Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review of Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters. If they didn’t hate each other quite so much.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.
This is my second read through of the First Law Trilogy. The second book definitely does not disappoint as other tween-er books I have read in past. The plot is well laid out for the third and final installment. Ever since I have read through this series the first time, I have thought about the characters and scenarios often. A true testament for how character driven the novels are. After re-reading the Last Argument of Kings I will post a more in depth review of the overall series. In the meantime, this is a great series with some of the best writing you will find. If you have not read the it, pick up The Blade Itself immediately and "Get on with the bloody work".

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