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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

What Members Say

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4.5 (3149 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 03-03-14
    Doug D. Eigsti Colorado Springs, Colorado United States 03-03-14 Member Since 2011

    Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "We should forgive our enemies, but not *"

    This is the middle book in Abercrombie’s Fist Law Trilogy and as such advances the various story lines but does not attempt a conclusion. The lives of four main characters are followed, Logan (The Bloody Nine), Inquisitor (now Superior) Glokta, the Dogman, and Jazel. All these characters show significant development. So now that the stage is set with all these great characters the conclusion is anticipated. The thing is, I really have no idea where the story is headed because there is no central quest to this series so far.

    The characters are so good that Stephen Pacey has ample opportunity to display his considerable talents. Pacey is in fact fantastic making what could have been a plodding middle book into an engaging entertainment.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maribee7 Earth 01-05-14
    Maribee7 Earth 01-05-14 Member Since 2012

    Bee

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    5
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    "Wonderful Narrator, but..."

    I have to say I am in the minority about this book. This author does not give a lot of backstory, which I prefer. But he writes in such a way that makes me curious to see what is next. So I continue to read. Some of the characters are Very annoying. Narration is on point though. I kept reading out of curiosity more than anything else. Listening to this book was not a very pleasant experience for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dea Draper Mesa, AZ 01-03-14
    Dea Draper Mesa, AZ 01-03-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    10
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    "Intelligent dialogue is a high art form here"

    Time and again, I thought how clever and original, and appropriate a character’s surprising response was. There is nothing superficial about the dialogue or the characters. The conversations are used concisely for character and story development—no filler dialogue here, a pet peeve of mine.

    The story switches back & forth between groups of people, yet I didn’t have to break the story’s flow in order to remember who a character was, since thankfully, the author continually reminded me of relationships and events distinguishing the characters. He did it creatively and smoothly each time so it never felt repetitive or redundant.

    As far as the story itself goes, I read the first book in a day and couldn’t put this one down either. I am taking a break only to write this review. The third book is purchased and am already wailing that the story has to come to an end.

    The reader Steven Pacey is amazing, and a top favorite of mine.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin NEW YORK, NY, United States 12-28-13
    Martin NEW YORK, NY, United States 12-28-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    13
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    Story
    "Gripping tale"
    If you could sum up Before They Are Hanged in three words, what would they be?

    Great story indeed


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

    The name of the wind; Wheel of time series
    All great fantasy epics, thorough character description, great action


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The ambush when Jezel gets his scars


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Starring Johnny Depp as N d'cosca


    Any additional comments?

    Just a great read, the whole trilogy. Vibrant scenes, detailed characters and plenty of action.
    In addition, the reading is superb.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James ROSEVILLE, MN, United States 12-06-13
    James ROSEVILLE, MN, United States 12-06-13 Member Since 2010
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    "The most likable fantasy antiheros"
    Would you listen to Before They Are Hanged again? Why?

    Sure, it's super fun.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Come on, no question really. The Bloody Nine is a legend.


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

    Yup


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Henrik Brooklyn, NY, United States 10-26-13
    Henrik Brooklyn, NY, United States 10-26-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    9
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    Story
    "More of Book 1"
    Would you listen to Before They Are Hanged again? Why?

    I usually don't listen twice to my audio books and I'll probably won't in this case either.


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

    Steven Pacey is excellent at portraying the main characters and give them more of a personality with humour. I especially like his version of Glotke and Logan. He definitely brings them alive!


    Any additional comments?

    It's really more of the same as Book one in the series. If you liked the first book you'll probably like this one more as the story progresses.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ross MUSKEGON, MI, United States 10-03-13
    Ross MUSKEGON, MI, United States 10-03-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    43
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    Story
    "So good"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Before They Are Hanged to be better than the print version?

    do not know


    What did you like best about this story?

    its very funny


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

    only his reading of the first book. he is a great reader.


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

    its that good!


    Any additional comments?

    an outstanding audio book for fans of Game of Thrones, while we wait for the next installment in that series : ) utterly enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Torrillo Connecticut 09-22-13
    C. Torrillo Connecticut 09-22-13

    Kring

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    "Still missing something - but good overall"
    Would you try another book from Joe Abercrombie and/or Steven Pacey?

