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The Blade Itself

by Joe Abercrombie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The First Law (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,1732141,314 (4.05)171
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers. Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men. And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed... ...especially when Bayaz gets involved. 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 Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...… (more)
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» See also 171 mentions

English (198)  German (6)  Spanish (3)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (212)
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
Amazing! Simply amazing! After being told all over the place that I need to read this book, I got myself a copy and I can now see why. I enjoyed most the style of the inner monologues—especially Glokta, who ended up being my favorite. And the group of Named Men? They really grow on ya.

I was a little concerned that a Certain Character wouldn't live up to the fact he is listed as being one of reddit's favorite gritty characters but at the end... yea, yea I get it.

Polished the book off. Bought the second and third one immediately. ( )
  SublimeSardonyx | Jul 1, 2022 |
My goal is to try some new things with what I read this year. I gave this an honest try, but it's just not my thing.
  jdiggity83 | Jun 23, 2022 |
Where to start? Because The First Blade was my first experience with Joe Abercrombie, I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. Due to the stellar reviews and ratings, I had high expectations going in. Those expectations were met and exceeded. I love a book with strong characters, and the character development in The Blade Itself is fantastic. I enjoyed switching between the different character perspectives, and would find myself wondering about the other groups and what they were up to. The action scenes were well written and immersive. In short, I can't wait to continue on with the series.

My plan was to read The Blade Itself as a quick break from the Dark Tower series, BUT now I want to keep reading The First Law series instead. Decision, decisions.

On the recommendation of a fellow Goodreads member I listened to this. I have to say, I am glad I did - the narration by Steven Pacey was phenomenal. Steven is perfectly suited to the story content and gave an amazing voice to the characters. ( )
  NicholeReadsWithCats | Jun 17, 2022 |
3.5/5

Recensione su BookLover

Logen Novedita scappa dal suo popolo che lo crede morto, avventurandosi in terre sconosciute. Qui vine a contatto con Bayaz, il Primo Mago, e il suo apprendista Quai.
Jezal dan Luthar si allena per la Contesa, e pensa che quella sia l'unica cosa più complessa e pericolosa che possa capitargli. Si sbaglia. Presto dovrà abbandonare tutto ciò che conosce per imbarcarsi in un'avventura di cui avrebbe fatto a meno.
Ferro è una schiava in fuga. L'unica cosa che conosce è la violenza e la voglia di sopravvivere. La vendetta è ciò che la spinge ad andare avanti, ma c'è qualcos'altro in serbo per lei.
Sand dan Glokta pensa che la sua vita sia terminata: storpio e senza amici, il suo lavoro di Inquisitore lo porta su una strada pericolosa.
Il Maggiore West, invece, è alle prese con una guerra che sconvolgerà sia il Nord che l'Unione, e che si appresta a cadere rovinosamente sulle spalle di tutti i personaggi.

Insomma, molta carne al fuoco. E anche un po' confusionario, all'inizio. Ma, personalmente, credo che il tutto si leghi e si completi egregiamente negli ultimi capitoli del primo volume, facendoci iniziare un'avventura che si prospetta pericolosa e interessante assieme.
All'inizio non ero molto presa, anche per via dello stile e della traduzione, che ho trovato pesanti e che non mi permettevano di leggere per lunghi periodi. Però, dopo un po' ci si abitua e l'attenzione si sposta sui personaggi.
Ho trovato molto interessante la parte riguardante la storia del mondo creato da Abercrombie, e il ruolo che la Magia ha in esso. I Maghi non sono esattamente amabili, ma sono diversi rispetto a quello che ci si aspetta, ed è una cosa che ho apprezzato.

I personaggi. Ah. Poco amabili, per usare un eufemismo, dal primo all'ultimo. Specialmente Jezal e Ferro, che non sopporto assolutamente.
Più che amarli per le loro qualità, li si detesta per i loro difetti e per la loro stupidità. Gli unici personaggi che mi sono davvero piaciuti sono Logen e Glokta. Entrambi scappano da un passato che è diventato un fardello, cercando di vivere le loro nuove vite al meglio, l'uno provando a non sapere nulla di quello che gli riserva il futuro, l'altro con la voglia di sapere quello che gli accade attorno.
Ferro mi è risultata antipatica non solo per la sua sete di sangue e vendetta, che magari in un altro personaggio mi sarebbero piaciuti, ma per la sua stupidità assoluta. Mi riferisco ad un episodio in particolare, che però è uno spoiler.
Jezal... È un personaggio piuttosto vanitoso e mi sa di delusione. Non so perché, è il personaggio che reputo con più difetti e non mi dispiacerebbe vederlo morire. Così, tanto per mettere le cose in chiaro.
E West... West all'inizio mi piaceva, ma poi è risultato in difetto quanto gli altri. Anche se detesto di più sua sorella Ardee. Non posso dire cosa penso di lei, ma potreste capire leggendo il libro...
Bayaz per me è abbastanza nella zona grigia, e non so ancora se mi piaccia o meno. Lo scoprirò leggendo il secondo volume, spero. È sicuramente molto complesso e interessante, ma anche (come molti altri personaggi) facile all'ira e non del tutto chiaro nei suoi motivi.
Insomma, i protagonisti di questa storia non sono affatto facili da amare, semmai il contrario. Eppure sembrano reali e la storia ci spinge a volerne sapere di più.

Come ho detto, lo stile non mi piace tanto, ma è comprensibile. Di solito, il primo libro di un autore non è la perfezione, ecco. Soprattutto se letto tradotto e non in originale. Spero migliori coi prossimi volumi!

Insomma, consigliato, ma ho ancora qualche dubbio! ( )
  thereadingpal | Jun 14, 2022 |
The blade itself is one of the better fantasy books I've read recently - and I am pleased that it is part of a trilogy, so there is more to come.

The characters are well drawn, none of them fall into the categories "too good to be true" or "absolutely evil villain" - they come in various shades of grey. The author does a good job to describe the characters, their motives, aims and problems. We have a barbarian who lost almost everything and just wants the fighting to end, an inquisitor who used to be a champion until he was caught and tortured by the enemy, an arrogant, selfish and inexperienced noble - it would take too long to describe them all in detail here. None of them would qualify as prince charming, as a person I would choose to become a friend in real life - but I got to like them over the course of the book, even (or especially) those behaving in a morally questionable way. One of the downsides is the total lack of interesting female characters. The only women here are a former slave trying to hate and distrust the whole world and the sister of an army officer, the love interest of our previously mentioned noble.

The setting is much darker, much more realistic than some of the older fantasy settings. Fights are dirty and bloody, the politic situation is unstable at best with barbarians threatening from the north and old enemies raising again in the south, many different factions try to gain advantages over the others - some are successful, others die trying.

The author manages to create a good mixture of setting describtion (not too much, just enough to make the world become a vivid place), character interaction, dirty action scenes and humorous elements. I found myself laughing out loud or grinning quite often over the course of the book. The writing style is lacking a bit - but this is a first work, I think the author has great potential. ( )
  Ellemir | May 25, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 198 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Abercrombie, Joeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Borchardt, KirstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
García Bercero, BorjaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pacey, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ruth, GregCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers. Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men. And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed... ...especially when Bayaz gets involved. 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 Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...

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