The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Reviewed by Pili Pili
I wrote two reviews for the series, after book 1 and then after book 3. As I put them together now it is interesting to see how my view on the series changed over time.
The Blade Itself (book 1 of the First Law trilogy)
3.5 stars, out of five. The book’s writing is strong (definitely doesn’t detract). Its best qualities are its pacing and length. I didn’t get bored reading it. That said, I’ve not fallen entirely for any of the characters. They are all flawed in a way that doesn’t quite resonate with me. I can’t see their flaws in myself in a way that would make me endeared to them, but there is intriguing room for growth. The role of women is pretty bad, though.
I’d recommend it for fantasy fans. It isn’t young adult. I’m already reading the next one.
Before They Are Hanged & Last Arguments of Kings (books 2 & 3 of the “First Law” trilogy)
Having trouble separating books 2 and 3 in my head as I write this review. Truth be told, they didn’t do it for me. I wasn’t drawn in by the darkness the ways others were. Especially in the characters. As I wrote in my review of book 1, no one’s struggles resonated with me. They just seemed like below average human beings. The room-for-growth thing did not materialize as hoped.
Leads include torturer, sibling abuser, serial killer, spoiled/petulant noble teenager, arrogant mage… The women were just terrible too, all portrayed in some victim light (repeatedly violated demon? self-sabotaging, beaten younger sister? lesbian prick? some dude’s daughter who is introduced as a love interest and then killed?). I just had trouble getting behind the characters.
Anyway, if others like it, great. Pace was great. Writing was strong. Action was good.