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
One of the greatest stories I have had the opportunity to listen and read. The Steven is a masterful narrator.
Fantastic story full of all the essentials, and delivered with a very keen voice. A Must-Read and Must-Hear for all fantasy lovers. Do yourself a favor and jump in now.
Much better than the first book. All of the sub-plots are engaging and unexpected. Nine fingers reminds me of Steven King's Gun Slinger.
This is a solid continuation for many excellent characters. Characters you loved in the first book get deeper, and you learn to love the b-team just as much if not more. The narrator gives each a voice, and conveys their suspicion and anger and fleeting honor with impressive clarity.
The only downside is that the author has every intention of frustrating and tormenting these lovable trolls, and it's hard to see much positive progress in the story itself.
Seriously, these performances need to stop being so outstanding and immersive. The story is fantastic, adult, charming, curious and slap in the mouth funny. The delivery is something else, I cannot recommend it enough and I'm exhausted to say it's utterly brilliant.
This second book is still full of good writing, as much as the first at least. The world building is a bit more like an info dump at times, but not overly so. Like some other books I have listened to I have noticed something. There tends to be a bit of word or phrase repetition. The first few time are ok, but this happens often in this second book. Something that the editor should have commented on I feel.
"fantastic second book"
The book is fantastic, unpredictable, interesting plot and great characters. Steven Pacey's narration is absolutely faultless and brings the characters to life.
"Probably the best narration I have heard so far"
Steven Pacey does an amazing job of getting the cutting sarcasm and wit of the writing just right in his narration. He is certainly one of the best audiobook narrators in the business.
The story follows a number of characters which could be considered integral to the overall plot and while it constantly moves between each of them to relate their individual stories, it never loses flow or pace.
I read the first book and while it was enjoyable, Steven Pacey brings it to life in a way that I hadn't thought possible. The depth of his voice talent makes it seem like you are listening to an audio play with a large cast, rather than the narration of one man.
"We didn't cut the torture scenes!"
This review is applicable to the entire trilogy, each book is as good, if not better, than the last.
"Next book quickly, I cant wait for long"
absolutely bloody marvellous
oh just all of it, the weave of the relationships, the twists along with the desired predictable human traits. I'm even wishing the San Dan Glokta gets away
5 star, oscar winning. totally consistant the absolutely fantastic narration by Steven
When 2 characters seemed near to dying I actually said out loud in the car "oh no, they cant be" so pretty enmeshed into the story line I think
I only discovered Abercrombie recently and I just can't get enough. Characterisation is superb (helped greatly by Steven Pacey's narration) and the plots are refreshingly unpredictable. If you are looking for traditional swords and sorcery fare, look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you seek original storytelling with wit and raw believability, download The Blade Itself now and get listening.
"Explosive but in depth entertainment."
The range of characters and the depth to the story made this a really engaging story that is excellently performed.
All of it it great with many different facets.
pacey brings the characters and the story to life so you can visualize them and get to know them
I wanted to hear what happened to them next.
if you like the first book don't think twice about buying this one and the third.
"The quality of the writing shines through"
Yes, if they were not put off by violence or swearing.
I don't want to introduce any spoilers, but there is little you can predict in this story, the author is very inventive.
Steven Pacey does a brilliant job maintaining all the different accents for the multitude of characters. Even the women are distinctive from each other by his rendition.
There are some very funny one-liners, but I did not think it's the type of book to make you cry.
The quality of the writing and the depth of the characterisation makes this series wonderful.
"A must for any fantasy fan"
I have now read/listened to all of Joe Abercrombies books. After the first I was gripped and eagerly consumed the rest. Absolutely brilliant. Great narration and characterisation as well.
"Steven Pacey Nailed it"
I have read this trilogy before, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is my kind of mix of gritty realistic fantasy, war and hard as nails protagonists.
One of the books strengths are the large number of strong and contrasting characters. And Steven Pacey read the story beautifully. He got each character spot on. Each with it's own unique accent and flavor.
Great trilogy, by a good author, and brilliantly narrated. 5/5
"Another great instalment in the series"
I will admit to being disappointed when this book ended, which is always a great sign. I have really come to like the characters, in many cases, despite their obvious faults, which I think is a sign of the excellent character creation by the author.
The story is big enough to warrant 3 novels and still feel fast paced. There are also some set pieces which made me laugh out loud, by far and away the least erotic description of really awkward sex I have ever read - that's a scene that will stay with me :)
The narrator varies his pace perfectly for the action scenes, his characterisation is excellent and he reads the humour in the same dry manner as I imagine the author intending it.
"Worth The Investment in Time and Money"
I read the print version of 'The Blade Itself' which brought me to this audiobook and I like print and audio for differing reasons. Both were great and the characters that you live with are engaging and satisfying. Glokta is a personal fave.
When Superior Glokta has to make a deal with the devil to defend Dagoska - the intrigue and tempered battle scenes were great.
OK, already said Glokta gets it from me but that is not to say that the others are significantly less interesting or believable. The book has some complex and interesting female characters that are not the norm in this genre.
It is a 7.5hr book - who would listen in one sitting?
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