Before They Are Hanged

Joe Abercrombie
trade edition paperback, fine (as new)


Reviewed: 2021-02-05
I love everything about this series. The characters are very interesting and unique, with my favorites being Glokta, Ninefingers, and Threetrees and co. The story is very deep, and I'm not sure how everything will wrap up in just one more novel, but I'm excited to get to it! This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series ever.
Reviewed: 2018-12-26
As far as books go, this one is really quite good. As far as sequels go, this sequel is triumphant. No, please,let me explain. I really feel this book could stand alone. A reader completely new to the story could enjoy the book in the way a Tarantino movie viewer can enjoy the plot unfolding backwards and forwards, at once. It's not quite that self contained but, again, it's quite close. I barely remembered the basic story from the first book when I started this one.
The dialog is fun, the various characters personalities are suitably varied--each based upon his or her background and experience, several characters experience character development, the flow from one character's perspective to another is natural.
If you're even half interested in reading this one then, by all means, do. The only downside I see is I probably don't have the next book, already.
Reviewed: 2018-01-25
Die Geschichten werden grösser, verwobener... Geheimnisse treten zu Tage und Intrigen führen zu mehr Mord und Totschlag.

Zweiter Teil der Trilogie, auch den hatte ich vergessen zu reviewen, daher vielleicht etwas kürzer gefasst.
Reviewed: 2016-12-15
Not as wonderful as that which precedes it, Before They Are Hanged still manages to be a great piece of Fantasy Fiction. This book relies on one of the great tropes of all writing, the old Throw'em together and they'll stick routine. Nevertheless, there's more than enough here to make for a cracking read.
Reviewed: 2016-07-30
Many middle instalments of a trilogy are let downs. They often feel like filler content just to get you to the end, cause no one has ever heard of a fantasy writer just doing two books. If it's more than one, it's either 3 or dozens. And the middle book is so often fails to stand alone. This is one of those books.

Though it is a pretty enjoyable read - if you like Abercrombie's cynical and ironic sense of humour - it's also kinda a let down. Half the main characters from the first book get sidelined into a journey to the end of the world, which is essentially a stalling tactic on Abercrombie's behalf. This means we spend lots of time with side characters, which in itself doesn't bother me too much. But it is a mistake many fantasy writers make, thinking that it's enjoyable to read about a long drawn out travel sequence across an entire book with little or (as in this case) no payoff. They get there and in the end it was all for nothing. So why did we bother?

What does happen in this book is that several characters change; their experiences help them to grow. It'll be interesting to see how this flows through to the 3rd novel of the series but here again there is an issue. For instance, after reading Jezal dan Luthar so closely in book 1, he's basically a side character in book 2. Yet his character fundamentally transforms throughout. That transformation would have been easier to accept as a reader if we'd spent a bit more time with him as a POV character.

My last gripe against the book is that it builds up to an excellent crescendo about halfway through, which it then fails to match throughout the rest. While it doesn't exactly peter out completely, it does seem to trail off a bit.

In spite of all that, book 2 has kept me invested in the series and keen to find out how it will all play out. I've already started on the Last Argument of Kings.
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@bas completed #beforetheyarehan... on 2019-06-16