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Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
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Before They Are Hanged (original 2007; edition 2007)

by Joe Abercrombie

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2,094533,153 (4.19)62
Member:mrko
Title:Before They Are Hanged
Authors:Joe Abercrombie
Info:Gollancz (2007), Edition: 1ST, Paperback, 448 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****1/2
Tags:fantasy

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Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie (2007)

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Showing 1-5 of 51 (next | show all)
What a fun ride this second entry in the First Law Trilogy was. In Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie, the characters that were introduced in the first book have now been divided into three separate groups and each has gone off on a dangerous mission. The chapters jump from group to group, each group finding themselves in more and more danger.

My favorite character is Logen Nine-Fingers a fierce warrior from the north, who is part of a small group travelling to the end of the known world, assisting the magician Bayaz on his secret mission. Colonel West has been sent north with an ill equipped, ill trained army under the command of a weak but glory-hungry prince, but he does connect with the five independent Northmen and together, they may be able to reach safety. Meanwhile Inquisitor Gloka is busy trying to hold the southern city port of Dagoska from the Gurkish horde that has parked itself at the city gates while also trying to unearth the traitor that is known to be among the city council.

As the blurb on the back of the book says, “Breathtaking moments, great characters, and grim laughs”. Before They Are Hanged is a gritty and violent tale that is full of delightful twists and turns. I can hardly wait for the third volume. ( )
  DeltaQueen50 | Jul 16, 2014 |
Better then the first one, and that one was really good :) ( )
  Me-chan | Jun 19, 2014 |
It was as good as the first part. I enjoyed it a lot! I'm really into Abercrombie's writing style: interesting characters, lots of action, a good story, not very predictable, some suspense. And above it all, it's fun. Twisted, yes... but fun. ( )
  chaghi | Jun 1, 2014 |
One of thebest character driven stories I've read! This book had more action in it that the first and has is not your typical adventure story, there are hidden secrets, dark histories, and grit to the story. Logen, Ferro, and Glokta are still my favorite characters, West and the rest of the Northemen are right up there. You probably could read this by itself but you would miss out on a really good book. I suggest reading the first...i will be continuing on the the "Last Arguement of Kings," then to the off shoot books.... ( )
  seaofsorrow | May 20, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Before They are Hanged begins just where The Blade Itself left off and continues the stories of Logen, West, Jezal, Ferro, Bayaz, Glokta, and company. Expect more of the same in this novel: brutal fighting, sickening torture, nasty politics, ruthless characters, and barbarian grammar.

This recipe mostly works -- the plot is interesting, the pace is fast, there's a bit of humor, and the characters are well-developed and continue to grow. I certainly enjoyed the story. There were a few things, however, that keep me from giving this novel (and the series) "favorite" status.

First, the writing needs a bit more polish. I find it jarring to read sentences which are missing antecedents or punctuation:

* "He glanced sideways and caught Luthar's eye, licking his lips nervously in the gloom, wet hair plastered to his face." (I don't know whose lips are being licked here.)

* "Jezal half expected a string of drool to escape from his toothless mouth it was hanging open so wide."

* "Now it came to the test there was an invisible wall between them."

Second, much of the language was vulgar and uncouth (e.g., use of "tits" instead of "breasts" in both dialogue and narration) and the sex scenes, which involved mostly grunting and cussing, seemed more like animal than human couplings. I realize that this was the tone that Mr. Abercrombie was going for, but some of it was unpalatable.

Third, some of the secondary characters' bad personalities were over-the-top. I felt like this was a technique used to give the main characters, who have few benevolent qualities of their own, a nobility boost. I am having trouble truly liking any of the main characters (except Logen -- I like him), but I do sense that they are being slowly developed and I hope I'll like them better in Last Argument of Kings.

Last, I've said it before: I NEED A MAP! Why can't I have a map?

Gee, I've complained more than praised, but I did enjoy Before They are Hanged for all the reasons I enjoyed The Blade Itself. I'm just explaining why I can't give The First Law the five stars that so many other reviewers (here and elsewhere) have. Tomorrow I will purchase Last Argument of Kings. Perhaps that is praise enough.

Read more Joe Abercrombie book reviews at Fantasy Literature . ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
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Epigraph
"We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged." - Heinrich Heine
Dedication
For the Four Readers

You know who you are
First words
Damn mist. It gets in your eyes, so you can’t see no more than a few strides ahead. It gets in your ears, so you can’t hear nothing, and when you do you can’t tell where it’s coming from. It gets up your nose, so you can’t smell naught but wet and damp. Damn mist. It’s a curse on a scout.
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to the English one.
Aber wenn man, sagen wir mal, auf einer weiten, großen Ebene mitten im großen Nichts in einen Kampf gerät, der sich nicht vermeiden lässt, dann versuche ich, drei Regeln zu folgen. Erstens: Tut Euer Bestes, wie ein Feigling, ein Schwächling und ein Narr zu wirken. Schweigen ist die beste Rüstung eines Kriegers, heißt es. Ein hartes Äußeres und schlagkräftige Worte haben noch nie eine Schlacht gewonnen, aber einige verloren. [...] Zweitens: Betrachtet niemanden als einen leichten Gegner, ganz gleich, wie ungeschlacht er wirken mag. Behandelt jeden Mann, als sei er zweimal so klug, so stark und so schnell wie Ihr, und dann werdet möglicherweiseangenehm überrascht. Respekt kostet nichts, und nichts bringt einen Mann schneller um als Selbstbewusstsein." [...] Drittens: Beobachtet Euren Gegner so genau, wie Ihr könnt, und hört auf die Meinung anderer, aber wenn Ihr einmal einen Plan gefasst habt, dann haltet an ihm fest und lasst Euch durch nichts davon abbringen. Wenn die Zeit kommt, um zuzuschlagen, dann solltet Ihr das tun, ohne zurückzublicken. Verzögerung ist aller Katastrophen Anfang, pflegte mein Vater immer zu sagen, und glaubt mir, ich habe ein paar Katastrophen miterlebt.
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Book description
Colonel West battles Northmen that invade Angland, inquisitor Glotka has a complicated and dangerous assignment defending the Union in Dagoska, and the magus Bayaz, leading a party that includes Jezal dan Luthar and Logen, seeks a relic that will allow him to enter the demon realm.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0575082011, Paperback)

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is utterly unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone the cream of his forces. In the heat-ravaged south the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta. The city is braced for the inevitable defeat and massacre to come, preparations are made to make the Gurkish pay for every inch of land ...but a plot is festering to hand the city to its beseigers without a fight, and the previous Inquisitor of Dagoska vanished without trace. Threatened from within and without the city, Glokta needs answers, and he needs them soon. And to the east a small band of malefactors travel to the edge of the world to reclaim a device from history - a Seed, hidden for generations - with tremendous destructive potential. A device which could put a end to war, to the army of Eaters in the South, to the invasion of Shanka from the North - but only if it can be found, and only if its power can be controlled ...

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:00:06 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Superior Glokta has a problem. How can he defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when his allies can by no means be trusted? Ancient secrets will be uncovered and bitter enemies will be forgiven--but not before they are hanged--in this sequel to "The Blade Itself."… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 4 descriptions

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