Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby gpa-gone-west » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:50 am

Snowy wrote:Yeah, the man really does not put a step wrong. Even the "Half a..." series despite being aimed at a YA audience were belters.


I didn't find anything particularly 'Young' about it. I really enjoyed it, great books.

I really do need to go back and re-read the First Law Trilogy.
Just once I want radiation to turn something into a giant fluffy bunny, instead of the Grand Poobah of all Mirelurks.

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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Snowy » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:12 pm

Personally I recommend the lot in one lovely long trawl (as I did recently thanks to the kindle collection) - First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, The Heroes, Red Country. Utterly mesmerising.
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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Jez » Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:24 pm

I bought the whole collection last night think it was 21 quid on Kindle for the lot. Started reading the first one at 11pm didn't turn off the pad until nearly 2.30am

Wife not so pleased.

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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Snowy » Thu Aug 04, 2016 6:45 am

How you enjoying them Jez?
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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Jez » Thu Aug 04, 2016 11:55 am

Oh yeah! So good second day time round. Racing through the first book when I can at home. Golkta is such a great character closely followed by the rest of course. You just don't want the Golkta sections to end.

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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Dr@gon-UK » Fri Jun 29, 2018 9:23 pm

Necroing this thread sry, First book in a new trilogy set in the First Law universe coming Sept 2019 -

https://www.joeabercrombie.com/2018/06/29/progress-report-june-18/

Six months into 2018 and I HAVE FINISHED A FIRST DRAFT OF MY ENTIRE NEW TRILOGY. Let ring the bells. As I’ve often said, a huge amount of work still to do, but what is usually for me the toughest part is done and, thus far, I am pleased with the results. It consists of 3 books, 9 parts, 191 chapters, and around 520,000 words. It has 7 point of view characters, 4 men and 3 women, as well as a host of walk-on extras, many of them well known to readers of the First Law, and features at least one duel to the death, three major pitched battles and an awful lot of hangings. It takes place mostly in the Union and the North, some 30 years or so after the end of the first trilogy as the world moves into a more industrial phase. So the tone is inevitably a little different. Perhaps less self-consciously a take on classic epic fantasy than the First Law was, with its inscrutable wizardly mentors, boys with special destinies, dark powers rising and lots of swords. But I hope it will have the same qualities which made you love (or hate) the First Law – a tight focus on vivid and distinctive characters experiencing an epic sweep of love and war, with lashings of sex and violence (tastefully done, of course) a few twists in the tale and a rich vein of dark humour. And lots more swords, of course.

I also had a meeting at the publisher to discuss how things are going. Looks very much as if the first book, A Little Hatred, will be published September 2019 in the UK and US, with the other two books, The Trouble With Peace, and The Beautiful Machine, following at beautifully regular and predictable one year intervals. This is the hope.
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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Snowy » Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:03 am

About time too :)

While the "Half a ..." books were a good read, they were not at the same level as his first six mainly due to being aimed at the YA market.

I do not require YA titles, my tastes for the truly vile require black characters, black deeds, black humour and other things can can be termed black :twisted:

Bring it on - hopefully he will do a signing tour, as I reckon he would be an interesting author to listen to live.
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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Mournblade » Tue Jul 03, 2018 10:40 am

Snowy wrote:my tastes for the truly vile require black characters, black deeds, black humour and other things can can be termed black :twisted:


If that is the style of Joe Abercrombie (who calls himself 'Lord Grimdark' on Twitter), you can be sure I'm not going to enjoy his work.

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Re: Joe Abercrombie - The First Law Trilogy

Postby Snowy » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:28 pm

Possibly, possibly not Doug. His books have a really thick vein of humour running through them, but the characters do tend to be very grey, no clearly telegraphed heroes and villains. The protagonists can end up doing some pretty nasty stuff, and the 'villains' surprising you, but I think that's the point - he doesn't do one-dimensional that's for sure. I wasn't being entirely truthful with my comment above, but it is true that I very much enjoy grimdark fantasy, purely because I tend to find it more believable from a character perspective than high/heroic fantasy.

I would recommend trying him out, as his 1st Law trilogy is right up there with my favourite series'. It may be you don't enjoy it, but I recommend you to try the first book (The Blade Itself) and see for yourself.

