The Blade Itself

Abercrombie, Joe

Book - 2006
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Blade Itself
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and 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. Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease, by cheating his friends at cards.

Blackwell North Amer
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian - leaving nothing behind but bad songs, and dead friends.
Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the corrupt heart of government ... if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Publisher: London : Gollancz, 2006
ISBN: 9780575077867
Characteristics: 422 p. ; 24 cm.


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Aug 26, 2014
  • BBurnett rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

the first law: book one

a great first book, in a series, an epic fantasy, my favourite kind of story.
A bit slow in getting going, and finding out how all these diverse characters and plots connect, but interesting, and well written. On to the 2nd, to find out more about Logen Nine-fingers, Jezal dan Luthar, Glotka, first Magus Bayaz, Ferro, and how Bethod, the Shanka, the Named Men, and many more fare.
A map of the world would be great, but not needed, really.
Recommended for fantasy readers.

Jul 11, 2014
  • Omadahl rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Good beginning to what seems to be a promising series. Begins quite slow but as characters are added, the story picks up.

Apr 09, 2014
  • DENNIS E HENLEY rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I listened to this on my daily commute and was never disappointed. It's a violent, bloody and, surprisingly, darkly humorous tale. Abercrombie doesn't create a world with the same flair as George R.R. Martin, but I didn't think his vision was any weaker. This is swords & sorcery like it was meant to be, clearly influenced by Robert E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock and Martin and also showing the next step in the evolution of the genre.

Logen Ninefingers can almost be seen as a living representation of Moorcock's "Stormbringer". He's equally as deadly and just as unpredictable.

All 6 books in this series are worth reading (or listening to).

Jul 07, 2013
  • sal222 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

The Blade Itself was a great read since it doesn't follow the traditional fantasy model. It's dark and gritty, and the characters are all realistic in their strengths and flaws. I'd definitely recommend this book to fans of fantasy.

Dec 05, 2012
  • unbalancedbutfair rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was oddly awesome. Not awesome but odd, no, it was awesome in a unique, odd and fulfilling way. This book is about characters more than anything else. There is a story, probably a deep story, beginning to be told. But it is the characters that are superbly crafted. The action is good, the story is good, but the characters are real in a way that usually only the main character is. Not all of them are complex, but all of them are real and that was intriguing. I didn't realize how much he drew me in. I wasn't racing to the finish. I wasn't staying up all night, but I was always returning to it. And I was surprised by how quickly I finished it. And while I cannot wait to read the second book the first leaves you with a feeling of satisfaction. The writing and the characterization make it well worth the read. If the term "the thinking man's barbarian" intrigues you you'll love this book.

Jun 26, 2012
  • lasertravis rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very good fantasy book. Very character driven with a great little cast of anti-heroes. The scenes of violence are graphic and bloody. The dialogue, including inner dialogue, is well written and at times darkly humorous. The book moved along pretty quickly and I knew fairly early on that I liked Abercrombie. I am reading the second book of the series now. I went into this series not expecting much (hadn't heard anything about the series) but was completely pleasantly surprised. Not quite as polished or deep as Martin or Abraham but was a completely entertaining experience for me.

Jul 20, 2011
  • digiri rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

You cannot beat a book where the villian is the hero and the hero is a villian.

Read this book if you are tired of the usual fantasy pap where all heros are shining paragons and the damsels are always in distress.

Jan 20, 2011
  • sairen42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I agree with a previous commenter that the characters are masterfully realized, and for them alone, the book is worth a read. None of the characters are particularly likable, but over the first book, you see a seed of decency and compassion in them all. Somehow, Abercrombie pulls this off without making me feel like I'm watching an after-school special.
I disagree, though, that the plot and writing are overly done. Sure, we've seen barbarians-threaten-the-kingdom, but does the kingdom look like this? do the characters respond the same way? does the political response look the same? In these ways, Abercrombie takes a typical scenario and makes it very much his own.
Although this novel is mostly set-up for what appears to be a great quest in the next, it is fair to say that much more is going on than simply bringing all the characters into one place.

Nov 18, 2010
  • kwsmith rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Logen Ninefingers, Glokta, and a handful of others form the unique cast of misfits in this dark fantasy novel. Each of these characters is masterfully realized. In particular, first-time author Joel Abercrombie excels at portraying brutal characters scarred by their violent pasts. On the other hand, the writing is average at best and story is almost entirely formulaic. Joel, we've all read the "kingdom threatened by barbarians" plot a few times before! Overall, the book's tone is dark and gritty, yet often becomes muddled with silly comedy.


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Jan 20, 2011
  • sairen42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Sexual Content: Several references to the act, some vulgar, but no explicit descriptions.

Jan 20, 2011
  • sairen42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Violence: Many explicit fight scenes, though the one scene of domestic violence may be the more disturbing than gory sword play.

Jan 20, 2011
  • sairen42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.


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Jan 20, 2011
  • sairen42 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

sairen42 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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