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Blade Itself (First Law 1) by Joe…
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Blade Itself (First Law 1) (edition 2007)

by Joe Abercrombie

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,4561231,553 (4.08)129
Member:adrasad
Title:Blade Itself (First Law 1)
Authors:Joe Abercrombie
Info:Gollancz (2007), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

  1. 214
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 20
    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (ghilbrae)
  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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Showing 1-5 of 113 (next | show all)
Wow. When I first started this book I wasn’t sure where it was going to go, but it took me on a ride. This is like an epic fantasy story where characters from all over the world are matched together to go on an adventure to save something. Except in this case its more gory than usual. I really enjoyed the array of characters. None of them are heroes that never get hurt or are brave all the time. They are all very human which was great. There were a few times in the beginning of the book that I wondered if there was a book or series I was supposed to have read before this one. But I think that is just how Abercrombie writes maybe; you learn about the characters and their history throughout the book not just in the beginning. New and interesting things that change your perspective of the characters. You hardly know what they look like until halfway through the book when another character finally describes what they are seeing. It is very interesting. I am very anxious to get to the second book in the trilogy. ( )
  Kassilem | Jul 15, 2015 |
I’m glad I finally got a chance to start this series and what a beginning this is. I’ve read Heroes and it was wonderful to go back to the start and see how these characters were first introduced. Warning – Swears ahead.

So normally I’m a bit of a plot fiend. I need it, want it, got to got to have it. So it was a surprise when I found myself two hundred pages in and thought ‘hang on what’s actually going on in this thing”. Quick check of the blurb revealed it was about four major characters and I had established that but there was little to nothing in terms of telling me what the overall deal was. There was conspiracies being uncovered by the sympathetic and ingenious Glotka, a man with such a horrific past that you cannot help but be on his side despite the way he delights in torturing confessions from anyone he suspects. Jezel, a man struggling to find the motivation to leave a life of drinking and whoring behind in order to win THE fencing competition and fulfil his potential. Logan, known as the Bloody Nine and a character I had heard of only in reputation, spends much of the book wandering around enjoying the fact that he continues to live his shitty life. One would expect a story that begins with a troop of men losing their leader to address this plot point and would at some stage happen write a scene whereby they upon their leader again, especially when they were often only removed by a single degree of separation, but no, and strangely enough I had no problem with any of this. I have given up on books much shorter because 100 pages in, I didn’t know enough to continue, so why was I so content to just let the events play out as Joe saw fit?

Fucked if I know to be honest!

All I know is that as I put down The Blade Itself I was picking up Before They Were Hanged and as I write this I am half way though. Joe has written such a range of magnificent multi dimensional characters that the fact that there is a war being fought on several fronts by our protagonists seems unimportant compared to what they are going through moment to moment. I was utterly invested at all times and I am so stoked I have another three or four books to read to complete this series. I can see myself reading them all back to back and then finishing with a reread of Heroes.

This review and more like it can be found at www.areadingmachine.com ( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
After much indecision, I'm going to pick up the next book in this series, but only because I have a crush on Ninefingers - barely interested in any of the other characters/storylines. I like how you're reintroduced to several of the characters through another's biases, but can't say much else positive about his writing style. Am I reading too much fascinating nonfiction to be engrossed by fantasy or just picking poorly lately? ( )
  dandelionroots | Jun 22, 2015 |
Una de las características de Abercrombie que más valoran sus lectores, además de su humor negro, es su construcción de los personajes. Es innegable que los personajes de La primera ley tienen más grises que muchos protagonistas de otras novelas de fantasía, pero, ¿de verdad necesitaba el autor más de 600 páginas para presentarlos? Abercrombie ha sabido definir el carácter y circunstancias de cada uno de los personajes en un par de capítulos, ¿por qué alargar la introducción de la historia de 6 personajes durante todo un primer tomo de, insisto, más de 600 páginas? No pude evitar pensar que quizá podría haberme enterado bien de la historia empezando por el segundo libro y haberme ahorrado así, un kilo de paja.

No abandoné esta lectura porque me parecía un error no darle una oportunidad a la historia que estaba a punto de empezar, y creo que hice bien. Lo cierto es que ha mejorado mucho con el tiempo (el tercer libro es mejor que el segundo, y este mejor que el primero). Sin embargo, no volveré a acercarme a ningún libro de Abercrombie en un tiempecito.
( )
  L0r0 | Mar 22, 2015 |
In theme and setting this is pretty traditional fantasy. The Empire is a dominant force, ruled by a worthless king but actually controlled by a small group of councillors that are always conspiring for power. The Empire is threatened by barbarians to the north and by a rival desert empire to the south. Evil magic is rising too. Nothing really new in all that. This book is about assembling the cast - the barbarian warrior/berserker, the southern warrior exile, the great wizard, the Empire dandy. A lot of time is spent describing the Empire and assembling the heroes. If you expect a lot to happen that isn't mundane travelling or scene-setting, you'll be disappointed. This book keeps things moving a long while not a whole lot of substance happens. Even so, its a decent story. Its well written and engaging and I'm looking forward to the next one. ( )
  Karlstar | Nov 8, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 113 (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)

(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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