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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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  •  
    Derek Pretoria, South Africa 09-11-12
    Derek Pretoria, South Africa 09-11-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This series gets better and better!"
    If you could sum up Before They Are Hanged in three words, what would they be?

    Depth, action, originality


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The bloody nine!


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The scene where "Furious" is first mentioned.


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

    For sure!


    Any additional comments?

    Very happy to discover Joe Abercrombie. Will definitely listen to his other books when completing this series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chuck United States 09-05-12
    Chuck United States 09-05-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    49
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    56
    42
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    "Good continuation of the series"

    This is a very good continuation of the series. In my experience, a lot of book twos in series fall flat and are filler material. While this book is obviously a bridge to get you to book three, it doesn't seem to fall flat as other book twos I've read did. Abercrombie moves the story along nicely (actually, all the stories, since there are several going on), and only at very rare times does he seem to get stuck in one place, dragging on too long.

    One of my complaints of book one, character development, was fixed in this book. The characters seem to grow and change as they face their various trials and tribulations. Abercrombie continues to make you question whether these characters are good or bad. He really keeps you guessing, which is fun. My other complaint from book one remains in this book, it doesn't really seem to have an end. The book just sort of stops at a very obvious place (where all of the characters have completed whatever task they were working on), but there is no real sense of build up to a climax. I know it's hard to do when you're writing a series and working towards a final denouement, but other authors have managed to pull it off. The end of this book, as with book one, just feels like the end of an act or chapter, not the completion of a book.

    Once again, Steven Pacey's performance is great. I love the way he reads each character with a different voice. It sounds like there is more than one person reading.

    Overall, this is a fun continuation of the series. I'm really enjoying Abercrombie's writing. It's not incredibly deep, but it is a good story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bruce Perth, Australia 08-21-12
    Bruce Perth, Australia 08-21-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant"

    Really enjoyed this second book. I found the first book started off well but nothing seemed to happen. The opposite is true of this one - it all happens. Finished in a few days and bought the next one straight afterwards.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron 08-12-12
    Aaron 08-12-12
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    13
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    "Performance is top notch!"

    Pacey handles a large cast with excellence. The characters are memorable and well-written! Strongly recommended!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. L. Turner 08-02-12 Member Since 2011

    Tutivillus

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
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    49
    32
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    Story
    "Neutral colors in tones, accents and characters"

    The first book was great.
    The second book is outstanding.

    This is a grim, funny, dark and twisted series that (I'm glad to say) spins out from fantasy traditions and standards that need to be broken. I think we often read to live in characters we'll never be, share attributes we'll never have. If you do that with these books you'll probably wind up in a drunken rage, scanning the web for Jerry Springer reruns just to feel better. The "heros" are killers, liars, cowards and destroyed individuals simply doing what they can to survive. They glimmer dimly in dark places, facets offering hopes of redemption, but there's no one around to pick the gems clean. They stay stuck in their prisons, rattling through routine, fearing what's outside their scope and vision while the strings tug at puppet limbs.

    Awesome and beautiful.

    Highlights:

    "Body found floating at the docks" - placed appropriately.
    Spot on narration.
    "Say one thing about Logan Ninefingers..." That one thing is many and delivered with perfect irony.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mr Clyde 07-08-12
    Mr Clyde 07-08-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    34
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    "Interesting"

    This is the Second Book of the Triliogy. Interesting But a little dark. Hard to keep track of characters. Have to listen quite a while to start making sence of tthis series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Multiman 07-08-12
    Multiman 07-08-12 Member Since 2006
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    3
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    Story
    "A Mixed Bag"

    All in all a good read. I would not suggest this series as one of my favorites though.
    Many of Joe???s characters are distinctive, engaging, and creative. I would say that for me they carry the story. He has a comfortable writing voice and uses imagery well.
    Unfortunately, Joe spends a lot of time building up to what could be an exciting climax--the island at the end of the world--only to blow through the event simplistically and in very few pages. Very anticlimactic.
    In my opinion, Joe would do better to spend more ink on the actual climactic event and less on the build up or write a longer story. I wouldn???t complain.
    I still enjoyed the over all story, but did set it down for some time before picking it up again after reading the Master???s house scene in the first book.
    To be fair he does very well with some of the more minor climaxes. He is a good writer and I will probably read/listen to others of his books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sue Wandandian, AL, United States 06-24-12
    Sue Wandandian, AL, United States 06-24-12 Member Since 2008

    I am married with a teenage son and run my own business. As I am visually impaired, audio books are my life.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A bit slow"
    What did you like best about Before They Are Hanged? What did you like least?

    I do like the series so far but it feels like it's being dragged out a bit. Not sure what story the author is trying to tell other than different characters going to war and fighting and how it's affecting them. Let's see what happens in book 3


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G.Monie Queens, NY, United States 06-07-12
    G.Monie Queens, NY, United States 06-07-12 Member Since 2015

    " I have my mind... & a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge." -T.L.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    157
    ratings
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    189
    132
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    21
    4
    Overall
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    Story
    "Great Triology"
    What made the experience of listening to Before They Are Hanged the most enjoyable?

    Complex character development, general storyline, above average imagery of fighting scenes, excellent 'flow' which makes the book hard to put down


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The 2 best characters that are a tie for me are Glokta and 'Pharo'?! (spelling) - one is a character who uses their mind to spin webs and solve problems similar to Tyrion Lannister or Vary's... but each of the characters has their own similarities a reader can relate to


    Any additional comments?

    Easily a trilogy on par with game of thrones, any of the multiple Brandon Sanderson novels, Dresden books, Rachel Morgan, Nightside...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph B. Hewitt IV Las Vegas, NV 03-23-12
    Joseph B. Hewitt IV Las Vegas, NV 03-23-12 Member Since 2006

    -Joseph-

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    0
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    "Things are happening"

    I said in my review of the first book int his series is that it felt like just a story about these character who are just going about their lives without an overall plot. You only barely get hints of something bigger going on, but it is all played very close to the chest. Now however there are some more things going on. Things are happening and the characters are reacting. There are also hints about the bigger picture so you can get a feel about what is going on overall in the world.

    All that being said it is good and I'm well into the third book now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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