The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 3.30

More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

Start reading The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1 [Paperback]

Joe Abercrombie BA
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
You Save: 3.96 (44%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
In stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Friday, 5 Sept.? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 6.29  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 6.29  
Paperback, 8 Mar 2007 5.03  
Audio Download, Unabridged 13.10 or Free with 30-day free trial

Book Description

8 Mar 2007

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 . . .

Frequently Bought Together

The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1 + Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2 + Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three
Price For All Three: 17.61

Buy the selected items together

Product details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New Ed edition (8 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575079797
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079793
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (289 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

UK fantasy writer Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings, as well as the standalone fantasy Best Served Cold.

Joe now lives in Bath with his wife, Lou, and his daughters Grace and Eve. He still occasionally edits concerts and music festivals for TV, but spends most of his time writing edgy yet humorous fantasy novels.

Here are the First Law Trilogy in series order:

The Blade Itself
Before They Are Hanged
The Last Argument of Kings


Best Served Cold

Product Description


I might not end up marrying this book, but I'm certainly infatuated with it right at the moment. It's delicious, the characters sharply drawn and their motivations believable, the clash of cultures (always particularly difficult for an author to pull off) believable as well. (Lilith Saintcrow)

There is a gritty edge to his world and an awareness of the human cost of violence that is very contemporary (The Times)

Delightfully twisted and evil (The Guardian)

The Blade Itself is a page-turner powered by a combination of fast-paced action and juicy doses of cynicism. Perhaps more remarkable, however, is the way Abercrombie sets the scene (Edge Magazine)

There's a fat vein of cynicism and dark humour throughout. The action scenes are fast-paced and the violence takes its toll both mentally and physically. A great start to a long journey' (Dreamwatch)

You'd never guess that The Blade Itself is Joe Abercrombie's debut novel. He writes like a natural. There are great characters, sparky dialogue, an action-packed plot, and from the very first words and an opening scene that is literally a cliff-hanger, you know you are in for a cheeky, vivid, exhilarating ride (Starburst)

An admirably hard, fast and unpretentious read from debut author Joe Abercrombie. Packs a mean punch in the bloodthirsty mayhem and mystery departments. Crammed full of torture, vengeance and bad behaviour, it's a lively tale of savagery vs. civilisation. The Blade Itself may not reinvent the wheel, but it does serve up a whole banquet of violent action and intrigue' (SFX)

The star of the show is doubtlessly Inquisitor Glotka for simply being one of the most wonderfully bitter and cynical characters I've come across. With a very funny and clever internal monologue going on during every conversation he has, Glotka's as miserable and nasty at the end as he was to start with and, especially in a heroic fantasy novel, it works perfectly (SF Crowsnest)

Book Description

Striking debut novel with all the cynicism, realism and punch the fantasy genre has been missing.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
137 of 144 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent debut novel. 3 Sep 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
At first glance The Blade Itself is pretty old-school: it's book one of a trilogy (entitled The First Law; the second volume, Before They Are Hanged, is out now, to be followed by The Last Argument of Kings in March 2008), it features an old wizard mentor character and a barbarian hero as well as an untried youth, a feisty young woman and an army of nasty barbarians on the march in the north, whilst a resurgent desert empire threatens our heroes' homeland - the Midderland Union - from the south. There's also the threat of a non-human species gathering its forces beyond the northern-most reach of humankind's lands (isn't there always?).

Yet Abercrombie invests these storylines with vigour and energy. None of our heroes are quite what they first appear to be and the author expertly deconstructs them throughout the book, revealing their true motivations when you last expect it. Abercrombie is also a dab hand are writing excellent battle scenes and swordfights. There is also a hint of otherwordly alieness in this book, such as the scenes set in the House of the Maker which are quite memorable. The only major complaint I had about the book is the lack of a map. Most fantasy novels with a map don't really need them, but with military campaigns getting underway it would be nice to tell exactly where Adua is in relation to the Northlands, and where both are in relation to Dagoska, for example. But this is a minor complaint at best.

By the end of the book the pace has been ramped up to a compelling level, as our heroes depart in different directions to face their various destinies and full-scale war seems about to erupt on all sides. The Blade Itself is a tremendously enjoyable novel and I count myself fortunate to have read it late enough in the day to only have a brief wait for the second book.
Was this review helpful to you?
67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blunt Force Trauma Fantasy 29 Jun 2010
Joe Abercrombie was recommended to me by a friend who has also been reading fantasy for a long time. He knew I was a huge fan of David Gemmell and said there were some similarities between his and Abercrombie's work; a certain level of grittiness, grey characters and an unpredictable plot. If Brent Weeks writes dark fantasy or crime fantasy, then Abercrombie's is definitely gritty fantasy or maybe blunt force trauma fantasy. Marketing people love labels, and sometimes they can be annoying, but in this case it tells you exactly what to expect. A shock to the system that will leave you reeling and bloody afterwards.

