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Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2 Paperback – 13 Mar 2008

4.6 out of 5 stars 219 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2
  • +
  • Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three
  • +
  • The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
Total price: £25.96
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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (13 Mar. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575082011
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575082014
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (219 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out (Joe Hill)

Before They Are Hanged is an excellent sequel from an author writing compelling, character-driven, adult fantasy, for readers who want to be entertained as well as challenged. (SFF WORLD)

In my opinion, Joe Abercrombie possesses all the qualities that made David Eddings such a powerhouse during the 80s and 90s. Before They Are Hanged is a satisfying sequel which should establish Joe Abercrombie as one of the bright new voices of the genre. (FANTASY HOT LIST)

Before They Are Hanged grabs you and drags you along. (SFF SITE)

Dark, deeply ironic and full of character gems that will appeal to your cynical side, Before They Are Hanged is as brilliant as its predecessor. (John Berlyne SF REVU)

"We're right there in the heads of these dudes, thanks to the author's style of showcasing their thoughts. His knowing turn of phrase means that situations often appear ironic, with peripheral characters verging on the Dickensian. This follow-up is crammed with unexpected betrayals, murders and liaisons, often catching us off guard." (Dave Bradley SFX)

Book Description

Striking, character-driven and cynical noir fantasy

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I listened to this on Audible.

The last book I enjoyed. This book I thoroughly enjoyed!

One of my fave narrators brings to life a colourful story full of real characters and exciting conflicts. Brutal battles and tormenting tortures mixed with hilarious relationships and fabulous settings. This series is building by the book, I can feel it, and I want more!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazing continuation of the Blade Itself, can't get enough... so addictive!

Love all of the POV characters, an absolute joy...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author has the happy knack of keeping you guessing as to which main character is going to die next! Great story lines, well written and characters who are interesting and fully fleshed, bring on volume three...
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved the world building and characters total bought into them and felt their highs and lows. Can't wait to read the third installment
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought the first of these with a bundle of other authors I'd not read from amazon and immediately ordered the second, now can't wait for the third! This is simply the best series of books I have read for years, while I agree with some comments that its style isn't the same as Tad Williams or Erikson I think they are better for this. The World is believable and the characters seem to be far more rounded and real.
If I had to compare to another author I would say David Gemmell, the same fast paced style, almost punchy. BUT don't be put off by this, I am now reading them for the second time and I am still engrossed and rapidly powering through the books, yet more late nights as I read 'Just till the end of the Chapter!'
If you are looking for a new author and an entertaining read then buy this and its predecessor immediately! I can't wait for the third and long may Joe continue to put out books of this quality. As to the lack of a Map which has been brought up a couple of times I frankly don't miss it. I'd give the series six stars if I could.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the second in the first law trilogy. It follow directly on from the first book (the blade itself), which you really need to read first to get the most out of this book - but that is no hardship. We follow logen ninefingers, superior glotka and jezal Dan Luther in their ongoing trials, each struggling to survive in a world of evil and war. Joe abercrombie is a master of fantasy, and this is well up to standard. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio Download
Logan Ninefingers often reminds us that "you have to be realistic", and normally in life that's fine advice especially when starting books that are getting such massively positive reviews. Sorry Logan, there are just some special occasions when you can forget realism and just escape it for a while. Judging by this series so far listening to an audiobook with the names Abercrombie and Pacey on it is one of those all too rare occasions.

There are few series out there that manage to deliver such incredible depth of characters, genuinely exciting storyline and yet still find ways to make you laugh regularly. Off the top of my head I can only think of one that has done this quite so well albeit with a very different storyline and in a completely different genre. Pacey here is the obvious link to Jussi Adler-Olsen's wonderful Department Q series but there's so much more to it than that.

The characters like Glokta for example, a twisted cripple, a husk of a man in constant pain, in turns deliciously evil and yet so human. The mingling of his thoughts with the main dialogue is a pure delight and no-one could do him much better than Pacey. He is portrayed so differently to the usual clichéd, pompous inquisitor types. He sees things for what they are and doesn't feign ignorance of things like the effects of rough treatment on a people. His assessments of the city of Dagoska and the people there demonstrate how well he is written.

The other characters too are richly drawn and I think that they are characters I will take to the grave with me, remembered long after others have faded back to the mud. Logan himself, Ferro, Giselle, so many to choose from and they take part in a much faster-moving and action-packed storyline in this instalment.
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By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Jun. 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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 Abercrombie successfully continues to put a subversive spin on events which keeps things fresh and interesting.

There are three main plot threads in the book. In the Northlands, the Union Army prepares to face the forces under Beothed. They have enlisted the aid of Threetrees and his band of cutthroats and warriors, but Marshal Burr and Colonel West find their hands full with just keeping their feuding generals from each others throats and babysitting the preening, useless Prince Ladisla.

Meanwhile, in the South, the city of Dagoska falls under siege from the army of the Gurkhal Empire. Inquisitor Glokta, in the city to investigate the disappearance of his predecessor, finds himself orchestrating the defence of the city against a vast and powerful foe, but is also forced into making alliances with suspect agents in order to ensure the city's survival.

In the West, Bayaz and his band of unlikely companions continue their journey to the edge of the Circle of the World, to recover a weapon of tremendous power. Their journey will take them through the fallen remnants of the Old Empire, an ancient city and a towering mountain range before their goal can be achieved.

Abercrombie's story rattles along at a fair old pace. With the characters introduced, there is no more need for scene-setting and the plot explodes with vigour.
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