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The Blade Itself Audiobook

The Blade Itself: The First Law: Book One

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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

Average Customer Rating

4.5 (6937 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Kuniyoshi MD 08-21-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Incredible listen, thanks to Steven Pacey"

    Wow. I'm impressed. After listening to all of the R.R. Martin and Tolkien books, I was hesitant to start another series by one of the newer, lesser known authors. This complex and engrossing story, brought to vivid and visceral life by the brilliant and charasmatic Steven Pacey, makes this one a must listen if you are a fan of the authors above. Pacey, unlike many other narrators, has an incredible ability to portray humor and sarcasm in his characters, and this works perfectly with Joe Abercrombie's style. Although in a different genre, another great book performed by Pacey that I'd recommend is a Danish crime novel by Adler-Olsen, The Absent One, which similarly uses humor, sarcasm, and makes you chuckle.

    Looking forward to reading the rest of the First Law Series!! Already listening to book 2 and loving it!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Savy 08-20-13
    Savy 08-20-13 Listener Since 2002
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    "Refreshing"

    Took awhile to get into it but in my experience that is best. Like King's Gunslinger. I started and stopped a dozen times before I got the flow. Once I did I couldn't stop. I am glad I discovered it late into this series. I abhor waiting for authors to get around to writing the "next" book. Patrick Rothfuss is a perfect example (delighting in pissing off the readers). But then back to this book. This series is one of the best most refreshing - with fascinating characters - series it has been my pleasure to "read". I personally think the "Fantasy" genre is too limiting. Skip this series at your own loss.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Torrillo 08-07-13
    C. Torrillo 08-07-13
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    "Undecided - Not yet sold on the Story"
    Would you try another book from Joe Abercrombie and/or Steven Pacey?

    Meh, maybe, we'll see, I am going to finish out book 2 of the series to see if it starts to get better, at the end I'll decide if I get book 3. The story is barely able to keep me interested And other than Logan, I really don't have any interest or care for any of the characters. However, it's just enough that I was willing to go for book 2. Jury is still out on the series.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Being it's part of a series, there really isn't an ending. as far as a stand-alone ending, it was really weak, I would have been very upset if there wasn't already book two out. Nothing special happens, it's sort of an "as anyone could have guessed" type ending.


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

    Pacey is the super-start of this book. I think the only reason I finished book 1 and was willing to buy book 2 is because Pacey did such a fantastic job of giving life to each character that I honestly think the book doesn't deliver on it's own.

    Glokta's self-comments are done very well. The story is very gritty and his voice is perfect for that.


    Did The Blade Itself inspire you to do anything?

    No, it's not that type of book.


    Any additional comments?

    out of 22 hour long book, the first 18 hours were pretty boring, they were essentially 4 separate stories about characters that seem to have nothing to do with one another and were worlds apart. it went on that way for way too long. Eventually as anyone could guess they do come together at some point. but it's not in any type of dramatic fashion. I keep waiting for something "cool" or "exciting" to happen, and I've yet to have a single thing really peak my interest and it's been fairly predictable throughout.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colton 08-05-13
    Colton 08-05-13 Member Since 2015
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    "The book/series Game of Thrones could have been"

    I really feel that this book/series is what Game of Thrones could have been. It has all of the elements I enjoyed from George Martin's series, with none of the things that made me want to never read a book again as long as I live.

    Joe Abercrombie does a stellar job of getting you interested in a vibrant world full of colorful characters. None of them are perfect, and all of them are as easy to detest as to love.

    If you enjoyed Game of Thrones, or like me you wanted to and just couldn't, then this is the book for you.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Dayton, OH, United States 08-02-13
    Lisa Dayton, OH, United States 08-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE!!"
    What did you love best about The Blade Itself?

    The characters are so rich, with so much depth that feel like I know them. This is a great story, even the bad guys are loveable!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Glocktor - but he only came to life through Steven Pacey's outstanding narration of his character.


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

    He has so many different voices, he can even inject personality into them. He is outstanding.


    Any additional comments?

    I would recommend this book to anyone who loves ongoing saga's I can't wait to listen to the second book. Download this book, you will not be disapointed

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ken 07-18-13
    Ken 07-18-13
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    "Just brilliant"

    Some years after reading the paper versions I have found these Audio productions. The story is excellent anyway, but what takes this audio experience to even greater heights is the reader.

    Steven Pacey has mined all the nuance and meaning of the characters and somehow put them into their voices. So much more enjoyable than the written word when delivered in this amazing and thoughtful way.

    If you don't like fantasy or have never tried it - this is the story set to change your opinion. However, be warned, it doesn't get any better than this...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 07-17-13
    UncleHammy Towanda, KS United States 07-17-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Good first book for the series"

    The Blade Itself is a good start to The First Law series. There are lots of interesting characters and plenty of interesting story elements. The narrator does a fantastic job. He creates a voice and attitude for each charactor. He is very versatile and makes it a very enjoable listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-04-13
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    "Refreshingly Fun and Irreverant"
    Any additional comments?

