[Joe Abercrombie] Ì The Blade Itself [young-adult PDF] Ebook Epub Download Ã Joe Abercrombie certainly knows how to write some disturbingly likable characters In any other book the protagonists would be the bad guys Logan Ninefingers is a brutal warrior who goes into insane blood rages where he kills anything, and everything, near him Yet, weirdly, he is also a wise and sensitive soul San Dan Glocka is a torturer whose heart is pure malice, yet somehow his attitude toward life boarders on the hilarious These two are such great characters they make the series what it is A character defining opening I love how this novel begins because it sets the tone for the rest of it Ninefingers, as ever, is in a fight for his life, but it is clear that this is neither his first fight nor his last He doesn t fight with grace he doesn t fight with much skill either, but what he does fight with is an animalistic passion for survival and, knives, lots of knives He knows how to win a fight and it is, most definitely, not by fighting clean or with bravery Sometimes, the best way to win survive a fight is by running of a cliff In this opening we see a glimpse of his complex characterThere are few men with blood on their hands than me None, that I know of The Bloody Nine they call me, my enemies, and there s a lot of em Always enemies, and fewer friends Blood gets you nothing but blood It follows me now, always, like my shadow, and like my shadow I can never be free of it I should never be free of it I ve earned it I ve deserved it I ve sought it out Such is my punishmentIndeed, he is very well written There s so much to him than his outwardly barbarian appearance he is than a survivor and a pragmatist He knows when his luck has run out it s why he has survived for so long There s wisdom inside him too He s an exceptionally good judge of character When the plot sends him in the path of Bayaz, a powerful mage, he can see the man s worth almost instantly he can see exactly what he is about and how unstraightforward his intentions are He is forced to go along with his plans, but he knows not to fully trust him He can smell deception a mile away After all, you have to be realistic about these things I just had to say it A twisted world It is clear that Ninefingers is far from a good man He has killed countless people, and he has enjoyed it Yet, somehow Abercrombie has made this bloodthirsty barbarian into a likable protagonist He is simply who he is It makes me wonder that if the protagonist is this brutal, then the antagonists must be terrible people They must be much worse than Logan Though, something does tell me that there are very few good men in this world Everybody is in a shadowy place of dark and questionable morals I love itThere was nothing to be gained by losing his temper There was never anything to be gained by that Indeed, Gloka is just as nasty He enjoys inflicting pain, through torture, in the same way it was done to him But, at the same time, he works for the government and serves his country So he can t be all that bad, right Wrong He is much, much, worse He is one of the darkest characters in fantasy that isn t the villain However, he is also brilliant His wit and attitude reminds me somewhat of Tyrion Lannister If these two met, it would certainly lead to one incredibly interesting conversation Say one thing of Abercrombie say he can write disturbingly likable characters, and novels he s quite good at novels too You have to be realistic about these things I ve really got to stop saying that The First Law Trilogy 1The Blade Itself A bloody four stars 2Before They Were Hanged A gritty four stars3The Last Argument of Kings A strong four stars originally reviewed at Bookwraiths ReviewsAs I ve mentioned in other reviews, Joe Abercrombie is a fantasy author who all my real life friends have raved about for years and insisted that I read From their proselyting, it seemed that my life would not be complete without sampling Lord Grimdark s wares So, in order to save myself from some accursed fate, I read the first two novels in Abercrombie s Shattered Sea series Unfortunately, grimwhine was not for me If interested in the why , you can read my reviews of Half a King and Half the World here on Goodreads.
Naturally, my friends were aghast at my heretical dislike of Lord Grimdark That led them to berate my poor taste in fantasy literature Arguments ensued thereafter until eventually they understood even if they did not agree with my lack of excitement with grimwhine, and so these close buddies of mine insisted that Shattered Sea was really a YA fantasy series and demanded that I try The First Law before I abandoned Lord Grimdark, because it was his masterpiece.
Well, I have recently completed my read of The Blade Itself, book one of The First Law And, for those who have never tried it, I will attempt to sum it up succinctly for you.
This is a story told from multiple points of view by several main characters with the most important being Jezal, the rich, noble s son who is bratty and also a great swordsman Logen, the northern barbarian who has a dark, mysterious past but wants to escape from it Ferro, a fugitive slave from the nation of Gurkhul whose desire for revenge is greater than her common sense and Glokta, a handicapped war hero who is now a torturer working for the Union s secretive inquisition As a reader slowly tags along with these four, they slowly learn tidbits about each person, their pasts, the world they live in, and the coming conflicts that are a brewing But finally, all these interwoven pieces begin to gather together for the last section of the novel in the capital city of the Union, where not only do these four interact with one another but also set up the story for the second installment of the series.
