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The First Law Trilogy Boxed Set: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings Paperback – 30 Aug 2012

124 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1600 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575132590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575132597
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,352,292 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

Standalone:

Best Served Cold

Product Description

Book Description

A beautiful box set containing SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Joe Abercrombie's epic fantasy trilogy: THE BLADE ITSELF, BEFORE THEY ARE HANGED and LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Joe Abercrombie is a former freelance film editor turned full time Sunday Times bestselling author. He lives in Bath with his family.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Stressed Mike on 28 Oct. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed these books, could hardly put them down at one point. Barely noticed it was a trilogy, one book just flowed into another, without the normal reintroduction to the plot that you normally get with multi part novels. I loved all the characters, found the story enthralling, fast paced and action packed, and the writing style suited me perfectly (detailed, but not over descriptive). Then I got to the final chapters, and it all fell apart. The main themes suddenly end with very little explanation or detail, plot holes are hurriedly filled with out of place 'twists', and the character stories finish at best implausibably, or more often with no conclusion at all. I can't tell if the author was planning more books so leaving his options open, or simply reached the publishers word count and wrapped things up ASAP. Either way it left me feeling disappointed and cheated, and turned a 5 star epic into a 3-4 star decent effort. What a shame
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Collins on 16 Feb. 2015
Format: Paperback
Abercrombie has become my favourite author. The first Law is the best fantasy series I have read. (That Includes GoT and LoTR)

The characters are just amazing, I really cared about each one of them, especially Glokta.

Many reviews seem unhappy there was no Disney happy ending, but I think I like that.
(SPOILER) I wonder what happened to Salt in that room, I wonder if Logan ever found Ferro (assuming he survived), how long can Glokta (My favorite) remain Arch Lector with so many enemies.

I'm relived there are more Abercombie books for me to move onto, I'm not looking forward to running out.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really think that with all the fantasy books and series out there, giving any one if them five stars is already a pretty serious statement. More than five would indeed be something special, and if I could, I would give this series at least eight stars. First, there's the writing style. It's clear, crisp, and modern with the occasional bit of dialect thrown in for flavor. All the foreshadowing is a bit much, but it seems like at least some of it will be fulfilled in the second trilogy. Warning: minor spoilers: If the promise of a large Magi-influenced plot is fulfilled, then there's a star for excellent plotting as well. The insistence on humor in the darkest of scenes makes five, and I must say that the black comedy aspect is very well done indeed. Six stars goes for the detailed and three-dimensional character development, including, of course, the beautiful and rich cultural differences between the various peoples in the Circle of the World. This aspect is continued in the second trilogy as well, taking the reader to places on the map only mentioned in the first three books. I think seven stars would be for the world itself, which is comprehensively developed, if not yet fully understand and explored. And finally, eight is for the mystery. That's right. Mystery. I find that fantasy series often explain too much about how magic and all things supernatural work or how they can about. As a reader: I don't want to know. Well, actually, of course I do, but it often ruins the book when the author makes the reader privy to too much. No such problem here. Three-dimensionak characters, a plot full of twists and revenge-turns that would make George R. R. Martin proud, and the humor of a Guy Ritchie movie. This series is a must have, must read, must get sequel. Really, buy it and enjoy!!
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Format: Kindle Edition
In the previous two instalments, whilst I liked the books a great deal, there seemed to be little overarching direction to the series, particularly in the non-event that was the end of book two. So in the back of my mind was the niggling fear that this would come to a dissatisfying end. I'd LIKE to be able to report that luckily, thankfully, LAOK gives us a gut-punching, epic, splendidly cliche-defying end to this refreshingly contrary take on the fantasy epic. But that is (literally) not the whole story. Events of great import are dealt with dramatically, but just when you think the series is going to conclude on a real high it all goes slightly wrong.

As the story continues beyond the climax, there is inevitably huge expectation. For surely the only reason to continue in this fashion is to tie-up character arcs, to give meaning to the whole adventure? Its annoying but, without giving away spoilers, each concluding chapter is deeply dissatisfying. You have become so involved with these characters over the course of three books that you just want to know their final destination. Every ending, to every character arc - whilst in a sense true to the story - feels like it breaks the covenant between author and reader. We expected more than this, dammit! The characters entirely dictate the story's direction, with a stubborn refusal to allow a guiding hand to shape the narrative into something more affecting. I've never experienced an author who is so utterly ruthlessness in his treatment of his characters before, a trait which is both wonderful and terrible. In those post-script chapters, when you WANT a little comforting cliche, Joe Abercrombie chooses to confound expectations in his usual manner with something less prosaic.
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