I dont read such Mediaeval fantasy series as a rule. I would guess that the fantasy backdrop, the struct..Show More »ure of the plot and the nature of the characters are not that original.
But this book has three splendid things going for it. First it is very well written - sharp, pacy prose, very well drawn characters, and clever and interesting dialogue, all spiced with plenty of sardonic humour; second, although there is some pretty good action the narrative is very much plot and character driven, - lots of threads to a satisfyingly complicated plot, and you want to know what happens to the people in the story, both goodies and baddies; and third and most important is the narrator Stephen Pacey. I listened to the (free) Audible podcast where he explained that he liked reading audiobooks as he got to play all the characters! Well, he certainly earns his money on this book; expertly paced and varied narration and the huge range of characters is brilliantly drawn and brought to convincing life. He turns what is already a very good book into a great one. If there was an Oscar for narrators he should definitely be on the short list.
This is part 1 of a trilogy and I am looking forward to parts 2 and 3 - also narrated by Stephen Pacey.
This is the second book in Joe Abercrombie's 'First Law' trilogy and it is important to read..Show More »/listen to the books in order to get the most out of them.
The book picks up more or less when part 1 ended. There are now three distinct story lines involving Glokta, Major West and the Byas expedition and they are pretty much separate throughout. There is also a lot more action. But the main strengths of the first book continue: well written, excellent characters and plots and a tour de force of narration by Stephen Pacey, who brings the book brilliantly to life. Stunning is the only word to describe his performance.
Initially, I found the first book too slow. Too much scene setting and character building for..Show More » me - I needed more action and kept waiting for it all to come together. However, having completed the trilogy, I now understand why the first book was like it was - and it certainly has its place.
Loved the second book - all good action and great pace.
Third book (this one) - again great story, and lots of pace, BUT, it ends with too many loose ends. Whilst I get why it ended like it did, I needed more.....I was left feeling as though there needs to be a 4th book where the wrongs can be righted and the bad get their come-uppance.
I'm a massive fan of epic fantasies, and this is just that. It's got loads of action, lots of battle scenes, and plenty of blood and swearing. Not really a "girlie" book (although I have to caveat that with an "I'm a girl and thoroughly enjoyed it" statement). All the characters are well developed, and fairly complex. Interesting how my feelings towards each of them changed as the story progressed and I got to know them better. Is it bizarre that my favourite characters turned out be a torturer and a schizophrenic killer???
If you're a fan of epics, and have a reasonably strong stomach, then this is highly recommended.
But if you start with book one, be prepared to go through all three, and then still feel like you haven't got to the end...