What does a brawler, a torturer, a pompous young nobleman, an escaped slave, a group of vigilantes, and a centuries old magician have in common? Who cares, they are in a Joe Abercrombie book!! Ok but in all seriousness, The Blade Itself is book 1 in the trilogy The First Law. What is The First Law you ask? Isn’t it obvious? It is forbidden to speak with devils.
The Blade Itself is set in the same world as a book I reviewed earlier, Best Served Cold. Best Served Cold was written after The Blade Itself, but I read it first because it was a standalone. I actually don’t remember what I wrote in that review, but I do remember I like Best Served Cold quite a bit so I had high hopes for The Blade Itself when I started reading it. It certainly did not disappoint!
Not quite like the hacking and slashing, magic dominating fantasy books I am used to reading, but no less awesome because of it. I believe in the literary world they call this type of book dark fantasy. The language itself and the dark nature definitely is not suitable for younger audiences I don’t think.
The Maker seems to be good. Essentially he built the world. So why then did Bayaz kill him? Interesting.
There is a war brewing among men and some evil magician is making an army of mythical monsters in the background or something. Honestly the story is pretty lack luster and Abercrombie’s magic system leaves much to be desired (I think I’ve been spoiled too much with Jordan and Sanderson), but Abercrombie’s characters make his stories and this one has excellent characters.
I won’t call it a must read but it’s only a shade under 500 pages (pretty short compared to other fantasy series’), so if you do read it or have read it please let me know whether you agree or disagree with this review. Supposedly Abercrombie’s style is much like George R.R. Martin. I say apparently because I still haven’t read any of A Song of Ice and Fire because I, having the luxury of knowing how long each book takes to be written and published, am waiting for the author to finish the series before I start. But that’s some mighty company to be compared favorably alongside Martin.