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The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1 Paperback – 8 Mar 2007
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I might not end up marrying this book, but I'm certainly infatuated with it right at the moment. It's delicious, the characters sharply drawn and their motivations believable, the clash of cultures (always particularly difficult for an author to pull off) believable as well. (Lilith Saintcrow)
Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out (Joe Hill)
There is a gritty edge to his world and an awareness of the human cost of violence that is very contemporary (The Times)
Delightfully twisted and evil (The Guardian)
The Blade Itself is a page-turner powered by a combination of fast-paced action and juicy doses of cynicism. Perhaps more remarkable, however, is the way Abercrombie sets the scene (Edge Magazine)
There's a fat vein of cynicism and dark humour throughout. The action scenes are fast-paced and the violence takes its toll both mentally and physically. A great start to a long journey' (Dreamwatch)
You'd never guess that The Blade Itself is Joe Abercrombie's debut novel. He writes like a natural. There are great characters, sparky dialogue, an action-packed plot, and from the very first words and an opening scene that is literally a cliff-hanger, you know you are in for a cheeky, vivid, exhilarating ride (Starburst)
An admirably hard, fast and unpretentious read from debut author Joe Abercrombie. Packs a mean punch in the bloodthirsty mayhem and mystery departments. Crammed full of torture, vengeance and bad behaviour, it's a lively tale of savagery vs. civilisation. The Blade Itself may not reinvent the wheel, but it does serve up a whole banquet of violent action and intrigue' (SFX)
The star of the show is doubtlessly Inquisitor Glotka for simply being one of the most wonderfully bitter and cynical characters I've come across. With a very funny and clever internal monologue going on during every conversation he has, Glotka's as miserable and nasty at the end as he was to start with and, especially in a heroic fantasy novel, it works perfectly (SF Crowsnest)
The astonishing novel which launched Joe Abercrombie's career, THE BLADE ITSELF is a superb, dark and addictive epic fantasy.See all Product description
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I say might because the real appeal of the book is the characters and not a one of them has much in the way of positive virtues. Whether a man or woman they are often dark violent cruel unhinged stupid driven and indifferent. Sometimes all of the above. Joe Abercrombie's skill is to make them compelling, and by wrapping them in the folds of dark humour that pervade the story you cannot fail to love them. Maybe.
This is an epic that twists and turns, rushes up on you, twists you around and leaves you breathless. It's smart, horrific, endlessly inventive and cinematic in its vision. I absolutely loved it.
Joe Abercrombie is a stone cold genius.
The plot has loads of twists and turns with characters that are wonderfully capable, dangerously incompetent, and where we see unlikely heroes and unseen traitors. The characters are developed throughout, with this book focused on the history that has led the nations and characters to this place, at this time, and with these ambitions. The storyline delivers through multiple threads each with their own set of characters. The narration doesn’t shy away from the brutality of conflict and torture but I wouldn’t say gratuitously. Battles must be fought and Logan Ninefingers will be at the heart of it. Traitors must be found and Glokta the inquisitor will hunt them. Bayaz the First of the Magi knows what’s at stake and must stop it.
His in-depth character development and world building is just incredible. He paints a perfect picture for every scene. The book offers some hilariously dark humour and switches between some very entertaining characters, all of which I loved.
This book was the beginning of many Joe Abercrombie books that I've read over the last few months. I've read The First Law trilogy, Shattered Sea trilogy, and now I'm reading his stand alone books which are set in the First Law world. I can get enough of his books, all absolutely incredible.
I had two issues-
Constant new characters were added or talked about with NO introduction of who on earth they all were-pretty frustrating-no glossery
number two the very inconsistent pace of the book, mass excitement and action or speedy plot moves, then a grinding halt a quarter in (jesal) , i read on in hope, then it picked up again-about the middle of the book.
it suddenly kicked off and went at a rip-roaring speed of violence and excitement or plot development, yay!
LOVED the horrid characters, LOVED the story and the action. Never sure who is villain or hero, and am excited to read on..i am hoping the two issues i have will be sorted as the series progresses, as i understand this is a debut?
so yes, great characters, storyline, book in general, it all feels like it's building to a massive explosion and i can't wait to read how !!
in fact for much of it i was waiting for the inevitable boom, but i guess itwill come later!
I thinkit is enough for me to want to check out later work-the the progression..as this is a superb fantasy writer