The First Law Series

This was mentioned in one of the book threads, but I think it’s so good it deserves to be noticed.

The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie. Book 1 is The Blade Itself, Book 2 is Before They Are Hanged, and Book 3 The Last Argument of Kings is due next March.

I’m halfway through book 2 and am loving the books. It has terrific, lean prose, great battle scenes, sympathetic and interesting characters, useful women that aren’t just there to reflect men back at twice their natural size, and, best of all, it’s funny.

I’m enjoying this series even more than Locke Lamora. I recommend it highly.

Yeah I read the first two as well. Great books. Good story, good characters.

Just a heads up. The third and final book, “The Last Argument of Kings”, is out now, in the UK at least. Got mine this morning from Amazon UK.

Wow, on Amazon the editorial review is super harsh (and these are chosen by the book publisher to go on Amazon’s site):

British newcomer Abercrombie fills his muddled sword-and-sorcery series opener with black humor and reluctant heroes. Logen Ninefingers, a barbarian on the run from an ex-employer who’s now king of the North, finds his loyalties complicated when he switches sides and becomes a valuable source of intel to the beleaguered Union. Glokta, a torture victim turned torturer, gets roped into securing the Union’s position against both the invading Northmen and the incompetent Union king and council, and ruthlessly wields his skills in attempts to weed out traitors. Foppish Jezal, a preternaturally excellent swordsman, manages to win the contest to become the Union champion, thanks to a little help from Bayaz, a mage with his own agenda. The workmanlike plot, marred by repetitive writing and an excess of torture and pain, is given over to introducing the mostly unlikable characters, only to send them off on separate paths in preparation for the next volume’s adventures.

That said, can you calibrate your recommendation a bit? I’m not much of a fantasy reader, but when I do read it I like Steven Brust a lot, and also liked the first two Black Company books, and I’m a big Zelazny fan.

I read the first book, reviewed and thought it was amazing.

Only structural flaw is that it takes time to get into it. Plenty of charisma, though.

Can’t compare with anyone else. Plenty of humor and hilarious situations. Strong characters. But still “serious” and brutal when it needs to. Characters aren’t simply great, they are memorable.

Can’t go wrong. Just buy the first and read it.

Really good stuff. My chief gripe is that, in the first two, he’s not much on endings. The books just kind of stop.

The second was book was definitely an improvement over the first, mainly because the characters become much more interesting.

I’m very much looking forward to getting ‘Last Argument of Kings’ soon from Amazon UK.

Read the author’s reaction to the release.

No 12 on Amazon UK is decent day one trade for ANOTHER FANTASY BOOK by THAT BLOKE.

Edit: Do read all of that blog page, he funny man.

I liked the books a lot and cant wait for the 3rd one.

We pre-ordered ours from the U.K. and it just shipped yesterday. We can’t wait!

My order is on hold, as it’s bundled with the mass market edition of Erikson’s Repaer’s Gale, out also in a few weeks.

So, the American release of “Last Argument of Kings” hit, just finished it…

Well. That was unendingly depressing.

Great. Maybe next time just post specific spoilers. Thanks so much.

I just started reading book one. Guess I’m done.

Don’t be an arse, drama queen. All that was posted was the way the end of the book made someone feel. You can throw a dart out the window and hit someone who didn’t feel the end of this series was depressing.

You could learn as much as you learned from that post just by reading some jacket copy.

For what it’s worth, I’ve talked to people who disagree. In the future, however, I shall put all my emotions in spoiler tags.

I read “First Law” and “First Rule” and thought this was a thread devoted to trashing Terry Goodkind.

Do we have one of those threads? Probably worth the time to make it.

I believe we have several, actually.

Quite a few Goodkind threads; like the books, they all deserve to be burned.

— Alan

Can we change Goodkind in this thread to something else so his name does not soil this thread?

I love this series. The 3rd one coming out in the US took me by surprise or I would be on my way to finishing. I need to catch up with what I have and then I will dive in with both feet. Great series so far, AFAIAC

The third book is just as good as the prior two, plus (slight spoiler):

He leaves a lot of room for more books.

I had a Qt3 moment with the third book last night. I literally couldn’t put it down.





Logen really gets put in another light once his past catches up to him. It’s tough to reconcile his dead-eyed threats with the Logen who led the band in book 1 though, and who reaches out to Jezal with small gestures and time. I mean, I can see him having to put it on for the benefit of his new allies who would like nothing better than stab him in the back if he showed weakness but since Dogman’s acting like this is new how on earth did he keep Black Dow in check back when it was just the six of them?

I had figured out the broad strokes of the ending by book 2, but I had not accounted for Bayaz being a complete and total bastard. Damn. No punches pulled there.