The Blade Itself / Before They Are Hanged / The Last Argument of Kings
The First Law is my favorite series of all time, and ever since I read it, Joe Abercrombie has been my role model. His protagonist, Logan Ninefingers, has enough brilliant wisdoms to fill a small collection (“You’ve got to be realistic” is my favorite – he says that one a whole lot). Along with these nuggets of wisdom come a gritty world with horrifically flawed characters that remind you of your sadistic boss, that annoying star child from your school days who had everything handed to him, and of course, the old wizard who pulls everyone’s strings and is a total prick.
The story follows the progression of three characters: a vindictive torturer with a constant inner monologue anyone who’s ever stubbed a toe can identify with, a nine-fingered Northman who wants to stop the violence but who people won’t stop challenging, and a stick-up-the-butt military officer who’s character development will teach you the true meaning of schadenfreude.
I love this series to death. I’ve read all three books half a dozen times each and I’m just starting them up again. I’ve recommended them to all of my friends and family, and dogged them about it till they read them (they all loved it). This series is a must-read for everyone and I hope Abercrombie takes over the world.
I could sing a whole lot more praise for The First Law, but I’ll leave it at this:
If you want to see how a Brit would cuss if they didn’t have all that politeness, read these books.