Hello everyone, I’m your favorite Ewan and I’m back after a while with a new fantasy book review. High fantasy, actually, one of those books with knights, damsels, wizards and warriors. A book that comes directly from the UK and I have read in its original language because, even if it was written in 2006, nobody translated it in Italian yet, nor this is going to happen anytime soon.
Actually, let me tell you something before I get started. Something about the Post Fantasy Series Conclusion Disorder. It’s really hard to say goodbye to a fantasy series, but it happens. Books are not soap operas (at least not all of them) and they come to a conclusion, sooner or later. It can be an everlasting goodbye, an everlasting-but-wait-I-may-write-a-spin-off-novel goodbye, or even a see-you-to-the-next-novel-I-am-going-to-publish-in-2017 kind of goodbye. Yes, I’m talking about George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, my latest literary fetish that recently came to a ‘conclusion’ with A Dance with Dragons, much to my despair.
The same happened to me in the past with Harry Potter, but this time I’ve learned from my mistakes.
So, what do you do when you read the last book of your favorite series? You read something similar.
What I needed to overcome the loss of Martin’s series was a fantasy novel with realistic elements and a very epic story, with grey and ambiguous morality and imperfect heroes. Oh, yes, and violent as shit. You don’t find something like that in Italy so easily, believe me.
After some research I discovered Joe Abercrombie, a British writer whose first novel, The Blade Itself, book number one of The First Law Trilogy, looked very much like what I was looking for.
Let’s see then if The Blade Itself was a good replacement for Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, or turned out to be a disappointment.
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