Adult · Joe Abercrombie · The First Law Trilogy

Before They Are Hanged (First Law Trilogy #2) by Joe Abercrombie



Before They Are Hanged takes place where The Blade Itself ended and continues this amazingly engrossing story.

There is a lot going on in this book all over the world. In the North, Logen’s friends including Threetrees, Dogman, Dow, and Tul Duru meet up with the Union under the watchful eye of Colonel West in order to help them out in their war against Bethod. West also has to “babysit” crown Prince Ladisla and his forces and make sure the ignorant prince doesn’t get himself killed.

In the South, Glokta travels to a city called Dagoska, which is being attacked by Bethod’s forces, in order to figure out what happened to his predecessor who appears to have disappeared without a trace.

At the end of the world, we follow Bayaz, Quai, Logen, Jezzal, and Ferro on their mission to find the Seed and hopefully save the world, while attempting to become friends in order to survive.

The plot is rather mysterious and unpredictable in this series and, for a middle book, the plot moves along at a great pace and was never slow or uninteresting. Every character’s story was incredibly engaging and I had a very hard time putting the book down. There is always something going on and the character’s themselves are what actually make this such a great story. This is a middle book; however, so the story arcs are not at all concluded and you must read the final book in order to finish the story.


The relationship between Logen and Ferro was one of the most interesting aspects of the book. I loved watching their friendship develop and can’t wait to see where it goes. They are just complete opposites and I definitely did not expect them to like each other at all.

Jezal finally gets whats coming to him and it changes him for the better. He is the one character so far that has had such a drastic change. I am so glad that I don’t have to listen to him whine and complain anymore. Jezal was such a selfish little brat and I must say that I like him much better now. I suppose his character change could have developed a little more slowly instead of all at once, but I am glad for it anyway.

I adored reading about Glokta because he is such an interesting character and now we are starting to see a more caring side to him. He even goes as far as risking his life to save someone. This was an unexpected development to his character, but intriguing nonetheless. The problem he has to work out in Dagoska was also highly entertaining because I wasn’t sure who was behind it and it was fun trying to figure it out.

West also goes through quite a change and I found his story to be really interesting. There was a moment in the book that quite surprised me because I couldn’t believe he would do such a thing! This event is definitely having an affect on him and I can’t wait to see more of West in the final book.

Prince Ladisla has quite a role in this book, but I cannot stand him! He is incredibly ignorant, annoying, and just an all around horrible person. I’m glad he got what he deserved!

The characters are what really drive this story and all of their arcs are very entertaining. I keep reading this series just because I want to know where they all end up; I care little for the world itself. The character development in this book is just extraordinary.

Overall Thoughts

This is a great continuation of the story and is even more exciting, interesting, and unpredictable than the first book. The plot moves at a wonderful pace and is moved slightly forward. I can’t wait to find out how the series ends and what happens to all the characters I have come to love or hate. Oh! There are also tons of battles all of which are gory, violent, and exciting! Abercrombie really knows how to write his battle scenes! If you enjoyed the first book in the series than don’t hesitate to start reading this one!

My Rating: 5/5 stars!

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