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The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
Cover Artist: Alexander Preuss
Subterranean Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781596063006
Date: 31 March 2010 List Price $60.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK /

From release/information:

Product Description: Epic fantasy. It's all the same, no?

There's a grumpy wizard, a deadly barbarian, a jumped-up nobleman and some feisty girl, more than likely. They're all engaged in a mysterious quest to bring that from there, and they're all made out of cardboard. Probably there's a dark lord of some kind involved. They talk like extras from a bad soap opera. They fight like extras from a bad cop show. Probably there's a prophecy, and a farmboy with mysterious parentage, and if not a magic tower, then certainly a strange tall building of some kind. There'll be battles, there'll be intrigue, and I wouldn't be at all surprised if a magic sword came up somewhere along the way.

I don't need to read that again.

I want to read a fantasy with all the grit, and cruelty, and humour of real life. Where good and evil are a matter of where you stand, just like in the real world. I want dialogue that actually sounds like people talking, and action that actually feels like people fighting. I want magic and adventure, sure, but I want it to hurt. I want blood, sweat, and tears, and plenty of them. I want to read about characters as selfish, as flawed, as complicated, and as unpredictable as real people. I want a fantasy that can shock and surprise, amuse and horrify, delight and excite me, all at once.

I spent a long time looking, and I couldn't find a set of books quite like that. So I thought I'd write some.

You like your fantasy with the edges left on? Try The First Law.

(Source: Subterranean)

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