The Blade Itself

The Blade Itself
Joe Abercrombie
Published date

“The Blade Itself” by Joe Abercrombie is the first book in “The First Law” trilogy. We follow the stories of three protagonists, barbarian Logan Ninefingers, nobleman Captain Jezal dan Lutar and Inquisitor Glokta.

The most exciting thing in the book is the characters. All of them should not be very likeable – an infamous barbarian who slaughter countless people, a selfish prick of a nobleman, and a ruthless torturer who hates everyone. And yet, it’s not all they are. The author creates his characters brilliantly, giving them so many different dimensions that we can’t help but be drawn by their stories. And despite all their flaws and shortcoming, we still like them and cheer for their success.

The book, despite the epic fantasy feel and many gritty details, is also full of humour. Some of the conversations or reflections (especially from Logen) made me laugh out loud. It makes the story easy to read, and it’s not too overbearing with all the dark and cruel things that are happening.

I also like the way the author describes fights. It’s very tempting to show a famous warrior as an invincible man going into the brawls straight on, killing all adversaries without sweat and coming out victorious and without a scratch. But here, I’m sure that every fight Logen got into left him bleeding from a fresh injury. He is also overly cautious in choosing his battles and constantly repeating his mantra, “I’m still alive”. I absolutely loved that because it makes the story feel so much more real.

As it is the first book in the trilogy, I didn’t find the story overly exciting, but I feel it was more like a prelude for the great things to come (which is often the case in this kind of stories), so I can’t wait to continue the series to see what awaits those poor characters next. “The Blade Itself” is a very strong fantasy book with great characters, so I’m sure most fans of the genre will find it highly entertaining.