We're shipping Joe Abercrombie's novella-length short story collection, The Great Change (and Other Lies), and thought now a good time to share excerpts from the tales contained therein.
You'll notice that the title story, the one we've chosen to excerpt below, centers on reader favorite characters Savine and the torturer, Glokta.
Important Note: We purposely didn't produce Advance Reading Copies of The Great Change (and Other Lies), and are unlikely to offer copies to wholesalers or large online retailers.
Limited: 1500 signed numbered hardcover copies: $60
The Great Change
“This is the new dress, is it?” asked Glokta.
“It is.” Savine frowned down at herself, and sighed. “I suppose it will do.” She struck an apparently careless pose which she had no doubt practised for hours in the mirror. She does nothing by accident, after all. “What do you think?”
Ardee had told him, with evident pride, that Savine had selected the fabric herself, and specified the cut herself, and terrorised an entire team of seamstresses for three days in person. And woe betide the one who put a stitch out of place.
“As a noted connoisseur of lady’s tailoring…” Glokta twisted his face discerningly. “I would not wear it to court.”
Her face fell a little. “No?”
“It would never do to so thoroughly outshine Queen Terez herself.”
Savine pushed her tongue into her cheek. “Hmmm.” She tried not to show how delighted she was with his approval, and he tried not to show how delighted he was with her delight. At times he would catch glimpses of the child she had been. And almost want to weep that she is a child no more. And immediately aferward would see the woman she was fast becoming. And be choked with pride at all she might achieve.
Ah, the curse and the blessing of parenthood, that can coax a sentimental tear from the pitiless eye of even a monster like me. It felt strange, in a way, to have her in his stark office. Filling this place of death and pain and bloodless paperwork with hope, and beauty, and potential. It was frightening, even, to have her so near to the cells below. And to think, I was once a man with nothing to lose.
He had to clear a lump in his throat. “I’ve no doubt you will make a passable dressmaker, in due course.”
“I’ve no doubt I will make several marvellous ones.” She ran a careless finger across the map of the Union on the table top. To which I once nailed an inconvenient rival. “But for my own career I am aiming somewhat higher.”
“Mind you don’t aim so high you topple backwards. In that dress you could probably never get up.”