Joe Abercrombie is one of our favourite authors, easy reading with humour and great characters and he definitely delivers on the ‘hard-edge’ to his stories. His books take pride of place in our collection. A must read.
Straight from Joe Abercrombie’s Website…
"Epic fantasy. It’s all the same, no?
There's a grumpy wizard, a deadly barbarian, a jumped-up nobleman and some feisty girl, more than likely. They're all engaged in a mysterious quest to bring that from there, and they're all made out of cardboard. Probably there's a dark lord of some kind involved. They talk like extras from a bad soap opera. They fight like extras from a bad cop show. Probably there's a prophecy, and a farmboy with mysterious parentage, and if not a magic tower, then certainly a strange tall building of some kind. There'll be battles, there'll be intrigue, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a magic sword came up somewhere along the way.
I don't need to read that again.
I want to read a fantasy with all the grit, and cruelty, and humour of real life. Where good and evil are a matter of where you stand, just like in the real world. I want dialogue that actually sounds like people talking, and action that actually feels like people fighting. I want magic and adventure, sure, but I want it to hurt. I want blood, sweat, and tears, and plenty of them. I want to read about characters as selfish, as flawed, as complicated, and as unpredictable as real people. I want a fantasy that can shock and surprise, amuse and horrify, delight and excite me, all at once.
I spent a long time looking, and I couldn't find a set of books quite like that. So I thought I'd write some.
You like your fantasy with the edges left on?
Try The First Law…"
The beautiful Subterranean Press signed/limited editions of the 'First Law' series:
For the initial trilogy Subterranean went with Alexander Preuss for the artwork, you may recall that Preuss also did the art for the stunning Centipede Press editions of ‘The Book of the New Sun’ by Gene Wolfe. However for the expansion novels, Raymond Swanland has been chosen, and we can’t find fault with either choice frankly.
Abercrombie, Joe - The Blade Itself
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian – leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.
Nobleman Captain Jezal dan Luthar, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.
Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.
Enter the wizard, Bayaz. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he's about to make the lives of Logen, Jezal, and Glotka a whole lot more difficult.
Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.
Abercrombie, Joe - Before They are Hanged
Superior Glokta has a problem. 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.
Northmen have spilled over the border of Angland and are spreading fire and death across the frozen country. Crown Prince Ladisla is poised to drive them back and win undying glory. There is only one problem – he commands the worst-armed, worst-trained, worst-led army in the world.
And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, is leading a party of bold adventurers on a perilous mission through the ruins of the past. The most hated woman in the South, the most feared man in the North, and the most selfish boy in the Union make a strange alliance, but a deadly one. They might even stand a chance of saving mankind from the Eaters. If they didn’t hate each other quite so much.
Ancient secrets will be uncovered. Bloody battles will be won and lost. Bitter enemies will be forgiven – but not before they are hanged.
Abercrombie, Joe - Last Argument of Kings
The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it's going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm, and there's only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy. It's past time for the Bloody-Nine to come home.
With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no one is safe, and no one can be trusted. His days with a sword are far behind him. It's a good thing blackmail, threats and torture still work well enough.
Jezal dan Luthar has decided that winning glory is far too painful, and turned his back on soldiering for a simple life with the woman he loves. But love can be painful too, and glory has a nasty habit of creeping up on a man when he least expects it.
While the King of the Union lies on his deathbead, the peasants revolt and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is falling across the very heart of the Union. The First of the Magi has a plan to save the world, as he always does. But there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, after all, than to break the First Law…
Abercrombie, Joe - Best Served Cold
“Revenge is a dish best served cold.”—Pierre Choderlos de Laclos.
Springtime in Styria. And that means war.
There have been nineteen years of blood. The ruthless Grand Duke Orso is locked in a vicious struggle with the squabbling League of Eight, and between them they have bled the land white. While armies march, heads roll, and cities burn, behind the scenes bankers, priests and older, darker powers play a deadly game to choose who will be king.
War may be hell, but for Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, the most feared and famous mercenary in Duke Orso's employ, it's a damn good way of making money too. Her victories have made her popular—a shade too popular for her employer's taste. Betrayed, thrown down a mountain and left for dead, Murcatto's reward is a broken body and a burning hunger for vengeance. Whatever the cost, seven men must die.
