The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Posted by Caitie F on January 11, 2015
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 him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, 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 frozen 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 rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.
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.
This was probably my husband’s favorite book of 2014 and he has been telling me to read it, daily. I started it at the end of last year and could only read about 50 pages at a time. Even though I couldn’t read a lot at once, it was captivating. The writing in it is amazing and makes it worth reading, even if it is slow at times and some of the characters were…irritating to say the least.
As irritating as they were – wow were they irritating – the characters were so well-defined and had vastly different voices. The chapters go between the different characters stories and after about 100 pages, I always knew which it was immediately. I had my favorite characters – Ninefingers is great and Bayaz is really entertaining at time. There was also a lot of creativity in the book.
My one big issue with the book is that there weren’t very many female characters and the ones there did exist were not as well-developed as the males.
It is still a good read and I will rad his other books since he is such a good writer.