Before They Are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two)

Paperback, 448 pages

English language

Published March 25, 2008 by Pyr.

ISBN:
978-1-59102-641-9
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
179808127

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4 stars (24 reviews)

Superior Glokta has a problem. How can he defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when his allies can by no means be trusted? Ancient secrets will be uncovered and bitter enemies will be forgiven--but not before they are hanged--in this sequel to "The Blade Itself."

2 editions

reviewed Before They Are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two) by Joe Abercrombie (The first law. Book 2)

Like it's predecessor, a solid third of a story

4 stars

With perhaps a little more understanding of how things will go, I found this book perhaps a bit better than the first volume (bookwyrm.social/book/402337/review#reviews).

What I didn't fully understand about the first book, and which took me a surprisingly long time to realise reading this one, is that the lack of awareness or knowledge of the "big picture" in this epic tale is the whole point. The point of view characters each has their arc, all of them dealing with difficulties and unpleasantness that is much greater than they can ken or manage. The result is that the grand sweep of history is unfolding, but there's no way for the characters or reader to fully grasp it.

Both because we've got to know them better, and because of development, the characters themselves are more appealing. They are rounded, often messy, and so the more compelling for it, though …

This is the book that sorta turned me into a feminist

3 stars

I don't often talk about my feminism because it's usually pretty sus when dudes talk about being a feminist, but this is the book that made me think about how implicit biases impacted me. Not because this book is a good example, but rather the opposite.

While I read the book, I started to notice that the defining characteristic of all the major female characters was that they had been used for sex to fill out their backstory. Sex slaves and that sort of thing. This was at the height of grimdark fantasy. It was no great revelation, but I wasn't being coached about that trope. Just that something finally broke through my wall of cluelessness.

I wrote about my realization about the book on my book blog at the time. Author Joe Abercrombie noticed it. And wrote his own blog post that acknowledged what I noticed. More than one …

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Subjects

  • Fantasy - Epic
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy
  • Fiction
  • Fiction - Fantasy
  • Fantasy fiction
  • Fantasy