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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

4.4 (6810 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Matthew lynchburg, VA, United States 10-02-10
    Matthew lynchburg, VA, United States 10-02-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Excellent"

    I feel compelled to express how impressed I am with Abercrombie. He is a great author and I intend to hear/read all he offers. However, I feel it even more important to give props to Mr. Pacey, the narrator.

    I have attempted to listen to books that I know are good or even great, only to stop in frustration at bad narration. I will only put myself through so much of that. The narration hear is truly amazing. Character voices distinct and unique without going over the top. Inflection and pacing is perfect. Best example is his rendering of the character Glokta. It almost makes the novel. I could be wrong, but I don't remember in the text of the book that Glokta had a lisp. Missing teeth, yes, but I don't remember the mention of a lisp. The narrator decided to add/include this to the character. Brilliant.

    Don't get me wrong. The author is incredible too. Just hear the books. Do yourself a favor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kenneth D Taylor 09-06-10 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So far so good"

    I'm about halfway through this book. I'm a service tech & listen to it while I drive from job to job. It makes my day fly by. Having a terrific narrator helps the story, but the story on it's own would be worth reading. I find myself looking forward to going to work so I can listen to more of the story, how the unlikely mix of characters are being pulled together into the same story line, and how I enjoy puzzling out the workings of the world the story place in. I do enjoy how it leaves you wonder how this all ties together & slowly leads you towards each character meeting up with the next. I went ahead & downloaded the following two books so can move right on with the story. Well worth the price (a bargain compared to the price of most audiobooks)

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. R. Gawlak 08-20-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Delightful"

    I have purchased and borrowed a great many fantasy titles over the years. The majority, either
    spoken or written, were rubbish...trite plots, one dimensional characterization, often, near copies of older, far better originals. In spoken versions, all too frequently, the reader(s) overdramatize, never varying the pace,and/or go well beyond their range and abilities to vocalize, perhaps to make up
    for the trash they have to read, and make a bad thing worse. This seems the case with so
    many "series" fantasy novels, that I mostly stay away from them. This one is an honest to goodness
    exception.
    I like long books. The price Audible put on "The Blade Itself" and its over 20 hour length convinced
    me to get it, all other factors included i.e. good reviews, decent preview. The book was everything
    good fantasy should be...original plot, characters who act and think like real people, violence, sex, action, intrigue all in reasonable doses and with excellent pacing and a very liberal sprinkling of
    genuine humor...a bit "black", I'll admit...throughout. I have not actually read the author before
    listening to this, so I really can't assign a percentage of credit for how well this work was done to
    the narrator, Steven Pacey. But his reading of "The Blade Itself" was pure delight...right up there
    with Jim Dale and John Lee (at his best). If the rest of the series is as good, well... one can only hope.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Glen N Richland Hills, TX, United States 06-04-12
    Glen N Richland Hills, TX, United States 06-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "So Whats the point, plot, story,"

    I am a long time customer of Audible This is the first book where, after listening to the first part, I can not tell you what the plot of the book is.



    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 09-25-13
    Ryan Somerville, MA, United States 09-25-13 Member Since 2005

    Gen-Xer, software engineer, and lifelong avid reader. Soft spots for sci-fi, fantasy, and history, but I'll read anything good.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mediocre"

    I was in the mood for some "gritty" fantasy after finishing Season 2 of A Game of Thrones, and Abercrombie seems to have made a name for himself in that department, so I thought I'd check him out. Yes, this is definitely a book that borrows from writers like George R.R. Martin and Glen Cook, eschewing traditional heroic archetypes for flawed anti-heroes. In fact, one of the central characters is a torturer, a man who serves the crown in this role after himself having been crippled by torture in an enemy prison.

    Unfortunately, Inquisitor Glokta, whose dark complexity I found delightful, might have been Abercrombie's only really good idea. Everything else in the novel is pretty lightweight, a collection of well-worn fantasy tropes, clichéd characters, predictable plot turns, and forced drama. Luckily, the author doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, so the mediocrity was bearable for a while.

    Still, I'm not impressed. Where George R.R. Martin (mostly) made his characters feel like real people, however decent, despicable, or in between, Abercrombie's portrayal of human psychology is unconvincing and shallow. A warrior accepts a mission from a wizard without bothering to ask why, simply because (we're told) he's tired of having to think for himself. The same wizard sends a demonstrably incompetent apprentice on a risky solo journey that nearly gets the kid killed. We're supposed to be surprised when a "barbarian" character reveals the prejudice of stuck-up city folk and everybody learns a valuable lesson. A primary female character is supposed to be "interesting" simply because she's a plainspoken commoner who’s stuck with the boring nobility and whinges about how nobody seems to notice her (which seems understandable, given her lack of any other compelling features). And, as for the story itself, I lost interest around the 2/3 mark, when it became clear that the plot was mostly setup for future books.

