Customer Reviews for

The Blade Itself (First Law Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

One of a kind

First let me say that as you look at the reviews you will notice mr. Negative giving this book a bad review...I never respond to other reviews as they are entitled to thier own opinions. I must make a exception here because this book is just that awesome and deserves to...
First let me say that as you look at the reviews you will notice mr. Negative giving this book a bad review...I never respond to other reviews as they are entitled to thier own opinions. I must make a exception here because this book is just that awesome and deserves to be defended. Most of you may know me by now as i have wriiten alot of reviews and read 46 fantasy books a year...So when i say that Abercrombies First Blade is a diamond, a gem, one of the best wriiten fantasy epics of all time, Then you shouldnt take that too lightly. Mr. Negative probly gave Mr. R.R Martin a bad review.,(lol)...In short "This book has it all. Great characters, its funny at times and most importantly you will remain excited throughout the entire series....RARELY do i find a book that i can say that about with the exception of "A Song of Fire and Ice"

posted by DAY-READER on May 24, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

6 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

Don't waste your time and money

I have been reading fantasy for over 30 years now and maybe I've been spoiled by all of the great books there are in this genre. I certainly would not include this book in that category. The story is poor, the characters are shallow, and there are more f-bombs than in ...
I have been reading fantasy for over 30 years now and maybe I've been spoiled by all of the great books there are in this genre. I certainly would not include this book in that category. The story is poor, the characters are shallow, and there are more f-bombs than in any other fantasy book I have ever read. I'm not a prude by any means but the language in this book is over the top. I believe that if you are a writer you should have a better vocabulary than that. I urge everyone to pass on this book.

posted by Anonymous on April 17, 2008

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  • Posted May 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    One of a kind

    First let me say that as you look at the reviews you will notice mr. Negative giving this book a bad review...I never respond to other reviews as they are entitled to thier own opinions. I must make a exception here because this book is just that awesome and deserves to be defended. Most of you may know me by now as i have wriiten alot of reviews and read 46 fantasy books a year...So when i say that Abercrombies First Blade is a diamond, a gem, one of the best wriiten fantasy epics of all time, Then you shouldnt take that too lightly. Mr. Negative probly gave Mr. R.R Martin a bad review.,(lol)...In short "This book has it all. Great characters, its funny at times and most importantly you will remain excited throughout the entire series....RARELY do i find a book that i can say that about with the exception of "A Song of Fire and Ice"

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    Don't waste your time and money

    I have been reading fantasy for over 30 years now and maybe I've been spoiled by all of the great books there are in this genre. I certainly would not include this book in that category. The story is poor, the characters are shallow, and there are more f-bombs than in any other fantasy book I have ever read. I'm not a prude by any means but the language in this book is over the top. I believe that if you are a writer you should have a better vocabulary than that. I urge everyone to pass on this book.

    6 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 16, 2010

    Puts a wonderfully cynical twist of the fantasy genre. A plot that is a web of intrigue and gore and a backdrop of very contemporary (and perennial themes). Superb characters and utterly engaging relationships. A fearless use of language!

    True to form for a contemporary fantasy, The Blade Itself plunges us straight into an action scene, a desperate bid for survival and a literal cliffhanger. The mechanics were initially arresting to my cycnical take on novel craft, but Abercrombie pulls it off well. He is never verbose and always seems to come up with simple words that convey the greatest image.

    Perhaps the biggest strength of the book, for me, is Abercrombie's use of voice and point of view. The principles have little idiosynracies of speech - sometimes action - which makes them instantly recognisable without a surfeit of speech tags (he said, she said.) There is the "say one thing for Logan Ninefingers." and "you've got to be realistic" of Logan the barbarian, the italicised thoughts of Inquisitor Glotka, always commenting dryly but giving nothing away to his interlocutors), and the preening narcissism of Jazal dan Luthar.

    Logan and Glotka in particular are extremely strong memorable characters - at times pantomimic but great fun. Many of the characters are caricatures, broadly brushed and stock types. This in no way hinders the comedic elements of the book but occasionally distances the reader from full engagement with them.

    The plot is at times lumbering, a slow coming together of the principle characters. There are elements of intrigue, detective work, sword and sorcery (shades of Gene Wolfe at times, particularly in the House of Questions scenes). Abercrombie creates a hotch-potch of parody and tribute that nevertheless has moments of brilliance. He is at his best with action and character but occasionally lulls into mediocrity.

    Language is also a slight inconsistency. Often it is used effectively, particularly when he remembers the point of view. There are, hovever, some incongruities and a smattering of contemporary expletives that don't always fit the moment.

    Whilst point of view is a definite strength in the book, I felt Abercrombie over did the changes of point of view. We often get a chapter from Logan's perspective followed by a shift to Glotka, then to Jezal, back to Logan, off to Ferro. I found myself being drawn into a character only to be spat out and forced into another induction. I would have prefferred a little more balance and pacing here.

