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
The narrator of this book does a superb job bringing the characters and action to life. While I have to confess that I like audiobooks because they allow me to do something else while listening (knitting, weaving, spinning, beading, etc.), there are also times when contributions of the narrator can make the audiobook better than the text-based e-book or dead-tree book. _The Blade Itself_ is decidedly enhanced by the narrator.
The problem is, the text itself wasn't all that impressive. It's good heroic fantasy of the gritty modern school, certainly better written than much of what's out there nowadays, but remaining safely within the boundaries, conventions, and stock characters of the genre. (_Please: a menacing albino sidekick? Some cliches can never be transcended._) _The Blade Itself_ is also rather painfully a first book in a quest trilogy, long on introducing characters and setting, short on plot and character evolution. Much as I appreciated narrator Steven Pacey's performance, I think I would have been happier spending 2-3 hours reading the book rather than spending 15+ hours listening to it; this would have also made it easier to keep the different narrative threads separate in my mind.
And the dilemma is: Do I spend a credit to get the next book in Audible format, or do I just borrow the book for free from my local library? (The audio version is not in my library system, and it's usually impossible to get audiobooks via Interlibrary Loan.) Pros: The narrator is good, the middle book in a trilogy usually has more action (although it's likely to have an annoying cliffhanger ending), and now that the author has assembled his questing fellowship, there should be less choppiness from the interleaving of too many narrative threads. Cons: There's little evidence that the NEXT book will be more worth the investment of time and a $15 Audible credit than the first.
A tinge of dark, but with characters you care about! Good story line with a slight genre bending twist. Achieves both character development and an interesting story arc. Read all 3 books and really enjoyed them.
This is a great, great story. It is gripping from beginning to end. One of the best audio books I've ever heard.
Steven Pacey is THE best reader I've heard, and I have listened to some truly great ones (Scott Brick, Tom Weiner, Nadia May, etc).
Steve bring the book to life like no other. He understands the nuances of the dialogue. It is as if he we putting on a top notch stage production. His reading of the book is incredible. He deserves an award.
So, my favorite character is Glokta. The way Steve Pacey reads Glokta's thoughts, in the way that Glokta would have spoken if had not been so mutilated, and then the way Steve Pacey reads Glokta's spoken words with the effects of his missing teeth coming into play is brilliant.
There were quite a few times where I would laugh or chuckle or even just smile as I was listening to it.
Awesome Book, AWESOME reader. Steve Pacey...You are THE BEST! Well done!!!
I inadvertently listened to the Heroes before cracking into this series. An unfortunate blunder. Heroes is a stand alone book, but it pretty clearly spells out the end of this series. Kind of strange to know the end of the books before I get there. But I am enjoying the why and how of it all anyway.That's an endorsement in and of itself. This book is as much about the characters and their motivations as it is about the storyline. I am so impressed with Abercrombie's style. The way he switches styles from character to character is great.
This guy is top notch. A variety of voices for every character. His reading of Sand Dan Glokta is so spot on. His inflection in combination with Abercrombie's style has had me laughing out loud more than once.
Yes. It is an intriguing story with many nuances.
Game of Thrones. The same kind of edgy fantasy - no holds barred and very real descriptions.
Difficult to choose between Glokta, Jezal, Logen, Bayaz and Feroh. Probably Logen.
The unfolding of an epic tale
Ah my old enemy......
This has to be the best narration I have ever heard, the storey is great the characters are so real but what makes this one of best is the narration. This is winner on all counts, value for credit, believable magic not overused, believable flawed characters, engaging storey and did I mention the best narration. And to top it off there are two more in the series as well as two side novels. Win win win
Yes, very good voice acting by the narrator.
Very interesting characters
Anything with the Inquisitor
I laughed out loud at a couple of scenes
Steven Pacey is now my favorite book reader. his performance was absolutely phenomenal -- i could recognize many different voices without cues, and im not sure i would have like the written version of this book as much. This is now one of my favorite audio books (and my first review). really wonderful
I'm a writer, producer, photographer, and general consumer of creative things.
The characters are unique and interesting, and there aren't a million of them to keep track of. The story moves at a good pace and is fairly unique to a lot of things out in this genre.
I think Glokta is the best, as he is the most interesting. His story sucks you in, he's terribly handicapped from years of torture, yet goes about his job with great intelligence and efficiency. I find myself wanting to know more about him than the other characters, although that is not a knock on the others. It is a very well written book.
The reader was FANTASTIC. This man knows how to perform the written word. You will find many others pale in comparison after hearing his work on this book.
If you like A Game of Thrones and The Wheel of Time series', you should like this as well. I can't wait to read the next book.
The character development is some of the best I have ever read. All the main characters are fleshed out with details that make them incredibly--and often very painfully--alive to the reader. Glockta's misery is palpable and unrelenting. Even small-role characters are given attention that makes the few lines dedicated to them seemingly speak volumes about them. This is the first book in a triology and I will definitely be getting the remaining books.
I liked Logen deciding to pick up and carry the very ill novice all the way back to the Library. That decision spoke enormously to--and beyond--his thoughts that he did not want any more deaths laid to his hand if he could help it.
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