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The First Law Trilogy Boxed Set: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings

4.7 out of 5 stars 163 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 1600 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 Aug. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575132590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575132597
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.8 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,126,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Book Description

A beautiful box set containing SUNDAY TIMES bestselling author Joe Abercrombie's epic fantasy trilogy: THE BLADE ITSELF, BEFORE THEY ARE HANGED and LAST ARGUMENT OF KINGS. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Joe Abercrombie is a former freelance film editor turned full time Sunday Times bestselling author. He lives in Bath with his family.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyed these books, could hardly put them down at one point. Barely noticed it was a trilogy, one book just flowed into another, without the normal reintroduction to the plot that you normally get with multi part novels. I loved all the characters, found the story enthralling, fast paced and action packed, and the writing style suited me perfectly (detailed, but not over descriptive). Then I got to the final chapters, and it all fell apart. The main themes suddenly end with very little explanation or detail, plot holes are hurriedly filled with out of place 'twists', and the character stories finish at best implausibably, or more often with no conclusion at all. I can't tell if the author was planning more books so leaving his options open, or simply reached the publishers word count and wrapped things up ASAP. Either way it left me feeling disappointed and cheated, and turned a 5 star epic into a 3-4 star decent effort. What a shame
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The characters in this book are all complex and flawed. I can't honestly say that I actually liked any of them for long. Some of them seemed to be reasonable, far from perfect, then they would do something which really surprised me. Others were just unpleasant from the start and remained that way throughout. Occasionally one of the nasty characters would do something that appeared to be kind but usually there was an ulterior motive. If you like a book with a hero you may struggle with this one but the political intrigue and magical undertones keep the pages turning and the reader wondering where the next betrayal will come from. The main characters change as the story develops and they begin to see what type of world they are really living in. The only one to remain unchanged is Bayaz, the master manipulator.
A word of warning though, it is really gory in places so if you don't have the stomach for it this isn't for you.
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I am just picking up the wealth of literature called fantasy. I've just read all of robin hobb, looked through reviews and they said the first law trilogy was a goodie. They were not wrong, the whole thing, world and characters. The great thing about being at a loose end reading wise is that fantasy fills the gap, from stagnant fiction to detective stories, fantasy encompasses it all. Thankyou Joe for writing so well, with intrigue and people in it to boot. Where as two of your charachters remained trapped in a building. My thirst for reading and that' i need to know the end but i don't want it to finish' state of mind is a welcome change from my past reading pursuits. Hallelujah for any well written fantasy book, though i did feel a bit sorry for west. I have found peace in peoples wild yet compelling imaginations. Keep up the writing Joe the worlds a better place for it, well mine at least :-) Ferro is still out there somewhere it makes me smile just at the thought. I'm now on the earth sea quartet, all marvellous!!
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Joe Abercrombie's books set in the world of the First Law Trilogy are awesome. So much good about them. Get this one, and then get the other collection with The Heroes in, and settle down for around 128 hours' of complete absorption. You will chuckle at Glokta's cynical humour. You will cry at what becomes of other characters. Nobody is necessarily a Good Guy or a Bad Guy in this - they're all just a cast of dozens of deep & complex characters with their own back-stories. trying to do their best. Abercrombie's stories are all character-driven, and his characters are Very Well-Written.
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Format: Kindle Edition
In the previous two instalments, whilst I liked the books a great deal, there seemed to be little overarching direction to the series, particularly in the non-event that was the end of book two. So in the back of my mind was the niggling fear that this would come to a dissatisfying end. I'd LIKE to be able to report that luckily, thankfully, LAOK gives us a gut-punching, epic, splendidly cliche-defying end to this refreshingly contrary take on the fantasy epic. But that is (literally) not the whole story. Events of great import are dealt with dramatically, but just when you think the series is going to conclude on a real high it all goes slightly wrong.

As the story continues beyond the climax, there is inevitably huge expectation. For surely the only reason to continue in this fashion is to tie-up character arcs, to give meaning to the whole adventure? Its annoying but, without giving away spoilers, each concluding chapter is deeply dissatisfying. You have become so involved with these characters over the course of three books that you just want to know their final destination. Every ending, to every character arc - whilst in a sense true to the story - feels like it breaks the covenant between author and reader. We expected more than this, dammit! The characters entirely dictate the story's direction, with a stubborn refusal to allow a guiding hand to shape the narrative into something more affecting. I've never experienced an author who is so utterly ruthlessness in his treatment of his characters before, a trait which is both wonderful and terrible. In those post-script chapters, when you WANT a little comforting cliche, Joe Abercrombie chooses to confound expectations in his usual manner with something less prosaic.
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