Fantasy Book Club discussion

The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
This topic is about The Blade Itself
2009 Group Read Discussions > 10/09-11/09: The Blade Itself/ Final Impressions (Spoilers)

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Chris  (haughtc) | 837 comments This thread is for those that have finished the book.

What did you think? What do you like or dislike about The Blade Itself?

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Janny (JannyWurts) | 730 comments Amazing nobody's posted here, yet.

A dedicated cynic would love this book.
Of all the characters, probably I related best to Logan 9 Fingers.

The read exhausted me, though. The inventive cleverness and the delivery of the plot twist was not sufficient to balance the overall outlook - which is my personal taste, and no fault of the book. I applaud variety and it's great to see a new author getting such nice word of mouth.

Justin (fanlitsjustin) | 27 comments Say one thing about The Blade Itself say that it's well written.

Ok now that's out of my system...I gotta say this one of the best fantasy books I've ever read, absolutely amazing. The problem is that I've read the whole series now and know where it goes...and feel somewhat betrayed after having followed Mr. Abercrombie's amazing tale over three books. It's like the Cripple himself came to my house and knifed me in the back...but I get the feeling that's exactly how Abercrombie wanted me to feel. The blade itself sets the tone, and it only gets darker and more brutal from here, but no less an amazing story.

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Jane (Hippygoth66) I have also read all three and agree that they get darker, I think that I would have felt let down if it was tied up with happy endings for everyone.

Justin why did you feel betrayed?

Chris  (haughtc) | 837 comments Please be careful in this thread to not include spoilers for the second and third books. We should assume that everyone here has only finished the first book.

We can start a string for the others.

Justin (fanlitsjustin) | 27 comments I won't go into detail, since this thread is about book one. I will however link you to a review that pretty much says everything.

Sandi (Sandikal) I cannot tell you how many series I've read the first book of and just never went on. I'm not big on series, but I will be finishing this one. I already have books 2 & 3 waiting in the wings. I was really impressed with the depth of the characterizations. Abercrombie uses his creative powers on his characters rather than his setting and the world is developed based on what his characters do. We don't get an all-encompassing description of any given setting. Rather, we are taken here and there by the characters and build the world ourselves, in our minds.

Did anyone else find it interesting that it didn't have a map? I am the only fantasy reader in the world who hates maps in books and never uses them. It struck me immediately that this was going to be something different because it didn't have a map. And, this was one of the few times I actually wished there was one.

Chris  (haughtc) | 837 comments Yes, Sandi. I found it somewhat awkward to have no map. I'm one that always refers to a map to get the geography of the world in my mind. I'd say he didn't absolutely need one here, but it would have helped to picture where these different kingdoms and empires and such were at.

His website does have a map, but it's for Best Served Cold, and the lands on it are only mentioned in Blade.....

Justin (fanlitsjustin) | 27 comments

Mr. Abercrombie's thoughts on maps.

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Janny (JannyWurts) | 730 comments Jane wrote: "I have also read all three and agree that they get darker, I think that I would have felt let down if it was tied up with happy endings for everyone.

Justin why did you feel betrayed?

I don't live and breathe for a happy ending, or enjoy saccarine books - quite the contrary, I like books that surprise and prefer a wide range of variety. But stories that bear extremely hard to the dark end or grim tone of the scale - (I call it tortured grit, without letup) - no balance there, either. This is not a comment on this book, which quite brilliantly did exactly what the author set out to accomplish - just a note to say my preferences tend to lean toward reads that encounter the full range, and unveil the bright with the dark.

Too much of one, without letup can be depressing, and too much of the other, fluff.

I do recommend this book, often, to readers whose interests lie in alignment because it excels, for what it is.

Sandi (Sandikal) I recently read The Steel Remains by Richard K. Morgan. I had really been looking forward to it because I loved the science fiction I'd read by him and was anxious to see how he was going to use his gritty style on fantasy. I was more than disappointed by the book. (See my review if you want to know why.) As I was reading The Blade Itself, I kept thinking that this was what I expected from Morgan's book, without sex. Heck, even the titles are incredibly similar.

Collin I would recommend, for those of you that have finished the series, to take up his stand alone novel Best Served Cold. It is a large novel (over 600 pages) and takes place after the end of the series with some familiar characters.

A warning -- it is a very dark book and somewhat depressing, though again very well written and wonderfully in depth character creation.

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Books mentioned in this topic

The Steel Remains (other topics)
The Blade Itself (other topics)
Best Served Cold (other topics)