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 is fantastic. very wide variety of voices. I really enjoyed the story. The fighting is more gritty and realistic than many books. The main characters still get hurt in fights and they're not all perfect looking. I can't wait to listen to the next book in the series.
With a masterful performance from the narrator. Grotesque battles, and a fascinating story told through the eyes of multiple people, across great distances and different cultures, who's fates slowly intertwine.
The story was really boring. It didn't drag me in at all, I just pushed myself through it.
I've listened to it all twice, and I can't wait to get in there again. The narrator is everything you could hope for.
Gritty, action packed, humorous, what more could you ask for? You won't read this and be disappointed, you'll end up reading it again down the road.
A remarkably solid and gripping story, with just enough light and fantasy. if you have ever played a d&d campaign made up of disparate characters and steeped intrigue and adventure, this book will make you feel right at home.
The characters are colorful, diverse and consistent, and though some are not especially likeable, they never cease to entertain.
The story itself feels a lot like what might happen if other high fantasy series (read: Wheel of Time) were a little more grounded and believable, though there are enough glimpses of magic and adventure to keep it from being a dipressing experience (read: ASOI&F).
All in all, it was a gripping novel, difficult to put down, and exceptionally well performed, with great moments of world building in between.
If not for a somewhat unsatisfying ending, which does little to tie up all the loose ends and is plainly just a launching point for the next book, this would be a 5 star experience. As it stands, its compelling narative and cast, combined with Pacey's versatile voice, have made sure I will be going into the next book of the series, optimistic about the prospect.
It's inability to stand on its own aside, The Blade Itself is a fantastic book and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking to dig into a new fantasy series.
I own all of Abercrombie's books in print and then I discovered the amazing narration of Mr Pacey and bought all the Audible versions of The First Law.
If you like the series you need to hear it read aloud to you.
great book but narrator is best i have heard. Love inspector Gloctor! bring on the next book
"God so tedious!"
First half of the book nothing happens. Second half a few things do. Got Stockholm syndrome.
The Good: A number of very strong characters. The pace of the plot moves along with good pacing.
The Bad: Not one paragraph escapes some form or another of profanity. The strength of the plot and characters aside, there really was an excessive use of foul language.
I understand that there is occasional swearing in books but this really was dreadful. Only the plot and characters kept me going through it.
You could remove the bad language completely and have a phenomenal story.
Each book contains a story that contributes to the meta. They also stand alone well by themselves.
50/50 maybe 60/40. The amount of bad language meant I only listened to it in parts for so long.
I would be keen to read / listen to the author outside of this series to see if the author is like this all the time.
"Great series of books with pitch black dark humour"
Great stories,I have listened to them several times. Plus the narration is some of the best I have heard on audible
"A masterful trilogy."
At the very top, unless you include the other books in the series and the three other separate stories set in this world. It really has no equal in my opinion. Lovable (and wonderfully wretched) characters, compelling story and expertly read by Steven Pacey.
It's very hard to compare to any other book as each character's tale has it's own distinct feel to it. I suppose the Riyria series would be the closest thing, sharing some of the mix of humor in a bleak world but even that doesn't quite fit. This series stands alone in it's genre.
Very rarely in an audio book could you completely remove the lines describing who is speaking but in this one you can. Pacey brings each character to life, captures their personality and keeps them distinct and consistent throughout. You can even distinguish when the characters are voicing their inner monologue as opposed to actually speaking aloud.I think my favorite part of his performance has to be the twisted, crippled Inquisitor Glokta. Pacey reads him with two different voices, that of the man he used to be in his head and the lisping, dribbling villain he has become as he speaks aloud and yet they are really believable as the same man.
It may sound a strange choice, but the scene early on where Logan leaves his old cooking pot behind. It foreshadows a great deal about the character leaving his old life behind him but on a first read you won't see that, it's just weirdly sentimental at the time.
If it isn't plain enough, I adore these books. I have pushed them onto so many of my friends, some of whom have not read a book since school and more than one who outright dislike fantasy as a genre, and all of them have fallen in love with the series just as much as me.They are violent, funny, deeply sad at times and will hook you in. I'll offer this warning to anyone considering buying this book: You are going to lose hours and hours of your life to Mr Abercrombie and his world, say goodbye to anything else you have planned for the next sixty or so hours.
Maybe it was just me but I thought this book took 20 hours to get started!
"I can barely wait to get started in the next book"
A great book, all of the characters are interesting and complex, my favourite being dog man - an archer with what seems like super smell.
one of my favourite books so far, topped only by game of thrones, dune.... and a close contender with I am legend (and that's a damn good book)
in summary, great fantasy with diverse characters, an interesting approach to magic, it will leave you wanting more (could use a few dragons though)
"Steven Pacey is a narration genius"
The best narrated audiobook I've ever listened too. It turns out that Steven Pacey was a star of Blakes 7
"The perfect match"
The perfect match of reader and story. A one man theatre performance. And the story is so visually descriptive that it almost feels like you are in the middle of it.
Refreshingly gritty and not for the youngest phantasy fans.
"A world of intrigue violence, dark humour, awash"
The inquisitor cunning devious with a bent to getting the truth you will love him!
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