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Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two | [Joe Abercrombie]

Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces. In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta.
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Publisher's Summary

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous, and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons, the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone his elite forces.

In the heat-ravaged south, the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta. The city is braced for the inevitable defeat and massacre to come... but a plot is festering to hand the city to its besiegers without a fight, and the previous Inquisitor of Dagoska vanished without trace. Threatened from within and without the city, Glokta needs answers, and he needs them soon.

And to the east, a small band of malefactors travel to the edge of the world to reclaim a device from history - a Seed, hidden for generations - with tremendous destructive potential. A device which could put a end to war, to the army of Eaters in the South, to the invasion of Shanka from the North - but only if it can be found, and only if its power can be controlled.

©2007 Joe Abercrombie (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group Limited

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  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 12-08-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 12-08-13 Member Since 2010

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    513
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    Story
    "PRIDE AND SHAME DON'T FEED YOU"

    HONOR, WHAT GOOD IS IT?
    YOU CAN'T DRINK IT.
    YOU CAN'T F IT.
    This is life as seen through the common man. It is a harsh life, which is reflected in the language, attitude and wisdom of our main characters. This is also a life where one day you may be the handsome hero and the next the ugly monster. The characters are well developed, interesting and complicated. Each day I listened to find out what was gong to happen to these characters I had become so invested in. JA is not as harsh as George R.R. Martin, but you can not always be assured your favorite characters are not going to come to some harm or be killed.

    DOING BETTER, THAT'S WHAT LIFE IS.
    This is a five star book, but I must admit that it is not as good as book 1. Unlike others, I felt the story in this one went a little long and that it was not that much of a story. If I good give six stars, I would give book one six and this book five. I also believe that it don't matter which book you read first. Like most trilogies this book is meant to keep your interest just long enough for you to want to buy the third book, and it worked.

    AS FOR BEING A GOOD MAN, THAT SHIP SAILED LONG AGO AND I WAS NOT EVEN THERE TO SEE IT OFF.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    donald MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 01-02-13
    donald MIRA LOMA, CA, United States 01-02-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "The first law series, A MUST FOR FANTASY READERS"
    Any additional comments?

    The first law series is an instant classic. GRR Martin fans are going to love it. The Performance is also top notch. The best of lists for the sff genre will put this series near the top. I am enjoying another Joe Abercrombie novel "Red Country".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Bedford, NH, United States 11-30-12
    Craig Bedford, NH, United States 11-30-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Superior Fantasy for a new Century"

    I don't know where we're headed, but I'm LOVING how we're getting there! Joe Abercrombie does it again with the sequel to The Blade Itself. Another darker, grittier epic fantasy where the usual tropes and memes are turned on their heads, giving the same old chills and thrills we love of our usual epic fantasy, but with a more ominous and surprising edge. There are no pristine archetypes here, but rather a collection of flawed and fallible men and women struggling to do their . . . best . . . ? . . . worst? . . . well, definitely struggling, anyway. And as the story progresses you learn, organically and without chapters' worth of clumsy exposition, that some, if not all, of these characters aren't quite what they appear to be . . .

    Can't wait to finish The Last Argument of Kings, which I downloaded directly the MINUTE I finished this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tango Texas 04-12-12
    Tango Texas 04-12-12 Member Since 2012

    Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1085
    ratings
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    418
    124
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    Story
    "Totally leaves you hanging"
    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspects are two in my opinion. The characterizations are wonderful with believable characters that the listener can identify with; few characters are totally evil stereotypes and none are saints. The political plots and machinations are equally interesting and often applicable to real life. The least interesting aspect to me are the battles. There are many more battle scenes in the second book than in the first and had I been reading this book, I might have put it down or skimmed large sections. However, it is hard to fast forward through Steven Pacey - he is an amazing reader even for parts of the book I didn't like.


    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I don't know if I would have read past the first book in this series - it isn't really my genre of choice. But I LOVE listening to Steven Pacey. He really brings the book and the characters to life.


    Any additional comments?

    I don't know why the First Law series was written as a series - should have just been a big book. Neither the first nor second book stands alone. If you are going to be forced to buy all three to get a complete story, calling it a series is sort of cheating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary Las Vegas, NV, United States 09-05-14
    Gary Las Vegas, NV, United States 09-05-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "LOVE this series"
    Any additional comments?

    If you are debating continuing with this series, keep going. I loved it. It only gets better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Burke California 07-29-14
    Micah Burke California 07-29-14 Member Since 2012

    Lockheed

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    4
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    Story
    "Hard Fantasy"
    What did you love best about Before They Are Hanged?

