This novel has to be one of my favorites. I only give 5 stars to novels that I could consider as one of my favorites. Merely entertaining me would lead to 4 stars, but this novel really delivered what a fantasy novel should.
The characters are superb. There are three main characters, Logen, Jezal, and Glokta. If I were to choose who my favorite is, I'd have to say Jezal (or maybe Glokta, actually maybe Logen).
His constant complaining of fencing practice didn't annoy me at all, it was rather hilarious. He reminded me of myself, a very stubborn lad. Another thing that made him my favorite was his "secret" relationship with Ardee. Ardee West has to be my second favorite character in this novel. Despite being a minor character, her story was very interesting to me. Glokta and Logen are very good characters too, in fact, almost all the characters were really interesting. And the fact that it's troubling me to rank them all makes this novel really good. One of the main criteria for a fantasy novel to be good is that readers should love the characters. And also, the part/s of the competition really entertained me a lot. I knew he was going to win, in a way, but the way that he did was a shock to me. I didn't know magic was going to be involved, and I was very pleased that it did
Glokta struck me as a humorous character. He complains a lot. I cannot even describe the frequency of his complaining, and all of those times made me laugh a lot. Humorous nature aside, he is also an excellent inquisitor. For me his ways are very good, and it shows results. Despite the ways being immoral, what's important in the novel was getting answers.
What I really liked about Logen was the action parts of the novel. It makes him standout from the other characters(aside from Jezal).
Once again, almost all of the characters are amazing, and I may have ranked Jezal number one, and Ardee as number two, but honestly Glokta has to be my number one too, the same goes for Logen. To make things short, all the characters are pretty awesome, so go read this piece of treasure and get your mind blown, cause surely mine did.
I can't wait to know what's going to happen to everyone. It's not much of a cliffhanger to be honest, but it still made me want to read the next two novels, and so I will very soon. Jezal and Glokta being reassigned was a bit of a twist in the end, I really liked that. Hopefully Jezal and Ardee will still be having their forbidden relationship.
Easy five stars, and it just made my favorites list. An amazing first novel of a trilogy by Joe Abercrombie, certainly a must read for fantasy readers out there looking for action and the usual things a good fantasy novel should have.