Jan. 28th, 2014

Have I mentioned how much I enjoy the trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, The First Law books? Omg they are SO GOOD. :) (How's that for a critical review?) Seriously, I know I wrote about them here when I first read them; I picked up the first one on a whim and had to wait almost a year for the 2nd one (though the 3rd came out close after that I think). They get top marks for creativity--absolutely unforgettable characters. The world building is what it is--it's not disappointing, quite well done, but the characters are what stand out. Different characters are lead at different points in the story, and each one has their own voice, their own style of internal monologue, their own unmistakeable thought patterns. You always know who's telling the story just from that.

I just charged through all three of them again in the past few days--I remembered the first one quite well, and enjoyed it again so much I plowed ahead into the other two, even though my memory of them was that I didn't enjoy them as much and it was disappointing. But reading them all again together, it was NOT disappointing at all. Magnificently done. Gets even better on the re-read, unlike The Black Company where the characters which seemed so rich the first time become quite two-dimensional on re-reading. In this case, there were things I'd completely missed and certainly didn't remember, that I picked up the 2nd time around and which made it even more satisfying. I was damn sorry to see the end of the third book, I must say.

It's a lot like the Black Company and the two series had run together in my head, it turns out. It's all swords and sorcery, one of the key figures is the head of a small band of barbarian mercenaries, etc. Lots of blood and fighting. But the story is much more rich--it's definitely philosophical, since each of main characters whose heads you get inside have growth and motivations and development, and they have outlooks on life which vary in their cynicism. All in all, it's a mix of optimism and cynicism.



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