Read Sharp Ends by Joe Abercrombie Online

sharp-ends

Sharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.The Union army may be full of bastards, butSharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie. Violence explodes, treachery abounds, and the words are as deadly as the weapons in this rogue's gallery of side-shows, back-stories, and sharp endings from the world of the First Law.The Union army may be full of bastards, but there's only one who thinks he can save the day single-handed when the Gurkish come calling: the incomparable Colonel Sand dan Glokta.Curnden Craw and his dozen are out to recover a mysterious item from beyond the Crinna. Only one small problem: no one seems to know what the item is.Shevedieh, the self-styled best thief in Styria, lurches from disaster to catastrophe alongside her best friend and greatest enemy, Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp.And after years of bloodshed, the idealistic chieftain Bethod is desperate to bring peace to the North. There's only one obstacle left - his own lunatic champion, the most feared man in the North: the Bloody-Nine . . ....

Title : Sharp Ends
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780316390811
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 304 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Sharp Ends Reviews

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-05-26 05:32

    This was a great collection of twisted short stories. It’s Abercrombie at his best. I’ve reviewed each one individually: A Beautiful Bastard- 5/5-I feel like I’ve been waiting for this story for a long time. If you’ve readThe First Law Trilogythen you’ll know what an ugly bastard Glockta is. He was captured by the enemy and tortured to the point of ruination. As a result, he reaps vengeance on the world, but still serves his country. This story is a glimpse of the Glockta we often hear about; it is a few pages about the man before he was destroyed, and it was delightful. We hear what Glockta has lost, but to see it is another thing entirely. In his youth he was spectacular. He was a war-hero and a natural leader; he was man full of shinning potential: “But Glockta was an utter bastard. A beautiful, spiteful, masterful, horrible bastard, simultaneously the best and worse man in the union. He was a tower of self-centred self-obsession. An impenetrable fortress of arrogance……"So he’s lost so much, but his ability to trudge through the mud, through the piss and shit of life, speaks a great deal about his character. This was the best story in here, and probably the best sixteen pages Abercrombie has written. Well, at least for me. This book is worth a purchase for this story alone. Small Kindnesses- 4/5-This was a fairly good one; it focuses on a desperate thief trying to survive in this cut-throat world. She gets royally fucked over, but a kindness she did saved her life. This is no glorious deed, an act of selfless sacrifice, but a moment of pity for a fellow survivor. It comes back on her at just the right moment, and, Abercrombie again, demonstrates how brutal his characters can be. This is no fun swords and sorcery, but cold bitter grim-dark in all its gruesomeness. The Fool Jobs- 2/5-This was very much standard fair. A few warriors engage in some banter then they go kill some people. That’s pretty much it.Skipping Town-4/5- I’m really starting to like Javre; she’d be perfect for the bloody-nine: “The Lioness of Hocksopp never uses the back door! “She appeared in Small Kindnesses and this is the sequel to that story. I really enjoyed this story, a tough female warrior is being haunted by her past; she has left some ancient religious order/ warrior culture and is being hunted for her abandonment. It’s a fun read, but I can’t help but feel that this character is worthy of her own novel.Hell- 4/5- A city under siege is a terrible place: it is hell. For Temple, Dagoska has always been his home. Now it’s a death trap. And the best thing about this story is seeing it from a fresh perspective. For those of you that don’t know, this siege happened duringBefore They Were Hangedand it was brutal. Only the brilliance of Glockta got them through it, and now we get to see the full effects of it on those that live there.Two’s Company-4/5- This was funny, ironic and very, very, witty. Everything I like bout Abercrombie’s style is in this one. He makes a rivalry between two warriors, one of them Javre again, terribly humorous. He essentially repeated the same situation twice, and in doing so showed the silly nature of this world. Everyone has enemies, sometimes it’s a good idea to team up with them and kill bigger enemies. Wrong Place, Wrong Time-3/5-A whole lot of shit has gone down during the course of Abercrombie’s novels, and this story is a glimpse of its effects on the little man. It really isn’t a good place to be for the physically weak. Some Desperado- 4/5-This is an action packed story that is, in essence, an encounter between an outlaw and some bounty hunters. This is told from the point of view of Shy, one of the main characters of Red Country. The events of this short story appear to have happened before Red Country by her mention of Lamb as a coward, which we know is far from true. He was just holding in a demonic rage.Yesterday Near a Village Called Barden- 3/5- This, again, showed the effects of war on the little man. And whist it did depict a few familiar characters, it didn’t have a great deal going for it. Three’s a Crowd-3/5- You can only push someone so far, this was a severe case of poetic justice….. Freedom- 2/5- Abercrombie clearly had fun writing this, but I sure didn’t have fun reading it. It’s the weakest one in here, but that’s just because I hate Nicoma Cosca.Tough Times All Over- 4/5- This is a very amusing tale that doesn’t showcase one rogue but around twelve. We see a mysterious package change hands as each subsequent owner is swindled, robbed, mugged and distorted for it. This takes place in Sippani one of the cities ruled by the Snake of Talins, the protagonist of Best Served Cold. The author included a couple of familiar faces from his previous books who personify the meaning of Rogue.Made a Monster-4/5-This was very revealing. We hear a lot about King Behtod from Logen’s perspective, we hear of a man who betrayed his most loyal dog, but we never hear the full truth of it. Logen is a mad man, there’s no other way to describe his actions. He is a blood-letter, a man made to create death. He destroys Bethod’s peace for no reason, and plunges the North back into war. If I was King, I’d want him dead too. He is too dangerous, too explosive, to have at your side. Logen is far from the victim in all of this. Bethod woke him into the bloody haze of battle-fury, but Logen’s the one who refuses to wake up from it. ^This guy (Manu Bennet) would make the perfect Bloody-nine!This was a great reminder of Abercrombie style, this, along with the rest of the first law world books, are so much better than his recentShattered Sea trilogy.

  • Petrik
    2019-05-30 01:50

    Buddy read with the lovely one, Sarah3.5/5 StarsSharp 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’ seriesThere’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’)4.5/5 starsTold 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’)4/5 StarsThe 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’)3/5 starsA 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’)3/5 starsSkipping 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’)3.5/5 starsI 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 in ‘Before They Are Hanged’)4/5 starsPicture: Two’s Company by Tommy ArnoldThe 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’)3.5/5 starsLooking 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’)1.5/5 starsMeh.. 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 on the Western side anymore.Yesterday, (Near Barden, Autumn 584, same year with the events in ‘The Heroes’)3.5/5 starsTaking place closely before the war that happened in ‘The Heroes’, once again Abercrombie did a great job in showing what the effect of 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’)4/5 starsThe 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 stand alone trilogies making an appearance here.Freedom (Averstock, Summer 590, same years with the events in ‘Red Country)3/5 starsGreat prose and experiment in Abercrombie’s storytelling direction. However, can’t bring me 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’)3.5/5 starsChronologically, 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’)5/5 starsTold 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 StarsLike all anthologies, there will be some bad one, good and great one, there's no exception here. However, it doesn't change the fact that this is a must read for all The First Law series and Abercrombie's fans. 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 novels received less than 4 stars from me, not to mention that four of them are in my favorite shelves. 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.”You can find this and the rest of my Adult Epic/High Fantasy & Sci-Fi reviews at BookNest

