The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself (World of the First Law, #1) (First Law Trilogy, #1)

by Joe Abercrombie

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body—not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all—ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed...

...especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...

Reviewed by bumblingbookworm on

DNFed at 84 pages. I can’t work out if I’m not in the mood for this, or if grimdark fantasy isn’t really my thing. Do I like some grimdark (eg Nevernight) but not others? I think it depends on how the violence is presented, and this is too graphic for me right now. 2020 is the year of not forcing myself to read books I’m not enjoying, so maybe another time.

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 27 July, 2020: Finished reading
  • 27 July, 2020: Reviewed