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Blade Itself (First Law 1) by Joe…

Blade Itself (First Law 1) (edition 2007)

by Joe Abercrombie

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3,4171191,581 (4.08)128
Title:Blade Itself (First Law 1)
Authors:Joe Abercrombie
Info:Gollancz (2007), Edition: paperback / softback, Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

  1. 213
    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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English (110)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Finnish (1)  All languages (119)
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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 |
Great book, can't wait to continue the series! ( )
  Gonzalo8046 | Sep 29, 2014 |
About half-way through I put it down. I thought for sure something should be happening by then. Nope, boring. The cursing is juvenile and gives it a forced dialogue that is supposed to pass as "gritty". Nope, it's just shitty.

This guy read Gene Wolfe and thought, 'I can do that!'

Nope, he can't.

I might take it up another day. Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for a lame hack, and I'll tolerate it better later. I read The Davinci Code, after all.

Should you read it?

Nope. ( )
  DanielAlgara | Sep 26, 2014 |
The Basics

Sand dan Glokta is a torturer working for the Inquisition. Formerly a soldier and left a crippled husk after being captured by the enemy, he asks himself often why he’d turn to such grisly work. Logen Ninefingers is famous in the North for his savagery. He wishes now for a life not ruled by war and yet finds himself pulled into a mysterious quest by the First of the Magi, Bayaz, which will surely lead to more killing. Jezal dan Luthar is a smug, cocky, young soldier who has always had it easy. But things are about to change.

My Thoughts

I don’t know if I’ve ever written a “Basics” section that was quite so long, but I was determined to be thorough. And I still missed stuff! But it is “Basics”. I tell myself reassuringly.

This should give you an idea of how jam-packed this book is. Lots of characters are covered, and I even left out Ferro Maljinn, the vicious, revenge-fueled ex-slave. And Major Collem West, a commoner turned high-ranking officer. Every story here is deep and well-crafted. Each perspective is perfectly unique, even the writing style shifting subtly to accommodate the character. This book truly shines in the way it presents characters, their thoughts, their very essence.

I’m reminded quite a bit of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. The comparison is obvious, but I will say that Abercrombie presents his tale with a lighter tone. The humor comes a lot easier, and even the dire or heavy nature of events that take place throughout the book doesn’t leave you feeling weighed down. He’s presenting an adventure story in many respects, and it reads with that same, speedy pace even with the page count.

Still, don’t expect your granddad’s fantasy here. Everything you might expect, everything the tropes tell us should be, is subverted or played with or turned inside out. Jezal, who would normally be the hero in a tale like this, is insufferable. Glokta, who would normally be the villain, is very relatable. My favorite character actually. None of these characters fits neatly into a fantasy mold, and many of them make it clear that Abercrombie went into this venture with subversion in mind.

I loved this book. I’ve already read the second one, a review of which is coming. Honestly, he had me when the first dialogue in the book was a character in peril saying “shit”. If that doesn’t appeal, don’t even bother.

Final Rating

5/5 ( )
  Nickidemus | Sep 18, 2014 |
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"The blade itself incites to deeds of violence" - Homer
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.
‘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.'


'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.

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» see all 3 descriptions

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