  • ☽Luna☾
    2019-06-18 05:33

    4/5Buddy read with my lovely friend; PetrikSo my phone kinda deleted all the notes I had written down to write this review. Clearly the world hates me right now.Also I see a lot of people starting their First Law journey with this Anthology or one of the standalones.. Why do they do this? Please read the series in order so you actually know what's going on.I'm going to do my review a little differently then I was going to: All novellas in this book apart from Made a Monster, gets a solid rating of four stars. I really enjoyed all stories in this book, except for Hell & Some Desperado, both of them novellas were shit as fuck. Seriously they both get a 0, especially Some Desperado, I think Shy South is my most loathed female character ever... Except Monza of course, she's on her own level of hate.My rating for Made a Monster is 100/5.I was only here for this story and it did not disappoint. The Bloody Nine is a rude prick but his my rude prick and I love him with every inch of my black heart, like I'm prepared to carve his name into my face. (Well maybe not.. but I love him a lot) one of my ultimate fictional characters, some nights I lay awake wishing I was him. When I get into confrontations in real life I think to myself "what would Logen do?" The answer is simple.. He would bite someone's nose off then headbutt them until there was nothing left except a whole bunch of brain splatter and gore... I love my psychotic angel baby 😍. One day I hope to achieve my own list of bloody murders just like The Bloody Nine.Say one thing for Logen, say he is the ultimate character that goes into berserker mode... Because you gotta be realistic about these things.Ps. Hopefully I can find my real notes and write the actual review I wanted.Pss. If I don't, thats cool too. I don't really care because I feel this review is sufficient enough.

  • Conor
    2019-06-02 22:34

    I remember reading one of my friends' reviews for a short story collection where they updated the review as they read each story. Seems like a cool format and I good way to keep track of each story, so here we are. A Beautiful Bastard: 5 Stars.Really strong short story. The malicious "practice sessions" led by Glokta and cheered on by his sycophants while a military campaign was conducted (poorly) in the background created a real sense of unease and tension. The characters really stole the show however as Abercrombie once again displayed his genius at characterization. It was really interesting to see the cynical cripple Glokta I had become familiar with from The First Law as he had been before his torture: a charismatic lothario, master swordsman and massive knobhead. His conducting of the bloodthirsty circus around the duels made for compelling reading. Tunny from The Heroes also had a very interesting cameo that gave an interesting look at the formation of his character. I was also extremely happy to see West make an appearance. He was one of my favourite characters in The First Law (view spoiler)[ And I was bitterly disappointed at his seemingly unnecessary death at the end of the series(hide spoiler)] and he had a really strong turn here, especially in how his honour and integrity contrasted to dramatically to the vicious spectators at the duel and his sparring with Glokta made for some really tense scenes.Small Kindnesses: 3.5 Stars. Enjoyable story and Shev a funny and likeable main character. The thievery mission was pretty cool and the confrontation at the end was great. Javre, the deadly and mysterious warrior, Carcolf the charming rogue and Mason the reluctant gang enforcer stood out as really strong secondary characters. The Fool Jobs: 3.5 Stars. Read this one before actually. A fun read. It did a nice job of establishing Curnden Craw and his crew from The Heroes. Not really necessary as they're set up very well in that book (the prologue was awesome) but cool if you're a fan. The development of Cracknut Whirrun (who was a standout character in The Heroes) and his relationship with the rest of the band throughout the story was probably the highlight.Skipping Town: 3 StarsThe return of Shev and Javre. Plenty of action and sharp dialogue plus some background on Javre. Didn't really add much to the collection though.Hell: 2 Stars.Some backstory on Temple from Red Country set amidst the events of Before They Are Hanged. Didn't much care about Temple in Red Country and didn't really care here either. Also thought the sacrifice of the priest was really wrung out for all the drama it was worth.Two's company: 4 Stars. Shev and Javre seem to be the thread holding this collection together with their frequent appearances. This was another fun short story that was made all the better by the appearance of none other than Cracknut Whirrun. His sparring with Javre made for some really amusing scenes, Shev provide top bantz as the narrator and there was yet more exciting action.Wrong Place, Wrong time: 3 Stars. This short story in this collection of short stories was itself a collection of 3 short stories. Are you still following me? Feel free to read over that sentence a few times to wrap your head around it. Anyway these stories depicted the lives of 3 average people caught in the crossfire of Monza's revenge in Best Served Cold. Had the latter portions of that book not already driven the horror's inflicted on the world by Monza's quest for revenge then this would have been a far more impactful and shocking read. As it is it is (the fuck did I just type) just an awkward, belated addition to a beautifully handled story arc (in Best Served Cold the reader gradually goes from excited that the "hero" is taking her revenge, to uneasy at how it is being accomplished, to horrified as the brutal realities of the situation became apparent).Some Desperado: 3 Stars. Backstory on Shy from Red Country. As with Temple in his story I didn't care much for the character in that book and I still don't care much here. Shy is really just another iteration of Abercrombie's beloved "tough, stubborn warrior woman" trope that is so jarringly inconsistent with his otherwise gritty, realistic world. Shy's best parts in Red Country revolved around her developing (or unraveling) relationship with "Lamb" who wasn't present here.Yesterday, near a village called Barden: 5 Stars. A slice of what made The Heroes one of my all-time favourite reads. Abercrombie has a genius for depicting both sides of a war in a sympathetic and engaging manner. One of my favourite characters from The Heroes, Bremer, also had a great turn here. Overall this was a brilliantly written tale that showed both sides of the build-up to a raid and told a tense, compelling story filled with stupidity, genius, cowardice, heroism and dumb luck.Three’s a Crowd: 5 Stars. ‘Got himself demoted again,’ said Forest. ‘Over a goose and a whore, would you believe.’‘She was worth it,’ said Tunny. ‘And the whore wasn’t bad, either. The strongest Shev/Javre story in the collection. This one takes place much later on than the others and a lot has apparently happened in that time. The other stories following this duo were fun and exciting but lacked any real depth. This story however really delves into the relationships between Javre and Shev and Shev and Carcolf (the enigmantic con-woman who makes her return after appearing previously in the first story). We see how Shev and Javre had drifted apart over the years but how deep their ties of friendship still run. Shev's relationship with Carcolf was also brilliantly written. The last scene, where Shev comes to realize Carcolf has been lying to her and manipulating her all along, was really powerful with a great ending. Also as you saw in the quote above Tunny and friends have a brief, and hilarious camo.Freedom!: 3 Stars.What can my unworthy pen set down upon the subject of that great heart, that good friend, that magnificent presence, that dauntless explorer, proud statesman, peerless swordsman, accomplished lover, occasional sea captain, amateur sculptor of renown, noted connoisseur, champion short-distance swimmer and warrior poet, the famous soldier of fortune, Nicomo Cosca? This was a short story presented as the (dramatic and flamboyant) account written by a historian of one of Nicomo Cosca's campaign. It was amusing in places, and Cosca's post script at the end provided a beautiful punch-line but the style definitely dragged, even with the short length of the piece. I'm pretty sure the events covered were actually part of Temple's story in Red Country but I've forgotten that whole section. Had I remembered it better this account might have been more interesting.Tough Times All Over: 3 Stars.This was a short story with an interesting concept as we followed a package through the perspective of the people who received it/stole it/killed for it in turn. However the lack of time to develop any of the characters ultimately limited the story. Shev, Jevediah and Carcolf returned but both were very disappointing. After the drama and revelation in their previous story it was jarring to see them all return almost exactly to their previous roles. I honestly had to double check that this story was chronological as it would have made far more sense before their last story. (view spoiler)[ I was especially disappointed as I had hoped that Shev walking out on Carcolf would force Carcolf to come to terms with the way she had been treating Shev and thus be a major force for development in their relationship, but it's pretty much as you were. I was also hoping that we'd get to see Shev chase after Javre to help her with her mission and in doing so they'd have the opportunity to realize how important their friendship is. But that was either skipped or didn't happen.(hide spoiler)] The highlight of this story was easily a quick POV from Friendly, everyone's favourite the anti-social mathematical savant and enforcer. I also liked the brief POV of the pickpocket girl. Would like to see more from her.Made A Monster: 4 Stars.This short story provided an insight into the relationship between Logen and Bethod. Like "Wrong place, wrong time" this story would have been an incredible revelation except it's central thrust (that Logen, or at least his alter-ego the Bloody Nine is actually a massive dickhead) was already covered pretty thoroughly in the last book of the trilogy. Bethod's conversation with his young sons and wife were really nicely done, they really developed Bethod as a sympathetic character while outlining his plans for the North.