    Nevertheless there are great things in The Blade Itself, the odd sublime scene, cruel wit, and (most of the time) a deceptively simple and utterly effective use of language. It is a refreshing read and stands out from the heap of turgid mush that the genre has been spilling onto the bookshelves for the past few decades.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Blade Itself

    This was not one of my favorite books. It was a little too bloody and sadistic in parts for my taste. I think I was expecting something entirely different from the description than what was actually in the book. It started off pretty interesting, although gruesome in parts. In spite of that it held my interest enough to keep me reading. Unfortunately about halfway through the book it started to drag and I had a heck of a time keeping enough interest to continue. It was pure stubborness that kept me reading it. The variety of characters was pretty interesting and I thought the best feature of the book. The plot...well, I never really did figure out exactly what the plot was. The story did pick up a bit towards the end and then left you totally hanging for the next sequel...which I will miss...intentionally. So unless you have absolutely nothing else remotely interesting to read I would not recommend this book.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2008

    A Must-Read

    The Blade Itself is by far one of the best fantasy novels I've read to date! Abercrombie has created a vivid world full of drama, epic battles, sprawling landscapes, magic and mystery. You won't find yourself weighed down by lenghty back-story or boring histories that is expected in this genre. The real gems of this book, however, are the terribly cynical characters. Abercombie stays away from the 'safe' fantasy characters we've come to expect. They are pessimistic, blunt, foul and offensive, and from the very beginning, you'll find yourself loving every one of them. I've bought this book for several of my friends as gifts, and have recommended it to countless more.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    in my opinion this is one of my favorite books. I enjoyed it because of the humorous diversity of the characters. as you read the book it takes you on an adventure with a crippled torturer, a battle-softened barbarian , and a pompous brat. the book is slow until the first 50 pages but after that i was hooked

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    entertaining Noir fantasy

    While fleeing in the water to elude his deadly foes of man and beast, Logen Ninefingers the barbarian knows he will soon be dead. In the North the Shanka led by his former mentor has subjugated the other tribes through brutality and atrocities he alone remains opposed, but flees towards the Midderland for safety. --- Meanwhile to the South, a Prophet has gathered the desert slavers to his side. The Empire prepares for war. --- In the city of Adua in the Midderland government corruption and affleunt indulgence is the norm. Thus the middle has lost control of the North and South to barbarians and mages. The wizards try to unite the people as the ancient enemy has returned, but people like Captain Jezal dan Luthar wants nothing to do with adventure and intrigue especially in the frozen north or the desert south he is to busy drinking, cheating at cards, and chasing women to risk his life at what will prove to be a bloody war. The cripple Inquisitor Glokta notorious for torture, and his two associates, are killing the seditious government leaders, one at a time. He hopes to one day add Jezal to his résumé. However, it is the actions of Bavaz the wizard who claims to be the First of the Magi, who shakes up the realm or at least Logen, Jezal, and Glokta with his demanding raging orders that they fear to follow as he seems more fraud than genuine yet fear not to as his bite may prove worst than his violent bark. --- Readers obtain an indirect taste of the Abercrombie world through the eyes of the major characters although never gain the full perspective beyond a frozen north, a desert south, and a major thriving city in the middle that is the link but with the greedy and the powerful looking out for themselves, the realm is collapsing. The fascination with this Noir fantasy is the key cast members. The foursome is not epic heroes, but instead they are flawed to the point that the story line at times feels like an amusing satire of the Tolkien lite imitations. Not for everyone, THE BLADE ITSELF is carried by its deep characters, who tote more negatives than positives and may prove to cause the beginning of the end these incredibly flawed souls make for a fresh and outstanding fantasy. --- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The beginning of the world and series.

    The beginning of the book was easy yet a little hard for me. There is a lot of background work done here on the characters and the status of the world. You are introduced to all the characters in their elements, places, and world before they are introduced to each other. It can get a little confusing, but if you can keep it all separate it is worth it. One of the best parts here is having your characters separate and seeing their views on what they know or see, then seeing them actually meet and how the knowledge of that one character could help the other they just meet-if shared. Seeing how they get into the conversations to share the information or even when they don't share the information because they don't know who they have been in contact with or what they are involved in.

    Through out the book you really get a feel of how unstable the three Empires are and the contempt they feel for each other. There are the Northmen, the Union and Angland, and the Gurkish. The Northmen and Gurkish seem to have leaders that are very ruthless and blood thirsty to take over as much land they can and rule all they take. The Union is stuck in the middle of both these places, yet doesn't seem to be as barbaric as the other two with killing. Angland is the place, in the North but is part of the Union, in which the Union sends all their guilty parties of treason agains the crown or toward the government (and in this time it could be a small thing or a large doing that could land you here - even working with or looking at the wrong person could hurt you). They have shared borders all these years?!? If you ask me I don't know how...