Her allies include Styria's least reliable drunkard, Styria's most treacherous poisoner, a massmurderer obsessed with numbers and a barbarian who just wants to do the right thing. Her enemies number the better half of the nation.
And that's all before the most dangerous man in the world is dispatched to hunt her down and finish the job Duke Orso started…
Springtime in Styria. And that means revenge.
Abercrombie, Joe - The Heroes
“Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes.” Bertolt Brecht
They say Black Dow’s killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbour, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they’ve brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.
Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honour on the battlefield. Obsessed with redemption and addicted to violence, he’s far past caring how much blood gets spilled in the attempt. Even if it’s his own.
Prince Calder isn’t interested in honour, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power, and he’ll tell any lie, use any trick, and betray any friend to get it. Just as long as he doesn’t have to fight for it himself.
Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins any more, he just wants to do the right thing. But can he even tell what that is with the world burning down around him?
Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts, or even the strongest arms that prevail…
Three men. One battle. No Heroes.
Abercrombie, Joe - Red Country
“Each land in the world produces its own men individually bad – and, in time, other bad men who kill them for the general good.” —Emerson Hough
They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.
Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.
Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer, Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust…
Abercrombie, Joe - Sharp Ends
Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law. For example:
“A Beautiful Bastard: The Union army may be full of bastards, but there’s only one big enough to think he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.
Made a Monster: After years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There’s only one obstacle left – his own lunatic champion.
Small Kindnesses: The hopes of Shevedieh, the best thief in Westport, to turn her back on crime, come crashing down when she finds a huge drunkard sleeping in her doorway. Doing the right thing always comes at a price…
The Fool Jobs: Curnden Craw has been sent with his dozen to recover a thing from beyond the Crinna. One small problem. No one seems to know what the thing is.
Skipping Town: Shevedieh and Javre, ill-matched adventurers, find themselves forced to flee yet another self-made disaster.
Gollancz - First Edition - Signed, lined 'Why do I do this?Why?', dated 04/05/06
Gollancz - First Edition - Signed, lined 'We should forgive our enemies, But not before they are hanged', dated 08/03/07
Gollancz - First Edition - Signed, lined 'The First Law: Book Three', dated 29/03/08
Gollancz - First Edition - Signed, 2009
Gollancz -First edition, first print, Signed, lined 'Too Old for this Shit', dated 28/01/11
Gollancz - First edition, first print, signed/limited, 2012
Gollancz - First edition, first print, signed/limited, 2016
Gollancz 10th Anniversary hardcover edition
A Little Hatred (The Age of Madness #1)
The chimneys of industry rise over Adua and the world seethes with new opportunities. But old scores run deep as ever.
On the blood-soaked borders of Angland, Leo dan Brock struggles to win fame on the battlefield, and defeat the marauding armies of Stour Nightfall. He hopes for help from the crown. But King Jezal's son, the feckless Prince Orso, is a man who specializes in disappointments.
Savine dan Glokta - socialite, investor, and daughter of the most feared man in the Union - plans to claw her way to the top of the slag-heap of society by any means necessary. But the slums boil over with a rage that all the money in the world cannot control.
The age of the machine dawns, but the age of magic refuses to die. With the help of the mad hillwoman Isern-i-Phail, Rikke struggles to control the blessing, or the curse, of the Long Eye. Glimpsing the future is one thing, but with the guiding hand of the First of the Magi still pulling the strings, changing it will be quite another…
First edition, first print, signed/limited, 2019
Abercrombie, Joe - Half a King
“I swore an oath to avenge the death of my father. I may be half a man, but I swore a whole oath.”
Prince Yarvi has vowed to regain a throne he never wanted. But first he must survive cruelty, chains, and the bitter waters of the Shattered Sea. And he must do it all with only one good hand.
The deceived will become the deceiver. Born a weakling in the eyes of his father, Yarvi is alone in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart rule. He cannot grip a shield or swing an axe, so he must sharpen his mind to a deadly edge.