  • Jokoloyo
    2019-06-03 23:42

    This is a book about Shev and Javre, plus nostalgic episodes from other stories in First Law Universe.I think this book is mainly for telling the hilarious stories of Shev and Javre, but because the length is not long enough for novel length book, then book added some chapters of previous First Law stories. The additions have various quality but mainly are for comic relief or showing some characterization of a few characters. My personal favorites of course the appearance of Corporal Tunny.Maybe Shev and Javre are prepared by the author on this novel for their appearance on next First Law novel(s). I can only hope, but usually my hope is destroyed by an unexpected surprise. We'll see.PS: After reading Shev & Javre stories, I am encouraged to try other partners stories with different sexual orientation, like Savage Season.

  • Athena Shardbearer
    2019-06-05 00:40

    I NEED MORE GLOKTA!!!!!

  • Mogsy (MMOGC)
    2019-06-03 06:54

    3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2016/04/25/...The full title of this anthology is actually Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law, so fans of Joe Abercrombie’s novels set in this universe should be in for a treat. All thirteen tales in here are set in the Circle of the World, spanning a period that starts about a decade before the beginning of The Blade Itself and ends a few years after Red Country, and some feature locations and characters that have appeared before in his novels. Most of the stories in here have also been previously published in other places, but here they all are for the first time, collected together in this neat and convenient little package, along with some new content besides.I must confess here though, that these types of anthologies aren’t typically in my scope but of course I had to make an exception for Sharp Ends because Abercrombie is one of my favorite authors! When I pick up a collection of short stories, I usually go for those that are made up of standalones and original tales rather than the ones containing shorts/novellas which tie into an existing series’ “universe”. In general, if I’m going to spend time with characters I already know and in worlds I love, I want my stories with a bit more meat. This, I believe, was my main issue with Sharp Ends. Even though I’ve read all of Abercrombie’s novels, which should have put me in a pretty good position to appreciate this anthology (whose stories are all new to me), I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected. The truth was many of the stories in here left me feeling like there should have been more to them.To its credit, I really enjoyed how the book was structured, with the stories more or less organized chronologically, so that all together they created something very close to a narrative. If it’s possible for this anthology to have “main protagonists”, they would most definitely be Shevedieh and Javre, the thief-and-warrior duo who star in many of the stories and when they do they’re always the highlights. Their escapades, chronicled in tales such as “Small Kindnesses”, “Skipping Town”, “Two’s Company”, “Three’s a Crowd” and “Tough Times All Over”, create a kind of thread to hold on to as other stories are interspersed throughout the anthology. The two of them are a lot of fun to read about. My favorite is “Two’s Company”, a free short that was originally published at Tor.com featuring our two heroines trekking through the barren north and encountering the Northman Cracknut Whirrun in the middle of a narrow rope bridge. This one’s got everything—action, violence, humor, sex, you name it—and I was not surprised to find out afterwards that Abercrombie had meant for this story to form the spine around which all the other stories are arranged.With the exception of “Two’s Company” though, none of the other tales really resonated with me on their own. Individually, I don’t think the rest of Shev and Javre’s stories would have jumped out at me either, and only when the five were taken together did they make an impression because I was able to form a connection with the two characters as soon as I determined them to be the heart of this anthology. From their first meeting to their final story together more than a dozen years later, their relationship has weathered through countless adventures, challenges and hardships. In the end, it was a very beautiful and heartfelt moment to see how the two friends have come to be where they are and how they’ve been good for each other.Alas, other tales were not so memorable, and there were more of these than I would have liked. Just days after finishing this book, I could barely remember much of what happened in “The Fool Jobs” and “Hell”, for example, and there were stories like “Freedom” or “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” which were interesting but ended in a way that I felt were neither here nor there. Most disappointing were the stories that featured some of my favorite characters in the First Law world, like Sand dan Glokta (in “A Beautiful Bastard”), and of course Shy, who was the protagonist of my favorite Joe Abercrombie book ever, Red Country. I was probably most let down by her story “Some Desperado” especially since it was the one I was most looking forward to, but unfortunately it lacked substance and I just didn’t find it all that compelling.Still, I have to stress that the majority of the stories in here were decent to good. Among my other favorites were “Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden” and the unsettling closer “Made a Monster”. Like I said, I’m not an experienced anthology reader so my mixed feelings on this book ultimately came down to personal taste and my too-high expectations because it was Joe A. In fact, reading this book only managed to further sharpen my desire to read another full-length Abercrombie novel (perhaps, even one about the dynamic duo of Shev and Javre? One can dream, I guess…)Because it would also help immensely to have a bit of knowledge about this world before diving into Sharp Ends, newcomers to Abercrombie’s work will probably want to start with the novels as well, and a great place for that would be the First Law trilogy which I highly recommend. But for those who are already familiar with all those books, if you’re also the type of reader who enjoys checking out all the novellas and/or short stories that are companion to a favorite series, then you’ll definitely love this collection and want it to complete your bookshelf.

