The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie

The reveals in this book were positively heart-wrenching.

In ‘A Little Hatred,’ Rikke had seen the future with her long eye – The Lion swallowing the Wolf, the Lamb swallowing the Lion, the Owl swallowing the Lamb – so it was relatively easy to see how the victories would go by the completion of the second book.

However, I didn’t know who the Owl would be, and for most of this book, I kept guessing who the owl was. My suspicions hung heavily on Bayaz, the archmage or the treacherous new Arch Lector who took over from Savine’s father.

My strong desire to know was from fear for Orso, who I had come to love because his outlook on life reflects mine on many levels. I ran permutations – since Leo didn’t kill the Wolf, and Orso didn’t kill the Lion (even though he was very mad at him for marrying Savine), ehn, the Owl wouldn’t kill the Lamb.

If Lion didn’t kill fox, the cow will jump over the moon

While I understand that characters need to grow and evolve, the roundabout growth of some of them pissed me off greatly.

The bloodthirsty deviousness and callousness that came to Rikke and Leo ( I spare no sympathy for him anyway), the kindness that would sometimes peek through Savine’s hard veneer – it was just too much for my poor heart to handle.

When the true mastermind of the Union’s upheavals was revealed, I will not say I was surprised. I was only just put off. While I applauded his strategy and forward-thinking ability, the large-scale collateral damage to unseat one single person who wasn’t even the king was just wasteful.

In the name of overkill

Wisdom of the Crowds ends the trilogy, but it doesn’t seem Abercrombie intends to end the story, even though it could be wishful thinking on my part. Apparently, Orso has dull blades loyal to him being sharpened into swords of vengeance. Revenge would be a read I look forward to.

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