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135 Reviews
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55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable continuation of the storyline
Before They Are Hanged is the second book in The First Law Trilogy and the sequel to The Blade Itself. In this middle volume of the sequence, Before They Are Hanged picks up the storylines left dangling from the first novel and develops them further. As with the first book, this volume often feels like a 'standard' fantasy novel with lots of standard tropes in use, but...
Published on 8 Jun 2007 by A. Whitehead

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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor characters not achieving much
For the first 150 pages not a lot happens, and then all the battles get going - that you've been waiting the whole of the first book for, and a fair bit of the second. The middle of the book is great, exciting, strong adventure. Then the events we'd been waiting for finish and there's a bit of a lull, followed by a brief battle at the end.

It all feels...
Published 6 months ago by Kublai


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5.0 out of 5 stars a great read, 31 Oct 2013
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This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2 (Paperback)
I enjoyable read for anyone who likes sci fantasy. I have now read several by this author and can totally recommend them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two, 25 Oct 2013
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Great continuation the story keeps evolving, now starting on the third book in the series and it looks as good as the first two
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great second novel, 8 Oct 2013
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2 (Paperback)
Before they are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie is an excellent second book in the First law Trilogy.

In this book all of the characters are firmly set on their particular journeys that they began in the first novel. Bayaz has drawn together his companions, Ninefingers, Jezal, Ferro, Longfoot and Quai, and has set out in search of a weapon to use against the real enemy behind the looming threat hanging over the kingdom. Meanwhile Gloktor has been sent to save the city of Dagoska from attack whilst at the same time finding his way to the centre of a conspiracy that threatens his life. Finally Major West has gone north where he has the terrible misfortune of being paired with the largely useless crown Prince Ladislar as they take on Bethod and his Northmen.

This book is a thoroughly enjoying read that moves each story arc on nicely. As with the first book, the true strength of this novel lies in the brilliance of its characters. Each character is well written, unique and best of all they grow with the story. Each one is affected and changed by the decisions and journeys that they make and the book is much the better for it.

Overall if you enjoyed the first book then you will no doubt love this one. There is more of the same qualities that made the first great (brilliant characters, gritty realism and laugh out loud humour) but it is set at a much quicker pace than the first novel in the series. There is plenty of action, the story gets much deeper and to be honest there really isn't much that this book falls short on. All in all this is a great book and I thoroughly recommend it to all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Second part doesn't disappoint!, 17 Sep 2013
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Brilliant second part in the trilogy. Doesn't slow down, trip of stumble. This juggernaut of a series just keeps getting better!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great fantasy story telling., 16 Aug 2013
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I finished this within a week, it was so gripping, and then could not wait to start the next and final book. I still feel that it is written more for men due to the violence content, but the quality of writing is such that this can be forgiven, by me at least. Character development is superb, even for minor characters.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Second successful story, 13 Aug 2013
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Chris (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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There can be no doubt that Joe Abercrombie is one of the best of modern day fiction authors. He writes on an epic scale but manages not to lose the reader. In person, he is a charismatic and witty individual, which shows in his books. Suspenseful chapters are touched with humanity and an easy prose. I am an avid fan now!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great, absolutely great!, 5 Aug 2013
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Aaron (MELTON MOWBRAY, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This is a wonderful book that follows on very well from the first book and leads onto the third expertly well.

It has everything you loved from the first book and so much more besides. Without giving too much away, several of the main characters have very good plot arcs in this book.

I found the title to be gripping and far too addictive to put down. Joe's writing style lends itself perfectly to the cast of characters and the world he has created. A very fine book, indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So, so, so good., 16 Jun 2013
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Bought the third as soon as i finished. Excellent, not just a stop gap.
The characters and events make you hate, laugh and urge them on, and wonder what will happen on the next page.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is entertainment, 28 May 2013
This was absolutely brilliant in every sense of the word. It led on seamlessly from The Blade Itself, which set everything up perfectly. The characterisation continued nicely and I gained a better insight into the lives of those who I thought I knew well already. I also really enjoyed the battle scenes; they were compelling and have been written with such a brutal pace and realism that I almost felt as though I was there watching it unfold in front of me. The intricacies of the relationships built between the leading characters are intense and add just another dimension to what is already an exhilarating read. There is however two elements I would like to pass comment on before I go:

Firstly I have read some reviews that have given low ratings because of the content and 'grit' within; I personally think that Joe writes with a stark reality, depicting well the facets of conflict and war in all its hideous depravity as well as its glory. It is truly a breath of fresh air to be given the full picture in terms of those involved, including all of their vices, weaknesses and skeletons in their closets, and not only their virtues. Although the tale is set in a fantasy world I would say that in terms of character development, there's gritty real life drama unfolding before your eyes and it is breath-taking stuff.

Secondly the Guardian makes this mention on the front of the books 'delightfully twisted and evil'. Clearly everyone has their own opinions but I feel these four words deserve some further explanation and I would say this: the story is most definitely delightfully entertaining, there are some fantastic twists, and yes there is evil but only because Joe has laid bare the bones of his characters and not hidden away any nasty bits.

In summary, I can't wait to read the Last Argument of Kings!
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5.0 out of 5 stars First Law II, 24 May 2013
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Amazing fantasy writer up there with the best. Difficult to put down. Better than Eriksson in my opinion. Read them all.
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Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2
Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2 by Joe Abercrombie BA (Paperback - 13 Mar 2008)
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