    Honestly this rating is probably too high based on overall literary quality but after plenty of Alastair Reynolds, George RR Martin and Peter Hamilton this felt like a palette cleanser. Much as I love the incredible detail of Game of Thrones, The Great North Road, and the Revelation Space universe, sometimes simple, swashbuckling adventure is more enjoyable. Yes, sci-fi / fantasy that challenges is great - but I really enjoyed the fun, light style of this book ... all you need is purpose and some good steel. Don't like the situation? Well nothing a barbed arrow won't solve! Narration is excellent btw. Steven Pacey really captures the spirit of the novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Canadian eReader Montreal 06-23-13
    Canadian eReader Montreal 06-23-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Not quite my cup of tea"

    I read this on recommendation by Rick Riordan, one of my favourite young adult writers. I listened to it partly in audiobook and then gave up and read it on Kindle. I don’t believe it was a fault of the narrator; he did a good job, but I just couldn’t get into it very easily. On the positive side, I see that Amazon has enabled Whispersync for Voice for purchases on the Canadian store. It worked perfectly on this book. However, they do not yet offer the price reduction for both items, but maybe that will come.

    The Blade Itself is very similar to George R.R, Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire in that character development is more important than plot progression. That is all very well, but Ambercrombie can’t compare to the depth of characterization that Martin has reached. None of the characters grabbed me in the manner of Tyrion, Jaime or Arya. In all fairness, Martin has had five books to develop his characters, while I have only read the first one of The First Law series. What I have read though doesn’t encourage me to read the next two in the series.

    I did enjoy Ambercrombie’s writing style though. I found it entertaining, amusing and very immediate. The narration in the audiobook certainly helped with that. There were some excellent points where the reader wonders how the characters are going to get out of that particular situation. The world building too, was excellent.

    At other points I felt Ambercrombie created some excellent dramatic tension – then allowed it to go nowhere. An example of this is the brilliantly executed confrontation in council. The clash was beautifully set up – the betrayal was foreshadowed and the characterization of the Council made it understandable why they were totally oblivious to the danger right up to the last moment. However, this storyline never went anywhere. The characters all seemed to continue doing what they were doing before.

    I gave The Blade Itself three and a half stars out of five

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cath Columbus, Ohio 06-10-13
    Cath Columbus, Ohio 06-10-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Depressing, dark, gritty"

    This series leaves a bad taste in the mouth because it is so dark and depressing. None of the characters are very likable. The more you listen the less you like (or care about) any of time. The writing is very good, and the reader is very good. However the story is really not very satifying. The closest I can compare it to is Game of Thrones. (Game of Thrones was more of a soap opera though).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • David
    PeterboroughUnited Kingdom
    1/25/11
    Overall
    "The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie."

    I have really enjoyed this book. The whole trilogy is great and I can't recommend them highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • G
    10/20/10
    Overall
    "The Blade"

    This has begun well, and I am really enjoying the saga. The narration is particularly good. Yes it is very violent and bloody, but the detail is so good and the storey is always moving on at a good pace, one of those books I have not been able to 'put down'.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • kevin
    north tyneside, United Kingdom
    5/30/11
    Overall
    "when will it get going?"

    what a slow burner, when will it get going? i quite like the characters and i stuck with the first book until the end but nothing happens, it can only be that the author is setting the scene for the next one. I'm tempted to stick with it, we shall see.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    1/5/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fantasy novel read by brilliant performer"

    I selected this book after reading the positive reviews online. I was not disapointed. Abercrombie is a brilliant storyteller with a talent for creating facinating characters in a compelling fantasy world you become more and more drawn into as the story develops.

    Steven Pacey's mastery of his craft really brings the story to life. His deft narration understands the author's sly, and often very dark wit and I frequently found myself laughing out loud throughout the performance.

    Pacey has an ability to bring the characters to life. His characterisation of Sandan Glockter deserves special mention, the lisping, devious inquisator is a role he clearly relishes, I can not imagine anyone else playing him.

    The greatest compliment i can pay to the author and narrator is to say i can not wait to listen to the rest of the First Law books. The Blade Itself is one of the best books in my Audible collection.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • John Ferguson
    UK
    8/10/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant"
    Would you listen to The Blade Itself again? Why?

    This is one of the best books I have listened to from Audible and I have listened to a lot. The writing and characterisation are fantastic and the listener gets drawn in to the plot. If this is book one I cannot wait to listen to the others.

    Steven Pacey's delivery helps round off the pleasure. His voice and characters are just perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked the gruesome inquisitors. Although I hate violence the way in which this was written brought a little humour to the torture (Believe me)


    What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

    Brilliant


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • K
    UK
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An absorbing web"
    If you could sum up The Blade Itself in three words, what would they be?

    An intriguing world.


    What other book might you compare The Blade Itself to, and why?

    Lord of the Rings or The Name of The Wind


    What about Steven Pacey’s performance did you like?

    He has an impressive repertoire of accents to distinguish characters, of whom there are many, and his consistency is outstanding. Excellent and enviable skill.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The later fight between Logan and the Practicals is vicious but compelling.


    Any additional comments?

    Cannot praise the narration highly enough and I am looking forward to the next book in the trilogy.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Marcus
    London, United Kingdom
    12/15/11
    Overall
    "High expectation , low result"

     I never engaged with this story and listened to much of it on x3.  There were a few good set pieces but there was always a sense that this was only going to be 1/3 of the whole story and tended to meander to no fixed conclusion by the end. I think the author can write well but I had more fun reading his blog.  His description of having a  real fight with a group of youths was funny and more gripping than anything he describes in this book.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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