Now, I did enjoy The Blade Itself it was an interesting enough book in its own way However, the plot was a rather slow moving affair At one point, I actually found myself wondering if glaciers moved faster than The Blade Itself But once Abercrombie got everyone together in the capital, he did ratchet up the action, ending the story with a small bang.
Even with that being said, however, the characters in this novel were a bit of an enigma for me Going into my read, all I had heard was how amazing they all were, how brilliant the characterization, how you get the picture Great characters And I suppose they were very well developed, but unfortunately, I didn t care one iota for any of them Jezal made me want to slap him, because he was such an annoying, rich brat Logen was boring most of the time Ferro was an amalgamation of every ex slave character I ve ever read about And Glokta though he is the most interesting would be a heartless bastard only to then turn around and go all gooey inside because an old friend apologized to him I grew tired of each very quickly Thank God the viewpoint changed between them constantly It grew so bad that unlike Song of Ice and Fire where I got sick of Martin killing everyone off I kept hoping Abercrombie would kill someone, so they might be replaced with someone less boring.
I know all that sounds really harsh of me, doesn t it But I did like The Blade Itself Really I m just disappointed with it A disappoint that has grown rather than lessened in the weeks since I read it Why, you ask Well, for years, I ve heard all these grandiose accolades about this book People would tell me it was the quintessential modern grimdark The tale that revolutionized the fantasy genre for a new century Hell, one of my friends even anointed Abercrombie the Tolkien for the twenty first century Yeah, he is the president of the Lord Grimdark Fan Club But as I read, I just did not see any of that Still do not in hindsight It was a fine fantasy novel Abercrombie spent a lot of time writing a fiction novel which was incidentally a fantasy But revolutionary Not so much Glen Cook s Black Company series was grimdark than this before there was a term for it George R.
R Martin s work in Song of Ice and Fire was far grim in tone than anything I read here Hell, even Mark Lawrence s Prince of Thorns was dark and bloody than this tale So for those reasons, reading this novel was a little bit of a letdown.
With all that being said, I actually am looking forward to reading the next novel in the series Now, I can experience Before They Were Hanged without any grandiose expectations weighing it down It will be merely me sitting down to read an interesting fantasy novel about some people mixed up in deadly adventures, not me sitting down to read the MOST REVOLUTIONARY FANTASY NOVEL SINCE LORD OF THE RINGS and I believe that will allow me to enjoy it better than I did this one especially if Abercrombie actually kills someone I mean, OMFG, this is grimdark already a main character has to die now Logen Ninefingers, Infamous Barbarian, Has Finally Run Out Of Luck Caught In One Feud Too Many, He S On The Verge Of Becoming A Dead Barbarian Leaving Nothing Behind Him But Bad Songs, Dead Friends, And A Lot Of Happy Enemies Nobleman Captain Jezal Dan Luthar, Dashing Officer, And Paragon Of Selfishness, Has Nothing Dangerous In Mind Than Fleecing His Friends At Cards And Dreaming Of Glory In The Fencing Circle But War Is Brewing, And On The Battlefields Of The Frozen North They Fight By Altogether Bloodier Rules Inquisitor Glokta, Cripple Turned Torturer, Would Like Nothing Better Than To See Jezal Come Home In A Box But Then Glokta Hates Everyone Cutting Treason Out Of The Union One Confession At A Time Leaves Little Room For Friendship His Latest Trail Of Corpses May Lead Him Right To The Rotten Heart Of Government, If He Can Stay Alive Long Enough To Follow It Enter The Wizard, Bayaz A Bald 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 Logen, Jezal, And Glokta A Whole Lot Difficult Murderous Conspiracies Rise To The Surface, Old Scores Are Ready To Be Settled, And The Line Between Hero And Villain Is Sharp Enough To Draw Blood I was up until half five yesterday morning reading intensely to finish off this story I didn t write the review then as it would have been a tired, mumbled mess with little to no eloquence and it wouldn t have included any cool sounding words Let s see how I get on now after a good nights sleep Prior to reading this, I had completed Abercrombie s Shattered Sea trilogy and enjoyed it a lot Where that was classic story focused fantasy with twists aplenty, this is best described as a macabre, dark and twisted character study of morally questionable individuals This narrative takes place in a world that seems to be brimming with a blood splattered past, interesting races and a heightened amount of warmongering aggression between the countries and factions There is a lot going on in Abercrombie s world yet, it is a shame that the two versions of this book that I have didn t include any cartographed maps I did get a little confused trying to compose a mental map of the world and distinguish where the action was taking place The greatest accomplishment achieved by Abercrombie here is the characters he has created The four main individuals are Jezal A vain, selfish nobleman and talented fencer.
