In a network of lines that enlace

20-something Londoner with a tendency toward book ranting.

Too much character, not enough plot

Before They Are Hanged - Joe Abercrombie

I did enjoy the second instalment of The First Law trilogy. Joe Abercrombie is a fantastic writer, and his characters are marvellous. In the second of the series, we follow three very distinct strands: Glokta’s struggles against the Gurnish, West’s fight in the north, and Ninefinger’s grudging quest following the first of the Magi. We learn so much about all of the main characters; Luthar learns about himself and the value of trusting others (a mace in the face will do that to a person), Ninefingers and Ferro try and fail to build a relationship and West…kills the prince. Which, I have to admit, I was not expecting.


We also learn more about the pasts of each character; and why they could be important in the future. But this is where the book falls down. Other than a lot of interesting character exploration, nothing else actually happens. The plot does not develop at all, and by the end of the book you have no idea where it’s going. It could have been half the length that it is, and still contain the same information. There are a lot of battle scenes padding this out.


I will be reading the last in the series; I’m still interested in seeing where it’s going. But after the first book, this was somewhat of a disappointment.

Currently reading

Dangerous Women
George R.R. Martin, Gardner Dozois
Progress: 201/800 pages