Rhom

Joe Abercrombie: The Collected Works (and in what order to read them) SPOILERS

336 posts in this topic

Its a damn tragedy that we only have one thread dedicated to Joe on the first page, and that one is now locked.  So anyways, here's a new thread about the legend himself.  (Yes, he really did chase off some ruffians with a banister after already taking a shot to the head.)  I presume we can accept spoilers up through Sharp Ends in this topic and for Shattered Sea.

Resources unavailable to those of us who discovered Joe back around the release of The Blade Itself that are now free for you to peruse include Wert's very own handy dandy link to a map of The First Law world.

And to address the perplexingly persistent question of "What order should I read Abercrombie?"  From Wert's link above, here's a timeline of all the stories set in the world of the The First Law:

566 (spring): A Beautiful Bastard
570 (summer): Made a Monster
573 (autumn): Small Kindnesses
574 (autumn): The Fool Jobs
575 (summer): Skipping Town 
576 (spring): Hell
576 (summer): Two's Company
576: The Blade Itself
576-77: Before They Are Hanged
577: Last Argument of Kings
579-80: Best Served Cold
580: Wrong Place, Wrong Time
584 (summer): Some Desperado 
584 (autumn): Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden 
584: The Heroes
587 (autumn): Three's a Crowd
590 (summer): Freedom!
590: Red Country
592 (spring): Tough Times All Over
605: New Trilogy Book 1 (due in 2017 or 2018)
 

For reference... The bold titles are the main sequence novels and can (and should) be read in publication/chronological order.  All those non-bolded are short stories that are available in Sharp Ends.

There you have it.

Oh... and we like the Shattered Sea trilogy around here too.  Much debate on where they fit on the shelves at your local bookseller, but they generally are a lighter read than TFL.  They are completely unrelated to TFL.

Proceed.

Edited by Rhom

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I picked up Sharp Ends last night at my local B&N.  Will get to it shortly.  Looks to be a quick read.  I'm excited to experience Joe's world again.

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Apparently I'm in the minority, I liked TBI better than TH and HAK, though not by much. TH has some staying power, a theme/message that stays with you kinda.

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TBI was fine, but I think it shows definite signs of being exactly what it is... The first published book by an up and coming author.

I deviate from consensus a bit in that I tend to prefer the pace of BSC a bit more than The Heroes, though I consider them both fantastic.  I felt the trilogy got better with every book.

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What's the best order to read the Abercrombie threads? :P

A couple of short stories into Sharp ends and I'm enjoying it. The Glokta one was actually pretty interesting as his description and behaviour can actually be grafted onto the Glokta we know from TFL trilogy in the sense he still revels in getting the better of everyone and there is an arrogance in there - it's just his capture/treatment by the union afterwards taught him to see things a little differently. That story actually made me miss West even more - he was a good straight-edge character (even if it turned out he had anger issues) and his handling of Glokta spoke volumes. Again given how West was the only person to pay Glokta any notice after his capture.

Shev's story was fun but I'm realising it's been too long since I've read some of the series so I need to ask, "Has she ever featured in the main novels?". Severard was the practical of Gloktas - the one who betrayed him I think?

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1 minute ago, red snow said:

What's the best order to read the Abercrombie threads? :P

A couple of short stories into Sharp ends and I'm enjoying it. The Glokta one was actually pretty interesting as his description and behaviour can actually be grafted onto the Glokta we know from TFL trilogy in the sense he still revels in getting the better of everyone and there is an arrogance in there - it's just his capture/treatment by the union afterwards taught him to see things a little differently. That story actually made me miss West even more - he was a good straight-edge character (even if it turned out he had anger issues) and his handling of Glokta spoke volumes. Again given how West was the only person to pay Glokta any notice after his capture.

Shev's story was fun but I'm realising it's been too long since I've read some of the series so I need to ask, "Has she ever featured in the main novels?". Severard was the practical of Gloktas - the one who betrayed him I think?

Yep, Severard was Glokta's Practical. They both betrayed him iirc. I'm not the best to answer your question as I'm bad with the details myself, but I don't think she appears in the main trilogy, and I certainly didn't notice her in BSC. I've only read her first story at the minute though

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8 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

Yep, Severard was Glokta's Practical. They both betrayed him iirc. I'm not the best to answer your question as I'm bad with the details myself, but I don't think she appears in the main trilogy, and I certainly didn't notice her in BSC. I've only read her first story at the minute though

That sounds about right or at least in accordance with my hazy memory.

From the story listings it seems shev and Javre are a narrative glue to the collected stories so we'll probably know more about both of them by the end.

I'm maybe just getting used to kindle reading/my eyes are going but the print text is pretty small/dense in this book? I think it means there's probably more words than the relatively low page count suggests so that's a good thing.

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It's pretty much Shev's book. And it's wonderful.

i have to say I loved TBI when it first came out, the way every POV has such a unique voice, and even in the first book bayaz was just...different. Plus fantasy barbarian/Vikings is a insta sell for me.

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How many pages is Sharp Ends? And is it available in not-hardback?

By the way, I must be the only one whose favorite is Red Country. Maybe because I took a break after reading the 5 others in a row.

