The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Rate: 4.5/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

Despite being on my radar for years due to a recommendation by Peter V. Brett I hadn’t found the time to pick up anything by Abercrombie until last week. Per the usual, I’m left kicking myself for waiting so long! The Blade Itself contained everything and more I look for in literature from expansive world building to unique characters with ever layering depth. Interesting, more so than other inaugural novels in a series, I was left feeling throughout that pawns were being deliberately maneuvered to set up the rest of the series with the ending ushering in the beginning of the true adventure in book two. In other words, The Blade Itself felt like a prequel, in the best way possible. Usually, it is the second book in a series that is at most danger of falling into the rhythms of a chess games, however I didn’t find the pacing and posturing in The Blade Itself irksome in the least as it was helpful in establishing Abercrombie’s new literary realm. Additionally, the characters he developed were continually evolving and growing in complexity in proportion with each interaction and nugget of history unveiled. Overall, now that the pieces are officially in play, with the foundation for which the adventure to unfold has been established, I’m excited to find out what surprises Abercrombie has in store for his readers.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  •  What caused Logen Ninefingers’ falling out with the King Bethod? When will his companions find out he’s alive? Is Logen a berserker or does he have a different power?
  • What is Bayaz after? What was the object he recovered from the House of the Maker?
  • What will Inquisitor Sand da Glokta find in the south?
  • Collem West beating his sister seemed so out of character? Can he be redeemed? How will Sand da Glokta take care of his sister?
  • Why was the Inquisition after Ferro? What are her powers? Why is she being targeted by Bayaz?
  • Why did Bayaz help Jezal win? For as self obsessed as Jezal is it seems like he would be excited about this adventure. Will he still love Ardee when he gets back?
  • Who is creating these Eaters? How do they take their shapes?
  • What is going on with this Valint & Balk bank?
  • Who will stop the Shanka? Why are they just now coming south?
  • Will Bremer dan Gorst come back into the story? What is his history?



  1. I wasn’t terribly happy with this book precisely because it felt like a prequel. A Little Hatred felt similar. I keep telling myself I need to commit to the second book to decide whether I really like him or not, but I’m having a hard time with it (it would be an easier pill to swallow if his books were shorter I think).

    Either way- great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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