The Blade Itself (First Law) Paperback – 30 Sep 2007
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|Paperback, 30 Sep 2007||
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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. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)
Comes close to living up to its publishers hype. (Jon Courtenay Grimwood 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)
The Blade Itself is therefore an extremely impressive debut, the first in a series subtitled The First Law, and in Joe Abercrombie it brings us a writer who oozes promise. This is surely a novel as sharp as its title. (John Berlyne SF REVU)
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. (Barbara Davies 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. (Saxon Bullock SFX)
"The Blade Itself is in many respects another reprisal of the classic formula. It will be fascinating to see where Abercrombie take his plot and how he develops these characters." (Roz Kaveney TIME OUT)
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) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Striking debut novel with all the cynicism, realism and punch the fantasy genre has been missing.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Yet Abercrombie invests these storylines with vigour and energy. None of our heroes are quite what they first appear to be and the author expertly deconstructs them throughout the book, revealing their true motivations when you last expect it. Abercrombie is also a dab hand are writing excellent battle scenes and swordfights. There is also a hint of otherwordly alieness in this book, such as the scenes set in the House of the Maker which are quite memorable. The only major complaint I had about the book is the lack of a map. Most fantasy novels with a map don't really need them, but with military campaigns getting underway it would be nice to tell exactly where Adua is in relation to the Northlands, and where both are in relation to Dagoska, for example. But this is a minor complaint at best.
By the end of the book the pace has been ramped up to a compelling level, as our heroes depart in different directions to face their various destinies and full-scale war seems about to erupt on all sides. The Blade Itself is a tremendously enjoyable novel and I count myself fortunate to have read it late enough in the day to only have a brief wait for the second book.
At first you might think The Blade Itself is a Me Too book as two of the characters are a battered warrior and a cranky old wizard. However, another main character is a torturer, someone who was himself a victim of torture, so much so that he is now crippled and in constant pain. And if someone were to kill him it would almost be a relief, because there would be an end to his daily suffering. Glokta was a former golden boy, a swordsman of renown who was captured by the enemy and broken in their cells. He didn't slaughter an army single-handed and fight his way home. If that's the kind of fantasy story you're expecting then look elsewhere. What emerged from the enemy cells not only looked different but inside Glokta was a new, very twisted man. This bitterness might sound depressing but in fact Glokta's dark sense of humour and internal monologue is some of the funniest material in the series. In any good book, no matter the genre, if it's dark you need some comedy or an undercurrent of black comedy to make it less depressing and Glokta delivers this.
What emerged for me throughout this book is how human Abercrombie makes his characters.Read more ›
The Blade Itself boasts the most interesting cast of characters I have come across in a long time. Despite fitting into familiar stereotypes, Logen Ninefingers, Bayaz, and Luthar are still fascinating and fun, but it's inquisitor Sand dan Glokta who really steals the show with his dry cynicism and refreshing honesty. Some of his chapters are startlingly grusome, but I challenge anyone to put the book down in the middle of a hair-raising torture scene. The secondary characters - including Major West and his sister, and Logen's band of barbarians - all have their own stories and voices that make for an addictive tale of swords, sourcery and cynicism.
I'm giving The Blade Itself four stars because, despite its brilliance, it only tells a fraction of the story, and it is impossible to judge the entire saga from the first installment. I look forward to finishing Before They Are Hanged, but I've no idea how I'll wait another year to find out what happens next!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Kept me turning the pages throughout. New characters emerge as the book progresses, keep you wondering where it will go. Read morePublished 23 days ago by Graham in Birmingham
Overall a good read and the best fantasy novel I have read for ages. If you use audible, their version is excellent. Read morePublished 1 month ago by hfffoman
Joe Abercrombie's debut novel is an explosion into the fantasy genre, bringing grit and reality into a setting that still clear allows for fantasy to exist. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Michael Brera
I already read the 'Half a King' trilogy so i knew a bit about what to expect from Abercrombie -1st rate fantasy. Read morePublished 2 months ago by ChrisT
Loved it - easy to lose yourself in the story and the characters
Very game of thrones but with more flow
Joe Abercrombie for me is one of the best fantasy novelists around. His worlds are believable populated by well drawn characters and he has a terrific ear for the way men speak to... Read morePublished 4 months ago by will h
Thoroughly loved this book. The wilds are perilous, from the frozen wastelands of the north, to the scorching sands of the south.. Read morePublished 4 months ago by D. Flackett