The Blade Itself transcends its middle volume status, keeping the reader engaged with complicated plotting and intrigu"/>

Before They Are Hanged: The First Law, Book Two

Joe Abercrombie, Author . Pyr $15 (543p) ISBN 978-1-59102-641-9

This grim and vivid sequel to 2007’s The Blade Itself transcends its middle volume status, keeping the reader engaged with complicated plotting and intriguing character development. As savage Northmen invade Angland, the northernmost province of the unwieldy Union, honorable, hard-working Union soldier Colonel West watches his notions of civilized warfare erode in one horrible battle after another. In Dagoska, a southern city threatened by Gurkish soldiers and left undefended as Union troops head to Angland, dreadfully maimed Inquisitor Glokta employs tortures and deceptions to ferret out conspiracies against the king. Ignoring these worldly concerns, disreputable magus Bayaz of Calcis drives a squabbling little band through a wasteland in search of a relic that can open a gate to the realm of demons. Abercrombie leavens the bloody action with moments of dark humor, developing a story suffused with a rich understanding of human darkness and light. (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/21/2008
Release date: 03/01/2008
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FORMATS
Paperback - 614 pages - 978-0-575-09109-2
Paperback - 1 pages - 978-0-575-08201-4
Hardcover - 441 pages - 978-0-575-07788-1
Hardcover - 441 pages - 978-0-575-07787-4
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