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.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Before They Are Hanged (2007)

by Joe Abercrombie

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: First Law (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,6601292,427 (4.16)95
The second novel in the wildly popular First Law Trilogy from New York Times bestseller Joe Abercrombie. Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It's enough to make a torturer want to run -- if he could even walk without a stick. Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem -- he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world. And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters -- if they didn't hate each other quite so much. Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven -- but not before they are hanged.… (more)
Loading...

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

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 95 mentions

English (120)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (127)
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
Passable, but nothing to write home about. ( )
  mrbearbooks | Apr 22, 2024 |
Say one for Before They are Hanged; say it's a good book. ( )
  Thulan | Mar 4, 2024 |
The story continues to be interesting and the characters engaging. I'm looking forward to the next book. ( )
  Treebeard_404 | Jan 23, 2024 |
A good fantasy world with characters that build with depth and interest. I am a little surprised at how little fighting and battles there are. I look forward to the finale in book three. So many loose threads have been created in the first two books, that I wonder how Abercrombie will be able to tie things up neatly in one final novel. ( )
  wvlibrarydude | Jan 14, 2024 |
This second volume of The First Law trilogy breaks the unwritten law of fantasy trilogies, that the middle volume should be a bit of a disappointment or a lull between the bracketing main books. Instead, it has plenty of action, surprises and character development, as it follows the three main threads of West and the group of Northmen that Logen formerly led, the perils of Inquisitor now Superior Glokta, and the group of travellers led by the First of the Magi, Bayaz, which includes Logen, the southern escaped slave Ferro, and the arrogant young Jezal dan Luthar.

West has been posted to the army group "led" by the foppish and generally useless Crown Prince, Ladislas, heir to the throne, and his pack of cronies, while the rest of the army is commanded by West's competent but ailing superior, Lord Marshal Burr, who has to contend with two generals who hate each other. His ability to speak the Northern language means that it is he who deals with the small group of Logen's former Named Men, now led by Rudd Threetrees, who have volunteered to assist the Union army against the might of the self-styled king of the Northeners. West, who continues to suffer guilty recrimination at his lashing out at Ardee, his alcoholic sister, in book 1, eventually becomes instrumental to the resolution of the story (in volume 3) in a way that neither he nor the reader could guess at the time.

Glotka has been packed off to Dagoska, a coastal city on the southern continent, and a colony of the Union, to take on the thankless task of its defence against the might of the Gurkish Emperor, his army of thousands and his evil Prophet (really a fellow mage and enemy of Bayaz) plus undead superhuman zombie Eaters. To add spice, Glotka's predecessor has mysteriously disappeared and he is tasked with finding and punishing the guilty. Plus he must rebuild the defences without any money from his superior, Arch Lector Sult. Along the way, despite his preoccupations with his own infirmities, he discovers a grain of compassion in his character.

Bayaz leads his ragtag band on a long quest through the Old Empire to a remote island where they seek the Seed, a weapon made of the magic of the Other Side, created in the time before demons were banned from this side of reality. Along the way some of the characters change, or seem to, through their experiences.

I enjoyed this volume with the development of the various characters. At last it was explained exactly how Ferro is able to act like a comic superhero. Jezal, whom I disliked in book 1, became tolerable. And more was revealed about the long ago past when Bayaz's master Juvens was murdered by the Master Maker, including Bayaz's part in those events. Although, being the dark story that this is, not everything is as it seems, as book 3, which I finished before writing this review, has revealed.

The only thing that holds this back from a full five stars for me is the continuing lack of a role for believable women characters. Ardee, whom I find irritating, hasn't much of a role since, apart from anything else, the main action of the book is set well away from the capital. Ferro continues to be irritating for different reasons, although it becomes clearer why she is the way she is, and a bit part female character, Caitlin, shows signs of becoming interesting but then is killed off. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 120 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Abercrombieprimary authorall editionscalculated
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
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.
Quotations
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

The second novel in the wildly popular First Law Trilogy from New York Times bestseller Joe Abercrombie. Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It's enough to make a torturer want to run -- if he could even walk without a stick. Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem -- he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world. And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters -- if they didn't hate each other quite so much. Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven -- but not before they are hanged.

No library descriptions found.

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.
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (4.16)
0.5
1 8
1.5 4
2 23
2.5 12
3 188
3.5 73
4 733
4.5 117
5 529

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 204,719,622 books! | Top bar: Always visible