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Blade Itself (First Law 1) Paperback

18 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Gollancz
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575077867
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575077867
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.2 x 23.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 640 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,486,977 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Patrick St-Denis, editor of Pat's Fantasy Hotlist on Feb. 16 2007
Format: Paperback
Joe Abercrombie's debut is making some noise all over the internet. Understandably, little more was needed to pique my curiosity! I wish to thank Joe for sending me signed copies of both The Blade Itself and Before They Are Hanged when I could not get through with his publicist.

The Blade Itself is a throwback to what used to dominate the genre during the 80s before doorstopper fantasy epics took over. As such, it is reminiscent of David Eddings and Raymond E. Feist in their heydays. What does that mean, exactly? Well, The Blade Itself is a character-driven tale that is not comprised of countless storylines. The First Law is a trilogy, so the author has no choice but to keep this story under tight rein. There is also a certain sense of adventure throughout, something that was popularized by the sword and sorcery sub-genre during the 80s.

There is a lot to like about Joe Abercrombie's debut. As a throwback fantasy novel, I found it refreshing. It's nice to see the" a The Blade Itself will please some fans, it will fall short with other readers.

As he stated in a recent interview, Joe Abercrombie doesn't attach that much importance to worldbuilding. He prefers to let the readers discover his universe and its inhabitants through the eyes of his characters. Don't expect a level of details similiar to what you'd find in a Jordan, Erikson, Martin, or Bakker book. Still, the author provides enough background info to keep things interesting.

Characters always make or break a book/series. And nowhere is it more evident than in a self-described character-driven novel. The characterizations found in The Blade Itself are at times very good, but some also leave a little to be desired.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A. Seth on Oct. 31 2009
Format: Paperback
Before I start, this book not for everyone. Fans of books from GRR Martin will absolutely love this one. However, people who much rather prefer reading classical fantasy consisting of elves, wizards and orcs will not find that here. Sure there are wizards, but not in any way similar to Dumbledore.

When reading this, there was so much from it that came from the Song from Ice and Fire series. But Abercrombie developped his own style and it is distinct from many other authors. His prose is short and to the point which makes for a very easy read, and I use that term loosely because the story is quite heavy. The three characters are well thought out and heroes in different ways.

Great job for the first installment of the series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blair Snider on Feb. 16 2007
Format: Paperback
Fabulous book.

The fantasy genre is glutted with tons and tons of the "same ol' same ol'". That is why it is so refreshing to come across a unique voice with a new slant on things.

This book is filled with dark humour, unique characters and was a thoroughly enjoyable read. It is the kind of book that makes you take note of the author and keeps your eyes open for more of their writing.

I am a big fan of characters and characterization, and there are plenty of those here. In particular the inquisitor Sand dan Glokta and the barbarian Logen Ninefingers ("the Bloody Nine") are delightful, and there are lots more greats in addition to those two. The barbarian archetype has always been one of my faves, and Logen is fantastic. Imagine a barbarian who's really quite sick of being one. Logen Ninefingers and Naiur ur Skiotha fromt the 'Prince of Nothing' series are two of my top recent additions to 'barbarian lore'.

In any case, this book is well worth your time if you enjoy the genre and would like to read something a little different and fresh.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Red Moose on July 16 2006
Format: Paperback
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. I read the blurb from the back and nearly turned away after reading only half of the summary. But something made me open it up and try the first few pages--and I was hooked. It starts with an action scene--like most fantasy novels--and it is described so well. It is realistic without splattering gore in your face. I can't think of any other author who treads that line so well as Joe Abercrombie does in The Blade Itself.

I didn't find this a funny book, overall. It's not a comedy at all. But there are several moments where I did laugh out loud as I read some clever description or a reaction of one of the characters. In fact I think I found more to smile at in this book than most other novels that are specifically tagged as being funny or humourous. The humour here isn't forced. I didn't feel like the author was trying to be funny. It was more like the humour you might find in casual conversation with a friend.

This book moves along at a good pace. It is one of those books where you want to keep reading to find out what happens, but, unlike many other page-turners, things actually happen in this one! I hate books that promise action or resolution just over the next page, just another page, one more page, and before you know it you've read half the book and still nothing's happened. This is definitely not a one-trick pony of a book. Each character is well developed and the plots intertwine naturally.

What this book doesn't contain are tired old writing techniques. Well, it's not perfect, but it's as close as I've come across in 15 years. Anyway, there are no stereotypical cliched fantasy characters.
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