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 . . .
Sharp Ends combines previously published, award-winning tales with exclusive new short stories. 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.
Suffice to say that Sharp Ends is an intriguing entry point into the World of the First Order. I'm equal parts hooked and scared. Is it all like this? Can anyone survive?
These stories proved to be engrossing. They are a spicy addition to the main courses of the novels, adding to the flavour of the original and offering a wider explanation of how some characters got to the place they did. I look forward to enjoying the novels and I'll be looking out for my favourites.
There are some great writers of low fantasy around today, but few are as good as Abercrombie...Each short story does offer an entertaining and dark read
he consistently high standard of the stories in Sharp Ends make it a triumph. Granted, readers would be advised to acquaint themselves with their setting, but anyone who was excited by Abercrombie's debut ten years ago will feel those butterflies again. It's a masterful approach, displaying everything that's great about the short story format, from a writer at the height of his powers.
'Joe Abercrombie has created a world able to stand alongside landscapes the likes of George RR Martin and JRR Tolkien have created in terms of drama, political intrigue and, of course, bloodshed.'
Overall, the best fantasy collection it's been my pleasure to read in many years.
Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out
Sharp Ends is by turns brutal, witty, chilling, charming but always brilliant.
Geek Planet Online
Pratchett-like parody of epic fantasy throughout... if Pratchett dropped the C-bomb and relished disembowelment.
Dark, and darkly comic, this is an ideal read for anyone who enjoys their humor dry and their vengeance bloody.
The Eloquent Page
World of the First Law