This series works on two levels- a real send up of the Pawn of Prophecy- Wheel of Time Good vs. Evil Epics (don't think I can stomach any more of those- although I suppose I will purchase the last of the Wheel of Time series having slogged this far). Hilarious, disgusting and exciting all it once. Abercrombie is in a class with George RR Martin in terms of story telling, but in a class of his own in terms of character development. I found myself on the treadmill at the gymn spluttering with laughter when NineFinger, about to be killed, says for the 50th time "You have to be realistic about these things..." Not many fantasy books can be horrifying, funny (laugh you ass off funny!) and exciting.
Hats off to Mr. Abercrombie...I have finished the series and am now working my way through his other books- but I hope he tells us more about Nine Fingers, Glocta and the others! A must read for those who love fantasy- and for those who hate the endless drudgery of happy books like Pawn of Prophecy an even more important book.
This trilogy is well written and the narration isn’t half bad, the premise of the books is well thought out and the characters are portrayed well. However, after the first and second books you see a lot of bad characters and like most books you expect justice or at least a better state of affairs to occur by the time the end comes around. But instead at the end of the three books evil has not only prevailed over good but what was thought as good is just as evil as it was fighting, not to mention nothing truly getting resolved.
All is all Joe Abercrombie takes you on a good adventure and keeps you enthralled throughout but at the end instead of a nice clean package your left a little bitter and sad. I suppose it is a far more accurate account of human behavior than many fantasy novels portray but still........
Well I bought this book with a little trepidation because of some of the reviews and some were correct that the story unfolds very slowly.. However; I am convinced now that the book is worth the wait and will recommend it to my group of readers/listeners (mostly my sisters)...
The characters while none are initially favorites become likable and I find myself supporting them... Even (thought I can't believe I'm saying this) the torture guy.. Although I think he could get a better job.
I give a 4 stars because it's far better than a 3 star book and I'm onto the next book in the series. Maybe a 3.5 is justified because it had a very slow start.
if you ever get a series off audible get this one!!! joe abercrombies anti heroes are amazing if perfect handsome heroes leave you cold and bore the pants off you his multifaceted characters with their many flaws scars and broken noses add to an amazing world of intrigue magic and corruption which drags you in with 2 clenched fist and you wont want to make it let you go
i loved it
The book opens in the midst of a harrowing escape somewhere out in cold, forested, mountains. The next chapter switches viewpoints to another character, and the settings are so different that I had to double check to see if the book was actually a short story collection.
I couldn't figure out how the different characters' tales could possibly come together into a whole. Stick with it. They do. The characters are intriguing.. Not all of them particularly likeable, but interesting. They drew me in, so I hung in there. A really engaging book.
The First Law Series (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings) by Joe Abercrombie is an impressive and remarkable Fantasy series. I review the entire series here. With the proviso that this first book is necessarily incomplete without the others, the following comments apply equally to the first book alone.
The world Abercrombie creates is gritty and realistic and reminiscent of the yet to be completed Song of Fire and Ice series by George R. R. Martin. Politics, torture, warfare and violence play a central role in the narrative. There are no heroes in the story, only deeply flawed individuals who nonetheless assume the the role of protagonist.
Explanation of the world and the true motivations of the secondary characters comes to the reader slowly and continues to the end of the last book. The conclusion, when it comes, is complete (and possibly even too long). Despite the resolution of the series' conflicts and the careful attention to completing story arcs, the ending is far from the cliched heroic triumph of characters living happily ever after.
On reflection the incredible characterisation of the flawed protagonists pose many questions about the nature of good and evil, nobility and the potential of individuals to grow and mature without beating the reader over the head with any 'answers'.
The narrator, Steven Pacey was exceptional in his reading and all of the voice characterisations. His ability to consistently produce identifiable voices (male and female) for the army of speaking roles and use them correctly in the context of the surrounding description was remarkable and added immeasurably to the experience of the story.
Overall, a very high quality series and an exceptional audiobook production.
I have been reading Sci-Fi&Fantasy books all my life and have enjoyed so very many of them. I have found that it is sad when an author thinks it is a MUST to use so much bad language. I bought all three of the books before I read the first one on the reviews of others...... big mistake..... I dont mind some bad language to give the book the feel of a character but when it is used the way this author found it necessary... umm no.
I found the author used WAY to much F... this and F... that when there were so many other good ways to feel out a character or situation. Had to turn off the audio when my children where in the room when I was listening to the first book. It makes me not even interested in the next two. How sad is that. I really wish the sample gave as much of the bad language as the whole book did so I would have known. I would NOT have purchased any of them.
This series has some of the most memorable and likable characters. Great narration, great story to boot. Just get it. It's my new favourite fantasy series.