    Just when you think you have all the characters details down a few more are added. All these people from the different areas of the world are pulled together to save their worlds from a bigger threat than the Northernmen or Glukish navy or Unions soldiers. What is this greater thing to be defeated by these specially selected few? That answer seems to be only known by the First of the Magi, Bayaz, and his brothers.

    There seems to be a magic that surrounds each character in their own way. Yet the characters don't seem to be aware to the fact they have something special about them. These characters don't even realize the enemies they make and the bigger enemies they upset. In this book the story only begins, the adventure only starts.

    I am sorry to add here that you will have to read the next book to see where they go after this story. What about the war? Who is this greater threat? I too have to now go get the second book in this trilogy. I have questions and can not let them go unanswered. There is just too much scheming and bribing and underlying meanings in things said or not said that I just have to keep going with the trilogy. I hope you enjoy it as well.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 29, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Offbeat,humorous,great new author

    I bought this book because of the cover. But once I began to read I knew that I had found a wonderful new author! The book is offbeat and Abercrombie has a dry wit that is great!!! Wonderful!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Fun times to be had

    Abercrombie doesn't dip into exposition too often, doesn't bother with volumes on the little details - no, you slip into Nine Fingers' world and off you go. A fun fantasy that leaves you content and wanting more - how often does that happen??

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    READ THIS BOOK

    The Blade Itself, and the other 2 books in this series, are the best books I have come by since George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. This book is superbly written and strikingly original. It definitely takes your average run of the mill fantasy plot and throws it on it's head. The characters are extremely strong and very human. The action is fierce and gritty, and the storyline kept me up all hours of the night. I am now a Joe Abercrombie fan for life.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 7, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Pleasant Surprise

    The cover hooked me on this book (I loved the way it felt), but soon after reading I fell in love with it. The characters are wonderful, and each one has their good and their bad--there're no clear cut heroes in this book. The story was pretty good, though I would've liked more direction, though towards the end it corrects that mistake. The dialogue is quick and witty, though it took a little while to get used to the author's voice.
    All in all I loved it and couldn't put it down, and I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2008

    If you like fantasy - read this book!

    Highly enagaging and entertaining fantasy novel. Well written, full of interesting characters, and moving at a quick pace throughout - this book is a 'must read' for fans of the fantasy genre!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2013

    The book is great, just wish it were available for the Nook

    The book is great, just wish it were available for the Nook

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  • Posted September 9, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    One of the best fantasy books I've ever read. Definitely high on

    One of the best fantasy books I've ever read. Definitely high on violence, but it was very much appropriate for this book. Enjoyed the entire series of books from Joe! I've still got to crack open Red Country. Only one I've yet to read!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2013

    great book

    great book

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  • Posted August 16, 2012

    I would have to agree with DAY-READER on this review. Not sure

    I would have to agree with DAY-READER on this review. Not sure if
    "anonymous" was reading the same book or not. This is a great
    fantasy novel. This book drew me in to the characters immediately. I
    read the novel in 18 hours and shoved everything else on the back
    burner. Nicely done.

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  • Posted March 9, 2012

    Love it! Much needed fantasy

    My favorite fantasy series in over two decades. Glotka rules. Nuff' said!!!

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  • Posted December 18, 2011

    A great read! Is an adult book.

    Loved this book! Been reading fantasty for over 30 yrs & this rocks. Finally a book that you don't know what is gonna happend. No more good vs evil, what you think is evil might be good & the good turns out to be a little evil, depends on whose side your on. Gritty & bloody this is a welcome change from fantasty books while good have become predictable. Only reason I didn't give the book a 5 was because I don't think we really need to have that much cursing. Looks forward to reading more of his work!

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  • Posted April 2, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    EPIC JOURNEY

    Abercrombie's characterization and the exotic world he created seemed vaguely familiar. This adds an element of plausibility to both. Add "in your face" violent interaction and mayhem to this mix and you have a book to get lost within. The characters seem familiar as they exhibit a vast range of personalities, emotions, and abilities that we recognize. This is no simple battle between good and evil. We even feel an affinity with the cruel torturer, Inquisitor Glokta, because we can relate, or at least understand, his dark humor, cynicism, and self-loathing. Logen and his estranged band also represent a character type. They exhibit the strong, fearless, chaotic force reminiscent of the characterization in history of our Northmen or Vikings. Abercrombie's world is much like our world during the Dark and Middle Ages. The North appears similar to Scandinavian Viking culture, the Old Empire reminds us of the final years of the Roman Empire, and the Union could represent Europe during our own period of inquisition. The weaponry and armor in Abercrombie's world are also of our Dark and Middle Ages. The rise of the bourgeois that challenged the old order is also present. However, Abercrombie deftly indicates why the reader can expect no Renaissance ushering in great technological advances in warfare or society. Gunpowder is very rare and science is of no interest to anyone except a handful of archaic adepts. The subplots and conflicts in "The Blade Itself" are not resolved. However, this book sets the stage for an epic journey of diverse characters joined together for their own reasons to fight the enemies of the Union.

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