  • José
    2019-05-28 01:50

    (Actualización: la colección ya está disponible en español y se titula Filos mortales).Reseña de todas las historias y de la colección en general en mi blog: Click aquí.One of my most anticipated reads of 2016 and it didn't disappoint! Joe Abercrombie returns to his dark, brutal and gritty world with thirteen stories that revisit some key moments narrated in his different books, providing detailed background for our old favourites characters: Logen Ninefingers, Glokta, Temple, Shy South, Curnden Craw, Nicomo Cosca, Bremer dan Gorst and more. But this is much more than a book that provides "fan service" to Abercrombie's acolytes like me because there are five stories that introduced some new (and extremely awesome) characters that will surely play an important role in the second First Law trilogy that Joe's already working on. If you want to read a brutal story with well rounded characters, then Abercrombie is your pick; there isn't another fantasy author that can write and develop so many different (and despicable) characters and make every single one of them interesting and believable. If you are easily offended with violence, then don't read it because Joe is one sick motherfuck*r that writes shocking stories full of dark humour and violence.Just a little warning: even though Goodreads lists this book as a standalone novel, I highly recommend to follow the publication order of Abercrombie's works because several of the stories of this collection contain glimpses and references to key events of his previous books, making them a hundred times more enjoyable. My ratings and brief a comment for each story:A Beautiful Bastard - ★★★★: awesome story in which we get to know Sand dan Glokta before his ehm... accident. He is so different from the cynic inquisitor we get to know in The First Law trilogy, and knowing how his encounter with the Gurkish ended up, it is impossible not to pity him.Small Kindness - ★★★★: the story that introduced Javre and Shevedieh. It's really funny and an awesome presentation for the new characters of this collection.The Fools Job - ★★★★: Curnden Craw and his crew has to recover some magical thingy, the problem is that they don't know how the fuck the thingy looks like. Craw was one of my favourite characters from The Heroes, and seeing him teamed up again with Cracknut Whirrum mutilating people was excellent.Skipping Town - ★★★: the second story of Javre and Shev. I didn't like this one very much because It felt like a filler, but still it's very short and action packed so you won't lose much time reading it.Hell - ★★★: this is the backstory of Temple, the coward lawyer introduced in Red Country. It wasn't one of my favourites, but we get to know certain Gurkish that likes to devour people who is really interesting...Two's Company - ★★★★★: my favourite story of this collection. Whirrun fighting Javre on a flimsy bridge in the middle of nowhere. This story had me laughing out loud all along, it was brilliant.Wrong Place, Wrong Time - ★★★★.5: A story told from the POV of different "innocents" that are caught in the middle of Monza Murcatto's revenge in Best Served Cold. This one was awesome because it provides a different perspective of the events, told from the point of view of common people with their one hopes and dreams. It is one of the finest examples of Joe's characterisation skills.Some Desperado - ★★★★: the backstory of Shy South. It wasn't really great and I was about to rate it with three stars, but it had some nice twists full of dark humour at the end that was a lot of fun.Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden - ★★★★.5: another of my favourites. This is like an abridged version of The Heroes (my favourite book by Joe Abercrombie) with Bremer dan Gorst as the main character. Gorst is another awesome character, if you've already read The Heroes you'll know why ;) Three's a Crowd - ★★★★: another story of Javre and Shev. It wasn't as exciting as the other ones but it was ok. Freedom - ★★★★: hilarious account of the liberation of a city by Nicomo Cosca. In Red Country the despicable (yet adorable) mercenary hires a poor historian to record his "noble" deeds; this story is an extract from the historian book... and as you may expect, it isn't very accurate.Tough Times all Over - ★★★★★: the last story of Shev and Javre in which every character steal from each other the rare magical thingy that Craw had to recover in the third story (this is only my speculation, but it could be). Made a Monster - ★★★★★: another of my favourites. This story is very brief and doesn't add much but we get to know how Logen Ninefingers behaved when he was Bethod's champion... they called him the Bloody Nine, so you get the idea. He is really scary in the few pages of this story.

  • Terence
    2019-05-27 06:40

    Sharp Ends revisits stories from the world of the First Law series. It's packed with a variety of tales from ones that have only been mentioned to some that no one knew happened. A slew of characters from The First Law series appear such as Sand dan Glokta, Curnden Craw, Whirrun of Bligh, Temple, Shy, Bremer dan Gorst, Nicomo Cosca, and many others. The book also includes varying stories about new characters Shevedieh the best thief in Styria and Javre the Lioness of Hoskopp.The stories vary for me in quality. Some I had no interest in like Nicomo Cosca's story. That man drives me nuts. Unfortunately Joe Abercrombie clearly loves him as he's appeared in more of his First Law books than anyone. My personal favorite stories were Glokta's, Bethod's, and Shev and Javre's short story series.Glokta's tale shows him at his peak from the eyes of Salem Rews. Glokta was very similar to Jezal dan Luthar in The Blade Itself except he had strong personal motivation. Glokta was an unbearable personality, but he was quite capable. This tale depicts the events directly prior to the battle in which Glokta was captured by the Gurkish.Bethod's tale depicted Bethod and his thought process. I think this was the first point of view from Bethod and he's clearly an intriguing man. It was interesting to witness his absolute fear of Logen Ninefingers and truth be told it makes perfect sense. A man with a murderous split personality that takes over from time to time is a difficult man to deal with.Shev and Javre's short story adventures were the highlight for me. The two women form an unlikely yet effective team that travels around the circle of the world. Their stories don't merely show different perspectives on events the books described, they are their own separate tales although they come across familiar characters like Shylo Vitari, Whirrun of Bligh, and Monza Murcatto. These two ladies had four of the 13 short stories in the book be completely about them. Javre was easily the more interesting of the two. She's a brute of a woman with big appetites. She seems like she'd be the perfect woman for Logen even when he's the crazy blood thirsty Bloody Nine.Sharp Ends is a book that's truly meant for people who love the First Law world. I've enjoyed much of the First Law world, but no so much as to reread all of the books written. I imagine if I was more familiar with each book in the series that this book would have greater meaning for me.

  • ScottHitchcock
    2019-05-31 05:59

    I wonder after reading the four singles if I would have liked the trilogy as much. I tend to think I wouldn't. JA's writing style was fresh for me then. It's quirky and interesting but not smooth by any means. I've bored over time of his story telling. It can be good in parts but then boring as hell in others. This 7th book reflected all of that. Some of the shorts I really enjoyed. Others I hated. Some like Glotka's story I wanted to see beyond where it ended. I found Shev and Javre's stories the best in this volume. It will probably be awhile before I take on Shattered Sea. I need a break before I think I can enjoy his writing again.

  • Phrynne
    2019-06-06 03:48

    I hardly ever read short stories, preferring my books to be long and full. However I was willing to make an exception for this author especially when I saw that one of his stories was about Glokta! As it turned out it was worth buying the whole book just for that one short story but then there was so much more.Writing really strong characters is one of Abercrombie's greatest strong points and his tales of Shy, Glokta and Nine Fingers were brilliant back stories. Then he introduced some new (to me anyway) characters in the form of Shev and Javre who really need a full book all of their own. Bonus stars are due to the audio version with its brilliant narrator and the fact there was an interview with Abercrombie tagged on to the end. And the best thing is I still have two of the First Law World series to read. Happy me!!!!!

  • Lee
    2019-06-20 22:58

    Well I am going to keep this review short. Just like the stories in the book.Overall, pretty average I have to say. It was nice being back in that world, but the stories were pretty bland. There are a couple of stories that follow on from each other, which made the book tolerable. But it certainly showed me that I am not a fan of very short stories. There was really nothing to get your teeth into and felt more like adding some scenes to sell another book.This is NOT a book to buy to give you an idea of what the First Law world is like, you'd probably never buy the series after reading it. This is definitely a book for fans who want to re-visit the world and would buy toilet paper off Abercrombie if he was jotting notes on it whilst on the can.It was a flat 3 Star for me.

