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Sarah's Library

I read pretty much anything, from fantasy (City of Stairs by Robert Jackson Bennett) to romance (Bared to You by Sylvia Day) to classics (Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad).  The only genres I don't read are self-help and comic books/graphic novels.

Currently reading

The Last Honeytrap
Louise Lee
Progress: 100/346 pages
Complete Works of William Shakespeare
William Shakespeare

Before they are Hanged (The First Law, #2) by Joe Abercrombie

Before They Are Hanged  - Joe Abercrombie

29/7 - I've been dreading getting started on this review because I really don't know what to say about it. I suppose I could write FANTASTIC!! 50 times, but that's hardly a review in the truest sense of the word.

Before they are Hanged was funny, sad, and full of gory action scenes. I do like a book that doesn't shy away from realistic descriptions of battle and the wounds (or deaths) that are the consequences of such battles. Bloodless battle deaths annoy me more than anything because if you're going to include a battle or a war in your book then people are logically going to die and generally people who have been in a battle involving swords and arrows don't die clean peaceful deaths, they gurgle and spurt blood and frequently you see more of their internal organs than you are really comfortable with. But that's war, and if you're going to write about it you have to include the bloody stuff. In my opinion. That's one of the many things I like about Abercrombie's writing, he understands that wars and battles are a bloody business so that's the way they have to be described.

But this wasn't all blood and gore and death, there were some funny moments too. The most memorable was when Dogman snagged himself a whole salmon from Prince Ladisla's tent. That struck me as laugh out loud hilarious, but I did wonder how he managed to hide a whole salmon in his pocket. Salmon's are reasonably big, ranging between 76 and 150 cm long and between 6.8 and 61.4 kg in weight. Dogman must have had a damn big pocket to get even the smallest salmon into it. There was also a little bit of unexpected, well you couldn't really call it romance, more like simple, basic sex based more on the adrenaline that comes from still being alive after you're sure you're going to be dead, than any softer feelings between the couples. In fact, in the case of one couple it seemed to make it even more difficult for them to get along unless they were huddled under the blankets together by the fire.

Another thoroughly enjoyable story that was even better than the first. My main problem with the first book was that I took a long time for the story to truly get started, that wasn't a problem here. We're thrown into the action from page one with this book and I didn't feel like there were any slow bits through the book. Because Abercrombie had taken so much time setting everything and everyone up in the first book it wasn't necessary to include any boring background at all in this book. I can't wait to get my hands on the third book.