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I read the first 30 pages and I can't get myself to go further. I feel like the writing and grammar is too clunky and not very fluid. It almost feels like you are trotting on a horse that never gets to a gallop. Does the grammar and writing style in the book improve or should I just read something else?

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David Can't believe the negative posts I'm reading. Great gritty dark fantasy with three unique protagonists and very distinct voices for each. None of them are heroes per se, but all are interesting and compelling. Good read so far, fans of A Song of Ice and Fire may like it.
Katherine It never gets better. The dialogue will feel forced the whole way and the plot is just as clunky. This book is easily one of the worst I've ever read.
Josh I suppose taste is a subjective thing, but Katherine Burgess, Michael, Patrick, Wendy, Nathan, Crperry13 and Erin...I just don't know what book they were reading. Maybe they read Markus Sakey's book and commented here by mistake? I dunno, because I enjoyed Sakey's "The Blade Itself" too.

The writing and grammar are part of Abercrombie's style. He writes each POV in a different manner; courser when it's Logen Ninefingers or the Dogman, a bit more highbrow with Jezal, etc.

I've never seen Abercrombie's writing ability dissed like this. I mean, anywhere else at all. His world and characters may or may not be to your liking but the man can write!
Aubrey I absolutely loved this book, but I do remember not really caring for Logan or Luthar's first chapters. I recall being uninterested and a little confused about what exactly was going on in his first section or two. I thoroughly enjoyed all of Glokta's sections though. If you don't enjoy those, then the book my not be for you.
Al Ham I read this book almost 2 years ago - can still recall my initial impression because after forcing myself to again wade into that opening Shanka- scene (for the third time) I emerged on the end of the book being seriously impressed. Went on to read the next two in the trilogy and was hooked - fantastical character development, powerful, gritty and dark world building and easily some of the most deviously humorous dialogue I have ever read (Tyrion Lannister notwithstanding).
I highly recommend this to any book-droppers or -throwers: Try Again! The Blade Itself is the gateway into all that follows.
Andy Swan I like A Song of Ice and Fire, but in some ways this trilogy even better! I do can not believe when see negative reviews. I think if one doesn't like THIS masterpiece - one must not to read fantasy at all. You have to be realistic.
Michael No, the writing does not get better. I thought at first it might have been because the first chapter is from the point of view of a barbarian (i.e., the poor writing was somehow a symbolic reflection of the character). I thought wrong. The writing is just, as you put it, clunky. This really distracts from the story, and makes it difficult to enjoy the book.
Barry Ryan I'm having difficulty reading this book...

50% of the way through and I've never seen so much anger and condescension from characters. There never seems to be any sincere happiness peppered in for the reader (I want to feel good every once in awhile.. sue me). The humor is almost always pure sarcasm or just plain bland. The grammar is absolutely clunky (sometimes sentences just seem to end) and I can only hope that the eye rolling repetition in his writing is some sort of plot contrivance that will eventually link the characters together because I get the sense that they aren't Logen, Jezal, Ferro, or Glotka... Instead it reads like Northman Joe Abercrombie, Spoiled Royalty Joe Abercrombie, Angry Chick Joe Abercrombie, and Crippled Torturer Joe Abercrobmie... One voice attached to different circumstances. The story itself has potential, but so far one of the worst books I've ever read :-/
Andy Searle Stick with it. Each POV from the Inquisitor's viewpoint is worth reading the whole book for.
Shannon Dempster I found the start slow and difficult but about a quarter of the way through the book it really improved. Whether this was improved writing or me adjusting to the style i can't say but I did enjoy the book overall. The trilogy was well worth the read. After those I read 'Half a King', I couldnt put it down. Abercrombie has become a favourite author.
Wendy I agree! It's like a bunch of thoughts put together, instead of having one fluid sentence. I catch myself correcting it in my mind. Maybe if he was trying to write a poem. I only read the first few pages and decided to leave it at that.
Crperry13 Agreed. Couldn't get past the grammar and hackneyed dialogue at the beginning.
Jessica Argondizza This is quite literally exactly how I feel. This book was very recommended to me, and I almost feel -guilty- for feeling this way. The book is very hard to continue; I can't get through either Logen or Glokta's first section. To me, the writer is trying too hard (especially with the Glokta section) to be quirky and to get us into the mind of his unlikable character. I get it, can we please move on a little bit?

I just feel like this is the novel equivalent of DM (Dungeon Master) hand holding; a book that never takes off the training wheels, so to speak. I'm going to try to finish it but I just don't know if I can.
Derek I bought this book over a year ago and still can't finish it - it has the usual recipe I love in books, but exactly, the writing is left wanting and predictable. Especially the character's dialogue...i.e) master wizard casts a sort of spell and then responds with "Well, that went well.". Really?

