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
Joe Abercrombie does a fantastic job of refreshing the fantasy genre with his gritty not everything is sunshine and rainbows style of writing. Don't get me wrong there are still good guys and bad guys but most of the time there is an extremely thin line between the two, I found myself thinking all the time "that guy is terrible...but a good man", you wanted to hate some characters but you just couldn't. It's hard to explain, suffice it to say its an awesome story, a great narrator, and you'll want to keep going.
I have a 40 minute commute each way and with out Audible, I'd go crazy! My fav genre is fantasy and I love a great series!
Lots of blood and fighting and details... excellent book and narration! If you liked the series, you wont be dissapoited with this one! Get it and be glad!
Yes, I would. I like this series. It is filled with intrigue. Though a little violent at times and not as sophisticated of a series as A Song of Ice and Fire, it is still decently written. Really one of the better books in the adventure fantasy genre. For people who like GRRM and ASOIAF.
The characters are not one dimensional and there is complexity to their relationships.
I like the Named Men who are the old companions of The Bloody Nine: The Dogman, Three Trees, Black Dow...
No extreme reactions, just pleasantly enjoyable. A guilty pleasure, really.
Ken Magerman Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Historical Fiction fan. Teacher, rockstar, medival gourmet, dungeon master, expert on secret Targaryens.
I would. This was a book i had previously read but bought for my brother for Christmas. I got the audio books so that i could refresh myself with the series and discuss. Mr. Pacey's reading is nothing short of exceptional. Several well done voices with excellent emotion and inflection. His Glotka in particular really brings the character to life. Overall the series is a really interesting take on the traditional fantasy in the vein of George RR Martin. This second book focuses on Glotka's quest for truth against forein forces, a heroic journey, a military campaign against barbaric forces, and political intrigue in the capital of the Union. Lots of action and mysteries revealed all with Ambercrombie's trademark wit and visceral telling of grey stories and human characters. Highly recommended for any fans of the genre. Also recommended for fans of war and intrigue. Like Martin, this is fantasy for people who don't read fantasy.
Glotka surrounded on all sides by enemies within and without searching for answers.
By mature, I don't mean sexy. In fact, most characters in this series are revolting on some level. It's this aspect of the complex characters that make it mature in nature.
The story seamlessly picks up at the end of volume one. I don’t think one will get much from this book without reading “The Blade Itself”, so I recommend that book to get you started.
The Abercrombie-Pacey team is again brilliant. These books and this narrator are meant to go together.
I highly recommend this series, unless you like your heroes unsullied and as shining examples of all that is good, for you’ll be disappointed by the “good guys” in these books.
Absolutely. Steven Pacey provides such an incredible performance, it truly amplifies the merits of the story.
My favorite part of the entire narrative has to be Sand dan Glokta, who is one of the most compelling characters I have read. Anyone interested in complex, sympathetic anti-heroes should be pleased by this character.
I listened to all three books in sequence, one after the other, and so cannot remember scenes as being specifically in the middle book!
Not really. It was enjoyable, but not as compelling as other books I couldn't put down.
In the top 5.
It has very strong caracterisation, and the setting is rather gritty. A song of fire and ice (but much shorted), the black company (but less about war).
Impossible to stop listening (very hard anyway)
Joe has had a massive impact on the fantasy world with his debut trilogy "The First Law"
The story revolves around some truly interesting and humanized relationships, and the internal reflection and conflict which each of us experiences from time to time. Due to this it is a very easy listen, and despite initial dislike of the characters flaws, you come to admire their determination, courage, and perseverance.
One of the nice things about the book is the very realistic portrayal of Logan Nine-fingers or "The bloody Nine", in regards to his internalized struggle to remain human in the face of the horrors he perpetrated in the past.
Many of the twists appear to head one way, but then truly twist into something else, keeping your mind alert to the nuances of the dialogue, and setting.
Recommend as a Must have for fantasy readers.
This book ranks near the top of the fantasy-based/adventure books I've listened to.
Logan Nine Fingers was my favorite character; but I liked many others as well.
I have not, but I intend to. His reading is brilliant.
Tolkien for adults with a good sense of humor.
The writing is excellent. There are a few too many detailed battle scenes for my taste but I've come to expect and accept that with this genre. What Joe Abercrombie adds to the mix is insightful, compassionate, characterization and a wicked sense of humor. It's not often that authors of these sorts of books can make me laugh out loud, but he absolutely does. I thoroughly enjoyed this series and recommend it to anyone who appreciates good writing.
I have recomended this book to all my friennds with any interest in the fantasy genre.
The Battle scenes in this second volume of the trilogy are absolutely riveting. The story never went where i expected it.
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