The Blade Itself is the first book in the The First Law trilogy. This had a slow start for me, and I almost abandoned it after about twenty three pages, but because I'm stubborn, and I hate to leave books unfinished, I kept at it. I'm glad I did.
I've read so much fantasy this year that I'm starting to pick up the pattern. Usually slow starts are the norm, and by now I have to remind myself to be patient. Usually it's been worth it.
The world of the The Blade Itself has a classic medieval fantasy setting and plot. There is war brewing between neighboring nations, old grudges to be settled, and of course magic is involved to stir everything up. The book has four main characters narrating, each very different from the other. The characters were interesting. Glokta in particular, he is a very complex and multi-dimensional character. It's difficult to make up your mind about him, and I found myself alternating between wanting to punch him, or giving him a much needed hug. I also enjoyed that Joe Abercrombie included some diversity. It shouldn't be so hard to find in SFF, but sadly it is. I'm interested in Ferro, and I can't wait to learn more about her story line.
The writing in some instances was a bit awkward as where the transitional sequences . This bothered me mostly in the beginning, and contributed to me wanting to put the book down. However, once I was invested in the story I didn't mind so much, but I still had to re- read at times to try to make sense of things.
Overall a fun start to a series, and I will be continuing on with Before They are Hanged!