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Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of The First Law (First Law Stories Collection) by [Abercrombie, Joe]
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Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of The First Law (First Law Stories Collection) Kindle Edition

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Length: 384 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Product Description

The Union army may be full of bastards, but there's only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.

Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.

Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.

And 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, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . .

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.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 7543 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (26 April 2016)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group (AU)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B016IOF8OY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,192 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars 136 reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Say One Thing for Joe Abercrombie... 26 April 2016
By Ryan Collins - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
…say he’s a sharp end.

Joe Abercrombie, the self-styled “Lord Grimdark” took the fantasy world by storm in the mid-2000s with his First Law trilogy. Part epic fantasy, part satirical deconstruction of Lord of the Rings, and part black comedy, the trilogy introduced us to Abercrombie’s snarky, endearing, and at times utterly horrific menagerie of characters. It will make you laugh, it will make you blanch, and in the end it will leave you with complete emotional exhaustion.

The term “grimdark” is a tricky phrase. It means different things to different people. Abercrombie writes a dark world, true, but the moments of genuine beauty and the goodness that human beings are capable of shine through that much brighter for all the muck and grit that covers things. The Circle of the World is a place where being a good man or woman is very hard. But people still try. Sometimes they fair, sometimes they succeed, but the struggle is what makes you root for them. Words like “good” and “evil” often have no place as value judgments in Abercrombie’s world. To paraphrase Logen Ninefingers, sometimes it’s just a matter of where you’re standing.

In addition to the First Law trilogy, Abercrombie wrote three stand-alone novels set in the same world, bringing his unique Tolkien-meets-Tarantino flavor to the revenge story, war story, and frontier western genres. Sharp Ends is a collection of short stories that’s pans across his entire First Law timeline, the first coming before the beginning of The Blade Itself, and the last taking place after the end of Red Country. We see some old familiar faces, and are introduced to some new ones as well. These stories have the same combination of comedy, tragedy, violence, and brutality that makes Abercrombie’s other work so brilliant. The cast of characters is diverse, and real in such a profound way that I honestly don’t know how he manages to keep pumping them out.

Sharp Ends is the best fantasy collection that I’ve read since George R.R. Martin’s cross-genre anthology, Rogues (which also featured Abercrombie’s Nebula Award winning story, Tough Times All Over). In addition to Tough Times All Over I also have to praise A Beautiful Bastard, Made a Monster, and Some Desperado, though all of these stories are worth the price, and all of them have their own sharp ends…
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love the world of the First Law 3 May 2016
By Dennis E. Henley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Many of the stories in this book flesh out events from the First Law trilogy and stand-alone novels. Some appear to be "director's cut" additions. And others are stories that fill in the back story (the early days of Bethod and Nine Fingers, for example). The stories are violent, dark, and filled with laugh out loud bits. If you love the world of the First Law, this will add to your enjoyment. If you are a newcomer or are finding your way here from the Shattered Sea series, I'd recommend you start with the First Law trilogy and the stand-alone novels first.

For me, though, it was the Shev and Javre stories that are worth the price of admission. Joe Abercrombie has stated that Shev and Javre are his take on Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser, but they are not mere pastiche. They are wonderful characters. The stories are funny and fast-paced and it really is time for a Shev and Javre trilogy.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the majority of the stories in this book 17 June 2016
By Angie, When will those clouds all disappear? - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
I enjoyed the majority of the stories in this book. Some of them were better than others, and some of them I recognized from other, previous publications, like "Tough Times All Over," and "Some Desperado."

Some of the stories were better than others, which is always the case with anthologies. I'd been excited to read the first story, about Salem Rews and Sand dan Glokta several years before The Blade Itself was set. It turned out to be more of a snapshot than much of a story, though. It was clear that it was about to lead into the events that turned Glokta into the man he would become, but it wasn't about that. It was just a look at what kind of person Glokta was before. Interesting, but I wanted more.

I enjoyed the introduction of Whirrun of Bligh, before anyone knew much about him. He's a fun character, and the end of that story was one of those really perfect endings.

The story of Nicomo Cosca through rose colored glasses was amusing at first, but ultimately it didn't work for me. He was one of my favorite characters to read, throughout the series, one of the more complicated, interesting characters. Reading such a delusional, deceptive view of him was funny, at first, but then it quickly just became tiresome and I found myself bored.

My favorite stories were the ones about Shev and Javre. I felt he put most of his character development effort in there. There was humor and there was introspection, and everything about them was really enjoyable. Their friendship was the best thing about the book. My one complaint is the placement in the timeline of "Tough Times All Over," which didn't make a lot of sense to me. I felt that the events in "Three's a Crowd" would've worked much better if they'd come after "Tough Times All Over," chronologically. It almost looks like a mistake, although where Abercrombie is concerned I assume that what he does is usually intentional, so maybe he meant to show the lack of character development as a comment on their personal flaws. I'm not sure how I feel about it.

I would absolutely recommend this book to any fan of the First Law setting. I would not suggest it as an introduction to his work, though. Read some of the First Law books first, and then come to this if you enjoy that.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Didn't Know I Needed This Book 16 July 2016
By E. Tappero - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
But apparently I did. And it's pretty effing great, as usual. If you like Abercrombie's work, this collection is 100% worth a read. If you've never read anything by him, it's still worth a read - and would be quite a whirlwind introduction to a fantastic (but definitely adult) writer. Don't get hung up on the reviews that rate each story individually. Just read the darn thing and enjoy yourself.
4.0 out of 5 stars Somewhere Between 2½ and 5 Stars? 31 August 2016
By Doug Bowker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As a collection of stories this has its highs and lows. Some I really wondered exactly what was being brought to the table; others I loved every word of them! And let's just say it: This book is for already established fans, plain and simple. As a big Abercrombie fan I'm OK with that! How someone would take these stories on with no prior experience with the First Law world or characters, I'm not sure. The stories are at times uneven in there quality. Some seem like sketches for potential novels; others like leftover scenes from other novels (several of which I'd have loved to have inserted back in, if that were the case).

There are some stories that are bit like novelistic experiments, and others are essentially backstories (the last one most of all with a "true" glimpse as to exactly how dark the Bloody Nine of the "old days" was. This story worked and it didn't. Bethod is a character that definitely could use a good backstory, but this one seemed a little flat. I kept thinking I was hearing exposition rather than a real person's thoughts. All the scenes with Logan of course are great- the author "knows" this character inside and out, so that's no surprise..

There is a running series of stories concerning two woman, one an expert thief with supremely bad luck, the other a sort of super amazon warrior, that seems to beg for a novel of its own. It's jarring that the author jumps sometimes about 5 years or more between these women's story-line, although at times I believe the idea was the humorous aspect of these big leaps. In any case, both characters are intriguing and funny, and travel all around, so there's plenty to like.