by Joe Abercrombie
This author came out of nowhere and then walloped me right in the head. The Blade Itself is his debut novel and it is a doozy. Excellent fantasy, anachronistic technologies, magic that hides in the background, violence that will shock and awe you (but the violence has its price it is not treated as fluff, or fact, violence takes its toll on everyone). Please do not go into this book blindly, it is a gore fest, but for those with stronger stomachs this author will amaze you. His characters are brutal, yet beautifully executed. His worldbuilding is strong, the pacing is fast and furious. Pick this up and then just try not to devour the rest of his novels.