I am always hesitant to share my fantasty/graphic novel/comic book reviews here, because I'm not really sure how many of you all are into those genres. I hope my reviews will help people 'read outside the box.' Everyone has their own taste, but reading widely has so many rewards.
This book, The Blade Itself, was the first book by Joe Abercrombie. It's a fantasy novel, and it's the first of a trilogy. There are also three stand alone novels related to this world. It follows Logen Ninefingers, a well-know, ruthless barbarian, as he travels south with his warriors. He's separated from his group early on, and they assume he is dead. He crosses paths with Malacus Quai, who is apprentice to Bayaz, a wizard.
The three travel together to Adua, where Bayaz can claim his place on the council. Adua is where most of the action takes place, and it's where you also meet Inquisitor Sand dan Glokta, a former hero turned investigator/torturer, and Jezal dan Luthar, a noble who is competing in a duel. During all this character introduction and world building, you also meet Ferro, who had been enslaved by one of the kings. She is fighting thieves and Eaters (vampire-like creatures who eat people) when she comes across another wizard, Magus Yulwei.
Eventually, everyone ends up in Adua. Jezal wins the duel, a war breaks out, and Bayaz demands his seat on the council. The majority of the book felt like a set up for the next book. In fact, I had a difficult time reading through about 60% of the book because nothing was really happening. However, once the action started, I couldn't stop reading. It was so good, the end completely took me by surprise! Abercrombie cuts off the book so suddenly, you want to read the next book right away!
I know that fantasy isn't everyone's cup of a tea, but I really believe this is the type of book that nearly everyone will love. If you are a fan of Game of Thrones or you've read A Song of Fire and Ice (the books that GoT is based on), you will definitely love this. There are a lot of story lines happening but they all come together in a believably way.
Have you read this series? I really want to read the next book now!