Before They Are Hanged

Before They Are Hanged : Book Two

4.3 (134,541 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

'As brilliant as its predecessor' SF REVU

Bitter and merciless war is coming to the frozen north. It's bloody and dangerous and the Union army, split by politics and hamstrung by incompetence, is utterly unprepared for the slaughter that's coming. Lacking experience, training, and in some cases even weapons the army is scarcely equipped to repel Bethod's scouts, let alone the cream of his forces.

In the heat-ravaged south the Gurkish are massing to assault the city of Dagoska, defended by Inquisitor Glokta. The city is braced for the inevitable defeat and massacre to come, preparations are made to make the Gurkish pay for every inch of land ... but a plot is festering to hand the city to its beseigers without a fight, and the previous Inquisitor of Dagoska vanished without trace. Threatened from within and without the city, Glokta needs answers, and he needs them soon.

And to the east a small band of malefactors travel to the edge of the world to reclaim a device from history - a Seed, hidden for generations - with tremendous destructive potential. A device which could put a end to war, to the army of Eaters in the South, to the invasion of Shanka from the North - but only if it can be found, and only if its power can be controlled ...
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Product details

  • Paperback | 592 pages
  • 130 x 196 x 40mm | 407g
  • Gollancz
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Repr.
  • 9780575082014
  • 22,043

Review Text

Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out Joe Hill
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Review quote

Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out -- Joe Hill 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 * SF WORLD * In my opinion, Joe Abercrombie possesses all the qualities that made David Eddings such a powerhouse during the 80s and 90s. Before They Are Hanged is a satisfying sequel which should establish Joe Abercrombie as one of the bright new voices of the genre. * FANTASY HOT LIST * Before They Are Hanged grabs you and drags you along. * SFF SITE * 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 * We're right there in the heads of these dudes, thanks to the author's style of showcasing their thoughts. His knowing turn of phrase means that situations often appear ironic, with peripheral characters verging on the Dickensian. This follow-up is crammed with unexpected betrayals, murders and liaisons, often catching us off guard. * SFX * 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 * In my opinion, Joe Abercrombie possesses all the qualities that made David Eddings such a powerhouse during the 80s and 90s. Before They Are Hanged is a satisfying sequel which should establish Joe Abercrombie as one of the bright new voices of the genre. * FANTASY HOT LIST * Before They Are Hanged grabs you and drags you along. * SFF SITE * 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. -- John Berlyne * SF REVU * We're right there in the heads of these dudes, thanks to the author's style of showcasing their thoughts. His knowing turn of phrase means that situations often appear ironic, with peripheral characters verging on the Dickensian. This follow-up is crammed with unexpected betrayals, murders and liaisons, often catching us off guard. -- Dave Bradley * SFX *
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About Joe Abercrombie

Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings). His standalone novels (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country) are also set in the First Law world.

His novels have been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards, John W. Campbell Award and the David Gemmell Legend Awards. His covers are also award winning, and have won both the David Gemmell Legend Award and the World Fantasy Award for best artwork.

Joe formerly worked as a freelance film editor and is now a full time writer who lives in Bath with his family.

Follow @LordGrimdark on twitter for more information, or visit www.joeabercrombie.com.
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Rating details

134,541 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
5 47% (63,347)
4 40% (53,241)
3 11% (14,266)
2 2% (2,554)
1 1% (1,133)

Our customer reviews

A far superior second part in the series. Highly recommended. Relationships building and characters developing into people they never taught they would be. Innocent victims taking the hit left right & centre. Betrayal among friends. Loyalty and compassion where non seemed possible. . . . . . . . And then there's the Northmen "Savages". A lovely piece of writing. Top marks.show more
by Mark Parsons
So, the difficult second album, the tricky sequel, the awkward follow up - how does Abercrombie do with the second book in The First Law trilogy? In a word? Magnificently. Hanged is a huge improvement on Blade (which is in no way anything other than excellent) - the scope is much bigger and the writing so much more confident. Hanged follows all of the character's (and some new ones) that were introduced in Blade - Glokta steals the show, Luthar becomes much more sympathetic and Logen is fleshed out impressively, Bayaz becomes much more complex - one of Abercrombies biggest achievements here is that he forces the reader to reassess their opinion of established characters - this is certainly true of the First of the Magi. Characters like Dogman and Threetrees also get interesting storylines. The battle scenes are given impressive scale and very well done. Negatives? To be picky - very picky - I would say that the last 100 pages don't quite hold up to what comes before, there's a subplot with quite a bit of sex and it didn't quite sit right with me, and Glokta does seem to hog quite a lot of the attention (not really a problem as he is the most memorable character). Minor gripes though, overall this fully deserves 5 stars.show more
by matt cunningham
Fantasy is a much maligned genre , yet it has given us a slew of hugely gifted writers. George RR Martin, Robin Hobb, Steven Erikson, Clive Barker, China Mieville to name some of the top of my shiny bonce. There is a new name to add to that list. Joe Abercrombie is a freelance film editor but on the evidence of The Blade Itself, the first of The First law trilogy , of which Before They are Hanged is the second, he has a new career as a writer . Like the first book this is terrific stuff. There are three threads to the story featuring more of the wonderful array of characters , introduced to us in the first book . Some of these are developed further as you would expect ,but one or two even undergo unexpected character arcs that are importantly wholly believable. Plus there are several new characters introduced and Abercrombie is even confident enough to kill one of these off after developing an enthralling sub -plot around them. The barbarian Logen Ninefingers, first of the Magi Byaz , his apprentice Quai and navigator Longfoot are joined by the perma-scowling misanthropic Ferro and arrogant aristocrat Jezal Dan Luther pining for the lady he left behind on a long journey to the island on the "Edge of the world" where Byaz is seeking "The Seed"- a magical weapon that could end all the conflict. Union armies meanwhile are preparing to face the massed hordes of barbarians led by Bethod. Colonel West has reservations about his superiors and with good reason , finding to his surprise that the barbarian troop led by Threetrees are far greater fighters than his Union soldiers and he will need all their guile and ferocity to survive. Meanwhile Inquisitor Glotka and his Practical's are despatched by Arch Lector Sult to the southern city of Dagoska where his predecessor has disappeared and the Gurkish army is amassing ready to reclaim the city from the Union. He suspects there are traitors within the city council and he's right but who are they and how can he engineer the ragtag band of defenders to repel the massive forces advancing on Dagoska ? Like The Blade Itself this book this book is a cracking and exciting read. Happily and most entertainingly Abercrombie is the type of writer who can really make dialogue fizz ,He also has a highly modernistic irreverent approach to fantasy with lots of profanity , which no doubt will alienate fans of classic fantasy , and plenty of gory action sequences, including a couple of epic battles. At the books conclusion it's all set up splendidly for the final instalment and I am salivating at the prospect of finding where that takes us. While The Blade Itself doesn't have the deep political intrigue of works by Robin Hobb or George RR Martin and indeed doesn't conjure up it's world quite as vividly, for which the lack of a map is a surprising oversight, it's still well written and about as compelling as fiction gets...fantasy or otherwise.show more
by Oskars Žerbis
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