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3 hours ago, red snow said:

What's the best order to read the Abercrombie threads? :P

A couple of short stories into Sharp ends and I'm enjoying it. The Glokta one was actually pretty interesting as his description and behaviour can actually be grafted onto the Glokta we know from TFL trilogy in the sense he still revels in getting the better of everyone and there is an arrogance in there - it's just his capture/treatment by the union afterwards taught him to see things a little differently. That story actually made me miss West even more - he was a good straight-edge character (even if it turned out he had anger issues) and his handling of Glokta spoke volumes. Again given how West was the only person to pay Glokta any notice after his capture.

Shev's story was fun but I'm realising it's been too long since I've read some of the series so I need to ask, "Has she ever featured in the main novels?". Severard was the practical of Gloktas - the one who betrayed him I think?

My impression was that Glokta was furious with West for getting the better of him in a sword fight, and kept him away from the fight at the bridge, because he didn't want to share any of the glory with him.

Inadvertently, he did West a big favour.

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33 minutes ago, SeanF said:

My impression was that Glokta was furious with West for getting the better of him in a sword fight, and kept him away from the fight at the bridge, because he didn't want to share any of the glory with him.

Inadvertently, he did West a big favour.

That was quite funny how twisted his sense of reality was. Especially given he was ready to do him some serious harm with real swords you are probably right that he inadvertently saved West's life by not allowing him to fight alongside him. I got the impression West was  happy about it.

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I agree that Glokta kept West away from the bridge because he didn't want to share the glory in case of an unlikely victory but I think that was only part of the reason. I suspect that subconsciously Glokta knew that this would end in disaster. Afterall, he kept Tunny out of the fighting as well and his rationale for doing so - needing someone to take his belongings back to mother - seems rather thin. BTW, young Corporal Tunny was quite the eager recruit.

I finished "Hell" last night and, imo, that was hands down the best story so far. I guess there is a decent chance that Kahdia might still be alive. On Wert's timeline: "Hell" should be placed between TBI and BTaH since it takes place after Glokta left Dagoska.

Edited by Consigliere

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On 4/5/2016 at 4:00 PM, Consigliere said:

On Wert's timeline: "Hell" should be placed between TBI and BTaH since it takes place after Glokta left Dagoska.

Wert's chronology is one year off. The exact timeline in the times of the original trilogy would be:

  • 575 (spring to autumn): The Blade Itself
  • 575-576 (autumn to spring): Before They Are Hanged
  • 576 (spring): Hell
  • 576 (summer): Two's Company
  • 576-577 (summer to winter): Last Argument of Kings

This was confirmed in a post from Joe some years ago.

 

ETA: Today is the tenth anniversary of the Blade Itself's publication!

Edited by The hairy bear

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2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Wert's chronology is one year off. The exact timeline in the times of the original trilogy would be:

  • 575 (spring to autumn): The Blade Itself
  • 576-577 (autumn to spring): Before They Are Hanged
  • 576 (spring): Hell
  • 576 (summer): Two's Company
  • 577-578 (summer to winter): Last Argument of Kings

This was confirmed in a post from Joe some years ago.

Okay, thanks. I'll have to update my own notes since the timeline I have matches Werts.

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10 hours ago, Pilusmagnus said:

How many pages is Sharp Ends? And is it available in not-hardback?

By the way, I must be the only one whose favorite is Red Country. Maybe because I took a break after reading the 5 others in a row.

It's about 290 pages.  The UK edition had a simultaneous release in hardcover and trade paperback.  I usually use bookdepository.com for British books.  

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12 hours ago, red snow said:

.

Shev's story was fun but I'm realising it's been too long since I've read some of the series so I need to ask, "Has she ever featured in the main novels?". Severard was the practical of Gloktas - the one who betrayed him I think?

Yes, but . . .

Spoiler

Severard was spying for Valint & Balk. Frost was spying for the Arch Lector.

 

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alright.  am definitely digging

Spoiler

the fafhrd & grey mouser revisionism

in the shev/javre stories.

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On ‎5‎/‎4‎/‎2016 at 3:00 PM, Consigliere said:

I agree that Glokta kept West away from the bridge because he didn't want to share the glory in case of an unlikely victory but I think that was only part of the reason. I suspect that subconsciously Glokta knew that this would end in disaster. Afterall, he kept Tunny out of the fighting as well and his rationale for doing so - needing someone to take his belongings back to mother - seems rather thin. BTW, young Corporal Tunny was quite the eager recruit.

I finished "Hell" last night and, imo, that was hands down the best story so far. I guess there is a decent chance that Kahdia might still be alive. On Wert's timeline: "Hell" should be placed between TBI and BTaH since it takes place after Glokta left Dagoska.

"Hell" was very good.  The final conversation between Vissbruck and Kahdia was quite touching.  The portrayal of Mamun was very interesting.  I think he was looking for a reason to show mercy.  I think he's one of the Eaters, like Shickel, or the one that Logen killed at Adua, who feel remorse and unhappiness for their actions.  He's sacrificed everything in order to obtain vengeance for the death of Juvens.

My impression is that people like Ishri and the Twins are much happier as Eaters.  Had they been in charge, I suspect things would have turned out differently at Dagoska.

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Still working my way through (reading other stuff at the same time) and just finished Some Desperado. That one is probably my least favourite so far, but then I didn't really enjoy it when I read it in Dangerous Women either. I'm loving the Shevedieh and Javre stories, and aside from those I also really loved Wrong Place, Wrong Time.

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I'm being reminded of why Whirrun was so much fun in "the heroes".

I think I'll probably skip over the short stories I've already read when I hit them tbh.

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