21 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Sets the Stage...,
This review is from: The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.) (Paperback)
The Blade Itself is a decent book but by no means brilliant. I bought it here after reading the reviews and have to say I was disappointed.
The book sets the stage for a grand tale but never really gets into it (although the second does and is a better read for it) and left me wondering whether to bother continuing. Some of the reasoning behind character actions is flimsy enough to be annoying. Which moves into the main gripe, the characters themselves, I don't care for them.
I don't have to like a character (or hate them for that matter) to enjoy a book but I do need to care whether they live or die. In this book, honestly, I don't. Of the main characters only Logen even registers any degree of interest from me and I'm sorry to say the rest are fairly stereotypical. Arrogant, powerful wizard with a dark secret? Check! Arrogant, selfish noble who despises commoners? Check! Angry, vengeance-seeking half breed? Check! Ineffectual, decadent Monarchy/Government? Check! Evil Emperor? Oh you get the idea...
Which makes it sound like I don't like the book but thats not true, it's just not that great. The second book is better if you stick with it however.
Say one thing for this book, say it's a beginning.
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Initial post: 20 Jul 2011 12:02:02 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Jul 2011 13:01:32 BDT
I do agree that Abercrombie has included every stereotypical character possible in the Fantasy genre. However, it's what he DOES with these characters that makes his trilogy stand out. He certainly doesn't do what's expected; in fact, I challenge you to correctly guess what the fate of any of his characters will be. I get the feeling this series is a subtle satire on the genre of Fantasy itself. Clue: he STARTS his book with a cliffhanger. Literally, a guy hanging over a cliff. Love it. Great stuff.
But maybe not for everybody, eh?
In reply to an earlier post on 4 Aug 2011 19:07:21 BDT
ne mo says:
I actually like Abercrombie's work and have read all his books. He has a good eye for action and dialogue but this book isn't as good as the next two (as I implied in my review) so what rating would they then deserve, if this was rated higher than a 3?
Maybe I just have a different scale to other reviewers (which in the most part are 1 star if you didn't like it or 5 if you liked it) but to me a 3 star is still a decent book and worthwhile purchase. A solid but largely unspectacular book with some niggling flaws, which is what I thought of this book.
As for the characters not turning out as expected... the Prince and the Wizard? Really? You never saw their character arc unfurl before you exactly as you expected? I did, do I win a cookie? Even the others weren't a massive paradigm shift in expectations, my expectations that is as I don't speak for anyone else. I should point out that I've read an awful lot of fantasy books and seen these same archetypes used successfully again and again, sometimes with quirks and twists, sometimes the plain vanilla variety, so inevitably my review reflects that.
If you loved how it begins then you'll appreciate how it ends, I certainly did.
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