I just finished the trilogy myself. I wanted to make my own contribution, but since you came here first. Abercrombie does not strike blows in his description of bloody battles, but he is never unfounded. The humor in the book is sometimes laughing out loud and there is certainly enough inexplicable to make you guess and want more. There is nothing superfluous in this book, no plot that ends with a wet squid, everything is there for a reason. I caught myself putting this book away near the end, not because I was bored, but simply because it was so good that I didn`t want to finish it! Fortunately, I now have the second book of the trilogy to look forward to. I would recommend this book to hardcore fantasy readers and those reading fantasy for the first time, because it`s just a damn good read. Amanda White, 8.7/10 When I`m looking for new books to read, window shopping, or need a new book, I tend to come back to Amazon. I look for something I know I liked, and then I look at similar items and what other people have bought on the site. That`s how I came across Joe Abercrombie`s The Blade Itself. The selling point was at the bottom of the review section of the page; I can`t recommend the audio version highly enough if anyone is considering this an option. Steven Pacey`s performance is fantastic and played a big role in why I continued with the other series in audio form. Throughout the first book, Abercrombie`s sort of „realistic“ fantasy seems little more than a lesser cousin of George R.R.
Martin`s A Song of Ice and Fire, to which he clearly owes a great deal. But with the second and especially the third book, The First Law Trilogy, finds its own distinctive voice. Like Martin, Abercrombie offers a diverse cast of memorable antiheroes and villains set in a well-developed world of political intrigue, war, and compromise. His deeply disturbing portrayal of the magician Bayaz is worth the cover price in itself. The story is compelling, original, and rarely predictable, and dialogue and descriptions continue to improve throughout the trilogy. But it`s the ending that really justifies the size of the series, as it turns into a surprisingly effective dystopian fantasy – albeit inevitably one-sided. „The Blade Itself“ is the first part of Abercrombie`s excellent „First Law“ trilogy. The critic goes on to say that The Blade Itself“. is clearly the least well written and imagined of the three,“ and again, I think the critic has it right on his nose. Well, let`s be fair, The Name of the Wind is the epitome of flawless writing, and Scott Lynch isn`t too far behind either.
Being the least well written of those three is like being a bronze medallist in the 100-metre sprint at the Olympics. The First Law is great. However, it is not a first-person Pov, its third person is limited However, the gender itself is problematic. By presenting itself as a kind of „realistic“ fantasy – a genre she maintains fairly faithfully in the first and second books – the late turn to dystopia leads to a distorted image of human nature. As a critique of our infinite capacity for self-deception and compromise, The First Law Trilogy is effective, but like any dystopian story, it has to leave out something important. Obviously, women and children are rare in this story, and each of them has been or will be victims of one or another act of violence. The only female figure whose point of view is given to us is – literally – part of the devil and is almost entirely driven by an insatiable desire for revenge. In three books, we follow a series of walking fantasy archetypes: there`s Logan Logen, the shaggy barbarian with a murderous reputation; Jezal, the dashing captain and skilful fencer; and Glokta, the unstable and crippled Inquisitor. There are also magicians. In Adua, the heart of the Union, unrest is brewing, with enemies from the north and south. Does all this sound familiar? Well, the First Law series proudly wears its subversive heart on its tongue, as you`ll soon see. The story is written from a first-person perspective, with the perspective often changing between characters on multiple levels.
Best Served Cold: My least popular First Law book (revenge stories aren`t my first choice), but I`d still like to recommend it. The characters are very interesting and their arcs extremely satisfying. A bitter and cynical person who discovered his goodness contrasted with a hopeful optimist who got lost in nihilism and toxicity. The exact moment I knew this series was different and special was the shock I felt during a particular incident between Collem West and his sister. It really shook me, not only because of the violence, but because he said unequivocally that Abercrombie would not allow the reader to worship the hero at all. People are imperfect and sometimes very imperfect. It`s not that the series is completely devoid of grace or self-sacrifice; It`s how small and ephemeral they ultimately play. Still, I`m not willing to dismiss the series as a whole as simply cynical, as dystopia serves a valuable warning purpose. I wouldn`t complain about 1984 or Brave New World for their similar pessimism, and even if it`s far from those masterpieces, it will still remain in my memory. For all its twists and turns and criticisms of heroism, I`d say the First Law trilogy can be just as predictable as the kind of fantasy it`s about.
But ask everyone who loved this series why they love it, and tell you it`s probably because of the work of the characters. The First Law is not only about the lodges, Jezal and Glokta, and no character feels too insignificant. Most of them are multifaceted and radiate an incomparable personality. Whether or not you like this show depends on how much you invest in the characters: you may not like them, but if you`re not interested in what`s happening to them, you`ll struggle. Some of the accusations of desperation/nihilism/futility in relation to the first trilogy find their basis in the development of Logen`s redemption efforts and the fact that it does not seem that anything can stop Bayaz`s domination of the Union. As for the dressing rooms, I feel like Abercrombie realizes that talking about a good game about change doesn`t mean anything if you`re not willing to support your conversation with actions (as the Dogman points out); Things might not have been so desperate for the lodges if his actions had been different. I`m more sensitive to criticism rooted in Bayaz`s dominance, but I can`t discuss my rebuttals without discussing the books you haven`t read yet. This can be a disadvantage for readers who like extensive world building, but it also has a huge advantage: it reduces the swelling to the bare minimum and allows the author to maintain a good pace throughout the novel.
In fact, Abercrombie mentions that he has been frustrated with the majority of most epic fantasy series and has deliberately tried to write something more focused. Like any good dystopian story, its core is an implicit critique of contemporary society, in this case the dominant influence of big business and banking interests on political action and the abuses of the „war on terror.“ Nor is Abercrombie content with cheap political points; It also effectively examines how even well-meaning leaders can feel attracted to voluntary participation in a corrupt system beyond their control. Unlike many similar works in which the hero fights honorably, albeit unsuccessfully, against the system, this series rightly highlights how the selfish, cowardly, and involuntary decisions of the „heroes“ themselves can lead to permanent damage. It also highlights our tendency to exaggerate our own moral progress and convince ourselves that our relapses are necessary or inevitable. Above all, it provides a striking illustration of the concept that „history is written by the victors“. THE BLADE ITSELF is a refreshing first novel in what we would call a dark fantasy trilogy. Abercrombie gives us a cast of characters who have even more attitude than us – not an easy task. In this cast, we have a crippled torturer as the main character. Tell us, how often do we see a torturer as the main PoV in epic fantasy these days? An incredibly successful first book – Emerald City „The Fall of the Master Creator“, whispered Glokta.
âThis garbage? What magic and bravery, isn`t it? I couldn`t survive the first one.“ But sometimes the show undermines its own message. Showing the episodes without indulging in the carnage itself is something Martin`s A Game of Thrones did particularly well (though later books in the series are less so), but Abercrombie doesn`t seem to have the same talent for it. Like Braveheart or Avatar, The First Law Trilogy wants to criticize our easy acceptance of war, but in practice it seems a little too interested in the details of violence. Showing one of the heroes killing a friend in the final moments of a battle, or having the victorious Generalsause sounding a lot like „we lost“ of his men, doesn`t go so far as to make up for the hundreds of pages of detailed description of the battle itself.