Logan An infamous warrior.
Glokta A tortured and crippled torturer.
Bayaz A mage whose motives are mystical.
I will not go into any real details about them, how they intertwine, their opinions shared in monologues regarding the others if they meet that is but it is a pleasure to read about these characters that are, on paper at least, completely unlikeable There are times that these characters surprised me with their thoughts Glokta s internal opinions are darkly humorous yet tortuous when relating to his past, and the womaniser and dashing swordsman Jezal actually having some weird emotions for only one lady are two fine examples The players interactions had a Tarantino like quality This book was a slow burner for me It has many great qualities but whilst reading I occasionally had an internal dilemma about whether I should put it down and pick up something with action Two or three amazing setpieces excluded such as a fencing contest and Logan s old gangs antics , it doesn t really include many all out adrenaline fueling segments Towards the end, however reading this was quite intense hence why I was up until stupid o clock to finish the story I reflect that this books main agenda was probably for the reader to get to know the characters because this is done extremely well At the finale, the seams are brimming with reported conflicts and a bizarre proposed mission that the characters find out are their fates and destinies moving forward To conclude, I have to admit that Before they are Hanged is set up phenomenally well and I am looking forward to shortly jump back into Abercrombie s world www.
com x I almost put down the book when 3 paragraphs in the first 3 pages began with some version of this line Shit, he said.
But I managed to slog through because I was told this was a some genre breaking novel that didn t rely so heavily on typical fantasy clich s and it was supposed to be really dark and gritty Instead of gritty, it felt kind of like a teenager who swears a lot to try and sound like an adult really forced and usually out of context A lot of the writing in general seemed to trip over itself Good editing would have helped a lot.
Luckily, it s a fast read and it only took a day to read it Probably because I ve read the books Abercrombie pulls from Stop me if you ve heard of any of these plotlines A powerful and mysterious wizard who reappears at various times through history reappears once again to put together an unlikely fellowship comprising of each of the major factions that we hear about in the novels and they have to transport an infinitely powerful magical item somewhere They have to be on the lookout for a fallen wizard who wants said item and a bunch of magically created servants who are going to hunt them down.
An introspective torturer who s a shadow of his former self Invaders from the north who won t listen to others about the REAL threat coming from further north.
An unconventionally beautiful, plain speaking commoner girl, here to turn a certain nobleman s world upside down.
There s I could list, but I d rather talk about the last one for a moment For the majority of the book, this down to earth girl is the only female character in the entire thing And she s a victim of abuse She s really only there to complicate things for the boys About two thirds of the way through, we re introduced to our second female character who is also, surprise, a victim of abuse and a former slave Neither of the characters seems to really have any depth, at all One could be replaced by a pair of batting eyelashes and the other could be replaced by the word VENGEANCE.
So, let s cast the characters for our novel, shall we Of course, boss, Mr Abercrombie, sir Where is the run of a mill farmboy with a great destination I m afraid he ran of the mill, met a goblin Now rots in a ditch Oh, how unfortunate Indeed, boss, indeed Let s see What about the maiden fair in need of rescue from a dragon Apparently she ate the dragon Now she was saying something about a burning sensation in thewelldigesting area Went to the toilet, never saw her again Hm, what a shame Well, what about a lovely elf You wish, ey boss Yeah, had to ask at least Understandable Maybe a sturdy dwarf Nah, you know how they are these days They all want to be Tyrion More the sophisticated wine drinking type, rather than being honourable beer folk So, what are we left with, then We have a fencing soldier Sounds promising Yeah, justhe s kind of an ass Pompous fool type At least good to look at for the ladies Might work, he s no sparkly Edward though Come on, go Edward yourself What else There is this savage dude, but his best days seem to be over Like a Baldwin And he s missing a finger So he s basically crippledwonderful, anyone else Funny thing, boss There is this actual cripple A torture victim, who s now an Inquisitor You re kidding me I m afraid not On a stretch I might have a savage female psychokiller on a revenge streak Oh please no, not for the beginning of the novel Maybe later then, boss Maybe later, for now, let s work with these guys And Abercrombie worked really well with them I had a blast with his refreshing new characters.
These miscreants really grow fast on you and you keep rooting for the strangest guys.
As the novel is really character focused, the main plot is of a build up to bigger things in the later books.