At first you might think The Blade Itself is a Me Too book as two of the characters are a battered warrior and a cranky old wizard. However, another main character is a torturer, someone who was himself a victim of torture, so much so that he is now crippled and in constant pain. And if someone were to kill him it would almost be a relief, because there would be an end to his daily suffering. Glokta was a former golden boy, a swordsman of renown who was captured by the enemy and broken in their cells. He didn't slaughter an army single-handed and fight his way home. If that's the kind of fantasy story you're expecting then look elsewhere. What emerged from the enemy cells not only looked different but inside Glokta was a new, very twisted man. This bitterness might sound depressing but in fact Glokta's dark sense of humour and internal monologue is some of the funniest material in the series. In any good book, no matter the genre, if it's dark you need some comedy or an undercurrent of black comedy to make it less depressing and Glokta delivers this.

What emerged for me throughout this book is how human Abercrombie makes his characters.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Characters 31 Jan 2009
Usually when a book has many good reviews and I agree with them, I don't bother adding my voice to the throng. However, in this case I'll make an exception because I enjoyed this trilogy enormously. Not what I'd call hardcore fantasy, but a great story set in a fantasy environment. Many others here have sung the praises of these books in detail. What really sets them apart from most fiction I've read - the characters. Outstanding. Superb. The most interesting, funny, realistic, complex characters I've read in a long time. I think I read someone compared the author's writing to Dickens. I thought - come on - are you insane? After reading this, I think they must've been talking about the characters. Truly Mr. Abercrombie is in the same parish as Dickens when it comes to characters. Sand den Glokta is the most interesting character I've ever read outside Dickens. Jezel, Ardee, "Ninefingers" the Dogman... all great. After reading this along with "Before They are Hanged" and "Last Argument of Kings", I'm looking forward to his next book.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing fantasy novel! 29 May 2009
By Dondero
I decided to give this book a go having read some favourable reviews on a fantasy literature website, and having got somewhat bored of the traditional fantasy genre.

I really enjoyed this book, the characters were well written with strong personalities, and the plot was full of mystery and intrigue. My favourite character would have to be Inquisitioner Glokta, his cynicism and sarcasm made me laugh out loud at times. Each of the characters seems to have an interesting history, and how they all mesh together makes for a gripping read.

This is an excellent debut novel, and sets the scene well for the second book in the series, which I'm really looking forward to reading. I'm expecting great things of it!

I'd recommend this book for anyone who's feeling a bit jaded about the typical fantasy template that most authors these days seem to churn out. There's still plenty of swords and sorcery here, but written in a modern and refreshing way!
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Published 2 days ago by Annie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by Andy Griffiths
5.0 out of 5 stars Glad I bought it? Am I ever :)
Move over Mr RR Martin-I forget the titles of yours!! Where have I been? Have I done a Rip Van Special? Read more
Published 21 days ago by c preece
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody Nine
Bought the other two of the trilogy the next week
Published 22 days ago by Mr. C. Benson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Enjoyed the series .
Published 1 month ago by Haus Frau
5.0 out of 5 stars Takes me back to the best of Moorcock
All Killer No Filler. Will get judged by the GOT crowd (yes i have read the whole series) for me Joes style is way more dynamic and visual. Who needs a map! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Simon R. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent piece of writing
Really well written, gripping book.

Enjoyed this from first to last. I could barely put it down! Great characters, excellent story.
Published 1 month ago by Edward Finn
5.0 out of 5 stars ... a lot of reviews regarding this book and how great it is and how...
I've been reading a lot of reviews regarding this book and how great it is and how it is among the best fantasy books of this century. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Spyros Kamilalis
1.0 out of 5 stars A very dull and pointless grouping of words
Purchased this book on the back of a - 'Similar to' referral. Well it wasn't. I found it to be a very dull and pointless grouping of words. Read more
Published 1 month ago by FullovStars
1.0 out of 5 stars Warning - no ending!
Although this first part of the First Law trilogy is quite an entertaining read, you need to be warned. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gary P. Chapman
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category