The betrayed will become the betrayer. Gathering a strange fellowship of the outcast and the lost, he finds they can do more to help him become the man he needs to be than any court of nobles could.
Will the usurped become the usurper?. But even with loyal friends at his side, Yarvi finds his path may end as it began—in twists, and traps, and tragedy.
Subterranean Press - Signed/Limited Edition
Abercrombie, Joe - Half the World
Sometimes a girl is touched by mother war. Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.
Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior. Fate traps her in the schemes—and on the ship—of the deep-cunning minister Father Yarvi. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.
Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon. Beside her on her gruelling journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill. A failure in his eyes and hers, he has one chance at redemption.
And weapons are made for one purpose. Will Thorn forever be a tool in the hands of the powerful or can she carve her own path? Is there a place beyond legend for a woman with a blade?
Subterranean Press - Signed/Limited Edition
Abercrombie, Joe - Half a War
Words are weapons. Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright.
Only half a war is fought with swords. The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together an uneasy peace. But now the ruthless Grandmother Wexen has raised the greatest army since the elves made war on God, and put Bright Yilling at its head – a man who worships no god but Death.
Sometimes one must fight evil with evil. Some – like Thorn Bathu and the sword-bearer Raith – are born to fight, perhaps to die. Others – like Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver – would rather stand in the light. But when Mother War spreads her iron wings, she may cast the whole Shattered Sea into darkness.
Subterranean Press - Signed/Limited Edition
The Shattered Sea Trilogy:
First edition, first print, 2015, signed
First edition, first print, 2014, signed
First edition, first print, 2014, signed
The Age of Madness:
The Trouble with Peace (The Age of Madness #2) by Joe Abercrombie
Conspiracy. Betrayal. Rebellion.
Peace is just another kind of battlefield...
Savine dan Glokta, once Adua’s most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way.
For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye . . . before it kills her.
The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.
The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace, lasts forever.
First edition, first print, signed/limited, 2020
Dust jacket and interior illustrations by John Anthony Di Giovanni.
Welcome, readers, as the world of the First Law careers like an out of control mine cart into a dangerous new age. An age of money and machines, of pollution and corruption, of huge inequality and vast opportunity. An age…of madness.
A Little Hatred brings together everything you loved about the First Law—an irreverent attitude to the staples of fantasy, crunching action, merciless twists, a tight focus on vivid characters and a rich vein of dark humour—but seen through the lens of an industrial revolution.
This stunning edition is printed in two colors throughout, on 80# Finch,
Oversized, 7x10 trim size
With full-color wraparound dust jacket
Two full-color interior plates
Nine full-page interior black-and-white illustrations
Signed by Joe Abercrombie on a full-color signature page
Limited: 500 signed numbered hardcover copies
Many faces familiar from previous books lurk in the background, still pulling strings, hatching schemes and slitting throats thirty years on, but A Little Hatred and its sequels focusses on a new generation of characters as they struggle to win renown, settle scores, claw their way to the summit of the slag-heap of society, or simply survive.
Savine dan Glokta—daughter of the most feared man in the Union—has spun a web of favours, partnerships and blackmail and made herself one of the richest and most envied entrepreneurs in Adua. Her secret lover, Crown Prince Orso, crippled by expectation and the frustrations of a corrupt politics, struggles manfully to get out of bed. Leo dan Brock, the impetuous hero that men call the Young Lion, will finally get the opportunity he craves to win glory on the battlefield. Rikke thought herself cursed with fits, but as war comes to the North again she finds she might be blessed with the Long Eye—a vestige of magic in a world ever more dominated by the machine.
The fates of all four will become hopelessly entangled as fortunes rise, empires fall, and revolution threatens to turn the world upside down…
The Wisdom of Crowds (The Age of Madness #3) by Joe Abercrombie
Chaos. Fury. Destruction.
The Great Change is upon us . . .
Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: the Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.
With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies . . . while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.
The banks have fallen, the sun of the Union has been torn down, and in the darkness behind the scenes, the threads of the Weaver's ruthless plan are slowly being drawn together . .
First edition, first print, signed/limited, 2021