I know this is a bit belated, as this blurb actually surfaced a couple of weeks ago, but in case you've missed it here's the synopsis for Joe Abercrombie's upcoming novel Best Served Cold, ripped straight from Amazon.co.uk:
Mercenaries are a wonderful thing: they fight as you tell them, whom you tell them, and when you tell them, for nothing more precious or complicated than money. And Monzcarro Mercatto, and her brother (and lover) Benna Mercatto, are the two most successful, most popular, and most wealthy mercenaries in Styria...but wealthy, popular mercenaries are not such a good thing. In fact they're a downright dangerous thing. Which is why Grand Duke Orso of Styria arranges to have them dealt with. Permanently. With hindsight, he may come to consider this a tactical error. Through sheer good luck - which her brother doesn't share - Monzcarro survives the long and fatal drop Orso arranged for her, and staggers away from her encounter with a ruined right hand, an opium addiction ...and a plan to come back with a fortune, plently of bladed weapons, and a single-minded determination to kill the seven men in the room when her brother was murdered. Preferably in as gruesome a manner as she can ...
I like the sound of this; it sounds like a gritty urban adventure with plenty of blood. It's nice to see an author writing a stand-alone novel, especially after enjoying success like Abercrombie has had with a trilogy. Furthermore the story appears to be set largely in Styria, which is unexplored territory, and features a mostly new set of characters. I'm glad though that Duke Orso is involved; without giving anything away, we catch a glimpse of him in Last Argument of Kings and I immediately got the impression that he is a slippery character.
Joe's mentioned that the going has been tougher than he thought, but he reckons he's still on course to deliver the manuscript to Gollancz in a few months. Release date - according to Amazon - is April 2009.
Damn, now that I think of it that's quite far away. Still, if it does come out then it will keep up Joe's record of having a book published every year since his debut novel was released. In these days when several years seems a standard amount of time to have to wait between novels, that's certainly a good thing.