But it s interesting enough and has a lot of potential Therefore I m going to dive into the other two books of the First Law trilogy in the near future Maybe there are even casting surprises ahead Oh, bossone thingthe savage guy brought some friends aswell Of course, he did, of coursewe ll make it work.
gritty visceral unapologetic and darkly humorous everything you could ever want from a story like this.
its safe to say this is primarily a character driven novel, which is fine by me because every character is brilliant it has quite the ensemble cast each has their own secrets, histories, and quirks making it quite the experience getting to know each of them not a lot happens plot wise, and with the main focus on the character developments, this felt very much like an introduction rather than a true first instalment of a series a lot of time is spent exploring the world, distinguishing different empires and their history, how each characters plays a part in the story, etc but its all a really great set up for what i imagine will be a really gripping series im looking forward to seeing where everything goes 4 stars So this was one of my most anticipated reads Grimdark fans from all over offer up this book as one of the best in the genre, and so that understandably rocketed my expectations And this was not a bad book by any means In fact, as soon as I started I was told multiple times that I could liken the first book of The First Law series to a giant prologue, and I think that s a really accurate way to describe it The book follows a handful of characters who are all entangled in some way in the degenerating political situation between The Union and The North Each character brings with them an interesting history plays a unique role in the story How they relate integrate themselves into the plot feels very believable covers a wide range of positions, which provides decent footing for the reader to understand Abercrombie s world through their eyes.
My favorite character was a tie between Inquisitor Sand dan Glotka, once a brilliant charming swordsman, now crippled experienced in the art of torture, and Logen Ninefingers, a banished Northman warrior with a bloody reputation Both of these characters are written in a way that kept me wanting to find out how their story would unfold Especially Glotka with all his biting sarcasm sardonic sense of humor.
Abercrombie s talent as a writer is one of the shining aspects of this novel His ability to develop landscapes nations with distinctive cultures is impressive He is seamlessly able to tie together situations characters with smooth descriptions clever dialogue.
However, even with these strong qualities, I really suffered to stay engaged with what was happening from almost the very beginning to the end.
Every so often, a great section of action or an intriguing piece of banter would bring me to the surface, but for much of the story I felt as though I were drowning in cumbersome details a political set up that I wasn t fully on board with That is to say, the story just didn t do it for me.
When I finally finished this book, I was relieved on some level because in many places it was quite a slog Pacing was a bit of the problem, but for me of the issue was I just couldn t fully connect with what was going on There were definitely a number of enjoyable elements here there s no denying Abercrombie s skill at world building characterization But good is the best way I can describe my reading of The Blade Itself.
I m glad I read it, as I ve heard the next two books really take off take the reader on a crazy journey So I ll be looking forward to reading the next two books in the series Buddy read this with my girl, Nenia Here s a link to her lovely review
5 5 stars The Blade Itself was my first entry into a grimdark fantasy novel that I highly enjoyed on this reread, I loved it evenOnce you ve got a task to do, it s better to do it than live with the fear of itBack in October 2016, the only reason I stumbled upon this bloody marvelous trilogy was that, as many other readers did, I was looking for a reading experience that could offer me the kind of unpredictability and morally ambiguous characters that the Game of Thrones TV show did I haven t read A Song of Ice and Fire back then, fans of Game of Thrones weren t so divisive in their opinion yet too, but suffice to say I was surprised that I got what I was looking for in this series, and I ve read many grimdark novels since then, and it s baffling that I haven t encountered many grimdark characters with characterizations level as high as Abercrombie Seeing that Abercrombie s newest novel in the world of First Law is coming out in a month, I figured it s about time for me to actually refresh my memory and check whether it was my nostalgia goggles playing trick on me it wasn t, I actually loved my reread experience than my first read.
