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  • Writer's pictureAshley Mongrain

The Blade Itself

Updated: Jul 14, 2021

Rating - ⭐⭐⭐1/2

"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 Glokta 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."


The Blade Itself is the first installment in Joe Abercrombie's epic fantasy First Law series.

I am conflicted about how I feel about this book. For one, I can see why people thoroughly enjoyed their time reading it. Unfortunately for me, it just didn't hit all the marks. For me, this book came down to the characters (honestly can't really remember much of the plot). One character I loved, one character I was disappointed with, and the other I didn't like.

Glokta was the absolute best thing about this book, which is surprising considering the fact that he tortures people for a living. Listening to his internal quips was so refreshing, especially when they were towards characters I didn't like. Will say though, one downside of Glokta's POV was that every time his name was mentioned, I kept thinking 'NO ONE EXPECTS THE SPANISH INQUISITION.' I really hope someone else also did this. Another downside was that the narrator kept pronouncing albino as al-bean-o and it threw me right out of the story every time.

Now let's move on to Jezal, who in my opinion, was a lustful manchild. He just couldn't stand any slight against him and threw and temper tantrum. Glokta got it right by calling him a whiny brat. Jezal though at least had more personality than Logen. I thought that Logen would be this badass but there was literally only one scene where I could say he was one.

Besides the characters, I also felt that the atmosphere of the book was one I didn't expect. Going into this, I knew the book was considered to be grim/dark but to me, it really wasn't all that dark. Despite this, I will still pick up the next book (mainly because I want more Glokta).

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