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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

Before They Are Hanged | Review

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2

"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."


Before They Are Hanged is the second novel in The First Law series by Joe Abercrombie.

Oddly enough, I had no intentions of reading this book anytime soon, but I was on the hunt for an audiobook and this was what I ended up picking up. Can't complain though because while this was a long audiobook, it was still a great story.

Does a lot happen in this, no, but do I care, also no? This book solidifies for me that you don't need a high-tension plot to be enjoyable or well-written and developed. I don't have much else to say about this book aside from some comments about the writing and characters.

The narrating was fantastic as usual and Steven Pacey does wonders for the story. The way he narrates Glokta is still my favourite since he sounds like someone missing teeth. I feel like I should have counted just how many times it mentioned how he sucked his teeth or empty gums though... My only other comment about the writing is that he still pronounced albino oddly, as well as grimaced (like grim-aced).

As for the characters, I like the development some of them had. As I already said, Glokta is my favourite character, but Logen, Jezal, and even Ferro had some bonding moments which I enjoyed.

All in all, this was a great sequel.

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