In a way I agree with both the fans and the detractors here. It IS a well-written fantasy novel, and the characters are great, if it takes a while to warm to them. But good lord would it kill Joe Abercrombie to get to the point a little quicker?
This novel is almost a series of vignettes and the connections between threads and characters are unexplained, even when they eventually start meeting up. What is the broader thrust of this story? Where is it going? What forces are at play bringing these people together? Clearly SOMETHING is happening that threatens them and the empire, but Joe Abercrombie has little interest in telling the reader anything about this threat. It's not even done in a purposefully mysterious way either, it's simply left out.
The characters are very well drawn, and it's hard not to like Logan and the wonderfully horrible Glokta. But I cared very little about anyone else, or what happened to them.
I struggled to get through this first volume simply because I found being left in the dark for so long quite tedious. It picks up towards the end, but for a book of this length that's a lot of listening to get through before things start getting interesting.
I will try the next book, and I think the quality of the writing makes the effort worth it, but this isn't an instantly-hooked book, not for me at least.
Narrator is excellent, if a little theatrical.
I'm a huge fan of this genre. This is one of the best series i've read. It's graphic and adult themed which is essential in telling such a story.
Wow. I'm impressed. After listening to all of the R.R. Martin and Tolkien books, I was hesitant to start another series by one of the newer, lesser known authors. This complex and engrossing story, brought to vivid and visceral life by the brilliant and charasmatic Steven Pacey, makes this one a must listen if you are a fan of the authors above. Pacey, unlike many other narrators, has an incredible ability to portray humor and sarcasm in his characters, and this works perfectly with Joe Abercrombie's style. Although in a different genre, another great book performed by Pacey that I'd recommend is a Danish crime novel by Adler-Olsen, The Absent One, which similarly uses humor, sarcasm, and makes you chuckle.
Looking forward to reading the rest of the First Law Series!! Already listening to book 2 and loving it!!
Took awhile to get into it but in my experience that is best. Like King's Gunslinger. I started and stopped a dozen times before I got the flow. Once I did I couldn't stop. I am glad I discovered it late into this series. I abhor waiting for authors to get around to writing the "next" book. Patrick Rothfuss is a perfect example (delighting in pissing off the readers). But then back to this book. This series is one of the best most refreshing - with fascinating characters - series it has been my pleasure to "read". I personally think the "Fantasy" genre is too limiting. Skip this series at your own loss.
Meh, maybe, we'll see, I am going to finish out book 2 of the series to see if it starts to get better, at the end I'll decide if I get book 3. The story is barely able to keep me interested And other than Logan, I really don't have any interest or care for any of the characters. However, it's just enough that I was willing to go for book 2. Jury is still out on the series.
Being it's part of a series, there really isn't an ending. as far as a stand-alone ending, it was really weak, I would have been very upset if there wasn't already book two out. Nothing special happens, it's sort of an "as anyone could have guessed" type ending.
Pacey is the super-start of this book. I think the only reason I finished book 1 and was willing to buy book 2 is because Pacey did such a fantastic job of giving life to each character that I honestly think the book doesn't deliver on it's own.
Glokta's self-comments are done very well. The story is very gritty and his voice is perfect for that.
No, it's not that type of book.
out of 22 hour long book, the first 18 hours were pretty boring, they were essentially 4 separate stories about characters that seem to have nothing to do with one another and were worlds apart. it went on that way for way too long. Eventually as anyone could guess they do come together at some point. but it's not in any type of dramatic fashion. I keep waiting for something "cool" or "exciting" to happen, and I've yet to have a single thing really peak my interest and it's been fairly predictable throughout.
I really feel that this book/series is what Game of Thrones could have been. It has all of the elements I enjoyed from George Martin's series, with none of the things that made me want to never read a book again as long as I live.
Joe Abercrombie does a stellar job of getting you interested in a vibrant world full of colorful characters. None of them are perfect, and all of them are as easy to detest as to love.
If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, or like me you wanted to and just couldn't, then this is the book for you.
The characters are so rich, with so much depth that feel like I know them. This is a great story, even the bad guys are loveable!
Glocktor - but he only came to life through Steven Pacey's outstanding narration of his character.
He has so many different voices, he can even inject personality into them. He is outstanding.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves ongoing saga's I can't wait to listen to the second book. Download this book, you will not be disapointed
Some years after reading the paper versions I have found these Audio productions. The story is excellent anyway, but what takes this audio experience to even greater heights is the reader.
Steven Pacey has mined all the nuance and meaning of the characters and somehow put them into their voices. So much more enjoyable than the written word when delivered in this amazing and thoughtful way.
If you don't like fantasy or have never tried it - this is the story set to change your opinion. However, be warned, it doesn't get any better than this...
The Blade Itself is a good start to The First Law series. There are lots of interesting characters and plenty of interesting story elements. The narrator does a fantastic job. He creates a voice and attitude for each charactor. He is very versatile and makes it a very enjoable listen.
Hard Sci-Fi Connoiseur.
Honestly this rating is probably too high based on overall literary quality but after plenty of Alastair Reynolds, George RR Martin and Peter Hamilton this felt like a palette cleanser. Much as I love the incredible detail of Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and the Revelation Space universe, sometimes simple, swashbuckling adventure is more enjoyable. Yes, sci-fi / fantasy that challenges is great - but I really enjoyed the fun, light style of this book ... all you need is purpose and some good steel. Don't like the situation? Well nothing a barbed arrow won't solve! Narration is excellent btw. Steven Pacey really captures the spirit of the novel.