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Before They Are Hanged: The First Law, Book Two (First Law #02)by Joe Abercrombie
Synopses & 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 a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters — if they didn't hate each other quite so much.
Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven — but not before they are hanged.
"This grim and vivid sequel to 2007's The Blade Itself transcends its middle volume status, keeping the reader engaged with complicated plotting and intriguing character development. As savage Northmen invade Angland, the northernmost province of the unwieldy Union, honorable, hard-working Union soldier Colonel West watches his notions of civilized warfare erode in one horrible battle after another. In Dagoska, a southern city threatened by Gurkish soldiers and left undefended as Union troops head to Angland, dreadfully maimed Inquisitor Glokta employs tortures and deceptions to ferret out conspiracies against the king. Ignoring these worldly concerns, disreputable magus Bayaz of Calcis drives a squabbling little band through a wasteland in search of a relic that can open a gate to the realm of demons. Abercrombie leavens the bloody action with moments of dark humor, developing a story suffused with a rich understanding of human darkness and light." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A tight little piece of fiction. Before They Are Hanged grabs you and drags you along." SFSite.com
"Before They Are Hanged is an excellent sequel from an author writing compelling, character-driven, adult fantasy, for readers who want to be entertained as well as challenged." SFF World
"The story is by turns darkly humorous and incredibly well observed. The sheer number of brilliantly drawn characters is a joy to read and Abercrombie once again proves he is deft at changing voice as he changes point of view." Dreamwatch
"Dark, deeply ironic and full of character gems that will appeal to your cynical side, Before They Are Hanged is as brilliant as its predecessor." SF Revu
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.
About the Author
Joe Abercrombie (Lancaster, England) is a freelance film editor, working mostly on documentaries and live music events for bands from Coldplay to Iron Maiden. He lives and works in London. He is the author of The Blade Itself: The First Law, Book One. Visit Joe Abercrombie online at www.joeabercrombie.com.
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