Having heard Joe Abercrombie speak at GenreCon 2012 in Sydney, I picked up a copy of ‘The Blade Itself’. The reviews were promising and the book did not disappoint.
Following a range of different points of view in the Epic Fantasy tradition, this is a very impressive debut. The writing is accessible and the author appears to delight in setting up clichés only to twist them into something new. The humour was also a surprise, but it worked well for me, especially given the darker undertones.
The book does not really stand alone, but it is always billed as the first in a trilogy. I also found the battle climax at the end of the book a bit contrived, but it did reveal an interesting aspect to one character. (Trying to avoid spoilers here.)
Overall, I devoured this book and I’m looking forward to Book 2. Definitely recommended.