Review: The Blade Itself

Series: The First Law: #1

Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?

Joe Abercrombie / The Blade Itself have long held a highly recommended spot on my to read lis, so when I caught the audiobook on Libby/the Indiana Digital Library1 I figured it was about time.

Quick version: it’s wonderful, but also very dark. One of the main characters is a barbarian who’s family was recently killed, another is a soldier crippled in war turned torturer. And somehow, Abercrombie actually really makes you feel for the both of them, but man it takes a bit… On top of that, there’s some fascinating hints of magic–plus some more overt examples, no less terrible, when we meet Bayaz–the First of the Magi… or is he?

History is littered with dead good men.

Overall, it’s a great listen (the narrator took a minute to catch hold, but once he did I loved it) and I’d assume a great read. I will warn you though (if you haven’t caught it by now), there are a fair few troubling scenes in this book. If that isn’t your thing, perhaps give it a pass?

I’m really curious where it will go next!

Well. What can we do, except try to do better?

  1. If you live in Indiana, check it out. Recently many (all?) of the various library programs got together to offer one single collection of ebooks/audiobooks for digital borrowing and it’s awesome. The selection is far better than the local one (just outside of the county lines to use the Indianapolis library system). ↩︎