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
My favorite audiobook trilogy of all time. Steven Pacey's voices with Joe Abercrombie's words make for audio magic. Abercrombie's story is as complete and satisfying as a Thanksgiving dinner complete with hot coffee and pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
Really love this book, the characters are complex and realistic- the story is rich and intense. This is my second listen through, and will listen to it again one day. The performance wonderfully suits the story.
the caracters and enviroments are well described with feelings and skill. its my first book bouth for the writher and narrator and i am blown away. my friend was not wrong in his praise.
Throughout this entire book, I couldn't shake the feeling that I was listening to only the introductory chapters of a book. You know the type, often with minor characters and no obvious goal or end. Only after the book itself is 50% done do the events of the introductory chapter become relevant.
That's what this book is, an introduction to the rest of the series. There is no plot to speak of. It's just a collection of weak stories, and at the end of the book those characters are starting their journey. The stories are even rather mundane, lacking any serious conflict. For some reason I also couldn't care less what happens to the characters.
Other reviewers have noted that the story picks up in books 2 and 3, but I honestly feel that this book was a waste of a credit and a waste of my time reading it. I don't feel compelled to invest in book 2 after getting burned on book 1.
Steven Pacey's reading is almost flawless.
If you like a lot of action, this is a good book for you. If you prefer a deep intricate story with magic that feels real, eh ... Not bad but definitely not great. Coming listening to and then RElistening to the King Killer Chronicals, this felt lacking.
"Absolutely loved it"
The First Law series ranks as one of the best. Fantastic characters, believable, funny, and just a terrific story. Some of the one-liners make you laugh out loud.
Has to be Sandan Glocktor. Although Logan Ninefingers runs a close second.
There are too many scenes to single out a favourite. The book moves along at a fast witty not to mention extremely bloody thirsty pace.
"One thing you can say about Logan Ninefingers you can say that he is realistic"...
I totally loved The Blade Itself, and the entire First Law Series. If you like Game of Thrones, then this is better. Steven Pacey is a terrific narrator, he brought the story and characters to life. Definitely a series I will re-listen to.
"Good fantasy, but missing a few stuff"
The plot itself is really interesting and is what kept me to the book.
Performance of the characters is great, but none of the characters struck me as a favorite, because of the story side.
The book is good and I recommend it to anyone who wants a good fantasy. The story is great, but the thing I mostly resent to it are the characters. They are not correctly defined, and they do not have a clearly defined personalities.
"A Welcome Surprise"
Highly recommended, in fact I have purchased two copies as Christmas presents this year. The depth of the characters and the development of the plot really pulls you in until you just need more and more. Never has washing up been so enjoyable! Quite addictive, In fact I've gone on to purchase the other two.
Sand Dan Glokta
Steven Pacey is possibly one of the best narrators I have ever listened to. He demonstrates a literary command and a tone and pace that flows beautifully. The switch between dialogue and thoughts of the characters is very well communicated and quite amusing. Superb!
Unsure? Give it a go, you will not be disappointed.
"Thoroughly enjoyable in every respect."
I am a fan of many genres, but have to say that this is one of the most enjoyable books I've listened to this year across all of them.
The characters are all interesting, flawed, unique. They develop gradually, drawing you in and engaging you in their stories and points of view. I get very bored, very quickly with two dimensional characterisation, and found myself relishing even the vilest characters in this book.
The story is largely very well written, the world well drawn, and I find the touches of humour genuinely amusing. I like the way that Joe Abercrombie allows personalities and situations to reveal themselves slowly - he doesn't hammer you over the head with explanations or spell things out too clearly. This significantly increases the pleasure derived by the listener, at least for me.
The narration is superb. Steven Pacey brings the book to life, and lends great subtlety to its humour, as well to the thought processes and agendas of individual characters.
Is it a literary masterpiece? Probably not. But who cares? It's a well written, well read, entertaining and memorable story. I'm nearly at the end of Before They Are Hanged and I'm already dreading starting Last Argument of Kings. Because after that it will be over. Boo.
"A must for any fantasy fan"
I have now read/listened to all of Joe Abercrombies books. After the first I was gripped and eagerly consumed the rest. Absolutely brilliant. Great narration and characterisation as well.
"Start of an adventure"
It is read fantastically making the characters immediately recognisable, it is a slow paced book that feels like the start of a larger story, (which it is), rather then a stand alone book. It creates an engaging group of characters who are I enticing and varied.
Nine fingers or the bloody nine. He is a very interesting charictor
The fencing tournament
"Goodies/baddies where's the line?"
I'm very lazy about putting comments & views on websites & this series has so many positive reviews that I didn't think it needed any help from me. But I'm so glad for fellow readers feedback on Audible that I thought I should make a start on writing some reviews and I had to start here. I want to add my recommendation to anyone who's not already persuaded. I listened to all three books in the series one after the other and as I'm reviewing from a year ago, I can't separate them out, so I'm leaving a review for the whole series, I don't see how you could read The Blade itself and not be desperate to hear the rest of the story and read the next two.
I love this series, Logan Ninefingers is now my favourite psychopathic (anti)hero in fiction. He is a great character but the story doesn't only hang on his part of the tale this is a juicy ensemble of damaged personalities rubbing along and against each other, Ferro and the Dogman are further favourites. You're taken in by the author setting you up on the side of the the Union who are the goodies, but are they good? This is an absorbing world, a really entertaining “read” and also if you wanted something further to think about there's a question of whether we can really judge good and evil, the author puts his characters in desperate situations where morality is tested and they don't always come out smelling of roses or come out at all! And the theme of an underlying (evil?) influence of money on the Abercrombie world is an interesting parallel to our world of haywire banking morals.
Having read further Joe Abercrombie books Best Served Cold and The Heroes for myself I missed Steven Pacey's wonderful narration and went back to an audio book for Red Country. Before starting Audible I wouldn't have thought I could prefer hearing a book to reading it for myself, but Steven Pacey's brilliant narration adds to my enjoyment of these books. He's not an intrusive narrator, rather you feel as though the book is being given a richer dimension. I also wouldn't want anyone else to narrate an Abercrombie book.
I can imagine that this series of books are not for everyone, the Bloody Nine is not the only one who's murderous, gory exploits are described in heart racing detail which adds jeopardy & pace to the story but I didn't find it gratuitous. I think only the most sensitive should be put off by that – the rest of you, what are you waiting for? Add this to your library and once you start you'll have to get every single Joe Abercrombie book
I read all Joe Abercrombie books as they emerged - they do make thoroughly good reads - I was a bit dubious about listening to them - but as with all readers you need to settle in with them and Steven Pacey in his stride lends a gritty realism to the goings on and general dastardliness of almost all the characters - Good Stuff.
"Steven Pacey Nailed it"
I have read this trilogy before, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is my kind of mix of gritty realistic fantasy, war and hard as nails protagonists.
One of the books strengths are the large number of strong and contrasting characters. And Steven Pacey read the story beautifully. He got each character spot on. Each with it's own unique accent and flavor.
Great trilogy, by a good author, and brilliantly narrated. 5/5
"Excellent narrator reading an excellent story"
The characters are gritty (The Witcher/Book of Elves rather than Belgariad) plot line is fairly formulaic but filled with characters that are well defined - my favourite being Goska of the inquisition for his sardonic humour.
Cannot recommend this enough.
The narrator gives characters recognisable and distinctive accents, all of which are authentic-sounding.
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