Especially with such unsightly wounds

George R. R. Martin has set a new standard for me in fantasy, but Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series still holds up pretty well. Before They Are Hanged continues in the same direction as The Blade Itself, with smart and somewhat satirical sword and sorcery. It’s entertaining, and it’s not stupid. I like it.

I avoided fantasy for years after a Robert Jordan binge in the 90’s, and I’m still suspicious enough to put down a novel at even the first sign of epic elves, but I’m a fantasy reader at heart, and I’ll always be a sucker for a barbarian swordfight. Of which there are many here.

Speaking of Robert Jordan, one fantasy novel I didn’t finish reading recently was Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It was bad and generic. Then I learned that he’s been hired to finish the Wheel of Time series, after Jordan died two years ago. Which means that the next time I reach for a Wheel of Time novel will be if I am in sudden need of a blunt, heavy object with which to strike an intruder in the head.

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