Picture The Blade Itself by Alexander Preuss The Blade Itself is Joe Abercrombie s debut, the first book in The First Law trilogy, a series that has inspired so many books in the current market Thinking about it, I have lost count on how many times I ve recommended Abercrombie s First Law series to readers around the world it is one of my favorite series and I truly believe Abercrombie has achieved something special for the genre The Blade Itself can be considered a setup book it established the characters personality and motivation meticulously More than anything else, Abercrombie made sure that readers will get to know each main characters behavior and internal conflicts on an intimate level that many grimdark writers until today have tried and failed to achieveThe you learn, the you realize how little you know Still, the struggle itself is worthwhile Knowledge is the root of power, after allThe storyline on its own was interesting but from what I ve gathered from many fans and also my personal opinion, Abercrombie became well known in the fantasy genre because of his exceptional characterizations Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he knows how to write memorable catch phrases and characters Abercrombie s prose is well polished, accessible, and vivid the dialogues between characters were incredibly entertaining, and the characters that he created has an enormous depth of characterizations and it all began with this debut Logen Ninefingers, the infamous barbarians also known as The Bloody Nine Inquisitor Sand dan Glokta, once the best swordsman who s now crippled and is now a torturer Jezal dan Luthar, a selfish and narcissistic officer who dreams of glory these main characters drove the plot wonderfully and every moment spent with them were utterly delightful, to say the leastYou have to learn to love the small things in life, like a hot bath You have to love the small things, when you have nothing elseRegarding reading experience, I can safely say that I ve become so much well acquainted with grimdark fantasy than I was in 2016, and yet one of my assessment from back then still holds true until today Abercrombie writes some of the most well written and memorable characters in grimdark fantasy this statement is especially true for Logen, Glokta, and Bayaz However, this doesn t mean that the other characters weren t memorable West, Dogman, Black Dow, The Feared, and many characters that will appear in the next books eventually became characters with a significant presence in the series You ll see, what we get to see in The Blade Itself was merely an appetizer for greater things to come in future installments Even Abercrombie s famous and highly praised battle scenes within this book were still fewer and much smaller in scope compared to its subsequent sequelsHistory is littered with dead good menFrom this debut alone, Abercrombie already made me care for the anti heroes and bastards Logen Ninefingers is still one of my favorite characters of all time Glokta is truly one of a kind character in fantasy the closest comparison to Glokta I can think of would be Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire The Blade Itself is a fantastic character driven debut that starts one of the most unforgettable and important grimdark fantasy series of our time If this is your first time starting The First Law trilogy, consider yourself lucky to have the chance to read it If you ve read it and it s been a while for you, consider visiting these characters again in preparation for A Little Hatred I didn t realize how much I missed these characters until I ve begun my reread Absolutely recommended You can order the book from Book Depository Free shipping You can find this and the rest of my reviews at Novel Notions Anton Chekhov famously said that if an author mentions a gun, it had better go off at some point, a point often attributed to Raymond Chandler who at least practiced this rule The same goes for fantasy writers Fantasy doesn t need to be all blood and whirling blades, but if a fantasy writer straps a broadsword to a character s side, it had better be drawn in anger, at some point.
This was one of the best fantasy novels I ve read in a while, especially impressive as it s a first novel It has a fair amount of the aforementioned blood and swordplay, but it is much than that The characters are finely drawn and the story is both complex and well paced For me, the most interesting character was the Inquisitor Glotka, who is deliciously cynical A formerly dashing officer, he was taken as a prisoner of war and tortured Having subsequently become a professional torturer himself, he can t help but admire the skill and creativity his captors put into breaking him He harbors a great deal of hatred for his former comrades, who he feels forgot about him in captivity and would like to forget him still.
Glotka serves the Union, a civilization confident of its superiority, centered on the decadent city of Adua War is brewing in the barbarian North and in the Gurkish south Into this setting comes the wizard Bayaz, accompanied by the barabarian warrior Logen Ninefingers Logen is famed in the North as a master of violence, but it is a reputation he wishes he could put behind him Bayaz won t let him get away that easily, however, needing the barbarian s skills for his own purposes Bayaz has interests of his own in Adua, tied to the distant past and the vanquishing of a dark magus who was the founder of the city Bayaz spends a good deal of his time acting un wizardly in Logen s opinion , like a balding, fat, lazy peasant It is an assessment others make, to the point that they risk underestimating the cranky, old man Abercrombie s accounts of fighting are incredibly well done, fast paced and capturing the fear and confusion, along with the rage and bloody minded delight of mastering an opponent Yet, the violence in this book takes an emotional toll on those involved Also, his accounts of magic are very good, not flashy but weird and disturbing A lot of fantasy writers make the mistake of giving the reader too much information about the world they ve created Abercrombie gives enough background to keep the plot going, leaving the rest as tantalizing clues that give the sense of a real world The only part of the book where I thought he was giving us too much was in regard to the fencing tournament that the nobleman Jezal dan Luthar takes part in It did help display the arrogant, selfish character of Captain Luthar, but I felt there was a bit too much detail expended on it Still, this is the first book of a trilogy, so perhaps the event of the tournament will figure later in the story.
All in all, this was a great read I ve read too much fantasy in recent years that seemed too much like feminist theory or post Marxian cultural critique with dragons, often written with a faux epic wordiness I really think this is why the Potter books were so popular with adults they were looking for something story driven This book by Joe Abercrombie is an antidote for a lot that has been wrong in fantasy literature.