A Bad Book Review – The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

The Blade Itself really surprised me. I have a very smart friend who kept cramming Joe Abercrombie down my throat. I bought it one day at Half Price Books because I couldn’t find a Brent Weeks book I was looking for. One page sold me. Here is your Bad Book Review.

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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Joe Abercrombie

The Characters

I hate the characters of this book. That may sound strange, but it’s true. Each of them is an utterly reprehensible human beings. And they make the story wonderful. Seriously, my favorite character is an apathetic career murder who is missing a finger and occasionally slips into a berserker rage and kills indiscriminately. Despite, or maybe because of, their numerous flaws I really developed an attachment to all of them.

All of the main characters have cringe-worthy traits and it makes for such good storytelling. This is the first book I’ve read when I was glad that something bad was happening to the protags. They deserve it!

The Story

Apart from the characters, the story of The Blade Itself is pretty simple. The main character has a goal, assembles a team to help him achieve it and all this bad stuff happens. Meanwhile, a big baddie from the North is angling to come to cause trouble.

That’s pretty straight forward. Joe Abercrombie does a masterful job of weaving together a huge cast of deplorable characters deep into a story that ends up being very complex and engaging. By the end of The Blade Itself I really cared about all the trouble that was mounting up. I might also have invested a little concern in the characters. A little. Maybe.

I read the whole series and picked up Half A King, as well. The writing is very good, especially if you like the grimdark genre of fantasy.