The Blade Itself - Joe Abercrombie
I found this book to be a fun quick read fantasy read. Hard to believe I'd call a book with a torturer as a main character fun but it was. There was a vein of dark humour running through it that once even made me laugh out loud on the subway. There is some gore in it which may turn some people off but I think it's appropriate. The world was detailed without being overly complicated. Most new fantasies authors have picked up on the fact that good/ bad dichotomies don't interest anyone anymore and now feature flawed characters that aren't always so loveable and Abercrombie does this well. I personally loved Logan Ninefingers and Sand dan Glokta which are by far the most despicable of the characters. Chapters were written in different characters' POVs and I think Abercrombie did a really great job in giving each a unique voice; some chapters were more analytical while others were more simplistic based on what character was being portrayed. My two qualms were that I didn't like the two female characters and kept waiting for Jezel to gain some sort of depth.
All-in-all an enjoyable read, I will eventually read the rest of the series, and recommend this to fans of gritty fantasy.
"He looked down at his hands, pink and clean on the stone. “There are few men with more blood on their hands than me. None, that I know of. The Bloody-Nine they call me, my enemies, and there’s a lot of ’em. Always more enemies, and fewer friends. Blood gets you nothing but more blood. It follows me now, always, like my shadow, and like my shadow I can never be free of it. I should never be free of it. I’ve earned it. I’ve deserved it. I’ve sought it out. Such is my punishment.”
“Every man has his excuses, and the more vile the man becomes, the more touching the story has to be. What is my story now, I wonder?”"