50 of 53 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
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag
I really like the story and characters of this trilogy, the characters are definitely interesting and moving between perspectives allows you to get different views of them. The normal convention of a heroic mission is undercut by questioning the motives of the 'wise' first Mage. Some of the writing is excellent and I loved the sex scenes ... Very realistic (!)...
Published 13 months ago by Happyface
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5.0 out of 5 stars Read the first one then get this one!,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)I read The Blade Itself and loved it and I'm picky. I went and bought the other two in the series. I can't help but like every major character for one reason or another and have just started the last one!
5.0 out of 5 stars Hang 'Em High,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)Joe Abercrombie quickly established himself as one of my favourite fantasy authors with his seminal debut `The Blade Itself'. This book introduced me to a world of low fantasy that was a cross between the works of masters such as Tolkien, but with a much more Earthly feel - almost like historic accuracy. `Before they are Hanged' continues the story and also continues the brilliant standard of writing. It was a while since I read book 1 so the first few chapters proved a little confusing, so many characters in completely separate storylines. However, it was not long until everything was clear again as Abercrombie brilliance at fleshing out characters who are distinct from one another shone though; the anti hero Glokta, the fallen warrior Nine Fingers, the apparent rouge Dog Man - far too many brilliant characters to list.
There are normally three or four storylines occurring at once in `Hanged' and they span the globe. Abercrombie magnificently moves from one to the next leaving the reader each time with a cliff hanger they will have to wait for the conclusion until they have been around the other characters. Rather than being frustrating, Abercrombie balances this technique perfectly and it is key that he makes all his characters interesting so that you want to know what happens to all of them. One criticism may be that not a whole lot happens over the expansive book and this is due to `book 2' syndrome - not much can happen in the middle of a trilogy. This would be a harsh criticism as the book is so well written that I could follow this set of characters over ten books and not much in terms of `epic' story telling will need to have happened.
4.0 out of 5 stars Much better than book 1,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: Book Two Of The First Law (Gollancz SF S.) (Paperback)I thought the first book in the series was pretty good but I was caught in two minds about continuing with the trilogy. However, I'm glad I did as this second instalment is a vast improvement on the first; it really crackles along with great pace and my involvement with the characters was far greater this time around. The large battle scenes are very well written, as is the siege of Dagoska. Glokta was the obvious stand out character in book 1 but I have now grown more attached to the likes of Jezal, Logen and even Ferro, who I initially thought annoying.
One gripe - I do wish characters would stop "sucking their gums", this seems to happen every other chapter!
Overall, really looking forward to book 3, which I'll go straight on to.
4.0 out of 5 stars The Bloody Nine Continues,
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This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)As with the first book this is a very enjoyable 'Conan'esque romp with no Elves, Goblins or Orcs - just a few "Eaters" thrown in to the mix. It's a book that doesn't take itself too seriously and is more enjoyable for being so.
A great read
4.0 out of 5 stars Before they are hanged,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)I'm not going to go over the top here but this is a great book . Get involved. Superior Glokta is worth it on his own..... If you liked the first book then you wont be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars Some serious attitude here!,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)The second book in the First Law trilogy sustains the intrigue and excitement offered on The Blade Itself. The characters continue to absorb the reader; it comes as something of a shock to find oneself feeling sympathy and concern for a torturer, but such is the case with so well-drawn a character situated in so raw and cruel an environment. Life continues to be unashamedly nasty all around, and no character is without flaws or, for that matter, some redeeming features. This book provides not only the same refreshing spirit of the first but also a very effective springboard for the third in the trilogy. I defy anyone not to want Book 3 after reading 1 and 2.
4.0 out of 5 stars Adult acid humor fantasy,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)I was/am a Gemmell/Clavell/Cornwell kind of guy,but Mr.Abercrombie has really tickled my funny bone....with a razor.Acid,black wit the likes of which i haven't come across before in adult fantasy before (only Brent Weeks comes close).I have,on numerous occaisons,found myself laughing out loud at the delightful characters.Simply put....a joy and a refreshing delight.....I look forward to more
4.0 out of 5 stars abercrombie a must read,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)as this is one of the best fantasy series i have ever read four stars may seem harsh but this the second book is just not quite as gripping as the first. dont worry though the third and final book is just brilliant.
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Tale!,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two (Paperback)A really wonderful story, characters are very believable and the plot is gripping and constantly developing. My personal favourite is Inquisitor Glokta because he expects to die at any turn of events, indeed he almost welcomes it. Anyway, the culmination of the story in the third book is so enthralling it is all but impossible to put down and often it was after 2 in the morning with unfocused eyes I made my way to bed!! You will not be disappointed.
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 easy stars for this book,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: Book Two Of The First Law (Gollancz SF S.) (Paperback)Once again Abercrombie delivers a great novel, building upon the first in a great style.
We learn much more about our character's in this novel, a bit of mystery is revealed and the action really kicks in, at times it did seem to drag on like Bayaz and his motley crews journey but even that wasn't too bad.
This book had me wanting to see different possible outcomes.. what if Logen goes back to the north and meets Threetrees again, what will life be like for Jezal back at home and so on. I have actually grown to care about these characters and what happens to them.
That is not an easy thing to do, and the author has done it fantastically! I really hope to see more from this writer and hope he continues to but so much into his characters.
This trilogy definitely a must read!
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Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two by Joe Abercrombie (Paperback - 13 Mar 2008)