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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
3,9801461,285 (4.06)140
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

Work details

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Recently added byLitaVore, antao, RFSteinhauer, Caleb54, nagash, private library, SleepySheep, Kiddboyblue
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Showing 1-5 of 135 (next | show all)
I cannot think of any other author who is better at characterization than Joe Abercrombie. The characters in this novel, the second of his I have read, are so utterly unique, complex, and dynamic, it amazes me!
There is nothing stereotypical about this fantasy novel, and especially the characters that are being used to build this story. Abercrombie writes something completely his own here, and is building a story that is utterly compelling.
The pieces of the puzzle have only just been laid out here, in the "The Blade Itself," and I find myself eager to read the next novel in the series so I can begin to place the pieces together, hoping to see the bigger picture.
Abercrombie is easily one of the best fantasy writers I have read to date, and this series could easily be said to be one of the best in the genre, in my humble opinion.
Bloody, dark, fast paced, and also surprisingly funny. Abercrombie has a knack for dialogue and character interactions that work so well, you find yourself sucked in and believing every word.
I find him brilliant, and this fantasy novel was among my top without a doubt. ( )
  Kiddboyblue | Dec 2, 2016 |
I picked this up because I saw some glowing reviews. I can't say it appealed much to me. It's a pretty standard epic fantasy in which various 'good guys' use sword and sorcery to fight various 'bad guys'...except there aren't really any good guys. I think that's why it didn't grab my interest. All of the major characters are some combination of corrupt, pompous, sadistic, or psychopathic. I couldn't identify with them, didn't like them, and didn't much care what happened to them. This was also my position on the setting. None of the kingdoms or empires presented in the fantasy world seemed worth defending or preserving. There is war threatening (or raging)throughout this fictional world, but I remained a disinterested bystander, other than to hold some sympathy for the unnamed peasants that are caught up in it.

The writing is adequate, but it could have benefited from a bit more prose polish and better editing. ( )
  DLMorrese | Oct 14, 2016 |
This is my first Abercrombie book, and one that has wallowed in my to-read pile for several years now. My reaction: WOW. The plot of the book isn't anything new or fancy, really. It's secondary world grimdark fantasy, with barbarians, snobbish politicians, and nebulous ancient threats working their way south. What makes this book are the characters: they are vivid and complex, and become even more so when viewed through the points of view of the other characters. The best example of this is Glokta, a severely crippled master swordsman who is now an expert in torture. He's an awful, cruel man, and yet... Abercrombie writes him in a way that makes him compelling, not pitiful. ( )
  ladycato | Sep 24, 2016 |
Action-packed multi-plot story with memorable characters. Logen Ninefingers barely escapes death - again - and finds himself in the company of Bayez, an old man who claims to be the first Magus (magician). Inquisitor Glokta is a man familiar with pain, having suffered much of it being tortured as a prisoner of war and now employing it as the Inquisition's most successful interrogator. He's friendless and cruel but he's also in constant pain and wise to the political machinations of the city. Spoiled and egotistic Captain Jezal dan Luther is about to abandon the rigors of preparing for a big fencing match but fame and glory beckon. When war threatens, the lives of this ragtag group (plus a few others) converge in unexpected ways. An intriguing first book in a trilogy that spends a lot of time introducing characters but is never boring because the characters are so unique and strange! The audiobook narrator manages all the distinct characters brilliantly. ( )
  bookappeal | Sep 21, 2016 |
I thought this book was a lot of fun to read. I liked the story progression and the characters were all very interesting, with flaws and character arcs that had me angry, sad, gleeful, and appalled. That is the mark of a good character for me... do I hate them but still find them intriguing? Am I genuinely interested to see how their story plays out? Do I immediately want to rush out and get the rest of the series (if applicable)? This book was a yes on all counts.

All of the characters interested me, and I was seriously involved with what they were going through. Logan Ninefingers was my favorite with Glokta following in second.

This was one of my favorite books I read in 2009, and I would recommend it to everyone I know! ( )
  Sarah_Buckley | Sep 17, 2016 |
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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)

(see all 2 descriptions)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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