Sharp Ends (First Law World #7)

Write on: Thu, 27 Jul 2017 by  in Guests Reviews Read 4492

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Sharp Ends, the ultimate collection of Tales from the World of First Law by Abercrombie’s, is a great dessert to provide insights and more info for most of the previously established characters. 

 Picture: My complete collection of Joe Abercrombie’s ‘The First Law’ series

There’s no way I’m missing any stories in the First Law world, it’s one of my favorite series of all time, especially the First Law trilogy.

Unlike most anthologies, there is a sense of structure here because it was done in a chronological order, with a new character, a female duo, Javre and Shev making appearances several times as if they’re the main characters.

I’m going to do a super mini spoiler-free review on each story.

A Beautiful Bastard (Kadir, Spring 566, nine years before the events in ‘The Blade Itself’)

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Told from Salem Lew’s POV, this is a wonderful short story to start off the anthology by letting us see a glimpse of Sand dan Glokta’s life before he became the torturer and the crippled we know. Some other characters from the series are also here in their much younger days, West, Tunny and Valimir specifically. I’m ranking this the second best short stories out of this anthology, I mean c’mon.. it’s our beloved torturer here!

Small Kindnesses (Westport, Autumn 573, two years before the events in ‘The Blade Itself’)

Rating: 4/5 Stars

The first story and encounter between Javre, the Lioness of Hoskopp and Shevedieh, the thief who tried to find redemption. This is the beginning of the duo I mentioned earlier, very well written and fun to read.

“Kindness always brings kindness in the long run.”

The Fool Jobs (East of the Crinna, Autumn 574, one year before the events in ‘The Blade Itself’)

Rating: 3/5 stars

A decent short story in a day of Curnden Craw, one of the main characters from ‘The Heroes’, together with his crew has been sent on a mission to recover a ‘thing’. It’s good to see the faces of Craw and his crew once again but there’s nothing worth remembering here other than that.

Skipping Town (The Near Country, Summer 575, same year with the events in ‘The Blade Itself’)

Rating: 3/5 stars 

Skipping Town is the second story featuring the female duo, Javre and Shev in another day of bad luck and disaster. Like the first short story, it was fun to read, filled with actions, but the problem this time is that it’s way too short.

Hell (Dagoska, Spring 576, same year with the events in ‘Before They Are Hanged’)

Rating: 3.5/5 stars 

I seriously didn’t expect to see Temple, one of the main characters in Red Country, in this story. ‘Hell’ is a short story that takes place in exactly the same event that happened in ‘Before They Are Hanged’, specifically on the siege of Dagoska. It’s a great addition to Temple’s character to see how hellish the siege was through his POV back when he was young.

Two’s Company (Somewhere in the North, Summer 576, same year with the events ‘Before They Are Hanged’) 

Rating: 4/5 stars

Picture: Two’s Company by Tommy Arnold

Third story from the female duo, hilarious AF, thoroughly enjoyed reading the encounter between the duo with Cracknut Whirrun.

Wrong Place, Wrong Time (Styria, 580, same year with the events in ‘Best Served Cold’) 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Looking at the repercussion of Monza’s vengeance in Styria through the perspective of three random people was a nice touch; the highlight of course is to see a bit of Bremer dan Gorst here.

Some Desperado (The Near Country, Summer 584, same year with the events in ‘The Heroes’) 

Rating: 1.5/5 stars

Meh.. just meh.. I hate Western stories. Shy South, the most boring main character Abercrombie ever wrote is once again the main character here, I sincerely hope in the future Abercrombie doesn’t visit this setting or characters in the Western side anymore.

Yesterday, (Near Barden, Autumn 584, same year with the events in ‘The Heroes’)

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Taking place closely before the war that happened in ‘The Heroes’, once again Abercrombie did a great job in showing a mini skirmish and what the effect war does to both sides. Also, a little insight into Gorst’s personality is always a plus in my book.

Three’s a Crowd (Talins, autumn 587, three years after the events in ‘The Heroes’)

Rating: 4/5 stars

The fourth story featuring Javre and Shev and this time, it took a different approach from their previous stories. The previous three stories were all hilarious and fun to read, this time we finally get the emotional factors in which how the duo’s feeling are explored after their journey for the past 14 years. Also, this story can be said as a little epilogue to ‘Best Served Cold’ and we get to see some of the familiar faces from the standalone trilogies making an appearance here.

Freedom (Averstock, Summer 590, same years with the events in ‘Red Country) 

Rating: 3/5 stars

Great prose and experiment in Abercrombie’s storytelling direction. However, can’t bring myself to care about the plot, which is a retelling of Averstock liberation in full propaganda and exaggeration about Nicomo Cosca.

Tough Times All Over (Sipani, Spring 592, two years after the events in ‘Red Country’) 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

Chronologically, this is the farthest story ever done in the Tales from the First Law world. The fifth and last story featuring the female duo. It happened two years after the end of Red Country in Sipani. Beautiful flow to the story with Abercrombie's trademark consecutive shifting POV's but it's also a bit anticlimactic to Javre and Shev's story.

Made a Monster (Carleon, Summer 570, five years before the events in ‘The Blade Itself’)

Rating: 5/5 stars

Told from Bethod’s POV about his relationship with Logen and how he tried to gain peace. Exceptional story to close the anthology, definitely the best one out of this anthology in my opinion, it’s thrilling, bittersweet, gory and imbued with some beloved catchphrases by Logen Ninefingers/The Bloody Nine, exactly how a short story should be written, enough said.

“Within reach of his hand, the Bloody-Nine was master”

Sharp Ends: 46/65 Stars

Like all anthologies, there will be some bad one, good and great one, even this is not an exception. I still can’t believe that I won’t have any more books from this world to read until maybe 2019. I’ve read every book Abercrombie has written for the past ten years in The First Law world in less than a year, and other than this anthology, none of the other six full novel received less than 4 stars from me, not to mention that four of them are in my favorite shelves. A must read for all The First Law series and Abercrombie's fans. Until the new trilogy surfaced, here’s one last philosophical quote to end my journey so far in The First Law series.

“But it is easy to speak of the past, impossible to go there.”

Last modified on Thursday, 27 July 2017 16:58

Petrik has been a gamer and reader since he was 5 years old. Not once did he thought back then that these two passion of his will last a lifetime, turns out they will. His favorite genres are Adult Epic Fantasy, High Fantasy, Grimdark and Sci-Fi.