1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bitter, cynical and hugely enjoyable,
This review is from: Before They Are Hanged: Book Two Of The First Law (Gollancz SF S.) (Paperback)I thoroughly enjoyed The Blade Itself, which breathed fresh and much needed life into the swords and sorcery genre, and so I plunged into this sequel with eager anticipation. Within a few pages I knew I wouldn't be disappointed. All the splendid characters are back - the pick of the bunch being Abercrombie's delightfully twisted (in every sense) anti-hero Glokta. Whilst Logan, Jezal, West, Ferro, Dogman, Ardee and all the rest are expertly depicted fully rounded characters, it is everyone's favourite torturer who steals the show once again with his cynical but also often profound and side-splittingly funny observations on human nature. Sometimes showing surprising kindness. Other times torturing without mercy and calmly letting an innocent man go to the gallows, Glokta is certainly a complex character and, for my money, is easily up there with the very best creations of the fantasy genre. As the plot separates into three main threads, we are treated to some remarkably vivid descriptions of combat, intrigue, sex, camp-fire cameraderie, comedy and, if you've ever wondered what it feels like to be hit in the face with a mace, you won't after reading this!
Wonderful stuff! Volume III is next on my reading list.