I tried. =/
Patrick The Grammar is really questionable. His dialogue continually pulled me out of the story. Too many times when someone is talking, he'd say somebody else's name after the quotes (Which for me gets very confusing). It's really easy to get used to though.
Marsilisa I'm glad it's not just me. I dropped it on 42% and that was heroic effort on my part.
Peter As many others have stated, I also found the start of the book slow and a tad tedious. I should mention I listened to this via Audible. As I typically read at a quicker pace this made the beginning of the story seem all the slower to take off. After sticking it out the characters are well worth the time invested. By the end I couldn't keep the smile off my face as I listened.
James Latimer Abercrombie has his own style, which encompasses his prose and his characters. If you don't like either, it may not be the book for you--not everybody has to like the same books, neither do books all have to be the same. As you can see, a lot of people have really enjoyed this book, especially the way it carves up some tired fantasy tropes. I happen to like Abercrombie's writing style, too. Again, it's not for everyone, but I still think you're missing out if you don't experience it.
Cameron Baker Sometimes I think people on this website have never actually read a book before. This Book is extremely interesting with very good characters, each with a distinct voice. Abercrombie writes with an almost flamboyant air, and the sentences flow well. (I do not know what the person above was reading. Not this book) It IS a fantasy book worth reading, despite some very negative comments.
Sarah I'm not having a problem with it. I can tell you that the rhythm of speech changes when it's from Logen's perspective. This may be what you're seeing. I really like the book so far. I'm at 58%
Kameron Williams I would have to agree here. I read the first few pages and it was very hard to connect to the writing. There seemed to be a lot of fragments rather than full sentences. Maybe it's just a preference in writing style, but it was definitely not enjoyable to read.
Wendy Yang I personally enjoyed his writing style immensely. As for plot, I have no words. It's amazing (second only to ASoIF so far in my repertoire of fantasy).
Skylar I at first thought the writing was clunky as well, but decided to give it another shot, and I'm really glad I did. If you like books about some seriously dark guys then this is the book for you.
D.L. Morrese I'd say the prose does improve, but it remains only adequate, and the editing felt substandard to me for a traditionally published book. I can't recommend this one.
Alena I get trought the first bunch of pages on about third attempt. Two days ago I finished third book and not sure I am happy with it. More than thousand pages and it could be easily done on third of them. But there are interesting characters and plot twists.
Kate McConnell Couldn't engage enough with the characters to finish the book.
Ezequiel Try hearing a sample of the audiobook. I think the narrator voice in this book is quite special and maybe you are confused by trying to read it incorrectly.
Richard Doleman As far as im concerned there is nothing that can touch Abercrombie for style these days. The brutal and realistic portrayal of battle, death, betrayal, are not sanitized in any way. Its a great read,
Ilia I did not notice any problems with language or grammar. Pace of the book is very good one, though, definitely, less things happen in the book than in "Game of Thrones" (well, if they are compared with each other, why not), however, it was very interesting from the beginning. First chapters were a bit hard to get into - because of all the worldbuilding information dropped on my head in small chunks, but I figured it all out. Honestly, I think this is the best way - it is always hard to get new world with its rules around you.
For all those who thinks the book is slow, nothing happening and so on - try to read famous Tad Williams. You will get a new meaning of the phrase "Nothing happens". Because those are the books where nothing happens. Things are going at the speed of meteor here, compared to "Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn" by Tad Williams. So this point people make I will not understand ever.
As for overall story, just finishing the first book, can't wait for all next ones.
Ethan Abercrombie writes grimdark. This isn't meant to be sword & sorcery or an epic clash of armies. His writing reflects the world and its characters. While I wasn't thrilled with the plot of this trilogy, I can't say I noticed anything wrong with the writing itself.
Yahya Zini It took me a while to get into it but once I did I couldn't get my hands off the book.
Helen As a not native enlish speaker, I have found it hard to read books in english but this book is amazing. I'm reading the series in english, AND I LOVE IT! My favourite fantasy series, can't say a thing, I love it more than the Song of Ice and Fire
Conway Lai Haha, to each their own I guess. It was quite the opposite for me, the writing flowed off the pages for me and I devoured the book, and having to force myself to stop to look up the meaning of some words. Joe is a descriptive writer, I feel transported to the scenes and events he describes. I recommend you push on Past the first 3 chapters, maybe you'll catch the story better and the flow may arrive for you.
Christina West you should definitely finish reading this book.. I stopped reading to in the beginning but I came back to it and I loved it!
Ross BEWARE: Halt! do not go forward!
Andrei Ionita Yes, it’s the best fantasy book ever IMHO!
Ron Well, as an avid reader, and I mean thousands of noveles, I have to say I think his books are excellent. The characters and themes are superb. Is his writing chunky? I haven't noticed that. His plots, themes and characterizations are marvelous. Yes, he will write a few simple sentences but they lead one to a final surprise sentence which makes a point. His books are also filled with aphorisms like this one, (I think I am paraphrasing a bit though, "Life like rain, just falls upon you." His books are filled with fate, destiny, chance and well, real life. "You have to be realistic" is one of his frequently stated views via his characters.