    The characters, who while they first seem like fantasy cliches, are fully developed and have their own motives and intentions.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The scope of the series spans continents and kingdoms, yet focuses on a small group within to flesh out the story.


    Which character – as performed by Steven Pacey – was your favorite?

    Glokta! To get the reader to cheer for such a seemingly despicable character requires a deft talent, and Abercrombie pulls it off. Pacey's characterization of Glokta was painfully creepy.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the hard stuff, and I like it. Abercrombie gets how life in such a time/place would be and doesn't flinch to express it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Mirrabooka, Australia 07-16-14
    Michael Mirrabooka, Australia 07-16-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "taken for a great ride"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    yes great story interesting compelling story


    What other book might you compare Before They Are Hanged to and why?

    game of thrones


    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    listening is a great time saver I would rather read and let my imagination create scenes but Steven does a marvelous job of painting a great story with his wonderful style


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    no but a great listen


    Any additional comments?

    give it a go if your a fantasy fan

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    kevin LANDISVILLE, PA, United States 04-29-14
    kevin LANDISVILLE, PA, United States 04-29-14 Member Since 2011
    ratings
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    3
    3
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    Story
    "Getting better"
    Where does Before They Are Hanged rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Probably the upper third.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Before They Are Hanged?

    The fencing match with Jazelle and actually the way Logan Nine Fingers tries to get the group to bond.


    Have you listened to any of Steven Pacey’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This guy is epic. Without this sort of performance, I am not sure I would have stuck with it.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    At times during certain segments I would find myself lingering in the vehicle before getting out to do what I should do. Parts of this are very captivating.


    Any additional comments?

    I thought this book was a bit better than the first although it could be that I am finally fully immersed into the story and characters. It's funny, for as long as these audios are, it does not seem like a lot is really accomplished in each story. Rather, it is one story broken down into a lot of detail. Sometimes this gets too tedious and bogs things down but I don't feel that is occurring here. Enjoyable listen overall but I feel this is not going to have the good ending for certain characters I was hoping for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Johnathan W. Hill Corpus Christi, TX, USA 04-24-14
    Johnathan W. Hill Corpus Christi, TX, USA 04-24-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Another Riveting Listen"

    Once again, I was bowled over by the second book in the "First Law" trilogy.

    There is a bit more action in this one compared to "The Blade Itself", which was nice because I felt that the first book dragged on a bit in plot. In fact, were it not for Mr. Abercrombie's superb characterization and Mr. Pacey's phenomenal narration, I would have probably stopped listening from lack of plot.

    That being said, the excellent characterization and narration is back, plus we get A LOT more action. There are some really great battle scenes and the characters are taken back through the wringer again. Some worse than others.

    That being said, I still am not sure what is happening with the plot. There is so much going on at a micro level that I am not seeing the BIG picture. I've yet to see how all the dots connect and I am beginning to think that they may never really connect in a way I am used to in fantasy.

    Which I am OKAY with. The novel is so well written and so well narrated that I can stand there to be not much of a plot or for there to be little plot resolution. I would like to see some questions answered in the third novel, but if they are not, I'll live. Joe Abercrombie has a keen understanding of humanity (if a somewhat dark view of it) and I am content to luxuriate in the world he has created even if it means we don't really go anywhere.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel Joburg, South Africa 03-24-14
    Daniel Joburg, South Africa 03-24-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THIS IS WHAT FANTASY IS ABOUT"
    What did you love best about Before They Are Hanged?

    The story is woven in an impeccable world without fault. There are few problems with believability, the magic is raw & powerful and the characters are fallible people just trying to stay alive.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I love where the story is going, how the character Glokta grows into him self and how utterly ruthless he can be.


    What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Steven has an amazing ability to bring the characters to life. His British accent lends itself to many dialects and he weaves believable pictures which allows me to immerse myself into the story. He has a lovely way of building the tension which had me almost jump into a bush from fright during a particular piece whilst I was running...


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I have to admit that I didn't as I have read the series before so unfortunately I did not have any surprises waiting for me.


    Any additional comments?

    I can hardly rate this series highly enough. If you are almost spending a credit on this do it now...but only if you can handle hard core action fantasy. If you are into unicorns you should possibly try a different title.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 78 results PREVIOUS1238NEXT
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  • Tom
    West Wickham, United Kingdom
    8/23/10
    Overall
    "An EXCELLENT trilogy, BRILLIANTLY narrated"

    An excellent audiobook brilliantly narrated.

    This is the second book in Joe Abercrombie's 'First Law' trilogy and it is important to read/listen to the books in order to get the most out of them.

