I'm assuming that if you're thinking of reading this book, that you've read the series from the very beginning. As a stand alone book, I think most would find this annoying without the background information on the characters.
As I have followed the series since the beginning, I was already intimate with the strengths and weaknesses of the characters in the series, and I am familiar with the dark style of story telling that is Joe Abercombie. As a result, these issues were not a distraction for me.
Standing on it's own merits, I found the story to be well crafted and very enjoyable. Once I started it, I found it hard to stop listening and couldn't wait to get back to it once I had. This is a hallmark o a very enjoyable work.
As for the narration: I think Michael Page is a first rate narrator in his own right , but he has a very difficult task of trying to continue behind another master. Switching narrators in a series is never a good idea, as listeners are always shaped and then biased to the narrator that introduced them to the series. That is the case here, although once you get over this, the performance is very good.
So, if you have liked the series to date, you will likely find this book as good!
I enjoy reading fantasy, science fiction, and horror the most. To improve, I read about language, psychology, spirituality, and art. I read about computer science and business for professional reasons.
A medieval fantasy novel about two armies waging a battle for territory. Although the story was set in a unique realm, and had elements of fantasy, most of the book was about regular weapons found in medieval times, rather than of the magic and sorcery type.
I found this novel unique because of the large amount of characters involved. Most fantasy novels I've read or listened to happen to focus on a main hero and a few characters which become highly developed. In contrast, this novel described a large quantity of characters, with a large number of characters becoming casualties. Even with the high amount of characters and action, though, the relationships of numerous characters were very developed. These characters included some of the most foul mouthed, rude, and arrogant people imaginable. Most of the relationships were based on confrontation, conflict, and complaining, with lies and betrayals the norm.
The plotline had some great action and battles. The authors ability to describe medieval warfare from numerous perspectives was great. With the detailed descriptions, one could easily imagine what medieval battlefields might have been like, and how numerous types of people may have experienced these settings. The scenarios were loaded with tragedy, brutality, victory, and loss. And the story contained enough human elements, strategy, and tactical information to make the warfare entertaining, thought provoking, and dynamic.
Second time listening to this book, Michael Page is the perfect compliment to Joe Abercrombie's humor. Michael Page adds the class to the humor to Joe Abercromibie's writing, I waffle back and forth between my favorite book/narrator combo and these two are definitely in contention for number 1.
New grandpa. Married 35 great years. Drink Batch 19,Tsing Tao, and Bohemia. Read Card, King, Hobb, Sawyer, Sci-Fi, Historical Fiction.
Sit down, let's talk about it. And talk and talk. Let's say manly stuff and sound mean.
I loved The First Blade and was going to get the second book in the trilogy, but this book went on sale. No one warned me this book had no plot. So before I get buried to the back pages of reviews, let me warn you this book has no plot, it is all talk.
It is not terrible to listen to. There are some cool things said. Some parts are funny. Lots of parts are not. If I am going to listen to almost 23 hours of book, I need something besides talk. I need a plot, a mystery, something. If I want to listen to old men I can go down to any rural gas station in the morning, where there will be seven or eight farmers telling war stories.
If you have not listened to Joe, then get First Blade, unless you are a fan of Glen Cook and The Black Company, then you will love this book.
Michael Page makes all books sound like they are classics. He can make the phone book sound like masterpiece theater.
Joe Abecrombie is a remarkable writer. His words express emotions that many writers don't put into their novels. War is a horror for all, those who plan it those who fight it and those who are in the way of it. If this book doesn't turn you off to war, and the aftermaths of it nothing ever will.
People complained about Michael Page's performance, I think he did a wonderful job. Not just with the reading but switching character voices so you know who is speaking. If you enjoy Joe Abecrombie don't be put off by negative comments. These people are used to listening to Steven Pacey in Abecrombie's other books. However Michael Page also did Best Served Cold. and I believe one other, but Mr Page is wonderful. Your credit won't be wasted. (my opinion) if you feel that it wasn't enjoyable, contact Audible and they will refund your credit.
The true horror of war is depicted in many ways. In a book this long I can not just pick one.
If you have read Joe Abecrombie, this is one of his best. It is my opinion. I have read almost every other book by him except Red Country. (I am using a gift to purchase that) He is brilliant and is never afraid to show the highs and lows of humanity.
I don't know what all the grumbling is about ... I thought the narrator did a great job. It's been over a year since I listened to the other books in this series, so perhaps that's why I didn't notice a narration change.
But seriously ... Michael Page does a fine job, and his rendition of Gorst is fantastic. He also did a great job with Best Served Cold. Don't let the 'new' narrator keep you from listening to this book - you won't be dissappointed with his storytelling.
Some have complained about the narrator - he's not the best but he's not bad. Some characters he does exceptionally well, others . . .so so. Overall, the story is just as dark and twisted as Joe's other material - I loved it.
I have never finished a book narrated by Michael Page. I bought this book without looking at who the narrator was and i regret it. I will go buy the real book and read it. The other books in the series were great so i just bought. Never going to make that mistake again.
While the story isn't up-to-par with "The First Law" series, it's entertaining enough... But once again, Michael Page's narration, penchant for giving virtually every character an undue amount of gravitas and O-V-E-R E-N-U-N-C-I-A-T-I-O-N basically ruins it.
For the hell of it, I listened to the first 30 minutes of "The Blade Itself" and I nearly cried with joy and sadness at not having Steven Pacey read the books that follow.
I can only hope and pray that Mr. Pacey is brought back when and if Mr. Abercrobie returns us to our old friends Sand dan Glokta, the unwitting Jezal dan Luthar and the ever-so-practical Logen Ninefingers.