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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

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3,1781111,760 (4.09)117
Member:imager
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

  1. 203
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 20
    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (elwen)
  3. 10
    Ships from the West by Paul Kearney (caimanjosh)
    caimanjosh: Both of these series feature great characterization, good writing, and a bare-knuckle, realistic approach to fantasy, as opposed to much of the high fantasy work out there.
  4. 10
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (KittyFiend)
  5. 11
    Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (majkia)
    majkia: an equally dark landscape with complex characters
  6. 11
    Devices and Desires by K. J. Parker (Sedorner)
    Sedorner: While The Engineer Trilogy is nowhere near as bloody as The First Law trilogy, it's just as dark, deep and "realistic".
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English (103)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (111)
Showing 1-5 of 103 (next | show all)
This is Book One of a fantasy trilogy about a power struggle that is marked by violence, bloody torture, betrayal, evil, conspiracy, greed - well, you name the type of dark gritty depravity, and this series is replete with it. Nevertheless, I loved it.

For one thing, the author has chosen the most interesting characters for his “heroes” - very, very damaged people who combine jaw-dropping cruelty with compassion, hope, loyalty and love. You come to adore some of them, admire others, and retain a fascination for the intricacies of the rest. In addition, the author’s mastery of the exigencies of war and the realities of politics is most impressive.

Most of the people in this book are around age thirty, and most of them don’t attain many more years than that.

The "star" of the series is Logen Ninefingers, a famously courageous killer and cunning tactician with a penchant for inspirational aphorisms, a philosophical bent, a knack for making enemies, and, when not almost demonically possessed in battle, a very good and lovable man. When you are finished with this book, you won't be done with Logen, and will want to have the next two volumes in the series nearby! ( )
  nbmars | Aug 11, 2014 |
I found this compelling and witty. Abercrombie writes a diverse range of characters with unique voices, and best of all they're actually interesting. The only downside is that having finished this, I don't feel any compulsion to read the next one - I'm sure it's good too, but he doesn't leave you hanging in the way I'd expect. ( )
  Tilda.Tilds | Jul 23, 2014 |
Great start of the series, with extraordinary cast of characters :) ( )
  Me-chan | Jun 19, 2014 |
I couldn't put it down. Mature fantasy, dark, very dark. The characters are super interesting, and very well developed. Can't wait to start the second part of the trilogy! ( )
  chaghi | Jun 1, 2014 |
This is not your regular fantasy novel where good triumphs evil kind of adventure. The main characters themselves have questionable and sketchy backgrounds, none seemingly completely good or evil, which i think what makes most modern fantasy novels captivating. The writing is very good, descriptive and has a rhythm. At times the author can be very funny but those scenes does not detract from the over all feel of the book. The author has a knack for world building, making world into view with out the need for the customary map usually attached to this genre of novels. Although i wouldn't mind the map. This first book it seem is simply an introduction to all participating parties and barely touches on the epic adventure that is supposed to happen. The characters are so intriguing and different making each point of view a joy to read. the characters seem to grow very organically and don't step out of bounds from their characters which i LOVE! like i said earlier the book is more of an introduction but still the book is filled with epic battles and lots of intrigue, if anything else, it makes you want to really read the next books. ( )
  seaofsorrow | May 20, 2014 |
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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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:37 -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)

» see all 3 descriptions

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