HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law…
Loading...

The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1 (edition 2007)

by Joe Abercrombie (Author)

Series: The First Law (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,6901971,347 (4.05)162
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)
Member:SmithLibrarian
Title:The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
Authors:Joe Abercrombie (Author)
Info:Gollancz (2007), Edition: New Ed, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work details

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

  1. 244
    A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin (MyriadBooks, Navarone, martlet)
  2. 50
    The Way of Shadows by Brent Weeks (ghilbrae)
  3. 40
    The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch (KittyFiend)
  4. 20
    Diplomat of Uram by Richard R. Matthews (Emily_Hartman)
  5. 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.
  6. 32
    Gardens of the Moon by Steven Erikson (majkia)
    majkia: an equally dark landscape with complex characters
  7. 21
    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".
  8. 00
    Solace Lost by Michael Sliter (whitewavedarling)
  9. 00
    The Dragon's Path by Daniel Abraham (Scottneumann)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 162 mentions

English (183)  German (6)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Finnish (1)  Catalan (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
My Dad foisted the Joe Abercrombie books on me as revenge for getting him hooked on Martin's the Song of Ice and Fire. And, as for a book in the "tits, blood and scowling" genre of fiction, the first book in "the First Law" trilogy is surprisingly good.

I'm not a huge fantasy fan. If I'm going to read fantasy, I want it to be something more than the old Raymond E. Feist books. I want wars and politics and backstabbing and good stuff! Less magic, fewer fairies and unicorns, and more stabbings. More sweep of history with real people, less magic spells. The Abercrombie books fill that bill: not much in the way of sex (none in the first book) but plenty of battles, lots of blood, and tons of politics. We've have the fantasy tropes here: the barbarian/ranger, the mysterious Gandalf-like mage and his apprentice, the whiny handsome nobleman with the flashing sword, the evil kings and corrupt empires. But then we have the Inquisitor, once a jumped up nobleman himself but after being a POW not so jumped up any more, and the politics of the Throne, and wars, and the hard men of the North. Put together into a stew and churn and what comes out is a story with some cool characters and a story that moves along. The world is well realized with plenty of history and backstory and politics with the races being the races of men instead of guys with pointy ears.

The Blade Itself is clearly the first third of a book too big to publish as one standing novel. It is all setup with no conclusions or follow-through. As all setup, it's a compelling read but again, the book just sort of ends with the expectation that the reader will go grab the next one. Sort of the way the Song of Ice and Fire books just sort of end -- stuff and things happen but nothing gets wrapped.

It's worth it to go for the next book. Recommend for people who like their fantasy books to read more like historical novels than fairy tales. ( )
  multiplexer | Jun 20, 2021 |
On Josh's recommendation, picked this up. A darker, more convoluted take than usual of some cleverly turned fantasy tropes. I'd call it more potboiler than Serious Literature, though it's got aspirations to both. ( )
  qBaz | May 28, 2021 |
Not going to lie, for the first 50 pages or so I pretty much hated everyone except Logen. As much as I love massively arrogant pricks (although I don't think Luthar changed much) and torturers (actually, Glokta was a little disturbing for the entire first half, now that I think about it)...

I mean, I do understand where both of them were coming from -- after I got past my own discomfort with the torture-ish scenes I grew to become fond of Glokta's black humor, and I was pleasantly surprised by Luthar's transformation to not-entirely-but-still-very-much-an-asshole after Ardee West was introduced. Just saying, they almost made me put this down in the beginning, before I had gotten to those points.

Fortunately that stopped after a bit, and I slowly grew to love this book. Joe Abercrombie's writing is the one thing that I would sell this with -- there's just something about it that completely immerses you in what the characters are thinking and doing, to the point that I could almost tell who was narrating just from how it was written. I especially liked his (frequent) italicized descriptions of what a character was thinking as they were speaking; at some points his/their dry sarcasm had me laughing out loud.

This all extends to Ferro Maljinn, by the way. For one of the "core" characters (in terms of our merry band of adventurers on their journey to Who the Hell Knows Where), I don't see her mentioned much, even if it's expected given that she's the focus of fewer chapters. Hopefully that changes (I can't imagine it won't, it was just a strange omission in all of the descriptions I've read).

Bayaz is essentially the perfect understated know-it-all wizard type (e.g. being mocked as a fraud mercilessly, blows up a chair without lifting a finger, awed silence, makes innocent comment and goes back to eating soup, etc.) and I'm really excited to see where the next books go based on how his story (well, the entire series, really) has been set up. I can almost picture exactly how he and the rest of the characters would be in real life, he's just written so well. The chapters in the House of the Maker were my favorites for exactly this reason.

Overall, definitely one that I'm going to get a personal copy of in the future, and the next books have jumped a few spots ahead of the rest on my to-read list. ( )
  katie.kloss | Apr 25, 2021 |
This book starts very slow and the pacing doesn't get much better. It feels very much like a prologue, a six-hundred-word prologue. Think stock D&D characters who gradually assemble in a tavern (or in this case city) to begin their campaign which is in the next book.
The writing is repetitive and half of Glokta's dialogue is in his head. Mostly, I put this to poor editing as this is the author's first book. It's not a bad book, but it's also not great. Mostly generic fantasy. I may continue the series to see if it gets better or try some of Mr. Abercrombie's other work. I read one of his short stories recently that was excellent. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Apr 13, 2021 |
I raced through this book from the first page to the last, happily captivated. In fact, it’s remarkable that it’s taken me this long. I’ve read and enjoyed other works by Joe Abercrombie, and his First Law trilogy seems to be widely regarded as a modern classic of fantasy. I should have come to it much earlier. It blends elements of sword-and-sorcery with court politics and, though it does little but lay the foundations of the plot for the rest of the series, it introduces us to a series of deliciously complex characters. This first instalment drops us into a world peopled by fantasy tropes, who gradually develop into rounded, complex individuals before our eyes, treated both with wit and compassion...

For the full review, please see my blog:
https://theidlewoman.net/2021/01/01/the-blade-itself-2006-joe-abercrombie/ ( )
  TheIdleWoman | Mar 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» 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
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
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
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

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...

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (4.05)
0.5 3
1 25
1.5 1
2 55
2.5 15
3 237
3.5 93
4 755
4.5 119
5 546

GenreThing

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 160,295,633 books! | Top bar: Always visible