publisher: Gollancz

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Age of Madness #2

My Rating of ‘The Trouble With Peace’: 4 out of 5

Purchase: Audible UKAudible USAmazon UKAmazon US



The Trouble With Peace is one of those books that I’ve been waiting on for ages and, fortunately, it didn’t disappoint. I do feel it suffered from being massively over-hyped, but not to the extent that the awesome storytelling of Joe Abercrombie couldn’t save it from that drawback.

I will say that, despite my love for the series, I do feel Abercrombie is somewhat flogging a dead horse with the whole ‘war with the northmen’ thing. They’ve been at war with the north more times than France tried to jockey for world domination. In this one, however, Abercrombie has set it up in a way that makes it feel like it will be going down a different route to some of the other times, at least. Some of the characters within the conflict are fairly unique, which makes it more bearable. Clover, Rikke and Shivers being favourites of mine. 

That slight ‘meh’ moment aside, there was some excellent character development, especially on the part of Savine, Leo and Orso as the path that life has set them on continues to alter who they are. I get the feeling none of them are currently who they would wish to be and that makes me look forward to seeing more development in the future from them.

Certain characters left certain roles in this book, which saddened me greatly. I can only hope that some of the occurrences might bring them back into the fold at a later date. 

The Trouble With Peace was a peculiar book in that it felt like if, for some unknown and unfathomable reason you did not wish to carry on with the series, there was enough ends tied up here that you could stop and just be content. There were, however, several ends that were unravelled by the end that leaves you eager to carry on. So it feels like a satisfactory stopping point for those wearied with the world of the First Law and sets up book three perfectly for those who wish to carry on and experience more Abercrombie goodness.

As with any Abercrombie work, the writing, turns of phrase, world-building and character work were all top notch. The only reasons I gave this a four instead of a five is that I kind of feel like some of the characters are just re-hashings of older ones. The one that leaps to my mind more so than anything is Orso. He feels like Jezal 2.0 That along with the ever constant of ‘being at war with the north’ just feels a tad tired and I wish that some new enemy would rear its head to breathe fresh life into this world.

The narration by Steven Pacey was flawless. His voices, the emotion he puts into the more emotional parts and just his work as a whole were top notch. I think he might also be picking up on the whole ‘Orso is essentially his father’ thing as the voice he uses for Orso is pretty much just Jezal’s voice from the original books.

Regardless of my slight complaints, I’ll certainly be getting the next one as soon as the audio is released.

9 thoughts on “The Trouble With Peace by Joe Abercrombie – An Audio Book Review

  1. Well, when you repeat history so much you’ll always find similarities, I suppose. I agree with you on the rehashing of characters from the first series. It bothered me in the first one as well. Not to take anything away from Abercrombie, though. Dude still knows how to spin a yarn. But I do have a question. So I compared this to your review of #1, and you didn’t seem to have the same issue with the rehashing of characters there that you did here. So is it more pronounced in Trouble With Peace or…?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a tad more pronounced in this one as Orso pretty much goes from wastrel to the type of king who wants to his very best. It’s the same kind of 180 flip his father went from in the first series. I also recently finished a re-read/listen of the first series just recently so it’s more jarringly fresh in my mind.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you I was sad to see some characters disappear from the scene, and while I understand they had to make room for others, there was a particular one I know I will miss, even though he’s only been something of a shadow presence in this book and the previous one. And like you, I hope he might make a cameo appearance once again… 😉
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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