|The Blade Itself, Before They are Hanged and Last Argument Of Kings are all part of the First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Previously I'd read a couple of stand along novels set in the same universe but I finally had a chance to jump into this trilogy and I was not disappointed.|
This is a fantastic grim and gritty fantasy series. There are a lot of memorable characters in these books including a couple of my favourites the northern beserker Logan Ninefingers and Inquisitor Glotka. None of the characters that you encounter in these novels are purely altruistic or purely evil.
The first book starts off with the Magus Bayaz putting together a group of adventurers to go off on a quest including Logan Ninefingers, the vain fencer Jezal dan Luthar among others. While this sounds like a typical fantasy setup Abercrombie eschews the normal traps of epic fantasy.
The three books are a long read but well worth it especially if you like you fantasy novels to be more like George R R Martin instead of J R R Tolkien.