    Probably not, I'll finish the series, but overall not that great of a book.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    Glokta is the best character. The overall story feels disconnected from the Characters. After Reading Rothfuss & GRRM books, this is no where near either of those series. There are interesting parts but it's missing the finer details and gives details where not relevant. This is basically just a story that requires no thought what so ever, nothing surprised me.


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

    Just as good - he's one of the best. If not for Pacey I probably wouldn't have finished the series. This must really be a hard book to read.


    Did Before They Are Hanged inspire you to do anything?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 07-25-13
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 07-25-13 Member Since 2011

    UncleHammy

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    "Book 2 is better than book one."

    The second istallment of "The First Law" series is more action packed than that first, most of the characters were introduced in the first book so little time is needed to describe charactors.

    Before They Are Hanged is a great continuation of the series. But it is obvious that the author never intended the books to be read seperately. The second book ends much like the first book by just stopping. No resolution of the story threads just stops.

    I did notice in this book tha the author is very tallented as is the narrator in bringing the story to life. In one scene Logan is fishing in the back ground and the author has him interject from out of the scene several times. It make it seem more like real life.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Anchorage, AK, United States 04-16-13
    Robert Anchorage, AK, United States 04-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    "Very good sequel"
    What made the experience of listening to Before They Are Hanged the most enjoyable?

    The voice acting is some of the best. I highly enjoy Steven Pacey's version of the story.


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

    It would be hard to compare this book to anything. It feels like what the Wheel of Time would be if directed by Guy Ritchie


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 78 results PREVIOUS12348NEXT
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  • RubyShoes
    Berkshire
    6/19/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Great Story made... Awesome!... By...."

    A great story made awesome by Steven Pacey his narration is truly exceptional.

    Steven Pacey brings the well written story and characters to life and sweeps you away into the heart of the story. I've listened to books one and two in about 10 days and I'm just about to get book 3 so - I'm hooked if there were 10 stars available I'd give this series 12 :D

    It's a very long time since I've enjoyed a fantasy series so much it has everything darkness, grit, humour, magic, battles and brilliant characters each with their own twists and turns inside the main plot line. (As a sidenote I wish the author would give Glokta his own series!)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel Clay
    UK
    6/3/13
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    Story
    "Awesome fantasy series!"

    Awesome fantasy series, well written and well read! Once you start it you won't want to put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Khaled
    Cairo, Egypt
    6/1/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "More than just a Good Yarn"

    Gripping and addictive. Apart from the adventures, fighting and magic you get pretty deep insights into psychology, politics and philosophy ...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alexander
    York, United Kingdom
    5/13/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Best in the Series..."

    Probably my favourite book so far, and in my opinion the best of Joe Abercrombie's First Law Series. A book which I always come back to listen too and can't stop listening too. I recommend this book to anyone who has the flavour for fantasy, mystery, adventure (if on the gory-y side) and characters of which I can't find anywhere else.

    Brilliant Book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr
    BRISTOL, United Kingdom
    4/8/13
    Overall
    "Good story, reasonable narrator"

    Having read this series several years ago, I was keen to revisit the books after reading some of the follow-up stories, and I was surprised how little actually seems to happen in the first book. It's engagingly written and character-driven, and unusually for the genre, all of the characters are actually interesting and well-drawn.

    When I read the book I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it took me months to get around to reading the next one. Listening to to it again, I found much the same feeling - it's strangely addictive whilst you are immersed in it, but the natural break at the end of the book, and the feeling that not a lot has actually *happened* plot-wise, left me feeling less inspired by it than I was expecting. I'd thoroughly recommend persevering though, as the books get progressively better and better as Joe Abercrombie begins weaving the lives of the apparently disparate characters together, picking up new ones and abandoning old ones along the way, and you need to read the trilogy first to get the back story for the characters in the single-book novels.

    I've heard some criticisms about Joe Abercrombie's characters' colourful language, but it didn't strike me as gratuitous and it is frequently very amusing, in a very dark way. Probably not one to listen to with children though.

    Steven Pacey is *okay* as a narrator in this book, and he does improve noticeably in the next one. The characters are distinctive and easy to differentiate, but I was surprised just how much grimACING there is in the book. This is very likely my ignorance as, after some further research, people are perfectly entitled to stress the first or second syllable, but having only ever heard the first syllable stressed, it has a tendency to grate quickly, and I regularly found myself GRIMacing.



    A good book, reasonably narrated, which sets up stronger performances from both the author and narrator in the next story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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