    I'm usually not this negative, but I've read too many good books to put up with one that's the literary equivalent of a bland Taco Bell burrito. I've heard that the series gets better. I've also heard that it gets worse. Either way, I didn’t finish this one, and am not going further.

    The audiobook narrator wasn't bad, but I thought his plummy voice was better suited to different kind of book (e.g. Harry Potter).

    8 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Quiltaholic 11-26-11
    Quiltaholic 11-26-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    "Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz"

    I've really been trying. I'm just soooooooo bored. I don't get the glowing reviews. I see reviews by a few that felt the first 5-6 hours were a snooze, and I whole heartedly agree. I just don't think I can hang in there to get past the dribble. It's hard to believe there could be anything very exciting in the future. A good writer MUST bait and pull a reader along in a story. Abercrombie is certainly not doing that for me!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 01-13-13
    Kim GREENVILLE, SC, United States 01-13-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tried and Tried but Just Can't Continue"

    I've so wanted to read something by Joe Abercrombie since I'm a big fan of GRRM, Rothfuss and Lynch but try as I might I cannot get into this one. I've gone through 12 chapters and still I don't know what's going on or even who the main protagonist is. Plus the narrator's voice inflections are grating on me. I will try another of his, but I'm giving up on this one.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Devon Coquitlam, BC, Canada 02-23-11
    Devon Coquitlam, BC, Canada 02-23-11 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Disappointed"

    I'm about halfway through this book and am finding it disappointing. I listen to a LOT of books, of all genres, but I especially enjoy fantasy and sc-fi that's well-written. I just can't get interested in this book - it's incredibly slow and there is a lot of descriptions of political debate that don't seem connected to the main story. It's funny at times and some of it is entertaining, but as a whole it doesn't seem to have much depth. I'm halfway through as I said, and I couldn't really tell you what the point of the story is.

    I'm giving it three stars because the narrator is great. If I was reading this in paper format, I would have given up ages ago.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rob 08-11-17
    Rob 08-11-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Slow to start."

    It was slow to start, but for some reason I couldn't stop listening. But once I it got going it was cool to listen to, the narration was excellent, and now I want to find the next book!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JAMES GIDCUMB 06-28-17 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "It Doesn't Get any Better"

    This book/trilogy is in my top 3 of all time. Steven Pacey nails the narration. I think he made an already unique and very well written story much better.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Elliot
    11/28/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The plot thickens"

    this book takes a while to get going but slowly the plot thickens and you won't be able to put it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Thomas Oldfield
    11/24/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "one of my favorites"

    I've read the book numerous times, but this is the first time I've listen to it via audio book. Narrator was great most of the time, though the "quiet" characters are sometimes quite hard to hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    11/23/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant book"

    I had been recommend this book by someone glad I took the gamble brilliant story , very well narrated jumped straight in to the next books after this one , story jumps straight in to it very fast paced from the get go

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Larry
    11/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
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    "One of the Greats"

    I really enjoyed this one. quickly downloading the next. I think it has the best narrator I have heard. the individual accents and voices are brilliant. if I had to find a critique the story line cuts off without much resolution and leaves the whole thing wide open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • William Drummond
    11/18/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Gripping"

    Amazing connection to the pain, emotions trials and tribulations of the characters. You will laugh, wince, and sometimes listen through gritted teeth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Martha Sahota
    11/7/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoyable"

    really enjoyed this book the only thing that annoyed me was the way thee narrator pronounced grimaced

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr P J Clegg
    11/2/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Funny, Brutal and Brilliant!...."

    One of the best audiobooks I have listened to and the narrator is second to none....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • E. Robinson
    Edinburgh
    10/14/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesting book"

    I was pretty much hooked after the first few chapters. The narration by Steven Pacey is flawless, he must be one of the best narrators around. While the story progresses at a good pace there were a few aspects about the authors style that grated a bit. His constant use of the word 'sour' goes beyond a joke! Having said that he really does create his characters well. It well worth a listen if the fantasy genre is your thing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Mr. S. J. Downing
    Devon, UK
    10/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An unexpected delight"

    Worth it for Steven Pacey's delicious rendition of Glokta alone. I'm not usually drawn to fantasy novels - and have not read the original - but tried The Blade Itself on a recommendation. I couldn't truly tell you whether it's the writing or the spoken-word performance that make this such an epic piece of work. It's probably both. Do yourself a favour and spend some time trying to work it out too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • smetters
    10/9/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "best performance of all. great voices😀"

    loved it....story is brilliant and the characters really come alive with the narrator. buy iy

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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