Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review

The Blade Itself
the first law: book one

By: Joe Abercrombie

Publisher: Pyr

Recommendation: Yes, if you like a series with corruption somewhere deep within and like to think on it yourself.

First Sentence of the Book:

Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding on the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head.

Books Synopsis:

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union on confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government... if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult...

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line betwween hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

My Review and Synopsis:

The beginning of the book was easy yet a little hard for me. There is a lot of background work done here on the characters and the status of the world. You are introduced to all the characters in their elements, places, and world before they are introduced to each other. It can get a little confusing, but if you can keep it all separate it is worth it. One of the best parts here is having your characters separate and seeing their views on what they know or see, then seeing them actually meet and how the knowledge of that one character could help the other they just meet-if shared. Seeing how they get into the conversations to share the information or even when they don't share the information because they don't know who they have been in contact with or what they are involved in.

Through out the book you really get a feel of how unstable the three Empires are and the contempt they feel for each other. There are the Northmen, the Union and Angland, and the Gurkish. The Northmen and Gurkish seem to have leaders that are very ruthless and blood thirsty to take over as much land they can and rule all they take. The Union is stuck in the middle of both these places, yet doesn't seem to be as barbaric as the other two with killing. Angland is the place, in the North but is part of the Union, in which the Union sends all their guilty parties of treason agains the crown or toward the government (and in this time it could be a small thing or a large doing that could land you here - even working with or looking at the wrong person could hurt you). They have shared borders all these years?!? If you ask me I don't know how...

Just when you think you have all the characters details down a few more are added. All these people from the different areas of the world are pulled together to save their worlds from a bigger threat than the Northernmen or Glukish navy or Unions soldiers. What is this greater thing to be defeated by these specially selected few? That answer seems to be only known by the First of the Magi, Bayaz, and his brothers.

There seems to be a magic that surrounds each character in their own way. Yet the characters don't seem to be aware to the fact they have something special about them. These characters don't even realize the enemies they make and the bigger enemies they upset. In this book the story only begins, the adventure only starts.

I am sorry to add here that you will have to read the next book to see where they go after this story. What about the war? Who is this greater threat? I too have to now go get the second book in this trilogy. I have questions and can not let them go unanswered. There is just too much scheming and bribing and underlying meanings in things said or not said that I just have to keep going with the trilogy. I hope you enjoy it as well.


  1. Mel, I'm almost finished with this book! Maybe 100 pages to go. So far I'm loving it! Great review, now I'm even more excited about getting to the end.

  2. Hey Krista! Can't wait till you get done with it. I just posted a few thoughts over at B&N also. I would love to hear what you think on many things. I have so many questions. We are definitely going to have to slip book 2 in somewhere here.

  3. Haven't heard of this book, but you make it sound really interesting. And what a great first sentence, to really suck you into the story! Will definitely be going on my wishlist. Thanks!

  4. Hey Mel, just wanted to let you know I'm replying over at BandN right now so I should be done with a post soon.

  5. Hi Alexia, Yeah, the first sentence really starts off with some action off the bat. I really like the conspiracy thing that is out there in the side lines. I always wonder who is behind it all and what are they going to do next. If you get this book I hope you do enjoy it. I am going to head out here soon and get the second book and well, I might as well pick up the third(last one) while I am there. Then I will have them to finish off the series.

    Let me know what you think of them if you get to read them. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I promised myself that I wasn't going to buy any more books that were part of a series, thanks to your review, I feel myself giving in - oh well, it is only a trilogy I suppose.

  7. Petty Witter, I hope you enjoy it. By the end of the book I was so addicted I have to go get the rest of them.

    Great Reading.

  8. Sounds like a great book but I think I will put the Sanderson books before this one.

  9. This is a great book but I would most definitely put Sanderson first. You will love the wonderfully unique magic systems, and the story that goes on too.

    I do hope you enjoy them!

  10. This sounds very involved. I'm reading Shadow of the King right now, which contains lots of war strategy. For me, I have to be in the right frame of mind. I think I'll keep these on the back burner for the moment. My interest is still piqued though...

  11. Jackie - Glad I can help keep your interest piqued on the books. I hope you enjoy Shadow of the King. I am curious to see what you think of it. I hope you enjoy these books when you get to them. :)

  12. I don't know - sometimes I like really in depth books with lots of characters but then...sometimes all you want is something uncomplicated. I have this one on my shelf but it might be awhile longer yet before I get around to it.
    Pabkins @ My Shelf Confessions

    1. Pabkins, I enjoyed the way the author drew the story and world in this series with his words. I still need to get to the last book of the trilogy. It is one to think more while reading. Thank you for stopping!


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