Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself
By Joe Abercrombie
Reviewed by Jeff
Published:March 2007
Publisher: Gollancz
Pages: 517
ISBN: 0575079797

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. (Goodreads)
It took me awhile to get into this book, but by the middle of it I must admit I liked the world and the characters. However my issue here is that this ENTIRE book is merely setting up the second. There really isn't any major action until the very end. I really want to read the next book, but I am frustrated that it took me 500 pages to get the plot laid out. The next book has the potential to be fantastic, given the foundation laid out in this novel, I just hope it doesn't disappoint. Recommended to anyone that has exhausted all their fantasy outlets,. The magic (although largely left unexplained) reminds me of Name of The Wind, and is pretty interesting. Looking forward to the second in the series, check it out for something different.

4/5 Carls

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