  • Tracey the Lizard Queen
    2019-06-16 05:56

    Full review at: http://thequeenofblades.blogspot.co.uk/This book contains everything I love about Abercrombie and more. Gritty realism, vulgar language, dark humour, blood, guts, desperation. What more could you ask for? This has had the desired effect and now I feel like I need to go read everything by this author! This is a big problem for me because I've already got books waiting and books I've paused to read other books and now I can't keep up anymore! Dammit. *I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  • Twerking To Beethoven
    2019-06-03 03:30

    Joe Abercrombie is back into amazing shape with an astonishing, superb, brilliant and uncanny set of short stories. There's not a single one I didn't lurve (well, ok... to be perfectly candid, maybe "Freedom" isn't on the same level as the others, I said "maybe"). Also, the four stories featuring Shev and Javre are sort of a short novel of their own, and they somewhat remind me of Lansdale's Hap and Leonard (and that's a good thing, in case you're wondering).What I loved the most about "Sharp Ends" is the sandpaper black humour I have so, so, so missed while reading Half a King, Half the World and Half a War. Here's what I'm talking about...‘That’s got it!’ And Ninefingers buried the big knife in the table and held the head dangling by one ear, blood still trickling from the hacked-off neck and spattering the floor. The head of Rattleneck’s son. He grabbed the slack jaw with his other hand and moved it clumsily up and down while he spoke through his clenched teeth in a piping mockery of a voice.‘I want to go back to my daddy.’ And Ninefingers laughed. ‘Take me back to Daddy.’ And he chuckled. ‘I’m scared.’ And he sighed, and tossed the head away, and frowned at it as it rolled into the corner.‘Thought that’d be funnier.’ And he looked around for something to wipe his hands on, blood-slick to the elbows, but couldn’t find anything. ‘You reckon Rattleneck’ll still want him?’‘What have you done?’ whispered Bethod, staring at the thing on the table that hardly looked like it had ever been a man.And Logen smiled that easy smile he used to have – the smile of a man who’d never entertained a dark purpose – and shrugged.‘Changed my mind.’You don't find that sort of shite in any of the "Half Wutevah" books, peeps. You just don't.So anyway, welcome back, Lord Grimdark! You've been missed. Missed heaps, mate.

  • Sam
    2019-05-26 23:38

    I'm having trouble rating/reviewing this book. On the one hand, yay! More Joe Abercrombie. On the other hand, I think I'm just not as satisfied by his short stories as I am his books. I totally think this is a personal issue rather than any fault of the anthology itself. I enjoyed the Shev/Javre stories the most and I think this is because they were the characters who reappeared the most throughout. The other stories felt more toss-a-way. Maybe if I had just come off reading the books, they might clue me to a particular scene with a different POV this time or a scene prior to the books (like I'm pretty sure the Bloody Nine one was). Unfortunately it's been too long since I've read his books for me to be able to put it all together myself.However! The writing is classic Abercrombie and I do think that anyone who loves his books should give this collection a go. It feels like a trailer to a movie I really really want to see. Everything I love, but I'm just being greedy and wanting more. =)

  • Milda Page Runner
    2019-06-02 00:42

    Loved it. As expected with short story collection it is a bit of a mixed bag: most stories are good and some are awesome but inevitably there are a few that I didn’t care for. Hence the 4*.Highly recommend to Abercrombie fans and readers familiar with the First Law world. I wouldn’t recommend for the new readers – whilst some stories would work, majority would lose too much without the context.Here are few sentences about each story as I’ve read them:Beautiful Bastard - 3* Nice insight to how Glokta became the person he is in The First Law trilogy. But not particularly exciting story.Small Kindnesses - 5* Story introducing Shev and Jarve, telling us how they first met. And this Abercrombie we know and love: one moment you are snickering, another wincing in compassion, third - laughing out loud at the puns and then quietly admiring how cleverly it turns around and points back to the start.The Fool Jobs - 5 laugh out loud bloody stars."‘And this thing we’ve got to bring her. What sort of a thing is it, exactly?’‘Well, it’s a thing,’ said Raubin. ‘That much we know.’ ‘Sort of… this long, I guess. She didn’t say, precisely.’ ‘Unspecifical, was she?’ asked Wonderful, grinning with every tooth. ‘She said it’d have a kind of a light about it.’ ‘A light?’ asked Craw. ‘What? Like a magic bloody candle?’"Skipping Town - 5* Another short story with Shevedieh and Javre. Love these two – the story is more of a comedy than grim-dark.Hell - 4* Got to admire diversity of Abercombie's writing: whilst previous two stories were full of irony and humour, this one is truly dark, filled with guilt and horror. P.S. as the magical creatures go Eaters are totally OP.Two’s Company - 5* I loved it before and I loved it again. Dialogues are simply hilarious.Wrong Place, Wrong Time - 4* This story won't make much sense for people who haven't read Best Served Cold. It consist of 3 stories in itself - of 3 random bystanders unfortunate enough to get caught in a path of Monza Murcato hurricane of revenge. First two didn't do much for me, but I loved the last one and especially the irony of the ending.Some Desperado - 5* A western, a mad chase, a turmoil of events where a comedy is closely followed by brutality of pointless death, and disaster by a bout of luck, and mindless lashing out by a moment to reflect and philosophise. And when the story makes a circle and the end points back at the beginning - Oh the irony of it all.Abercrombie at his best."Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden – 5* Whenever I read about Bremer dan Gorst I always picture Vin Diesel with the squeaky girly voice *snickers*.A good story – it reminded me of The Heroes some – a skirmish between the Union and Bethod’s northmen, with some really comic events in the midst, that had me laughing for 2 min straight.Three’s a Crowd – 4* Another story about Shev and Javre – not as comic as the previous ones, but with more depth, feelings and background.It was nice to get a glimpse of Monza Murcatto, and to find out about Shev’s encounters with Shivers and Bloody Nine. Made me fell nostalgic.Freedom - 2* This story won’t make much sense if you haven’t read Red Country. A spectacularly fake report about Nicomo Cosca and his sell swords “liberating” town of Averstock. It’s fascinating how radically different Abercrombie’s writing can be, when representing different characters, but other than that, this story didn’t do much for me.Tough Times all Over – 3* Bloody Hell! And we don’t even know what’s in that package. Argh! We follow the stolen package as it changes hands from one thief to the other. Some familiar faces here and those - I cared about, but not so much for the others. I love the idea but the story didn’t do much for me.Made a Monster – 5* Damn! I’m speechless. It’s one of those moments where Abercrombie lulls you with philosophy and hopes and pretty writing and then bangs you over the head with brutal reality.Disturbing.Gah! Need to go sit down in a quiet corner… It’s strong. I can see why this is the last story in the book.