There is one bit that I always enjoy reading, the introduction to Inquisitor Glokta. He is a man who has been extensively tortured and bizarrely turned torturer himself, and in true Abercrombie style is a loathesome character but one whose every appearance makes you smile in anticipation because he is not the evil caricature that he could/would usually be written as. Well, he is, but not solely. There are complexities to all of them.

Anyhow - I searched out the passage in question for you, spoilerised so as not to make this post huge:

Spoiler: show
Why do I do this? Inquisitor Glokta asked himself for the thousandth time as he limped down the corridor. The walls were rendered and whitewashed, though none too recently. There was a seedy feel to the place and a smell of damp. There were no windows, as the hallway was deep beneath the ground, and the lanterns cast slow flowing shadows into every corner.

Why would anyone want to do this? Glokta’s walking made a steady rhythm on the grimy tiles of the floor. First the confident click of his right heel, then the tap of his cane, then the endless sliding of his left foot, with the familiar stabbing pains in the ankle, knee, arse and back. Click, tap, pain. That was the rhythm of his walking.

The dirty monotony of the corridor was broken from time to time by a heavy door, bound and studded with pitted iron. On one occasion, Glokta thought he heard a muffled cry of pain from behind one. I wonder what poor fool is being questioned in there? What crime they are guilty, or innocent of? What secrets are being picked at, what lies cut through, what treasons laid bare? He didn’t wonder long though. He was interrupted by the steps.

If Glokta had been given the opportunity to torture any one man, any one at all, he would surely have chosen the inventor of steps. When he was young and widely admired, before his misfortunes, he had never really noticed them. He had sprung down them two at a time and gone blithely on his way. No more. They’re everywhere. You really can’t change floors without them. And down is worse than up, that’s the thing people never realise. Going up, you usually don’t fall that far.

He knew this flight well. Sixteen steps, cut from smooth stone, a little worn toward the centre, slightly damp, like everything down here. There was no banister, nothing to cling to. Sixteen enemies. A challenge indeed. It had taken Glokta a long time to develop the least painful method of descending stairs. He went sideways like a crab. Cane first, then left foot, then right, with more than the usual agony as his left leg took his weight, joined by a persistent stabbing in the neck. Why should it hurt in my neck when I go down stairs? Does my neck take my weight? Does it? Yet the pain could not be denied.

Glokta paused four steps from the bottom. He had nearly beaten them. His hand was trembling on the handle of his cane, his left leg aching like fury. He tongued his gums where his front teeth used to be, took a deep breath and stepped forward. His ankle gave way with a horrifying wrench and he plunged into space, twisting, lurching, his mind a cauldron of horror and despair. He stumbled onto the next step like a drunkard, fingernails scratching at the smooth wall, giving a squeal of terror. You stupid, stupid bastard! His cane clattered to the floor, his clumsy feet wrestled with the stones and he found himself at the bottom, by some miracle still standing.

And here it is. That horrible, beautiful, stretched out moment between stubbing your toe and feeling the hurt. How long do I have before the pain comes? How bad will it be when it does? Gasping, slack-jawed at the foot of the steps, Glokta felt a tingling of anticipation. Here it comes …

The agony was unspeakable, a searing spasm up his left side from foot to jaw. He squeezed his watering eyes tight shut, clamped his right hand over his mouth so hard that the knuckles clicked. His remaining teeth grated against each other as he locked his jaws together, but a high-pitched, jagged moan still whistled from him. Am I screaming or laughing? How do I tell the difference? He breathed in heaving gasps, through his nose, snot bubbling out onto his hand, his twisted body shaking with the effort of staying upright.

The spasm passed. Glokta moved his limbs cautiously, one by one, testing the damage. His leg was on fire, his foot numb, his neck clicked with every movement, sending vicious little stings down his spine. Pretty good, considering. He bent down with an effort and snatched up his cane between two fingers, drew himself up once more, wiped the snot and tears on the back of his hand. Truly a thrill. Did I enjoy it? For most people stairs are a mundane affair. For me, an adventure! He limped off down the corridor, giggling quietly to himself. He was still smiling ever so faintly when he reached his own door and shuffled inside.
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