John I'm about 110 pages in and close to DNFing. However, I don't have a problem with the grammar or writing - I just don't think the book is my cuppa tea. I generally prefer sci-fi to fantasy, but wanted to give some modern fantasy a try. I think the characters are great and well written. I just wish there was a bit more plot or intrigue to keep me engaged. If it were a standalone I might see it through to the end, but not sure I can take another 1500 pages.
Jake Nothing clunky at all. 25 pages in and I'm loving dialogue and story. My first Joe Abercrombie book and I'll be reading more.
Moon The grammar and style are to a certain extent deliberate. While I agree this book is not superbly written, I do want to mention that the style of the writing changes from character to character. The same goes for the grammar. When you read on you start to pick up on the grammatical and stylistic changes that happen when you go back to certain characters. The style and grammar of each chapter helps build character, it can show their wit, their upbringing, etc.
I too was initially put off but the seemingly fan-fiction-y writing but I've found that as I read on I started to appreciate the way the author is subtly manipulating ones understanding of characters, changing points of view, making one question the credibility of the narrator.
Chanele It does. I almost stopped reading it. It took atl east 200 pages for me to get into the book.
Mark Hebwood I am about to pick this up - still, comments on poor grammar keep coming up from different people in this thread. Can somebody give an example of what they refer to - I just read 2 pages on amazon-inside and did not notice anything but best to be forewarned before I buy it...
Sam Honestly I can't remember if the writing improves throughout the book, but having read all the way up through Red Country, I can tell you that the writing improves over the course of all the books. That said I did not find the first book to be particularly clunky.
Patrick This is an interesting post. What Sean may not realize is that Joe Abercrombie (the author) changes his grammar and prose based upon the character whom he is narrating.
Olga K Try reading The Heroes. It's much better writing-wise, in my opinion, and it's a standalone.
Sean Carter Thanks for the responses, I continued reading and did like the chapters under the torturer's point of view more. I can't stand the other points of view though. I feel like the writing gets lazy with profanity. I read Song of Ice and Fire so profanity is usually not an issue but in this book it seemed unnecessarily excessive. One day I'll finish the series but right now it is not a priority.
Dew Rotor I found it difficult to get into initially and took several months to read the first hundred pages then I got hooked and read the rest and the sequel in a day and a half.
kazerniel OP: I feel the same, just dropped the book.
Wojciech Pawlik It is getting better. I found myself few times laughing because of Glokta answers.
Tad604 I couldn't get over the clunky writing. "He crossed his big arms across his big chest". First time I ever returned a book I started. I mean maybe the plot/story might have been interesting if I got far enough but I couldn't handle the clunky writing style.
Michael Martin This book was very hard for me to get into. The first couple chapters were hard to get through, with multiple plot lines not connected. But I am very glad that I kept reading, as this book morphed into one of my favorite all time fantasy books ( I have read a ton of them). Great characters, Glokta, nine fingers, Dogman, etc. and a great story line.
Jack Repenning If you feel like you're not getting anything out of it, try this little quiz: why is that first section titled "The End"?
Wayne its an amazing book, although i do admit after was a little concerned on the thought bubble style at the starting chapter. Luckily its only used by Glokta the inquistor and sits well with him, i wouldnt have wanted the whole book like that. Actually Glokta's character is one of the most interesting ones i've read for a while. Onward to Book 2!
Larissa I had so high expectations to this book, I hear just positive feedback... But it was so hard to read.. yeah it was unique characters, but that's it..
Michael P. I give it the highest recommendation. The only writer I would compare with Abercrombie is KJ Parker. Spare, tight writing that nevertheless communicates everything the story needs. There are none of the cliches and -yeccch!- cuteness that characterizes so many books of this genre. You know, the ones with the inevitable compound-word, Tolkien-derivative titles.

And always remember: you can never have too many knives.
Wally Cruz It is unique. Clunky maybe. But exploring the new is a part of the adventure and hey, you just might like it. If not, then don’t buy the book. Simple
Anthonypaulo I'm a huge fan of both A Song of Ice and Fire as well as the Kingkiller Chronicles and, as you already know, the writing is absolutely superb. When I started reading this book, The Blade Itself, I was thrown off by the difference in writing... it seems somewhat clunky, and I started to think that perhaps I made a mistake since it almost reminded me of the first Harry Potter book and how pedestrian the writing was that made me stop reading the rest of that series (though I loved the movies). I'm glad I didn't stop, however... the writing may be a little clunky, but I got used to it and the story and characters are so much fun to follow. I just finished it a few minutes ago and I want more!
Slevin Happened the same with me Sean Carter. Although my friend, the person who gave me this book told me keep reading. And so I did and now that I finished I am quite happy that I listened to him and I followed his advice. Honestly I suggest you to give it a try, read around 100 pages, if you still don't like it maybe it is not for you. In my opinion it's a really good book.
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