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The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One)…
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The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) (edition 2007)

by Joe Abercrombie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8451401,343 (4.06)139
Member:KimarieBee
Title:The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One)
Authors:Joe Abercrombie
Info:Pyr (2007), Paperback, 531 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Rating:****1/2
Tags:2013, 2012 Aussie Readers Summer Challenge, Epic Fantasy, Favourites

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

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Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
A decent-enough fantasy adventure. Well detailed and fun for the most part.

Action is great aside from the overuse of certain verbs. Things bounce and flop and crunch all too often, and the menace of most of the combat is washed away by the exaggerated tone of comic book verbs. Abercrombie's prose really shines when he writes in the minimalistic and repetitive style of detective fiction and foregoes the cutesy colourful verbiage.

Abercrombie overuses the repetition of specific phrases and exaggerated character traits and ruins what little his characters have to offer. The cast is wide, however, and as a collective it's fun.

While this review seems to find fault almost entirely in the author's overuse of cartoonish descriptive techniques, it's also kind of fun to read. For a while. I just can't imagine sitting through the same thing again. ( )
  Algybama | Jun 28, 2016 |
fresh & cynical and greasily realistic fantasy... I love how the characters are twisted away from the standard "pure of heart but in a bit of a pickle" heroes.
On a re-read, I can see why some reviewers found it slow moving, but it had me more hooked the second time through, watching how the characters interacted rather than just getting to know the characters... now I just have to finish the rest of the trilogy again... ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
This was simply an amazing book, made even more so by the reading in the Audible version by Steven Pacey. His ability to change voice for each character was fascinating, and really added to the presentation of the entire story. I had no problem differentiating between the main characters, and the supporting characters, as well. It was amazing to hear him switch between all of the accents necessary for the characters and where they were from. While this is set in a fantasy world, depending upon the character, I heard at least Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Cockney, "proper" British, Russian, Indian, as well as male and female voicing, among the accents used in the story. Even if you've already read the book, I'd highly recommend getting the Audible version.

The story itself was very good, and right out of the gate captures the reader's attention. The author is very adept at switching scenes, switching emotions, and switching storylines, and in such a way that the reader doesn't get lost. The characters are very well-developed, and each has his/her own personality and viewpoints. I especially like the interaction between Inquisitor Glokta and Major West near the end of the book: it revealed quite a bit about both.

The other thing I liked about this book was the development. It wasn't simply a story of a disparate group of individuals/races coming together to defeat a common foe. Instead, the story developed over the course of many, many scene changes, with characters coming and going, interacting with each other in many different ways. Really so much more than the simple fantasy quest-type of book.

As expected, this ended on a cliff-hanger, well, really a double-cliff-hanger. Looking forward to the next book! ( )
  ssimon2000 | May 31, 2016 |
Well it should come as no surprise to anyone if you have seen my latest updates that I did not love this book. Quite unfortunate really (as I LOVED Half a King) and honestly I think entirely “it’s me, not you” on this one. As far as my final rating, I struggled with where to take this so I just decided to break it down… Writing – 4.5 stars When your good, your good…and Joe is just that. He has a magical way of writing amazingly witty characters and creating a world that is breathtaking. And this one has its fair share of bloody savagery that is just awesome. Characters – 5 stars Joe does an equally brilliant job creating characters we love…including ones we love to hate. Logen, Glokta and Bayaz were standouts, but honestly there was not a one that I could say I did not enjoy. Contrary to my further statements below, I felt I was missing out on some things that I wish had been included, including more from Ferro and Ardee. However…point #3… Number of Characters and POV – 3 stars Bloody hell…there were far too many IMO and far too many points of view. I would have been happy with Logen, Glokta and Jezal only and seen these other fantastic characters come together through their eyes only. Plot – 1 star Essentially nothing happened in this book until the last bloody damn 150 pages and by then I was so over it. I mean, Loki is a brilliant character, and I could look at Tom Hiddleston all day, but if Loki just staggered around town for weeks and essentially did nothing, I too would get bored.

