Before They Are Hanged

Narrated by: Steven Pacey
Length: 22 hrs and 39 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10,259 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The second novel in the wildly popular First Law Trilogy from New York Times best seller Joe Abercrombie.

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It's enough to make a torturer want to run - if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem - he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters - if they didn't hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven - but not before they are hanged.

©2015 Joe Abercrombie (P)2015 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Exhilarating.... Abercrombie's knack for wit and grit holds your attention throughout, and his eye for character means that there's heart as well as muscle." [ SFX (UK)]
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Can't stand to hear the word grimace' any more.

Enjoyed listening to the first two books but if I hear the British pronunciation of the word grimace one more time I'll scream.

15 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

How not to prosecute a war

Would you listen to Before They Are Hanged again? Why?

I'm pretty much finished with The First Law at this point

If you’ve listened to books by Joe Abercrombie before, how does this one compare?

There's no question the same person that wrote "The Blade Itself" wrote this book. Abercrombie is obviously a very competent author. I know that every fantasy world can't be a panacea, but this one was a little too bloody for my tastes.

What does Steven Pacey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Nothing beats the authority of a robust British voice.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I labored through the predictably terrible decisions by certain characters... but I wasn't too traumatized or excited by anything.

Any additional comments?

The maturation and fundamental change of certain characters was an enjoyable part of this book. There was some righteous killing and tragic dying. It was a good follow up of the first book and stage setter for the last book.

6 people found this helpful

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The single best fantasy experience I've ever had

I've read many fiction series, fantasy, and science fiction both, and I've seen associated movies when they're available.
This audio book experience has made tham all pale by comparison. It is astoundingly immersive. The next best thing to being in the world oneself.
The writing itself is amazing. By leaps and bounds the most plausible, emotionally realistic fantasy I've ever read.

19 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars

A typical middle book in a trilogy.

Keeps the story going, but nothing overly exciting. The larger world feels under developed. Some very jarring... Erotica... But all in all a worth while read.

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Characters

The first book in this series never seemed to reveal a plot and I was very concerned. However the deep character back stories really paid off in this volume. Highly recommended.

11 people found this helpful

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The plot thickens

Binge worthy trilogy.
Superior Glokta is given the impossible task to defend a city sure to fall, realizing he can trust no one. Plots within plots on both sides of this battle, where you can't tell a good guy from a bad guy, and maybe it doesn't matter with the foe that mankind is facing.
Ferro, Nine Fingers and Luthar find themselves on a quest that threatens their lives, not finding out it's purpose till nearly the end. The depth of each character grows along the way though, making it a memorable journey. We do discover the background of each, and why Bayaz has chosen a couple of them to accompany him.
West is given orders to serve under the worthless Prince, keeping him well away from the fighting, or so it was thought, while Three Trees, Dogman and the crew decide to take a different path.
All and all it's a thoroughly enjoyable ride, with lots of battles, conspiracy, intrigue and a laugh or two, as the saga continues.
Steven Pacey is excellent!!

4 people found this helpful

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A gem!

Both the story and the narration are top notch. Listened to it inthe car, took detours so I could listen longer.

4 people found this helpful

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Like watching CNN or FoxNews

Seriously, pacing is SLOW. Characters are nasty, manipulative or flat dumb. Maybe I am spoiled reading Sanderson for the last 5 years, but this is the 1st of 2 series on Audible that I could not finish, the other being Age of Legend. My mothers former best friend spent 18 months in a POW camp, in Vietnam. His body and mind where pretty messed up. While I was in the Marines, I seen and done other things related to war. I feel, the author was just going to shock value.

1 person found this helpful

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Joe Abercrombie can't end a novel...waste

The performance was very enjoyable l, but Joe can't end a novel worth a damn.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Book1: Awesome. Book2: Meh

What did you like best about Before They Are Hanged? What did you like least?

By the end of the book, I felt used. Book 2 felt like a bridge to get to book 3. Fighting. Lots of fighting, and more fighting. Not much of a story there.

What could Joe Abercrombie have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Maybe a plot? Again, Book 1 started developing characters but Book 2 stalled dead in its tracks.

What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

Great differentiation in voices!

Did Before They Are Hanged inspire you to do anything?

Nope.

Any additional comments?

Hopefully Book 3 is worth it.

1 person found this helpful