I won't repeat the praise that's already been repeated several times but I do want to stress that while book 1 does have some action, it's primarily a character development book and a chance to get to know some great characters. I listened then was a bit reluctant to move on to the next book as there were some parts that dragged a bit. It's good, but more like a 3.5 star book. I am SO glad I hung in there as books 2 and 3 are edge of your seat, sit in your car after your commute, stay up late and an excuse to vacuum your house good!
I first read Lord of the Rings at age 14. However, as I grew older it seemed like the genre didn't really mature. I grew tired of reading fiction written on the level of a 8th or a 9 th grader, fiction full of elves and dwarves and square jawed heroes, beautiful heroines, and narratives as complex as a bowl of oatmeal.
I am now a grown woman with a husband, two children, a house and a job. I spend a lot of time reading SF, mysteries, historical fiction, and some so called literary fiction. Recently, I returned to the world of fantasy with the Song of Fire and Ice series by George RR Martin. Finally, a Fantasy novel that was well written, aimed at an adult, and had an author who had decided to have a more interesting and complex panoply of characters than the usual and a plot that was multilayered rather than straightforward.
The Blade Itself is such a novel. If you are a young teenager, or are mainly interested in reading YA novels than this book will be above your head. I read some the negative reviews of this novel and I want to laugh. Too much violence? What the heck do you read?Have you ever read All Quiet on the Western Front? True Grit? Lonesome Dove? Too much swearing? Good grief, are you monks? Have you read anything by Tom Clancy? Complaints about the Shifting POV and multilayered plot- try reading any of Neal Stephensons work.
And finally, the narration is stellar. The narration in an audiobook is either neutral, detracting, or enhancing. The narrators voice is so flexible you think that you are listening to a radio drama with a cast of dozens. The narration pushes this an excellent book into another realm.
I don't like much...but what I like is good!
Not gonna lie...I struggled through this one. It has great characters, enough mystery to continue building a compelling story, and the makings of a great cast of characters (both heroes and villains). But there is a strong overuse of profanity which deeply distracts from the story. Normally, I listen to books for hours on end and absorb the storyline. This was a book I had to break up in many parts due to the offensive nature of the authors writing style.
I can definitely see that there is a population of listeners who will find this story fun and compelling as profanity aside it had the potential to be a gripping story. However, if you are sensitive to the use of profanity, or just prefer a story that is more creative with its vocabulary, then like me, this book and author are not for you.
Due to the constant and repetitive use of profanity in this one novel...no I will not be looking into any more books by Joe Abercrombie. I prefer authors who are as creative in their vocabulary as they are in the details of their story. When 4/5 of the characters are repetitively crude in their speech it becomes a little too much to enjoy.
The performance was decent. I felt there were times when the emotion of the performer did not properly display the content of the story but this may also be an unfortunate side effect to my dislike of the authors choice of writing style.
Maybe, but not one I would take the time to go and see.
Great reading of the first book in a tight, grim trilogy.
Very Game of Thrones like but with tight editing.
First one, absolutely great performance.
Not really doable but yes!
Old Bear likes the honey
Hard to say. They are all fantastic! Err.... all except Jezal dan Luthar.
Pacey does a fantastic job with all the male characters. The only issue I had was with Ardee.
This was a fantastic read and I look forward to the remaining books in the Trilogy.
I'd recommend it to anyone who likes classic fantasy and doesn't mind a wee bit of blood and gore.
The characterizations were excellent - well-drawn with dimensionality (good and bad) in even the minor characters. Even the detestable characters are slightly likable, or at least interesting!
The narrator's skill with vocal tone, accents, and especially "style" of speech -- things like pacing and hesitance, emotion -- a remarkably talented actor.
This was a fun book (and it gets more fun in the second and third books of this trilogy). But Steven Pacey's narration is what made this a great audiobook. His characters are wonderful, and his narration is unhurried and genuine. I wish that there was even more Steven Pacey to listen to.
What I found most notable about The Blade Itself was how much it focused on characters that are usually the "bad guys" in most fantasy novels: the torturer, the self-centered, rakish noble and (somewhat) the barbarian. Abercrombie excels at creating characters with interesting back-stories and varied motivations.
Sand dan Glokta. Abercrombie does a great job of portraying his bitterness and resentment but also his dark humor and quick mind. There is something utterly disturbing about watching a torture survivor mete out similar horrors to those he's endured but still feeling like this character has some spark that makes him a better person than those around him.
I cannot rave about Steven Pacey's performance enough. The first time I realized that he differentiated between Glokta's speaking voice and his inner voice by lisping to indicate Glokta's missing teeth when he was speaking aloud, I thought, "Wow, he's nailing it!". Pacey gives a very recognizable voice to each character that is consistent throughout the book(s). Without these distinctions, the story would be much harder to follow. It really makes me want to seek out other books read by Steven Pacey.
There was one moment that moved me, but I couldn't really write about it without giving it away!
This is one of the rare series' which becomes a standard for others in the genre to be judged against. George RR Martin, Brandon Sanderson, and Robert Jordan, have proven to create masterpieces which have the same standing. I have purchased and devoured every Joe Abercrombie book after this one the day it came out, and have yet to have any disappointment in the stories. My only complaint to this day is that Steven Pacy was replaced after the initial trilogy. If this is your first time listening to this book, and this series, I am truly jealous. Enjoy...
Abercrombie in the First Law series just kills it. He spins a cast of characters that won't be duplicated. He is among the few bright spots in fantasy/sci fi. Developed characters in full dimensions. Characters you love and hate. Add on top a plot line that will hook you like crack. What else do you need?