200 Words or Less

200 Words or Less: The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie


Welcome to 200 Words or Less, a weekly Friday feature here on The Tattooed Book Geek where I will bring to you reviews/thoughts of 200 words or less from the books I read before I started blogging. We all have them, books that we read and loved or even read and hated before we decided to start blogging and what better way than a quick fire review of 200 words or less to share your thoughts on them.

My Choice:


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 (The First Law Trilogy Book 1) by Joe Abercrombie.

The debut novel by Lord Grimdark, Joe Abercrombie, our first foray into the lands of the First World and the first time we get to read about Logen Ninefingers ‘The Bloody Nine’ and Sand dan Glokta, names eponymous within the grimdark genre.

Abercrombie has a dry, droll and cynical sense of humour in his writing and it’s used to great effect creating lots of moments where you will find yourself smiling at the characters and their misadventures and sayings.

I have to mention, Glokta and his battle with the infernal creation that is stairs is one of the best things ever!!!!

The action is visceral and bloody. The whole book has a gritty and dark feel to it creating a character driven read, that serves as a set-up for the following books in the trilogy, welcoming you into the world of The First Law and it’s bunch of multifarious and engaging characters, each in their own dark way is a wonderful creation.

To paraphrase Logen Ninefingers ‘say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he writes a damn good book’.

The Blade Itself is quintessential grimdark and a must read.

Quotes from The Blade Itself:

“Once you’ve got a task to do, it’s better to do it than live with the fear of it.”

“Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?”

“But that was civilisation, so far as Logen could tell. People with nothing better to do, dreaming up ways to make easy things difficult.”

“The more you learn, the more you realize how little you know. Still, the struggle itself is worthwhile. Knowledge is the root of power, after all.”

“You have to learn to love the small things in life, like a hot bath. You have to love the small things, when you have nothing else.”

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20 thoughts on “200 Words or Less: The Blade Itself (The First Law #1) by Joe Abercrombie

  1. Say One thing about The First Law, it’s my favorite book series of all time .

    Fantastic 200 worded review and you just made me feel like it’s time to re read this series one more time . Also Glokta is the best , Screw those Stairs 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True, the author is referred to as Lord Grimdark so he’s one of the prime examples for the genre.

      It’s just fantasy but dark and grim with lots of blood and gore, no real heroes more anti-heroes with a jaded outlook, bleak world and swearing. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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