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Triage of a Novel: The Blade Itself

Across the Room: gritty, dark, grim. I think I've found my new favourite author. It immersed me so quickly, and kept hold of me for pages on end!


Temperature: hypothermic, but still warm enough to be alive. It's a dark, grim fantasy. Joe Abercrombie's own Twitter Handle is @LordGrimdark , so that's saying something. I love it. I want more of it. There were a couple of scenes sprinkled in that had me chuckling and smiling, but it's a very dark story overall.

Heart Rate: normal rate. Regular rhythm. It had an amazing balance of fast and slow. The slower paced scenes made sense, as did the faster scenes.

Blood Pressure: slightly hypertensive at times. The plot, overall, was pretty easy to follow. However, there were a couple of times that I questioned what was going on. Especially when Ferro was introduced rather late in the book. Overall, however, I had very little trouble with understanding what was going on.

Respirations: Normal rate. These characters are amazing, and it's so unique to see each one from so many different points of view. There were a couple of times I wished I could reach into the book and slap the sh** out of them. Other times, I just wanted to hug them. Seeing how the biases and prejudices against each character from others' points of view was also really unique. This had to be my favourite aspect of this book.

Oxygenation: Well-oxygenated. It was the perfect balance of description/prose and action. I loved how the prose was written based on who was the POV character. Elegant, flowery descriptions for Glokta, the peering in every corner and shadow from Logen, etc.

Work of Breathing: no difficulty. I had no problem staying immersed in this story. I absolutely loved it.


Family: "Grimdark" Fantasy.

Medical: I found no major issues with Joe Abercrombie's writing style. He's very unique with how he changes his style of prose based on which character's POV he's writing from.

Psychiatric: Seeing the friendships and the drama they bring was so intriguing. None of them seem like very *close* relationships, though, except Luthar and West. Even then, they have their drama.

Socio-economic: Marketed as adult. Definitely reads adult.

Head to Toe Assessment:

Head and face: I will admit, I was disappointed in the cover. I hadn't heard of the "First Law Trilogy" until Merphy Napier's interview with Abercrombie on her "Dear Authors: Prose" video. (Click here to check it out!) I read the blurb, and was intrigued. Unfortunately, the cover I saw was a bit lacklustre. (However! The other cover is wonderful. I might've picked it up had I seen it.)

Neck: Hook. Line. Sinker. I had such a hard time putting it down after this.

Chest: Each character seemed to have personal inciting incidents. However, they seemed pretty interconnected, as well. It was an interesting—and masterful—weaving of these characters' motivations and inciting incidents that made this portion of the assessment fun to look for.

Abdomen and Flanks: There is never a dull moment. The pacing slows down here, but it's far from dull. Every word that Abercrombie writes carries its weight.

Perineum: I was genuinely afraid for these characters. Their low points are so low.

Extremities: Everything comes to a head, here, and I'm for it. I was on the edge of my seat, white-knuckled...oh man. I just couldn't stop!

Backside: The ending was so sudden! It was the right amount of resolution to let me take a little breath, right before I'm dropped off a cliff. I need more. Now.

Prognosis: Excellent. 5 stars on Goodreads. I don't give a full 5 star rating lightly, but this book was incredible. It's definitely up my alley!

Once again, click here for the link to my triage formula, in case you need to reference it.

As always,

Stay safe. Stay sane. Keep healthy. Keep smiling. Much love!

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