I knew you’d be back… but really who can blame you? I am probably the most majestic thing you’ve ever witnessed anyway.
So, whats new with you? don’t care. moving on.
Welcome to Top Fantasy Reads Part V
By the way, if you like this kind of stuff – check out A Liar’s Game – Introduction. Fantasy roads very own serial story – A new extract every Tuesday.
So, a little background before we start. I’ve been asked a few times “King Wrecket, how can you possibly read this many books in such a short amount of time? I mean, I know you’re potentially the most miraculous and wonderful human/god to have ever existed, but the speed and volume of the novels you review… how is it possible?” (The exact words may have been slightly edited).
My reply actually began with the words “Are you a fucking moron-“, but incase there’s any children or little people reading (and ignoring the part where I’ve already said the naughty language), I’ll explain in a more PG way
Are you a ducking boron? My life didn’t ducking start yesterday, I have picked up a muffler ducking book prior to the point in your pitiful existence that you met me. I mean what the ship man, come on? use your noggin. The ducking book reviews are obviously from previous books read.
so, anyway; moving swiftly on.
The book! well… books really.
Joe Abercrombie: The First Law trilogy.
Joe Abercrombie is a genius. Although saying that, I think his writing definitely appeals to some more than others, likely those with a darker side, a more twisted sense of humour… some parts of his work are crude, rude and goddamn wonderful.
Even Joe’s characters are different to most other novels, he twists the boundaries of good and evil until the good are the bad, the bad the good, although some of the bad are bad and good, yet the good are the bad that the bad are the… You know what? never mind, I’m sure you catch my drift. Abercrombie obscures the line between good and evil, sometimes even blends the two sides of Yin and yang into a big blubbery grey mess. For example, one of the main influential characters in this series is a man named Sand Dan Glokta. As a youth, Glotka was a dashing young champion swordsman, the girls swooned and the guy glowered. Then Bam. Captured by the enemy “Gurkish”, the beautiful young youth is held in captivity and tortured over a number of years. The thing that emerges once released, resembles nothing like the youth that went in. A twisted and masochistic sadist, crippled and deformed, so hideous in fact, he has become that thing the comes in the night in tales to young children to scare them to sleep.
But on top of this, he also has a fantastic sense of humour and a twisted but extremely strong sense of loyalty to those he believes deserving of it. You truly start the story hating him, and end it loving him.
Logan ninefingers and his crew are another great example… savage barbarians from the north, each made their name by slaughter and murder, no doubt a little (or a lot in Black Dow’s case) rape, amongst other despicable activities. Yet each and every one of them, you fall in love with as the story progresses. Yes, even Black Dow… the worst of the lot. A sick, twisted, dark individual who would sooner cut you open than shake your hand. the worst of the worst… yet you find yourself vouching for him more often than not.
I’m sure most of you have already read something by Mr Abercrombie already, so you already know how brilliant his works are. Each character uniquely individual, their names burn into your psyche making it impossible to confuse them with one another, each individual personality so strong you feel like you know them. Have you ever read one of those books, that no matter how hard you try, you just cannot remember the fuckers names? even the main character? yeah this ain’t that. this is literally the direct opposite.
Personally I think this is why I like Joe Abercrombie’s work so much, I know I keep stressing the point, but his character creation is always on another level entirely when compared to other writers… although sometimes I do feel that the world building suffers slightly, where the majority of his concentration has gone into the characters themselves, some of the surroundings feel slightly unfinished. Although only sometimes, and even then only a tad. I do have to admit though, throughout the book, I really didn’t like Bayaz… I found something about his character erm… Lacking, I suppose. A little too cliché.
The storyline itself was brilliant, the twists and unexpected turns that Abercrombie takes are what makes the book great. one minute it’s going one way, then in the blink of an eye the entire situation has changed.
These, and the Shattered sea’s trilogy are a must read for anyone that calls themselves a fan of fantasy… Seriously, it would be like calling yourself a retard and not reading Twilight. You just can’t have one without the other.
Stay tuned for a new issue of Fantasy Road’s Top Fantasy Reads every Thursday.
Want something to read in the whilst you wait for part 6? Try my personal favorite, A Liar’s game… A episodic story that immerses you in the life of Tayne Halmar, a degenerate drunk with a detrimental penchant for strong liquor, gambling and women… Watch as our favorite fuck up hilariously lives up to his name time and time again, join him on his journey from being a nobody to becoming a… well, I can’t really reveal that part now can I? Go, find out for yourself. Wink.