dinsdag 26 april 2016

Joe Abercrombie: The Blade Itself


The Blade Itself is the first book in The First Law by Joe Abercrombie.
My beautiful copy has 515 pages and I got it from Bol.

 “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 Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, 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.”

                                *  SPOILERS  *

The Blade Itself was a great read.

Abercrombie’s characters grew fast on me.
Most of them weren’t in the least likeable but I did enjoy reading about them.
The characters are well developed and they all have their own distinct voice. I liked that a lot.
Reading about another character through someone eyes can be very interesting and entertaining. Because they are all so different they don’t understand the other characters like we do (because we see through everyone's eyes). That makes for quite a few funny situations, thoughts, events and conversations.
The characters quite are different from the typical, Fantasy stereotypes too. Take Logen for example. He seems to be the quintessential hero. He used to be a true barbarian but he’s had enough; he has seen what it does to a man (a lot) and where it brings him (nowhere).
I truly hated Ferro though. She is such a cliché ex-slave-turned-vengeful-fighter it’s hard to grasp that she’s there between those other great characters. Women in general aren’t Abercrombie’s forte. There are only two women in the whole book. Both are victims of abuse, both have no real purpose but to make things difficult for men by flirting, getting drunk, doing what they want or being a vengeful bitch. Really Abercrombie? Not one woman with some measure of true depth in the whole book?

The plot is slow and there’s not much to it; but what did happen was great and very nicely written.
Life is hard and cruel, but the novel is never really gritty or bleak.

Worldbuilding was a bit lacking so I hope that gets better.

There’s not much depth to the novel but it was very enjoyable and entertaining to read. It’s light, easy to follow, full of action and humor. The fights are great and most characters are interesting and different enough to make this worth your time.


Happy reading!