"There is a gritty edge to his world and an awareness of the human cost of violence that is very contemporary." -- Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES "Comes close to living up to its publishers hype." -- Jon Courtenay Grimwood THE GUARDIAN "The Blade Itself is a page-turner powered by a combination of fast-paced action and juicy doses of cynicism. Perhaps more remarkable, however, is the way Abercrombie sets the scene." EDGE Magazine "The Blade Itself is therefore an extremely impressive debut, the first in a series subtitled The First Law, and in Joe Abercrombie it brings us a writer who oozes promise. This is surely a novel as sharp as its title." -- John Berlyne SF REVU "There's a fat vein of cynicism and dark humour throughout. The action scenes are fast-paced and the violence takes its toll both mentally and physically. A great start to a long journey." DREAMWATCH "You'd never guess that The Blade Itself is Joe Abercrombie's debut novel. He writes like a natural. There are great characters, sparky dialogue, an action-packed plot, and from the very first words and an opening scene that is literally a cliff-hanger, you know you are in for a cheeky, vivid, exhilarating ride." -- Barbara Davies STARBURST "An admirably hard, fast and unpretentious read from debut author Joe Abercrombie. Packs a mean punch in the bloodthirsty mayhem and mystery departments. Crammed full of torture, vengeance and bad behaviour, it's a lively tale of savagery vs. civilisation. The Blade Itself may not reinvent the wheel, but it does serve up a whole banquet of violent action and intrigue." -- Saxon Bullock SFX "The Blade Itself is in many respects another reprisal of the classic formula. It will be fascinating to see where Abercrombie take his plot and how he develops these characters." -- Roz Kaveney TIME OUT "The star of the show is doubtlessly Inquisitor Glotka for simply being one of the most wonderfully bitter and cynical characters I've come across. With a very funny and clever internal monologue going on during every conversation he has, Glotka's as miserable and nasty at the end as he was to start with and, especially in a heroic fantasy novel, it works perfectly. " SF CROWSNEST
Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body - not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.
Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.
And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all - ideally by running away from it. But as he's discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed...
...especially when Bayaz gets involved. 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 Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult...