The Blade Itself (The First Law Trilogy #1) - Joe Abercrombie 7.92   192

Tähtifantasia Award nominee 2010.

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, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more 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 Glotka a whole lot more 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. Unpredictable, compelling, wickedly funny, and packed with unforgettable characters, The Blade Itself is noir fantasy with a real cutting edge.

If you're fond of bloodless, turgid fantasy with characters as thin as newspaper and as boring as plaster saints, Joe Abercrombie is really going to ruin your day. A long career for this guy would be a gift to our genre.” – Scott Lynch

“An exciting new entry to the heroic fantasy ranks – rough-and-tumble, bold and authentically original.” – Jeff VanderMeer

“The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie is the best new fantasy book I’ve read in the last 10 years. Yes. You heard that right.” – Andy Remic


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Release date May 2006
Details updated August 24, 2022

The First Law Trilogy :: Series

Series contains 3 primary works and has 3 total works.

Main series World of the First Law

The Blade Itself (The First Law Trilogy #1) 7.92   192
Before They Are Hanged (The First Law Trilogy #2) 8.44   114
Last Argument of Kings (The First Law Trilogy #3) 8.38   74

Community Reviews & Rates

Bluejay
59 ratings
27 reviews
0 posts
March 5, 2008
10 / 10

The book started with an action scene, grabbed me along and didn't let go till I had finished the last page, wanting to get my hands on the next part immediately. The Blade Itself is one of the best fantasy novels I've read in a long time. Although it probably would lose the contests of fine style and epic scope to some other great books, I think it's undeniable that Abercrombie is a great storyteller. Although the characters are almost cartoonish caricatures and humor blossoms even in the most grim scenes, under all the lightness runs a darker undercurrent, a hint of what the future might bring to the heroes and heroines of the story.

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