  • Xabi1990
    2019-06-04 04:34

    Un momento, que me limpio las salpicaduras de sangre y vísceras y vuelvo....Un momeeeeeento…..Ya. (Es que el último relato era de Logen Nuevededos. Costaba limpiárselo todo).A ver, sigo sin ser amigo de las historias cortas porque los personajes no están suficientemente definidos para mi gusto. Tiene que tener mucha fuerza en la historia para que por sí sola salve el relato.Pero si ya has leído el resto de libros de Abercrombie este no es sino leer alguna peripecia más de nuestros viejos conocidos. Bueno, y hay varios relatos salteados de Shev y Javre, a quienes no conocía pero me alegro de haberlo hecho.Que a nadie se le ocurra leer este libro como iniciación con Abercrombie, pero es una agradable lectura tras leer el resto de sus libros del mundo de la Primera Ley.Dos cosas que me llaman la atención del Sr Joe : lo malhablados y escatológicos que son a veces sus personajes y las cargas de reflexión con que nos atacan, lateralmente, sus historias de personajes fantásticos pero cercanos, heroicos pero retorcidos, medievales pero con moralidad comprensible.Lo dicho, no os encantará pero lo disfrutaréis.

  • Steve
    2019-06-25 00:39

    I’m a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie, especially of his “First Law” series. This anthology is set in this grimdark world of violence and treachery, and fleshes out many of the much-loved/much-hated characters from the original trilogy and the three stand-alone novels.My favorites out of the thirteen short stories were:“A Beautiful Bastard”, the story of Colonel Sand dan Glokta immediately before his was taken captive and tortured by the Gurkish army. My biggest complaint comes with this story, as well: it stops just before Glokta enters the fray, leaving the story mostly untold.“Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden”, a story about Bremer dan Gorst, royal observer for the king. This is probably the most touching story I’ve ever read from Abercrombie.“Two’s Company”, a short story starring Javre and Shev, facing off against Cracknut Wirren on a bridge. Actually, all of the stories with Javre and Shev were very good, and it makes me want to go back and reread Fritz Leiber’s Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser series. I think at least one book, possibly even a trilogy, of Javre and Shev would be fantastic!“Made a Monster”, a story from the perspective of Bethod and how he sees his uncontrollable champion, Logen Ninefingers, the “Bloody Nine”.The one story I didn't care for, probably because I don't care for the character, was "Freedom". I simply don't like Nicomo Cosca...Once again, I listened to this as an audiobook, as I've done with all of Joe Abercrombie's books--I haven't actually "read" any of them, only listened. Steven Pacey is simply perfect for narrating this series. His voicing for all of the characters, every single one, is amazing. There is no problem figuring out who is speaking, because the characterizations are so distinct.All in all, the stories weren’t bad, but they were mostly just little snippets in a much larger story. And most of them didn’t really end, left wide open for the reader to guess at the outcomes. For those that haven’t read the original trilogy or the standalone books, reading this anthology would be a waste of time. Knowledge of the characters and events is a MUST.

  • Azumi
    2019-06-21 01:40

    Ha sido una alegría volver a reencontrarme con viejos conocidos como Whirrum, Shy, Gorst, Glotka, Cosca, Logen y los norteños y muchos más en estos relatos llenos de asesinos, timadores, traiciones, peleas, escaramuzas y filos de hachas y espadas.Mis relatos preferidos:Trabajos ridículos: Me ha encantado el humor negro que destila el relato. Craw y sus secuaces haciendo un trabajito.Lugar equivocado, momento equivocado: Revivimos desde otros puntos de vista de gente desconocida, los hechos narrados en La Mejor Venganza. Ayer, cerca de una aldea llamada Barden: Con Bremer Dan Gorst como protagonista y ambientado en las batallas narradas en Los Héroes.Libertad: Este tiene de protagonista a Nicomo Cosca, y leemos un extracto de la crónica que encarga que le escriban enTierras Rojas, sobre sus heroicas hazañas y su encantadora personalidad.En todas partes cuecen habas: Con ese misterioso paquete pasando de mano en mano Creando un monstruo: Con Logen Nuevededos en su máximo esplendor.Shev y Javre han sido todo un descubrimiento como personajes, y me encantaría un libro entero con ellas de protagonistas en el Mundo de la Primera Ley.Si te gusta Abercrombie y su saga de la Primera Ley, te gustará ;D

  • Michelle {Book Hangovers}
    2019-05-29 00:56

    I have to have this....now!!!!!! I'm obsessed with the First Law series and the bloody nine! Oh yes, oh yes ohhhhhh yes!!!!!

  • Mangrii
    2019-06-16 00:29

    En Filos Mortales el autor de Lancaster nos lleva por trece relatos ambientados en las distintas épocas de La Primera Ley, encontrándonos con personajes habituales y queridos así como la presentación de otros nuevos que utiliza como protagonistas de varios relatos. Trece relatos que sirven para profundizar un poco más en el Circulo del Mundo y algunos de los sucesos acontecidos, trece relatos para conocer a Joe Abercrombie en su vertiente adulta o en su defecto, volver a ella.Una colección de relatos que aguanta el tipo a buen nivel, pese a un par de historia que se quedan un tanto flojas. Historias ordenadas cronológicamente que nos llevarán desde antes de los sucesos acontecidos en La voz de las espadas, hasta algunos años después de Tierras Rojas. El habitual lector de Abercrombie encontrará múltiples guiños y referencias a sus obras, así como algunos cameos, pero cualquiera puede disfrutar del compendio de relatos. Es probable que teniendo el fondo lector de los anteriores libros algunos de los relatos sean aún más disfrutables, pero casi todos tienen un interés por si solo suficiente que merecen la lectura. Personalmente los relatos que más he disfrutado han sido los protagonizados por la nueva pareja, Shev y Javre. Particularmente por ello Dos son compañía y Tres son multitud son mis dos relatos favoritos de toda la colección. Pero también he disfrutado del resto. La vuelta de personajes emblemáticos como Logen Nuevededos en Creando un monstruo, un joven y chulesco Sand Dan Glokta en Un magnifico bastardo, la peculiar batalla liderada por Craw en Trabajos ridículos o la genialidad que supone En todas partes cuecen habas, donde el relato nos va llevando por conocidos personajes con un misterioso paquete a modo de mcguffin. Una buena colección de relatos que harán las delicias que los seguidores de Lord Grimdark y que captara nuevos adeptos para el autor de Lancaster.

  • Paul
    2019-06-14 02:36

    1. 'A Beautiful Bastard' - 5/5A great little prequel to the First Law series, featuring a pre-crippling Goska in his glory days...2. 'Small Kindnesses' - 5/5Abercrombie introduces two new characters in this short story and I already want to read a whole series of novels about them...3. 'The Fool Jobs' - 4/5On a raid with some of our favourite Northmen (and women)...4. 'Skipping Town' - 5/5Ah, I see! We have a framing sequence. Excellent!5. 'Hell' - 3/5That one was a bit 'meh'. Perhaps because I hadn't been away from Temple long enough to miss him yet...6. 'Two's Company' - 5/5Very funny. My suggestions for alternate titles: 'The Idiocy of Heroes' or 'The Superior Sidekick Blues'...7. 'Wrong Place, Wrong Time' - 4/5A number of NPCs cross paths with our protagonists. Things generally don't go that well...8. 'Some Desperado' - 4/5A prologue, of sorts, to 'Red Country'...9. 'Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden...' - 5/5A cross section of a small part of a war. Brilliant...10. 'Three's Company' - 5/5Is there anyone from Abercrombie's First Law books Shev doesn't know? An orgy of callbacks, references, sly winks and fan-service...11. 'Freedom!' - 3/5Quite funny but a bit of a one note joke, if I'm honest...12. 'Tough Times All Over' - 4/5A very clever game of pass-the-parcel but somewhat frustrating as it poses more questions than it answers...13. 'Made a Monster' - 3/5This story started as though it was going to show how Logen became the Bloody Nine but then didn't deliver... Slightly disappointing.Overall score: 4.2 rounded down to 4 stars. I'm going to miss this world.

