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Sharp Ends

(First Law World #7)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  12,139 ratings  ·  995 reviews
Sharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie.

Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.

The Union army may be full of bastards, but t
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published April 26th 2016 by Orbit
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Popular Answered Questions
Milda Page Runner Yes and no. Most stories you can read and enjoy but you won't get the full scope.
There are few stories though like A Beautiful Bastard and Wrong Plac…more
Yes and no. Most stories you can read and enjoy but you won't get the full scope.
There are few stories though like A Beautiful Bastard and Wrong Place, Wrong Time that won't make much sense if you haven't read First Law trilogy and Best Served Cold first.
So whilst you can read it before reading First Law - I would not recommend simply because if you do like it - there would be spoilers for the series.
If you want to check out Abercrombie's writing before committing to full book few of these stories are available and free online:
Two’s Company:
Some Desperado:
I hope that helps :)(less)
ColinJ If there is he's been quiet about it. I'm sure he's optioned his works but unless something is actually shooting then nothing is certain.…moreIf there is he's been quiet about it. I'm sure he's optioned his works but unless something is actually shooting then nothing is certain.(less)

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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  12,139 ratings  ·  995 reviews

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Start your review of Sharp Ends (First Law World, #7)
Jul 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grimdark & The First Law fans
Buddy read with the lovely one, Sarah

3.5/5 Stars

Sharp Ends, the ultimate collection of Tales from the World of First Law by Abercrombie’s, is a great dessert to provide insights and more info for most of the previously established characters.

Picture: My complete collection of Joe Abercrombie’s ‘The First Law’ series

There’s no way I’m missing any stories in the First Law world, it’s one of my favorite series of all time, especially the First Law trilogy.

Unlike most anthologies, there is a sense o
Sean Barrs
This was a great collection of twisted short stories. It’s Abercrombie at his best. I’ve reviewed each one individually:

A Beautiful Bastard- 5/5- I feel like I’ve been waiting for this story for a long time. If you’ve read The First Law Trilogy then you’ll know what an ugly bastard Glockta is. He was captured by the enemy and tortured to the point of ruination. As a result, he reaps vengeance on the world, but still serves his country. This story is a glimpse of the Glockta we often hear abo
Lady Luna. ✨
Jul 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-books, grimdark

Buddy read with my lovely friend; Petrik

So my phone kinda deleted all the notes I had written down to write this review. Clearly the world hates me right now.

Also I see a lot of people starting their First Law journey with this Anthology or one of the standalones.. Why do they do this? Please read the series in order so you actually know what's going on.

I'm going to do my review a little differently then I was going to: All novellas in this book apart from Made a Monster, gets a solid rating
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I remember reading one of my friends' reviews for a short story collection where they updated the review as they read each story. Seems like a cool format and I good way to keep track of each story, so here we are.

A Beautiful Bastard: 5 Stars.

Really strong short story. The malicious "practice sessions" led by Glokta and cheered on by his sycophants while a military campaign was conducted (poorly) in the background created a real sense of unease and tension. The characters really stole the show
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grim-dark
It sure was refreshing to be back in the World of the First Law. While I didn't give all of these stories a high star rating, I have missed Abercrombie's writing style. His stories are always filled with dark humor, bloody scenes, and great characterization. I laughed out loud or cringed countless times reading this. There are a wide variety of characters. The new characters added a fresh view into this unforgiving world and the old characters made me reminisce of the books already read. I have ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Sharp Ends (First Law World, #7), Joe Abercrombie

Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law, and contain 13 stories, all set in the Circle of the World over a period that starts some ten years before the beginning of The Blade Itself and ends a few years after Red Country closes, featuring a rogue’s gallery of familiar and unfamiliar characters.

The table of contents:

A Beautiful Bastard: The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one big enough to think he can save the day
Best Served Cold ★★★★ 1/2
The Heroes ★★★
Red Country ★★★ 1/2
Sharp Ends ★★ 1/2

Oops I did it again!!
Athena Shardbearer
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jokoloyo by: Bee
This is a book about Shev and Javre, plus nostalgic episodes from other stories in First Law Universe.

I think this book is mainly for telling the hilarious stories of Shev and Javre, but because the length is not long enough for novel length book, then book added some chapters of previous First Law stories. The additions have various quality but mainly are for comic relief or showing some characterization of a few characters. My personal favorites of course the appearance of Corporal Tunny.

Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The full title of this anthology is actually Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law, so fans of Joe Abercrombie’s novels set in this universe should be in for a treat. All thirteen tales in here are set in the Circle of the World, spanning a period that starts about a decade before the beginning of The Blade Itself and ends a few years after Red Country, and some feature locations and characters that have appe
Dec 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Brilliant book, as always by Abercrombie. Great writing and all of the staples of Joe's narrative. Loved it. Can't wait to dive in to the Age of Madness! ...more
(Actualización: la colección ya está disponible en español y se titula Filos mortales).
Reseña de todas las historias y de la colección en general en mi blog: Click aquí.

One of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and it didn't disappoint! Joe Abercrombie returns to his dark, brutal and gritty world with thirteen stories that revisit some key moments narrated in his different books, providing detailed background for our old favourites characters: Logen Ninefingers, Glokta, Temple, Shy So
Sharp Ends revisits stories from the world of the First Law series. It's packed with a variety of tales from ones that have only been mentioned to some that no one knew happened. A slew of characters from The First Law series appear such as Sand dan Glokta, Curnden Craw, Whirrun of Bligh, Temple, Shy, Bremer dan Gorst, Nicomo Cosca, and many others. The book also includes varying stories about new characters Shevedieh the best thief in Styria and Javre the Lioness of Hoskopp.

The stories vary for
Jun 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I hardly ever read short stories, preferring my books to be long and full. However I was willing to make an exception for this author especially when I saw that one of his stories was about Glokta! As it turned out it was worth buying the whole book just for that one short story but then there was so much more.
Writing really strong characters is one of Abercrombie's greatest strong points and his tales of Shy, Glokta and Nine Fingers were brilliant back stories. Then he introduced some new (to m
Dec 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: dark-fantasy
Well I am going to keep this review short. Just like the stories in the book.

Overall, pretty average I have to say. It was nice being back in that world, but the stories were pretty bland. There are a couple of stories that follow on from each other, which made the book tolerable. But it certainly showed me that I am not a fan of very short stories. There was really nothing to get your teeth into and felt more like adding some scenes to sell another book.

This is NOT a book to buy to give you an
Twerking To Beethoven
Joe Abercrombie is back into amazing shape with an astonishing, superb, brilliant and uncanny set of short stories. There's not a single one I didn't lurve (well, ok... to be perfectly candid, maybe "Freedom" isn't on the same level as the others, I said "maybe").

Also, the four stories featuring Shev and Javre are sort of a short novel of their own, and they somewhat remind me of Lansdale's Hap and Leonard (and that's a good thing, in case you're wondering).

What I loved the most about "Sharp En
Tracey the Lizard Queen
Full review at:

This book contains everything I love about Abercrombie and more. Gritty realism, vulgar language, dark humour, blood, guts, desperation. What more could you ask for? This has had the desired effect and now I feel like I need to go read everything by this author! This is a big problem for me because I've already got books waiting and books I've paused to read other books and now I can't keep up anymore! Dammit.

*I received a copy from NetGall
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016, fantasy
I'm having trouble rating/reviewing this book. On the one hand, yay! More Joe Abercrombie. On the other hand, I think I'm just not as satisfied by his short stories as I am his books. I totally think this is a personal issue rather than any fault of the anthology itself. I enjoyed the Shev/Javre stories the most and I think this is because they were the characters who reappeared the most throughout. The other stories felt more toss-a-way. Maybe if I had just come off reading the books, they migh ...more
Scott  Hitchcock
I wonder after reading the four singles if I would have liked the trilogy as much. I tend to think I wouldn't. JA's writing style was fresh for me then. It's quirky and interesting but not smooth by any means. I've bored over time of his story telling. It can be good in parts but then boring as hell in others.

This 7th book reflected all of that. Some of the shorts I really enjoyed. Others I hated. Some like Glotka's story I wanted to see beyond where it ended. I found Shev and Javre's stories t
Milda Page Runner
Loved it. As expected with short story collection it is a bit of a mixed bag: most stories are good and some are awesome but inevitably there are a few that I didn’t care for. Hence the 4*.

Highly recommend to Abercrombie fans and readers familiar with the First Law world. I wouldn’t recommend for the new readers – whilst some stories would work, majority would lose too much without the context.

