The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Abercrombie has a created a fantasy world that is interesting and fresh, with deftly crafted characters, avoiding hackneyed types. The story is a slow burn, but never boring, driven by the characters and how they are dealing with the circumstances they find themselves in. The subtle world-creation is great; Abercrombie dribbles out bits and pieces as it makes sense to the characters; it is never forced or just for the sake of world-building itself. The characters are really what makes this book shine. They so well-drawn, compelling, funny, and intelligent. As for the greater story of the trilogy, and why these characters are coming together, little is revealed but there are lots of hints. The book ends with the stage set for the next round without telling us all that much.
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