  • Joel
    2019-06-10 01:49

    FULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG, TOTAL INABILITY TO CONNECTThere are few things I love more than Joe Abercrombie's writing, specifically his First Law works. I was excited, after getting a short-story collection from Mark Lawrence's Broken Empire series last fall, to get back into Fitch's series as well.Anyone who's read my reviews and blog knows that I'm a big, BIG fan of novellas and shorts. Love them. A collection of shorts is a great thing as well, especially a novel containing something like 12 new shorts, containing some characters we know, and a handful we have not seen much of - if anything - before. The new characters were bright and refreshing, and brought a new life to stories that sometimes were distinctly First Law, and some that could have been almost anywhere. But, lying under all of that, is signature Abercrombie writing - the wit, the edge, the beautiful word stylings.Overall, I enjoyed the majority of the stories. Some, such as Two's Company, Wrong Place Wrong Time, and Three's a Crowd were exceptional and exciting, vintage Abercrapple, with cracking one liners and multi-dimensional characters. Others, such as The Fool Jobs did not do much for me, and I moved right through them. Overall, I enjoyed the majority.The only major thing I could point out is that every single story features some kind of LGBT element - a main character with romantic feelings about a member of the same sex, some kind of casual gay sex, etc. It was only a noticeable effect because of the fact that having a gay character of some sort in every story is still a bit of an oddity - we are making great progress in that department, with some brilliant works like NK Jemisin's The Fifth Season, but as of now it's still an under-represented fact. Not so much with Applecrumble in this set of stories.Overall, an enjoyable package, full of wit, charm, humor, hard-hitting action and moral dilemmas - just like Joe himself. I am still eager to get more from him, more stories and new worlds, but these things take time. I just lack patience.Rating: 4 / 5

  • Emily (BellaGrace)
    2019-06-19 05:36

    So, take this review with this caveat - I am not really a fan of short stories and this is a book of short stories...I loved the glimpse into the life of a pre-tortured Glokta. I liked the stories with Shev and Javre all of those were good except the last one which I didn't care for (the one where the stolen package changes hands about 10 times). I also didn't like the story with Costa in it. The rest of the stories were just OK.I have a hard time getting into short stories and I didn't remember who most of the people were except for the major people like Glokta, Craw, Nine Fingers etc. Anyway - I'm sure you'll like it if you're a fan of the First Law world.

  • Margret
    2019-06-14 04:35

    In Wheel of Time units, this book is "Traveling Circus" level pointless.

  • Ashley
    2019-06-22 01:55

    This is a solid 3.5 star anthology collection. Most of the stories were good, not great, and a few were wonderful. I'm thinking particularly of "The Beautiful Bastard," which shows us a pre-Gurkish torture ruination Glokta, and the very entertaining "Two's Company," which takes two characters that form the backbone of this collection, and pairs them with my personal favorite Abercrombie character, Whirrun of Bligh, aka Cracknut ('cause his nut is cracked).Even though all of these stories could be read on their own, Abercrombie made a smart call by including four stories spaced out through the collection that follow the pair of unlikely friends, Shevedieh and Javre, the Lioness of Hoskopp. The stories featuring those two are connected by not just characters, but also by a loose overarching plot that is actually somewhat resolved. The best thing about this decision is that it sort of negated my biggest complaint that I usually have with short story anthologies. I have a really hard time truly enjoying them because without time to get invested, they don't engage my emotions. Even if it's clever or surprising or something else, if I don't have the old emotions along for the ride, I'm not going to like your book. Spreading these two knuckleheads across the collection tricked my brain into thinking there was something like that going on, plus it actually gave me time to get to know those characters.This is a must-read for Abercrombie fans, but I don't recommend it for anyone who hasn't read all of his First Law novels. A lot of the stories are only interesting and make sense if you know what they're referencing, i.e. the one that takes three very violent incidence from Best Served Cold and shows us three random bystanders who get caught in the crosshairs of Monza Murcatto's revenge plan. Only, it doesn't tell you that's what's going on, and if you haven't read that book, you will have no fucking clue what's going on. Some stories make sense logistically, but you won't care about them if you haven't met the characters before, like the one that checks in with Craw's gang of Named Men, or the one that gives us Bethod's side of his break with Logen.I do wish that some of the stories had been able to stand on their own a bit more. I also found myself constantly trying to remember the books, because Abercombie has this habit of shoving in Easter eggs all over the fucking place, and you only spot them if you know his work. I don't like feeling like I've missed or forgotten things, and some of this felt like that. Overall, though, worth it. I do hope he plans to write more actual books set in this world, but I do think I really need to re-read at some point.Breakdowns and ratings for each story if you click through or scroll down to see all my status updates.[3.5 stars]

  • Alexander Páez
    2019-06-17 05:51

    Hay algún relato más flojo que otro, pero en general son todos excelentes, sobre todo los nuevos, destacan sobre los antiguos. Abercrombie demuestra que no ha perdido el ritmo que la trilogía The Shattered Sea ha sido un descanso para volvernos a tirar a la cara su gritty más oscuro. Porque el grimdark no se trata solo de mostrar la faceta oscura de la humanidad, el sarcasmo, la ironía y los dobles sentidos son parte importante de este género, y Abercrombie es el rey.

