The Blade Itself
the first law: book one
By: Joe Abercrombie
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.
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.