    The book picks up more or less when part 1 ended. There are now three distinct story lines involving Glokta, Major West and the Byas expedition and they are pretty much separate throughout. There is also a lot more action. But the main strengths of the first book continue: well written, excellent characters and plots and a tour de force of narration by Stephen Pacey, who brings the book brilliantly to life. Stunning is the only word to describe his performance.

    A five star listen - I'm already onto to part 3!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  • Peter
    Beulah, United Kingdom
    1/18/11
    Overall
    "An excellent sequel."

    This book continues the brilliant form of the first. There are some new characters introduced but mainly it continues the stories of the diverse and varied cast from the first book. It is bloodier than the first, with more battles and action, but retains the intelligence and humour of the first. A remarkable series of books so far, made all the more enjoyable by the narrator. An excellent effort all round!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Sarah
    Bruton, United Kingdom
    6/10/12
    Overall
    "These books are the reason I need more credits !!!"

    This second part of the trilogy is not the "mark time till the finale" filler usually found in fantasy trilogies. The characters are solid and the story makes turning off your mp3 player very hard.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Christopher
    Telford, United Kingdom
    2/5/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How to apply dark comedy to a gritty fantasy"


    Joe Abercombie continues on top form with his second installment.

    Story – 4.5/5

    I did feel like a lot of the story was unnecessary to the overall aim, but what it did help to do was develop the characters, and this was clearly Joe Abercrombie’s intention, as he has set it up for one hell of a ride in the conclusion to the trilogy (which I have already read)

    Each of the characters becomes even more likeable, and the dark comedy becomes even funnier as you learn more and the story develops. I thoroughly enjoyed this aspect, and I found I couldn’t turn the audio book off.

    This story has more action and violence than the first, concentrating on both the battles themselves as well as the politics behind them.

    Performance – 5/5

    Steven Pacey is one of the best narrators out there. His character acting was flawless, each having a distinctive and believable voice. His narration enhanced the dark comedy and whit of Joe Abercrombie’s writing

    Music/sound effects between scenes/chapters was a nice touch as well

    Overall – 4.5/5

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • sharon
    Falmouth, United Kingdom
    7/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Dark and Edgy..."

    Dark violent gritty - absolutely wonderful, gripped from beginning to end in this second in the fantasy series, I laughed, cringed, booed, gasped and cheered. My favourite character has to be Glockta, his dry sarcastic inner monologue entertained and I love the knife edge political machinations he had to hobble through. All the main characters leap off the page and are easily distinguishable, off to go straight onto the next one.. Bravo even better than the first hence the five stars...

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Simon
    Canterbury, United Kingdom
    10/20/11
    Overall
    "Fantastic stuff"

    Gripping to the end - fantastic stuff! Brilliant story and brilliant narrator. I usually only listen to Audible stories while driving (on my sat nav) but this one was so good I took the sat nav out of the car and listened to it straight through.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    GREENFORD, United Kingdom
    8/14/11
    Overall
    "a very good listen!"

    After listening to the first book I bought this one (being the second book) it too was not a mistake. I thouroughly enjoyed it adn found it if not as good as the first book then better! once again it was well read by Stephen Pacey with all the emotion and grit of the first book. This is definatly worth it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • graham
    plymouth, United Kingdom
    7/8/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Buy it, Download it, Enoy it.."

    That's exactly what I have done..like part one "the blade Itself" this is a fantastic story, well written and excellently executed by narrator. The characters each have their distinctive characterisation, that blend and meander through the story . The story is exiting and interesting and builds each chapter.
    If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, you will enjoy this..It has the quality of writing of GOT, but the narration is so much better

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • iain
    LEOMINSTER, United Kingdom
    4/13/13
    Overall
    "I loved it"

    I think that these books are brilliant and I would recommend them to anyone who likes intrigue and painful death in their novels. The characters have been enlivened by the reading of the audio book. The voices are perfect. All of Joe Abercrombie's books are imaginative and brilliant examples of the fantasy genre. Logan Nine Fingers is a ground breaking character who should be a role model for everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    Birmingham, United Kingdom
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Brilliant continuation of The Blade Itself"

    I discovered Joe Abercrombie from reading reviews on Audible and was glad I did. I wanted something fresh to read and not derivative of other authors. I found this here.



    I did everything I could to find time to continue listening to this book. I offered to do the shopping, gardening and even pretended to go to bed early so could slip in the ear phones and lose myself in the characters and the world.



    The book is not without faults - the expedition to edge of the world seems a pointless, if engaging, ramble - but they are few and greatly offset by the story and narration.



    I would recommend this series to anyone interested in fantasy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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