Monday 27 June 2011


Before They Are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie
Book 2 of the First Law Trilogy

Gernre: epic fantasy

About Before They Are Hanged:
How do you defend a city surrounded by enemies and riddled with traitors, when your allies can by no means be trusted, and your predecessor vanished without a trace? It’s enough to make a torturer want to run – if he could even walk without a stick – and Inquisitor Glokta needs to find answers before the Gurkish army comes knocking at the gates.

Northmen have spilled over the Angland border and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win back undying glory. There is only one problem: he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained and worst-led army in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make strange companions, but, if only they don’t hate each other so much, potentially deadly ones.

Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.
Source: Info in the About Before They Are Hanged was taken from the book’s cover sleeve.

My Thoughts:
Before They Are Hanged is Book 2 of The First Law Trilogy, this book continues where the cliffhanger in Book 1 left off and also ended in a cliffhanger. So my advice is the same with what I said in Book 1: don’t start reading this trilogy until you have all three books in your possession so that you can continue reading on the story as soon as you hit the cliffhanger. I therefore do not advise anybody to read this book on its own because this book is just a middle chapter of three. It will get you confused. There is no beginning and no end. The beginning is in Book 1 and I presume that the end will be in Book 3.

Having experienced the multiple-thread writing style of the first book, I flagged this book’s chapters with a color-coded sticky index cards so that I can follow a single thread of the story and easily jump chapters until that thread in the story intersects another. Still slow going but a bit quicker than Book 1. I would give the pace a rating of 3 out of 5. This being Book 2, the world building and character development has been shaped in Book 1 already, therefore I’m not going to rate those in this review anymore.

This author also has the propensity of killing off beloved characters which breaks my heart! However, because of the author's fantasticvoice”, it's what keeps me reading on with this trilogy. Despite the slow pace. And even though I find the multiple-thread writing style annoying.

Final Say:
This book is just a middle chapter of a bigger book. Starts at the middle of the story and ends with a cliffhanger.

Empirical Evaluation:
Story telling quality = 5
World Building = N/A
Character Development = N/A
Writing Style = annoying
Pace = 3
Ending = 2

Overall Rating: 3 out of 5 cherries

Other Books In This Series:


  1. Arghhh, need to read this series too. I wish I could read only fantasy ;)

  2. lol. That is right! I forgot about the characters getting killed off. Oh, I really enjoy this series. ANd again, I still need to read book 3. I was waiting for the book friend I was reading them with and I don't think she is going to be coming back around to read the last one with me. I'll have to do it on my own. Which is good with me too. ;) Thank you for the great review. And look forward to your thoughts on the last one.

  3. Great review darling. Your reviewing style has really evolved. I love it.


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