I'm a web developer based out of Sacramento, I listen to books while I work, and love audible.
This is as 3.5 star. Overall it was a great story, however I found that there were a few inconstancies with the characters (very minor).
I really like the second book in the series, it was a solid 4 stars. I feel that the first one didn't quite have enough action, and the 3rd had a bit too much. Too much action can make pacing seem off, too much of anyone thing makes the pacing seem off.
I find this series to be a fairly fresh take on fantasy and I can't wait to read the next one. Which is stand alone novel. Come on Audible put it in a BOGO sale.
I have been reading Fantasy/Science Fiction since Dinosaurs walked the earth. And if I have to read one more 'coming of age...gee who knew I was MAGIC!!' book, I'll throw up. So finally, along with Michael J Sullivan (with more swearing) or Patrick Rothfuss (with more blood and betrayal) or Anthony Ryan (with fewer animal companions) ... another series with some actual, more/less real people in it (though, let's face it, Berserkers are thankfully not common in our Internet age). I appreciate someone who realizes that a) we all MIGHT become better people but b) we bring ourselves with us. And, while mostly uncomfortable, sometimes our past selves are pretty useful. We might drink too much, we might say the wrong things at the wrong times... but if we are not so self-absorbed that we can't see beyond our noses... we can contribute. And not even modestly, at that. So, for a fantasy of 'real, flawed' people contributing...this gets an A+++. If you haven't read/listened to Red Country... you must. The ending of Costas is better than you can imagine! But listen to the whole First Law series, first.
I would recommend only because it is the conclusion....however I was disappointed with the ending I felt as though the author struggled to find an ending for all the characters I had grown to like.
The first 2 books were by far better.
Steven Pacey is FANTASTIC immediately looked up other books he has narrated.
Only to beware of trilogy conclusions.
Still really liked the series and would recommend.
Abercrombie weaves a story line of devastatingly funny and slightly nefarious characters that you want to eavesdrop on forever. It comes to an end but you can always listen again.
This avatar actually looks like me.
Abercrombie has twisted hero's, this book is dark, almost biblical violence and epic battles.
He maintains continuity of the characters, some stories I have listened to, the prefomers have changed the voices. Pacey uses the same voice for each person from start of the first book till the last chapter in the last book. Amazing!,.
I listened to this series over a period of two weeks. Very violent and dark, too much at once, I think I will take a little break from Abercrombie before I go back to the mud.
intrigue mystery magic
when Ferran got her supernatural powers
always a good listen
Sam Glockters private insights
pretty easy to tell early on Jezzel was going to be king in series but still plenty of great surprises and twists
Audiobooks are my workaround to the pesky laws forbidding reading while driving. And I'm pretty sure my dog likes them too.
Joe Abercrombie is a bold writer. I knew this about five minutes into "The Blade Itself" - but he proved it with his approach to ending the trilogy. I am SO glad that I persevered through the more gruesome and spine-tingling passages. It was worth every second.
Steven Pacey is a phenomenal narrator. His narration gave so much life to these novels, it was as though they were being acted out, not merely read aloud.
But more to Abercrombie's writing - he utilizes a couple of literary devices that I appreciated. Maybe that's the wrong term, but it's the one I shall use to describe two parts of his style:
1. Shifts in perspective. This began in Book 1 and continued seamlessly through Book 3, further enabled by the expert narration. Each character takes on different life depending upon through whose eyes he is being viewed. Glokta becomes more or less revolting, Jazel becomes more or less whiny and annoying, Logan more or less barbaric ... I thoroughly enjoyed seeing each character through his own eyes, and through the eyes of the others. The subtle shifts between characters were very bold, anticipating the reader's ability to quickly follow along and catch the changes (though these shifts may not have been so subtle in print ...) I enjoyed catching a change in pitch in the narration of a voice, to realize that the perspective had changed. Although this style was used throughout the trilogy, it became most pronounced in this third book as the action and suspense increased.
2. Use of themes/repeated phrases. Glokta repeats the phrase, "Body floating by the docks" to illustrate when he is in danger of reprimand, or to point out (subtly, yet not so subtly) when another is in equal danger. Logan has the "say one thing about Logan Ninefingers..." attached to his character. These repeat themes were witty and wise, yet not so over-used as to become cliche, annoying, or a vice of the author. Instead, they were just plain clever.
Although the third novel was not my favorite of the trilogy (that prize goes to "Before They Are Hanged"), it was expertly written and concluded with such audacity that I felt not a twinge of disappointment at finishing the trilogy, though I thirsted for more of Abercrombie's refreshing style.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
I decided to keep with the pattern of review titles I had adopted in the first two books; that of completing the quote used in the name of the book. But here are some great quotes from this novel that would have made great review titles:
Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.
The good thing about every step being an ordeal: You learn to tread carefully.
Life is a series of things we would rather not do.
You’re never alone if you bring laughter with you
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments
In war the only crime is to lose
God smiles on results
You have to be realistic about these things
There are many small surprises in this last book in the trilogy. Some of the behind the scenes maneuvering is revealed and I like the long range planning involved. The strong suit of this series is characterization. I will long remember Logan, Jezel, Bayez and the twisted Glokta; all of whom undergo significant life changes, and all of whom are forced to do some serious soul searching. All the people are flawed, just like real life. All the people have something to contribute to one’s own introspection. This is an excellent series. I liked each book more than the last as the story grew in the telling it grew in my estimation as well. This is good enough to revisit again in the future.
And in the end Logan is…
Stephen Pacey gives a performance worth of an Audie award. He was great in the first two books and is even better here as the story builds toward the conclusion. He is adept at the variety of characters here. His voice for Superior Glokta is so very sarcastic. He does a fine job at portraying Jezel dan Luther, the selfish dandy that has greatness thrust upon him. He is even great in voicing the female characters. This is one of those books that I will be listening to again just to hear the one-man-show that is Stephen Pacey.
Say he can write a damn fine book. I loved everything about this series. I loved the depth, the seriousness, the humor, the pace, and the gritty, 'rawness' of the writing. Joe pulls no punches. He knocks you down and drags you into his amazingly detailed, amazingly brutal world. A world built on war, violence, politics, betrayal, revenge, ruthlessness, and a touch of magic.
Each of the characters is a fully formed individual. There are no cookie cutter stereotypes here, no "overcome all the odds" superheros or nice guys. Each one has their own voice, their own perspectives, their own faults (loads of faults), and their own motivations that remain consistent the whole way through the adventure.
The narration is absolutely flawless. Steven Pacey does an amazing job in giving voice to each of the characters. There are no weak points in the performance and his voice fits the grittiness of the story.
If you are looking for an absorbing trilogy and aren't the queasy type then The First Law series is definitely worth listening too. I will be re-listening to them all again in the near future.
With this series I have never experienced such longing, despair and depression upon the conclusion of a trilogy--I so much loved the characters, the story line, the fantastic dialogue, and the reader Steven Pacey that when my sustained immersion ended this loss was quite dramatic.
With the list of all the awards this series has received, I don't know how I missed reading it sooner--perhaps because series don't always hold up throughout, so I choose other reads first. Every book in this series is extremely strong.
I include The First Law series in my "all time favorites" for all genera.