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The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One | [Joe Abercrombie]

The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Joni Houston, Texas 10-29-11
    Joni Houston, Texas 10-29-11 Member Since 2007

    Avid reader... oops, LISTENER

    HELPFUL VOTES
    39
    ratings
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    61
    12
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    Story
    "Hang in there... it gets better"

    I think I will give a warning to others not to give up on this series but since I didn't, maybe there is no need for a warning after all. I grew very frustrated with this book all the way to the last quarter of the story. There were times I wanted to scream WHY at Joe and bump my head against my desk. I didn't of course since all my co-workers would have been curious and found me out for listening to this story at work. Yes listening, I decided to listen to this series on Audible and a good thing it was too because it was the excellent narrator that kept me going to the end. He is unbelievably excellent! He rivals my regard for Davina Porter which is usually unrivaled.

    I'm going to say that by the end there was NO WAY I could leave the rest of the books unread and felt I had a vested interest in the Bloody Nine and the others as well. I will save the rest of the review for when I'm finished with the series as I'm starting the third book now and continuing. I'm a girl reading this and so want to say thanks to Joe for the TINY shred of romance he's let trickle into the books.... yea yea... I had to say it.

    READ ON... you will be glad you hung in there.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Comptche, CA, United States 10-29-11
    Josh Comptche, CA, United States 10-29-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    5
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    Story
    "from nowhere to nowhere"

    The story has no purpose. You aren't grabbed from the beginning. Even halfway through i wondered where this thing was going, and what the point was. There is no sense of a history, or a world. Things' are poorly described and don't inspire awe, wonder, or fear. All the characters feel too sorry for themselves and are rather flat. I get no sense that they loved anything, at all, ever. Of course, every good book should put its characters through hell, but this book seems to have already but them through hell and we (the readers) dont' know why or really care. They can't find passion in anything.
    All the mysteries in this story are left as mysteries, nothing is explained, and that get frustrating and boring. There is ,magic, but its all very sudden adn used only to get folk out of tight spots, there is not wonder to it, just big bangs etc, its boring.
    And the writing is boring and not interesting. The characters are not well described, their lives aren't well understood, and the world isn't clear.
    Oh, and the names suck.
    I hate to give negative reveiw, but i couldn't finish this book, so don't waste your credit on it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Robinson 10-23-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Highly Enjoyable"

    I read. I read a lot. That being said, Joe Abercrombie's The First Law series is one I will be re-reading (re-listening). The basic premise is tried and true fantasy, with enough embellishments and depth to make it seem unique. The mythos and history of the series is fresh, and interesting. But what makes this series is the Characters! Well written, individual, witty, funny and entertaining. And props to Steven Pacey for style and talent in presenting this to us!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David TAMPA, FL, United States 10-04-11
    David TAMPA, FL, United States 10-04-11
    ratings
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    10
    2
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    "Very good low fantasy"

    Excellent low fantasy in the vein of the Black Company books or GRRM's Song of Ice and Fire. Not as much of a world builder as GRRM or Erickson but he definitely brings the characters to life and moves the plot along nicely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steve Copper Canyon, TX, United States 09-27-11
    Steve Copper Canyon, TX, United States 09-27-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Outstanding!"

    Better than George R.R. Martin. Great story. Excellent narration. I'm ready for book two!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Castaldo Poplar Grove, IL, United States 09-14-11
    Castaldo Poplar Grove, IL, United States 09-14-11 Member Since 2013
    ratings
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    Story
    "Not a game changer, but a good book anyways"
    Any additional comments?

    A good book, not one that I think will change fantasy as we know of. It's no Name of the Wind, The Hobbit, or The Game of Thrown. Yet only a few books are. Over all it was fun to read. I enjoyed the book and it's characters. Yes so were whining. Some were unlikeable, but I think that was the intent of the writer and there for I liked it. I would recommend it to fantasy fans.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ragnar Oslo, Norway 08-15-11
    Ragnar Oslo, Norway 08-15-11 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    Overall
    "Plot is well hidden, but worth the wait!"

    I admit that this book started out really strange, and I reached a point maybe halfway in when I still had no clue where the story was going. That being said, the characters were still wonderful and extremely well narrated. The characters drive this book, but the story doesnt start making sense and kick off fully untill the second book. For me that was fine, but I understand a lot of people dont have the will to continue reading. I can however guarantee that once you get well into book 2, there's NO WAY you'll stop listening...
    Great characters, avoids a lot of black'n'white fantasy-style.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Anderson 08-06-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing Narrator Equal to Terrific Yarn"

    Imagine a book read by Alan Cumming, John Gielgud, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman. . . well that's the idea. Each of the characters has an accent appropriate to his birthplace and status. He is spot-on and consistent. What a delight!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Canada 08-02-11
    Amazon Customer Canada 08-02-11 Member Since 2014
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    40
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    "I want to like this but language ruins it."

    I truly and honestly want to love this book but I just cannot get past the swearing. The story is fine, but it's just so jarring to be listening to the story and all of a sudden the language goes off track. I listened to 4 1/2 hours trying to get past the language but I just couldn't. I think swearing is a cheap way to invoke an emotional response in your audience. I don't mind made up swear words like they use in the Wheel of Time series because they aren't real, they don't spark any real emotions in you. This just seems like the author is using a shortcut to emotion.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet E. Lykins 07-31-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Narration + Writing = Brilliance"

    Every once in awhile there comes along a perfect marriage between an author and a narrator. I did not think I ever would find one better than the pairing in the Harry Potter series, but believe me, Steven Pacey's interpretation of Joe Abercrombie's writing surpasses anything I have ever heard.

    Don't let the reviews about the negative characterizations discourage you. Yes, these characters are flawed, but you find yourselves rooting for them to become better people as you understand how their pasts and the interference of evil has effected their lives. Abercrombie's technique of juxtaposing the characters' actions with their inner thoughts allows you to get to know them on a deeper level than is often possible in fantasy novels. I found myelf both horrified and laughing out loud.

    I can't rave enough about Steven Pacey's narration. It was perfect. The timing, the subtle distinctions between the characters' inner voices and their outer conversations, the accents that fit the locales...the humor...perfect. I especially appreciate his interpretation of the female voices. He doesn't try to "sound" like a woman, but gives them the same depth that he gives the men. I will search for more books read by him, and Joe Abercrombie should be sending him chocolate and flowers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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