Cathy's Reviews > The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
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it was amazing
bookshelves: read-2016
Recommended for: Fans of dark, grim, mean, tongue-in-cheek
Read 2 times. Last read March 5, 2016 to March 18, 2016.

Excellent book! Great plot, great characters, very well written. Once all the plotlines came together, I had a hard time putting it down.

Read for the first time in 2008. Gave it five stars, then for some reason went off classic fantasy. Now that I am back dabbling with fantasy, I decided to re-read it. Imagine my surprise when I realised that I remember virtually nothing of this book, not even the roughest plot outline. It was like reading a new book.

Three very different main characters with very distinct voices. Logan, the rough and tumble barbarian warrior. Glotka, the twisted and crippled inquisitor. And Jezal dan Luthar, an officer, not-quite-gentleman and all around tosser. They are surrounded by a bunch of equally interesting, very strong and fun supporting characters. West grew on me a lot. I did not like the only two female characters of note very much, although they both started to become more interesting eventually. 

In the end we have a fascinating ensemble of varied personalities, with their different views of the same world. It comes together beautifully, when they finally all congregate and meet in the same place and continue their stories together as one. Well, they almost all meet. And then they split up again and scatter into the winds. 

Every now and then I got a little vibe of A Song of Ice and Fire (Game of Thrones) -- geography, names, general themes. But it was only a faint twitch.

Great stuff. Not for the faint of heart. I guess I have to read the next book, because I need to find out where they all end up.

Original, puny review from 2008:

Fun! Great characters, lots of irony and black humour, dark, mean, amusing. Very good. 
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
2008 – Finished Reading
October 19, 2010 – Shelved
January 17, 2016 – Shelved as: unread-ebook
March 5, 2016 – Started Reading
March 5, 2016 –
1.0% "Logen plunged through the trees, bare feet slipping and sliding on the wet earth, the slush, the wet pine needles, breath rasping in his chest, blood thumping in his head. "
March 6, 2016 –
4.0% "Is this where I beg for mercy? Is this where I crawl on the ground and kiss your feet? Well, I don’t care enough to beg and I’m far too stiff to crawl. \n I like Glokta!"
March 6, 2016 –
page 53
9.23% "It’s a sorry fact that the man who strikes first usually strikes last, so Logen turned to the one with the helmet and spat the spirit in his face. It ignited in the air and pounced on him hungrily. His head burst into spitting flames, the sword clattered to the ground. He clawed desperately at his face and his arms caught fire as well. He reeled screaming away. \n Interesting magic."
March 8, 2016 –
page 80
13.94% "You have to learn to love the small things in life, like a hot bath. You have to love the small things, when you’ve nothing else. "
March 8, 2016 –
page 82
14.29% "‘What are you? A fucking idiot? How many crippled Inquisitors do you have here?’ ‘Er . . .’ said the secretary, mouth working nervously. ‘Er? Er? Is that a number? Speak up!’ \n House, is that you? Lol..."
March 9, 2016 –
page 151
26.31% ""You wanted iron, so you crossed the sea, and slaughtered them and stole their land! It must be, then, that most ancient of laws: that the strong take what they wish from the weak?’ "
March 9, 2016 –
page 165
28.75% "The First of the Magi spread his hands in apology. ‘Oh I’m afraid I don’t kneel to anyone. Too old for it. Stiffness in the joints, you see.’ \n I like him!"
March 10, 2016 –
page 208
36.24% "‘I want my teeth back.’ The merchant’s smile began to fade. ‘I want my leg back.’ Hornlach swallowed. ‘I want my life back.’ The prisoner had turned very pale. ‘No? Then perhaps I’ll settle for your head on a stick. You’ve nothing else I want, no matter how deep your pockets are.’ "
March 11, 2016 –
page 233
40.59% "38%, Part 2, ‘Life – the way it really is – is a battle not between good and bad, but between bad and worse’ "
March 13, 2016 –
page 299
52.09% "'You can never have too many knives,’ he growled in a deep, grinding voice. "
March 13, 2016 –
page 316
55.05% "Some things have to be done. It’s better to do them than to live with the fear of them. \n Good advice."
March 13, 2016 –
page 320
55.75% "But it had been a long time, and he smiled at them cheerfully, on the off chance. Some looked shocked, others gasped in horror. Logen sighed. The old magic was still there. "
March 13, 2016 –
page 341
59.41% "He wiped his face, and then – his favourite part of the day – gazed at himself in the looking glass.\n Tosser!"
March 14, 2016 –
page 390
67.94% "Glokta could not be bothered to point out that the Adeptus had made the very same joke a few minutes before. And it wasn’t funny then. Repetition – the curse of the old. "
March 15, 2016 –
page 445
77.53% "Of course he fucking deserved it, and he was damned if he would let that bastard bask in his reflected glory a moment longer. \n Wow, I really don't like him. What an unbelievable Ahole, pardon my French!"
March 16, 2016 –
page 478
83.28% "Things that he had dismissed as foolishness, or old stories, were suddenly revealed as facts before his eyes. The world was a different place than it had been the day before, a weird and unsettling place, and he had infinitely preferred it the way it was. "
March 17, 2016 –
page 542
94.43% "It was ridiculous the power she had over him. The difference between misery and happiness was the right word from her. "
March 17, 2016 –
page 567
98.78% "If you say one thing for Logen Ninefingers, and one thing only, say he’s a killer."
March 17, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
March 18, 2016 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Lyn (new)

Lyn Great review, I'm going to read this

Cathy Thank you... There are some great reviews for it on goodreads, but during our buddy read a few of my friends found it to be boring and complained about it dragging. There are some slower stretches, but I really liked the writing. The female characters are a bit weak and the magic isn't explored much, but I hope that will be explored in the next book.

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