Here are few sentences about each story as I’ve read them:

Beautiful Bastard - 3* Nice insight to how Gl
Marc *Dark Reader of the Woods*
Did you enjoy the hell out of the First Law Trilogy? Eat up the semi-standalone books that followed? Then did you wait four years for another taste while he put out his YA-skewed Half-A/Shattered Sea trilogy? I can just imagine the sighs of relief from countless then-current readers when this collection came out, because it is golden.

I came to First Law slightly late; I read the initial trilogy about 10 years after it started, then trickled my way to the subsequent books over the next two years
A Little Shorter Taste

Abercrombie has such affection for his First Law world that he added to the original trilogy and the standalones by giving us a set of thirteen shorter pieces all set in the same First Law world. These stories are loaded with many of the same characters such as Ninefingers, Scale. Cisco, and Glotka, and offered in chronological order. These stories are a testament to how completely thought-out and deeply fashioned this world is. Although it may be a little tougher to approa
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Apr 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: own
Personal rating: 3.5

I think this is a good addition to the First Law universe. We get to see different perspectives of major events that happened in the main series and some new stuff to. Some stories I LOVED and some I found myself bored so all in all a solid short story collection.
I’m a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie, especially of his “First Law” series. This anthology is set in this grimdark world of violence and treachery, and fleshes out many of the much-loved/much-hated characters from the original trilogy and the three stand-alone novels.

My favorites out of the thirteen short stories were:

“A Beautiful Bastard”, the story of Colonel Sand dan Glokta immediately before his was taken captive and tortured by the Gurkish army. My biggest complaint comes with this story, as w
Manuel Antão
Jun 20, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Flat, Flat, Flat: "Sharp Ends" by Joe Abercrombie

“There’s men chasing me! Gulping breath in the doorway and doing her best to look beyond desperate—no mighty effort of acting at that moment, or any occupying the last twelve months, indeed.”
One of the things that makes Abercrombie outstanding is his ability to write stuff in different styles. “The First Law Trilogy” reads like epic fantasy, “Best Served Cold” is all about revenge, “The Heroes” is bent on being a war novel, and “Red Country” masq
Michelle {Book Hangovers}
I have to have!!!!!! I'm obsessed with the First Law series and the bloody nine! Oh yes, oh yes ohhhhhh yes!!!!! ...more
Aug 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I've never been very into short stories. I find it usually takes me a little time to start really enjoying a story and with short stories they're often over before or just after I hit that point.

It helped that in this instance most of the characters are already familiar from the other books but it was definitely my least favourite of the First Law books.

For the most part the stories are fun but I didn't feel most of them were all that necessary. They largely didn't add any previously unseen nu
Nils | nilsreviewsit
‘Bethod stepped towards him. The dead knew he did not want to. The dead knew his heart was pounding. But he stepped towards him anyway, and fixed him with his eye, and said, “You can’t kill the whole world, Logen.”’
Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie is a collection of short stories all set in The First Law world. By the dead did it feel good to be back in this world, to be amongst the shadiest of characters once again, and to just enjoy some more stabby stabbyness!
I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
So, take this review with this caveat - I am not really a fan of short stories and this is a book of short stories...

I loved the glimpse into the life of a pre-tortured Glokta. I liked the stories with Shev and Javre all of those were good except the last one which I didn't care for (the one where the stolen package changes hands about 10 times). I also didn't like the story with Costa in it. The rest of the stories were just OK.

I have a hard time getting into short stories and I didn't remember
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really love this world and can't wait for A Little Hatred. ...more
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Fantasy Buddy Reads: Sharp Ends [Sep 5, 2017] 34 45 Oct 11, 2017 02:28PM  

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Joe Abercrombie was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Manchester University, where he studied psychology. He moved into television production before taking up a career as a freelance film editor. During a break between jobs he began writing The Blade Itself in 2002, completing it in 2004. It was published by Gollancz in 2006 and was followed by two other books in The First Law trilogy ...more

Other books in the series

First Law World (10 books)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • Best Served Cold
  • The Heroes (First Law World, #5)
  • Red Country (First Law World, #6)
  • A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)
  • The Trouble with Peace (The Age of Madness, #2)
  • The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness, #3)

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