Daniel's Reviews > The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
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's review
Jun 14, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy, design
Read in June, 2009

An outstanding debut novel and start to a trilogy. Abercrombie does a wonderful job of introducing all of the complex characters and manages to make them all fascinating in their own right, although every reader may favor some more than others. In my case, I am particularly captivated by both Logan, the practical barbarian that is haunted with regret, and Glotka, the crippled torturer and inquisitor.

Abercrombie is also very effective at introducing the reader to his world, without much tedious exposition, which is a welcome change from a lot of other epic-fantasy. He also clearly illustrates what is at stake and carefully sets the events in motion that one assumes will drive the course of the story in the next two books.

I do have one complaint, and that is that occasionally Abercrombie starts a chapter without clearly telling you which character's point of view the narrative is being told through, which can be a bit confusing. Usually, you can tell just from the voice of text, which is quite an accomplishment on the author's part, but occasionally I would encounter a chapter and it would take me half a page to orient myself, which is the only reason I'm knocking off one star.

I can easily seeing this book joining the likes of Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire and Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles as one of my favorite epic fantasy series produced recently, and I can't wait to start on the next book in The First Law series.

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