Length – 1 star
First let me say that if it was not for Joe Abercrombie and the characters of this book, I would have put this on the DNF shelf around 50%. Unless you are writing about a wizard with glasses and a scar on his forehead, no one needs a 600 page book!!! (Especially given the lack of plot.) Drop 200 pages of this, and I really think I could have given this far more praise. The ending – 4 stars Yes, the ending clearly improved with several amazing scenes (yet still no real plot that I could see). Eventually I will find myself picking up the sequel to this, but I cannot forget the 450 plus pages it took to get there. So I leave this one with 3 stars. Andrew had a different take…so you can see his review here" ( )
  JulieCovington | May 29, 2016 |
It’s always a pleasure to discover a new author. Of course, if I didn’t take so infernally long to get around to reading books, I would have discovered Abercrombie a few years ago… but after finally getting around to reading his first book, The First Law, I’m delighted that there are already 3 more to read!
Since the book’s been kicking around my house, I’ve heard, several times, about how ‘dark and depressing’ it is. I am pleased to report that this is not true. Yes, it is gritty, and the characters are people from a violent world who have nearly all been touched (and damaged) by violence. However, the characters are all wonderfully human, and their motivations are understandable, even when reprehensible. While there is some thoughtfulness to the work, it’s still primarily an action-adventure fantasy.
The story is told through the eyes of 3 main characters: Logen, a fighting man, a ‘barbarian’ from the North whose family and friends have been destroyed, who must strike out on his own. Inquisitor Glotka – once a shining paragon, a rising star in the military; but now a survivor of torture as a prisoner-of-war, who has become a torturer himself. And Jezal – a young aristocrat whose concerns have mainly centered around trying to impress his family by winning a fencing competition.
This is part one of a trilogy, and I still don’t have Part 2 – so finding out how things all resolve is getting a bit delayed, to my chagrin!
So far, I would recommend this to fans of Gene Wolfe, Patrick Rothfuss & George R.R. Martin.
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 130 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
"The blade itself incites to deeds of violence" - Homer
Dedication
For the Four Readers

You know who you are
First words
Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding on the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head. He stumbled and sprawled onto his side, nearly cut his chest open with his own axe, lay there panting, peering through the shadowy forest.
Quotations
‘Has it ever occurred to you, Master Ninefingers, that a sword is different from other weapons? Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough: but they hang on the belt like dumb brutes.' He ran an eye over the hilt, plain cold metal scored with faint grooves for a good grip, glinting in the torchlight. 'But a sword ... a sword has a voice.'


'Eh?'


'Sheathed it has little to say, to be sure, but you need only put your hand on the hilt and it begins to whisper in your enemy's ear.' He wrapped his fingers tightly round the grip. 'A gentle warning. A word of caution: Do you hear it?'


Logen nodded slowly. 'Now,' murmured Bayaz, 'compare it to the sword half drawn.' A foot length of metal hissed out of the sheath, a single silver letter shining near the hilt. The blade itself was dull, but its edge had a cold and frosty glint. 'It speaks louder, does it not? It hisses a dire threat. It makes a deadly promise. Do you hear it?'


Logen nodded again, his 'eye fastened on that glittering edge. ‘Now compare it to the sword full drawn.' Bayaz whipped the long blade from its sheath with a faint ringing sound, brought it up so that the point hovered inches from Logen's face. 'It shouts now, does it not? It screams defiance! It bellows a challenge! Do you hear it?’
'Mmm,' said Logen; leaning back and staring slightly cross-eyed at the shining point of the' sword.


Bayaz let it drop and slid it gently back into its scabbard, something to Logen's relief. 'Yes, a sword has a voice. Axes and maces and so forth are lethal enough, but a sword is a subtle weapon, and suited to a subtle man. …’ p. 144



Men don’t fence for their King, or for their families, of for the exercise either … They fence for the recognition, for the glory. They fence for their own advancement. They fence for themselves. p. 174
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 159102594X, Paperback)

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:14 -0400)

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Longen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian.

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