  • Melissa
    2019-06-09 23:50

    Once I got over Glokta being in this book for only about fifteen pages, I . . . well, actually I'm not over that at all. Having somehow ignored the numerous places where the contents of this book are referred to as "short fiction," including the inside cover, I understand that I have only myself to blame for thinking I was going to get some sort of pre-First Law-era novel, but dammit if I don't need more Glokta in my life than what's here. The teasing taste of what a miserable, talented bastard he was before making that pivotal stand on the bridge was not enough for this girl.In any case, Glokta shortage aside, the hits here hit hard and the misses are well wide of my mark. A few of these stories lay some surprising foundations after the fact of the The First Law, and it would be nice to read the trilogy again knowing some of the things I know now - but not all of those things, and more on that in a second. It was nice to see Shy again. I would read a whole book about Shevedieh and Javre, Lioness of Hoskopp. Their entries are funny and violent, full of sassback and fighting, Abercrombie at his best, but a lot of time passes in between them in the story & I want to know what all they got into in the margins. Duds include Curnden Craw and his gang of misfits, who mean nothing to me - but are they meant to be retrieving something for the Butcher of Caprile? - and three random stories in Westport about characters who were in the wrong place when the fighting started. What I like most about this is all of the women; rich, fully developed, and mostly a bunch of utter badasses, not in the way of Look! Strong Female Characters! but in the way of this is how you what you need to do to stay alive in this country, almost as if women can swing swords & kick ass as much as men can & the stories don't suffer for it, so hooray Abercrombie.The one thing that's really getting me, though, is the last story. B read it & said that it had intense ramifications for The Blade Itself and yeah, for sure, it does, but I re-read that in March & "Made A Monster" left me shaking my head & made me a little angry. It calls into question everything I knew about Logen Ninefingers and, I believe, everything you're meant to think about him when you read those first books. It's possible that I've been getting him wrong this whole time, but I feel like that one story has made me revise my entire opinion of him. Did I completely misjudge him? For me at least, and in the original trilogy especially, Logen came across as a guy with a terrible past who could nonetheless keep from casually murdering everyone. He hints at a lot of bad shit he's done before falling off that cliff in the opening pages of TBI, but he understands the horror & the cost of war. He's seen as the scary Northman to people like Jezal especially, but he's not a psychotically unhinged savage until he gets in that first fight with Ferro in Adua - and then it's really clear that he becomes the Bloody Nine, who is almost separate identity, a fugue that comes over him & turns him into a killing machine, but then he comes back to himself & he's Logen again. So how did we get that guy after the Logen in "Made A Monster," who does nothing but fuck and kill on some constant, demented rampage? (view spoiler)[for instance saying that he'd leave his prisoner alone because Bethod asked him to and then hacking the poor kid into pieces & festooning his intestines all over everywhere just because he's changed his mind? (hide spoiler)] I felt like that was maybe where Abercrombie was going with Lamb, that after so many years & especially the struggle of trying to be Lamb in the first place, he just went nuts & was basically the Bloody Nine for good (view spoiler)[to the point that he'd even try to kill the children he'd been trying to save the whole book (hide spoiler)] - but the man I read in this book came well before Lamb. How did he go from raving psycho of whom everyone is afraid of to the Logen in the First Law? The ramifications weren't what I'd been expecting, although they certainly portray Bethod in a more sympathetic light, and I'm almost afraid to re-read the rest of the trilogy now that I know this stuff, but that might be because I feel like Abercrombie did one of his best characters a bit of a disservice with this one. Oh, and if there is going to be an actual pre-First Law-era novel, I am all over that business, especially if it gets me more of everyone's (or at least my) favorite Inquisitor. Edited to withdraw my criticism: After a re-read of Before They Are Hanged, wherein Logen lets drop some very dark hints about his past to his traveling companions, I no longer feel like this story was out of place or inconsistent with his characterization; rather, Abercrombie gave us an all-too-clear view of what Logen had only hinted at before. Carry on, Joe. "'You ain't even got a weapon.'But Javre only smiled. 'My friend, I am the weapon.'"

  • Drew
    2019-06-09 06:44

    This review can also be found on my blog:https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.Joe Abercrombie is one of my favourite authors, I absolutely loved The First Law trilogy and the three individual books set in the same world after but I've never read his The Shattered Sea trilogy as the YA tag put me off as the things I really like about his books aren't YA, the dry wit, the dark flawed characters, bloody and brutal violence and his vivid descriptions of it all have a grimdark feel to them and are what lured me to reading his books in the first place and I'm not sure I'd enjoy the Shattered Sea trilogy. With that being said, it's been a long time since I read a Joe Abercrombie book, Red County wouldbe the last a few years ago now so it was with eager anticipation that I awaited this release.Some people will have read some of the stories included in Sharp Ends from previous collections that they were part of, I hadn't as I'm normally not keen on short story collections and stay away from them, however.......after thoroughly enjoying Sharp Ends I may well have to rethink my view and read some more in the future as this book has gone along way to changing my opinion on anthologies and while there'll never be my first choice to read as I much prefer to lose myself in a hefty tome I won't completely disregard them anymore.Throughout the short stories there are characters we've come to love from the First Law world who it's been a while since we've been acquainted with and minor cameo appearances/mentions from other characters to. As a long time fan it's great to revisit the likes of Logen Ninefingers, Nicomo Cosca, Sand dan Glokta, Shy South and Monzcarro Murcatto.Abercrombie's writing is as crisp, detailed and vivid as ever, the characters and world building are all top class and each individual story is of the highest quality including action, adventure and intrigue.One thing that has always stood out for me in Abercrombie's book is his dry wit and sense of humour, being sarcastic myself I always find myself smirking at his characters often times droll and wry comments opinions and musings, an example being:'You can never have too many knives, someone once told him, and it was solid advice, provided you were careful how you stowed 'em and didn't fall over and get your own blade in your fruits'.For Abercrombie fans this is a welcome return to the characters and addition to the world of The First Law, a quality collection of short stories that are overall well worth your time, all the stories included are unique and of a high standard but whilst most are outstanding a couple of the stories were slightly disappointing and left me wanting more.Fantasy fans who have never read a Joe Abercrombie book will also find a lot to like here but I'd definitely suggest starting at the beginning with book one in The First Law trilogy (The Blade Itself) as you will get so much more out of this collection and instead of reading about new characters who you don't know, like older fans you'll get to revisit old characters you really care about and all Abercrombie's works in the First Law world are great reads anyway that are well worth your time.There's a few stories that both involve and revolve around the same characters, namely the thief and warrior duo of Shevedieh and Javre 'Lioness of Hoskopp' and they run through the book acting as the core of the collection alongside the individual stories of other characters. They are a great double act and you will love reading about them and their misadventures.Overall the book is well paced and the stories (apart from the last) are placed in chronological order. Opening with a story revolving around Sand dan Glokta and closing with a tale involving Logen Ninefingers, two of the most beloved and iconic characters from the First Law world is a terrific idea, these two epitomise the word antihero and in my opinion are two of the best characters ever created.To end my review, I'll borrow from and paraphrase one of my favourite Abercrombie characters in Logen Ninefingers and write:'Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he writes a darn good book!'

  • sologdin
    2019-05-29 03:55

    In a genre plagued by gamergate bullshit and rabid puppy idiocy and mad NRx fedora hatters and #whitegenocide stupid, this author stands out as a class act. Readers should be aware that Abercrombie was targeted for abuse by ROH, regarding the handling of a non-heteronormative character in The Last Argument of Kings, and instead of nuking the vitriolic presentation, engaged the underlying criticism and accepted it in part on aesthetic grounds (that all occurred in a thread at asoiaf.westeros.org).This text accordingly reads almost as an apology and attempt to rectify any mishandling of the lesbian characters in volume III of The First Law, insofar as half of it is devoted to a non-heteronormative protagonist. These stories also read as though they were a feminist revision of the old Fafhrd & the Gray Mouser stories, and are sort of a novella, very welcome. (I say all of this as a straight guy, so FWIW. Am unable to detect any patronizing or mocking here.)We know that we are deep into the agembenian state of exception with proclamations such as “when there is no law, there is no crime” (78) and someone “had seized the grand dukedom of the city and there’d been less law than no law” (185). Stories touch on Shy, Temple, Gorst, Craw, Glotka, and other familiar characters. Perhaps advances the narrative a bit beyond the end of Red Country, with much back-filling of some blanks in the story. Maybe our favorite thoughtful barbarian makes an appearance.Recommended for those who believe that work is no substitute for talent, persons who offend God to the extent that he feels obliged to end creation, and readers of grand appetites.