Before They Are Hanged

, #2

Paperback, 448 pages

English language

Published Aug. 23, 2007 by Gollancz.

ISBN:
978-0-575-07788-1
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4 stars (110 reviews)

Superior Glokta has a problem. How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick.

Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but …

1 edition

Second verse, same as the first

4 stars

The pros and cons are very similar to the first volume in the series. The characters are interesting (and a bit more familiar, so there is less wondering how things fit together). The overall plot arcs are interesting. For better or worse the book includes some fairly extended and graphic descriptions of violence. I don't know if I am extra sensitive, but I struggled to get through it because of these passages, or perhaps because of my anticipation of these passages.

Review of 'Before They Are Hanged' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

It's funny. I read the first book in this trilogy (now a bit of a long running series actually) [b:The Blade Itself|944073|The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)|Joe Abercrombie|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1284167912l/944073.SX50_SY75.jpg|929009], back in 2015. I really enjoyed it and promised I would read the next one, this one, soon.

But that didn't happen. Hey, I am a guy with nearly 2,000 books on my Want to Read list, so it isn't surprising. But earlier this year, I read [b:A Little Hatred|35606041|A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness, #1)|Joe Abercrombie|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1558367199l/35606041.SY75.jpg|57338685] and really enjoyed it, not even realizing it is connected to The First Law trilogy! It is the next generation of these characters. So I decided I should head back and finish reading the original trilogy.

And wow, am I glad I did! It is another grim, dark, brutal fantasy, with limbs flying and a dark cold death …

Review of 'Before They Are Hanged' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

If you clenched your teeth hard enough, and took enough strides, you could get anywhere.

Before They Are Hanged is a slog in the most sincere and positive way possible. The book is fantastic and an excellent middle step of a trilogy. However, for our characters after The Blade Itself nothing is easy, everything is a struggle and war is all around them.

The slog of Ninefingers, Glokta or Jezel is tiring, ruthless and a continuous struggle for survival and it made for a brilliant read. Grizzled veterans or fresh faces to battle experience the constant onslaught of existence and what could be a monotonous read is gripping and suspenseful.

We are leaders. War is what happens when fail.

Each chapter moved the story along and I never felt my enjoyment drag. The book was shorter than The Blade Itself and that helped prevent the story from having any unnecessary …

Review of 'Before They Are Hanged' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Audiobook.

Liked this even better than the first. Quests! Battles! Torture! A little magic! A little sexytimes! Never a dull moment in this one and pacing is great. Going to start #3 immediately.

Narration outstanding, although audio does bring out the overuse of the word "grimace". Probably wouldn't even notice it if eye-reading.

Review of 'Before They Are Hanged' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is an excellent continuation to the series, picking up where book one left off. Abercrombie delves deep into his characters and moves the plot forward, the latter being a welcome addition after the slower moving character work that made up the majority of the last volume. I loved the first book, but Before They Are Hanged entranced me and I was unable to put it down. In particular, I loved Logen's tale in this book, and really enjoyed Glotka's adventures in the south. There is still some of the same issue I described from the first book, where a chapter may not start with a clear indication of which character's perspective is informing the narrative, but otherwise this is a fabulous story, and the rest of the writing more than made up for it.

I'll keep this review brief and write something longer when I finish the third and …

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Subjects

  • Fantasy