Before They Are Hanged
“We should forgive our enemies, but not 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.
“Nobody writes grittier heroic fantasy that Joe Abercrombie, and the second book in his The First Law series just proves the point in spades… When Abercrombie’s characters ride for glory, you might as well be there with them, he does such a good job of putting the reader in the scene. Immediate, daring, and utterly entertaining, this second book provides evidence that Abercrombie is headed for superstar status.”
—Jeff VanderMeer, Realms of Fantasy