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The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One) [Paperback]

By Joe Abercrombie, Lucia Graves (Translator), Thomas Mason (Contributor), Bob Kane (Creator), Alessandra Comini (Contributor), Daniel Lane (Illustrator) & Ccile De Banke
Our Price $ 14.45  
Retail Value $ 17.00  
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Item Number 415839  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   531
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 5.75" Height: 9"
Weight:   1.56 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 30, 2007
Publisher   Pyr
ISBN  159102594X  
EAN  9781591025948  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
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.

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More About Joe Abercrombie, Lucia Graves, Thomas Mason, Bob Kane, Alessandra Comini, Daniel Lane & Ccile De Banke

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Joe Abercrombie is the New York Times bestselling author of Red Country and the First Law trilogy: The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, and Last Argument of Kings. He is a full time writer, and occasional freelance film editor, who lives in Bath, England with his wife and three children.

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Family Saga   [879  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Epic   [1227  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General   [7724  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Sharp and to the point  Dec 2, 2008
I'm always so happy when I find a really good fantasy series. The last one was George RR Martin's fire and ice series. While I wouldn't place this one quite that high, it was a rolicking enjoyable ride and I went and quickly ordered the next two books.

The Blade Itself is well written with good characters and enough twists to play with the now familiar roles and plots. We meet the tortured man who becomes a torturer, the Bloody killer who speaks to spirits and knows 'you have to be practical' but is losing that hard edge to tiredness and compassion. We meet the wizard who is both more and less than he seems, and we follow all these characters as they twist and twine.

This is the first of a 3 part series and has good world building and a very accomplished feel for a debut book! A happy find and I'm sure that Joe Abercrombie will only get better... he's going to be an automatic buy for me.
overall fantastic series if you make it through book 1  Dec 2, 2008
I began fantasy about 5 months ago ("The Name of the Wind") and can't seem to pull myself away from the genre (nothing seems to compare when you're looking for character development and plot). This trilogy is fantastic. I must admit that I was doubting the book/trilogy as I read the first few chapters of "The Blade Itself", yet it slowly picked up momentum and held my interest. After finishing all three books, I see Abercrombie's genius in starting slow and building his characters and plots across the three books; the ever-gaining momentum made Book 3 such a fun read. Abercrombie has spectacularly real characters with very real flaws and personal struggles, yet he does his character development with a certain subtlety and charm. I hate when books give you inane, cliched details that scream "This is character development, and this character sure is boring!" There is none of that in the "First Law" series, and most development is masterfully done through character action/inaction/interaction/introspection. Glokta is particularly memorable, and is one of my favorite characters ever (he is so self-effacing, cynical, realistic, and self-aware you can't help but love and understand him by the end of book 3).

All-in-all, if you love character and plot development, you should definitely give this series a shot. A word of warning: this is a dark fantasy with a lot of very well-orchestrated, vivid fight scenes, so it's not for the weak of heart. It also has quite a bit of very crass language (used to drive scene and character development), so it might not be for the easily offended as well.
Abercrombie provides further proof that the fantasy genre is heading in the right direction  Dec 1, 2008
This has been a great year for discovering awesome fantasy authors. Scott Lynch, who may be my new favorite author after Martin, recommended Abercrombie so I had to check him out. I didn't regret it. He writes with a style unlike anything I've read, filled with quick wit, great dialogue and clever, subtle humor.

His world is instantly engrossing and packed with intriguing and incredibly flawed characters. Some readers may be turned off that some of the POV characters have only a few redeeming qualities, and one or two might be downright unlikeable. For me, who relishes in reading anything out of the ordinary, unlikable is likeable. Noble and just characters become predictable and boring. Here, you won't find either of those annoying traits. Each character is incredibly different from one another and has their own purpose and role in the story.

The back of the book many only mention four main characters but there are really six, with one that doesn't really get his own POV until later on and another who simply doesn't show up until later.
We have Jezal: the pretty boy Union soldier who cares about nothing but his big upcoming fencing match, and even that he goes about half-heartedly. His character starts out obnoxious but he starts to become interesting when he finds a love interest and other challenges.
Glokta: My personal favorite character. He is a former Union hero who was captured in a war with a southern Empire and tortured for two years straight. He is now a cripple with a very nasty and sarcastic attitude who ironically became a torturer himself. (Any fans of Martin may notice the resemblance to Tyrion, although Tyrion is probably a bit softer hearted.)
Logen: Possibly the most descent of the characters. His intentions are good, but he is bread to be a killing machine. A gargantuan man from the cold north, he is a legendary fighter known as the Bloody Nine (for his missing finger, one of his many battle scars.) However, the farther the story progresses, the more one learns that he is a man to be feared.
Bayaz: A man who claims to be from the original order of ancient Magi, and regardless of his claims he definitely has control of very intense forces. His intentions seem unclear at first but he becomes the catalyst that combines all of these other plot threads together.
Colonel West: At first he is only seen in Jazel's point-of-view as his fencing partner. But he soon gets a greater role and his own chapters. He seems to have a level head but he also has some serious problems, mostly of the family sort.
Ferro: The late-comer to the book, she is possibly the most mysterious of these characters. Once part of the empire that Glokta had fallen victim to, she is now associated with no one and has made it her entire purpose to take her vengeance on the Empire for what they did to her. She has uncanny fighting abilities, but the man who shows up to save her that she reluctantly follows is the only one keeping her alive.

Each of these characters has their own unique tale, but they are all masterfully woven together. Readers who are looking for a more linear reading experience like Tolkien, Eddings, Feist and many of the long time fantasists might be confused and disappointed. This book is an incredible tapestry and possibly more disjointed than Martin's Song of Ice and Fire. This is not a bad thing though. On the contrary it's amazingly written and incredibly entertaining. All of the various POVs show this unique fantasy setting from many facets and it's all great. The fighting scenes when they come about are greatly detailed and make you feel like you're right there, and magic (as it always should be as far as I'm concerned) is a rare and terrifying thing when it comes about. All of these elements do pull together into one more focused plot, but it takes some figuring out and some patience to get there.

This isn't a reading experience for the faint of heart. There is plenty of blood, guts, swearing and sex (I'm not complaining though,) but it's all done with finesse and skill. Joe Abercrombie proves that fantasy is more than Harry Potter and Narnia. He is a great author and if you take what I said into consideration, he won't dissapoint.
Excellent trilogy beginning  Nov 23, 2008
Joe Abercrombie does a nice job with the first book of his First Law Series. Setting the story in a well-built world and filling it with interesting, gritty characters creates a good balance of stage-setting and story-telling.

The Blade Itself is told from the perspective of five-sic major characters who are gradually drawn together and who's collected experiences create a very interesting combination. There is the mage, the apprentice, the barbarian, the gifted young noble, the crippled anti-hero....and so forth. Very interesting characters for me.

I think the only drawback that I saw in the series was that it take a while before things reach a boiling point and the story gets going. That's not a serious drawback, but enough that it kept me from wanting to give it more than 4 stars. Once the story gets going, then it's truly a lot of fun to read.

Abercrombie's use of classic Fantasy themes is very good and his world building is exceptional. I can't wait for the second book in the series.
Savage  Nov 19, 2008
While I admit that the characters are entertaining, the pace lively, and the style impressive; this books greatest achievement is its sheer savagery. For the scenes of Glotka torturing, the northmen rampaging, and best of all Logen's battle sequence, this book is worth your $15. This is the sort of book that makes you want to beat your chest with fury when you turn the final pages. The only fight sequence that compares in my opinion is The Mountain vs The Viper from Storm of Swords. Good Job Joe!

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