The First Law is a fantasy series written by British author Joe Abercrombie. It consists of a The Blade Itself; Before They Are Hanged; Last Argument of Kings . “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged” – Heinrich Heine. Before They Are Hanged is Abercrombie’s second entry into the twisted and. “Nobody writes grittier heroic fantasy that Joe Abercrombie Abercrombie is “ We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.” – Heinrich.
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Glokta allowed himself the very slightest smile at the thought of the Arch Lector’s favourite Practical slipping, sliding, tumbling from the wall, hands clutching at nothing. Perhaps a despairing scream as she fell to her death? But she didn’t fall. Glokta could feel the heat of it even from where he was sitting.
It keeps no secrets, it tells no lies. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace?
Northmen have spilled aebrcrombie the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the fr Superior Glokta has a abeercrombie. Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country.
Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem — he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.
And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the befroe selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one.
They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters. Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven — but not before they are hanged.
The First Law – Wikipedia
Trade PaperbackFirst Editionpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Before They Are Hangedplease sign up. Just finished the first book in the series, I like the writing style, witty dialogue and fun internal dialogue, but it went on for way too long with the characters personal issues and little disconnected sub-plots Does the action pick up in the following books, or does it just continue in the same sedate pace?
Frank Steele Hi Niels, I’m actually finishing the second one today- 15 pges left. And yes, the first bsfore sets up the second two so you’ll see more action. But the …more Hi Niels, I’m actually finishing the second one today- 15 pges left.
But the book doesn’t just flit from one action sequence to another–the evolving relationships and evolution of the characters is central. So many books have thin characters just carrying the action, never learning or growing or developing.
These characters are different. Orson Scot Card treats his characters the same way. Does that help at all? In what way the story develops in this part? It continues to focus just on the characters or there’s something more about the world where the story takes place?
In book 2, and without spoilers, West and the named Northmen war with Bethod; Glokta adventures in Dagoska and Bayaz, …more I think the answer is both. As their stories progress, you learn more about some of them, others develop and mature, and their dialog moves the plot of all three books further along. The first book was character introduction, and setup The second book “begins” to explain where it’s all going I’m about to start the third book where I suspect it will all wrap up.
See all 3 questions about Before They Are Hanged…. Lists with This Book. It follows on from the three story arcs that The Blade itself stylishly led towards.
Bayaz, the first of the Magi is venturing to the end of the Earth with his bizarre collection of distinctive personnel for reasons unbeknown to all apart from the Mage himself. Superior Glokta has traveled South to infiltrate the p “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged” – Heinrich Heine Before They Are Hanged is Abercrombie’s second entry into the twisted and grim world of The First Law.
Superior Glokta has traveled South to infiltrate the politics of an allied nation, hoping to find out what happened to his ill-fated predecessor and preparing defences for the attacks soon to be initiated by an advancing and ultimately imminent rival army. The remaining narrative intertwines the stories of the rough-living, legendary warrior group of Threetrees and the Dogman with the troubles in the North where the Union is tackling the Northern King’s great forces.
Here we follow the action of “the worst-armed, worst-trained and worst-led army in the world” For one of the narratives arcs, three points of view presentations are followed, often within the same chapter switching between actions and opinions.
The second has two viewpoints from very different characters summarising the happenings in the unwelcoming harshness of the cold real world with battles looming. The final is presented by Superior Glotka alone. Trust me, you would have to wake up pretty early in the morning to outsmart this gentleman!
He is perhaps the finest creation in this series, for his tortuous past, achingly uncomfortable present and also his internal monolgues which are as highly gritty as they are humorous. I mentioned he is the only POV section in this arc, but his internal thoughts are often so comically different from his statements and actions that it is like two amazing viewpoints.
His character is outstandingly well written. There is also a pretty distinctive juxtaposition in his presentation of events and environments. He still sees beauty in the world in his descriptions of things and then a second later could be commanding a subordinate to cut off a traitors body part.
I very rarely read other reviews before writing my own, but I did catch one snippet from a status update that was very apt. It stated that Abercrombie’s stories are full of “bastards that grow on you. I honestly shouldn’t care about most of the people written here. Why do I truly care about vain, flamboyant, selfish officer Jezal when something bad happens to him? Perhaps he deserves all he gets for his previous outlook and analysis of existence. Why do I care about Logan Ninefingers? He seems like an average warrior guy with scars encompassing his body, who people say was pretty handy with a sword and did some damning things in the past.
I really cared about the majority of the main characters.
The First Law
Although a few fantasy character tropes are presented, spoilt King in waiting, mages, Devils etc Nothing at all seems cliche and that cannot be said for a lot of modern fantasy works. My review of The Blade Itself raved about the characters and from my previous paragraph, you can see my opinions there haven’t changed. If anything, my views have been reinforced and heightened about how much of a knack Abercrombie has for this aspect of his fantasy work.
Although not really too negative and off-putting, I did comment on the lack of action throughout the first book. Action wise, Joe truly has raised the bar high here. Battles, sieges, and The Bloody Nine – all are expertly presented and adrenaline pumping. It doesn’t all need to be full guts gory and bloody to have an emotional dark impact either, and there are a few moments here that are poignant in their effectiveness for that reason.
I call this the just made this up but it sounds cool “pushing Bran from the Tower technique,” very intricate actions that have long lasting effects even though the act in question was simple. In addition to the lack of action, my other grating issue with The Blade Itself was the world and the histories, although not hollow, did seem a bit unfulfilled. I was unsatisfied that there was still no map, but a lot of the above has been rectified here.
Most of Bayaz et al’s scenes are travel based the end of the world isn’t close so we are presented cool stories by the characters to pass the time at campfires. Bayaz talking about the history of the world, his relationships with other important, almost legendary figures and his past failings are memorable. A scene that stood out to me was very simple, perhaps twelve pages where an ensemble discusses their scars. So not only have the already complex characters become deeper, the world and its past are filled in pretty well here.
There is also a bit of a “love story” here to look forward to. I was highly satisfied with the majority of what I read here. Abercrombie is a genius is his moulding of characters and of all things “grim”. Normally, the ending of a story can add a star to my rating.
The finale to one of the arcs of this book had the opposite effect. I felt let down and almost hangec I had wasted my time waiting for that culmination. This is probably a 8. If it does, I will re-evaluate what I have written in this little section. To conclude, this trilogy seems to be a character driven fantasy that is unequaled in the genre.
Gripping, thrilling, gritty and pretty damn awesome. View all 25 comments. Feb 20, Bookdragon Sean rated it really liked it Shelves: Glokta is an excellent torturer.
Some would even say the best, but somewhere down his crooked path he made some rather nasty enemies. So, as a polite death sentence, he gets sent on a mission that is suicidal and near impossible to complete. Wbercrombie else would fail.
However, this is Sand Dan Glockta: His enemies have made a terrible mistake in underestimating him.