Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.
Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain and shallow, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men. And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it.
But as he's discovering, old habits die hard....especially when Bayaz gets involved. An old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Glokta, Jezal, and Logen a whole lot more difficult....
©2010 Joe Abercrombie (P)2010 Orion Publishing Group
Meh, maybe, we'll see, I am going to finish out book 2 of the series to see if it starts to get better, at the end I'll decide if I get book 3. The story is barely able to keep me interested And other than Logan, I really don't have any interest or care for any of the characters. However, it's just enough that I was willing to go for book 2. Jury is still out on the series.
Being it's part of a series, there really isn't an ending. as far as a stand-alone ending, it was really weak, I would have been very upset if there wasn't already book two out. Nothing special happens, it's sort of an "as anyone could have guessed" type ending.
Pacey is the super-start of this book. I think the only reason I finished book 1 and was willing to buy book 2 is because Pacey did such a fantastic job of giving life to each character that I honestly think the book doesn't deliver on it's own.
Glokta's self-comments are done very well. The story is very gritty and his voice is perfect for that.
No, it's not that type of book.
out of 22 hour long book, the first 18 hours were pretty boring, they were essentially 4 separate stories about characters that seem to have nothing to do with one another and were worlds apart. it went on that way for way too long. Eventually as anyone could guess they do come together at some point. but it's not in any type of dramatic fashion. I keep waiting for something "cool" or "exciting" to happen, and I've yet to have a single thing really peak my interest and it's been fairly predictable throughout.
I really feel that this book/series is what Game of Thrones could have been. It has all of the elements I enjoyed from George Martin's series, with none of the things that made me want to never read a book again as long as I live.
Joe Abercrombie does a stellar job of getting you interested in a vibrant world full of colorful characters. None of them are perfect, and all of them are as easy to detest as to love.
If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, or like me you wanted to and just couldn't, then this is the book for you.
The characters are so rich, with so much depth that feel like I know them. This is a great story, even the bad guys are loveable!
Glocktor - but he only came to life through Steven Pacey's outstanding narration of his character.
He has so many different voices, he can even inject personality into them. He is outstanding.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves ongoing saga's I can't wait to listen to the second book. Download this book, you will not be disapointed
Some years after reading the paper versions I have found these Audio productions. The story is excellent anyway, but what takes this audio experience to even greater heights is the reader.
Steven Pacey has mined all the nuance and meaning of the characters and somehow put them into their voices. So much more enjoyable than the written word when delivered in this amazing and thoughtful way.
If you don't like fantasy or have never tried it - this is the story set to change your opinion. However, be warned, it doesn't get any better than this...
The Blade Itself is a good start to The First Law series. There are lots of interesting characters and plenty of interesting story elements. The narrator does a fantastic job. He creates a voice and attitude for each charactor. He is very versatile and makes it a very enjoable listen.
Hard Sci-Fi Connoiseur.
Honestly this rating is probably too high based on overall literary quality but after plenty of Alastair Reynolds, George RR Martin and Peter Hamilton this felt like a palette cleanser. Much as I love the incredible detail of Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and the Revelation Space universe, sometimes simple, swashbuckling adventure is more enjoyable. Yes, sci-fi / fantasy that challenges is great - but I really enjoyed the fun, light style of this book ... all you need is purpose and some good steel. Don't like the situation? Well nothing a barbed arrow won't solve! Narration is excellent btw. Steven Pacey really captures the spirit of the novel.
When reviewing books I try to be fair; I appreciate that not everyone will be looking for the same things in a book.
I read this on recommendation by Rick Riordan, one of my favourite young adult writers. I listened to it partly in audiobook and then gave up and read it on Kindle. I don’t believe it was a fault of the narrator; he did a good job, but I just couldn’t get into it very easily. On the positive side, I see that Amazon has enabled Whispersync for Voice for purchases on the Canadian store. It worked perfectly on this book. However, they do not yet offer the price reduction for both items, but maybe that will come.
The Blade Itself is very similar to George R.R, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in that character development is more important than plot progression. That is all very well, but Ambercrombie can’t compare to the depth of characterization that Martin has reached. None of the characters grabbed me in the manner of Tyrion, Jaime or Arya. In all fairness, Martin has had five books to develop his characters, while I have only read the first one of The First Law series. What I have read though doesn’t encourage me to read the next two in the series.
I did enjoy Ambercrombie’s writing style though. I found it entertaining, amusing and very immediate. The narration in the audiobook certainly helped with that. There were some excellent points where the reader wonders how the characters are going to get out of that particular situation. The world building too, was excellent.
At other points I felt Ambercrombie created some excellent dramatic tension – then allowed it to go nowhere. An example of this is the brilliantly executed confrontation in council. The clash was beautifully set up – the betrayal was foreshadowed and the characterization of the Council made it understandable why they were totally oblivious to the danger right up to the last moment. However, this storyline never went anywhere. The characters all seemed to continue doing what they were doing before.
I gave The Blade Itself three and a half stars out of five
This series leaves a bad taste in the mouth because it is so dark and depressing. None of the characters are very likable. The more you listen the less you like (or care about) any of time. The writing is very good, and the reader is very good. However the story is really not very satifying. The closest I can compare it to is Game of Thrones. (Game of Thrones was more of a soap opera though).
12-16 year old fantasy fans. While the characters aren't fantasy norms, they all seem to come off as plastic caricatures, albeit of a dark variety.
Sadly yes. After running through a song of ice and fire as well as the malazan books, I had hopes that this would be another series to entertain me. Unfortunately that isn't so.
His performance was very good, and he does a good job of voicing the different characters.
Logain and Jezal
The narrator does a great job elevating this from a decent fantasy story to a good, enjoyable audio experience.
Most of these characters are relatively flat, but also realize that this is part of a series where the characters get more expanded upon in the following novels.
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