Grasping for the Wind chimes in on Joe Abercrombie's debut fantasy epic, The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One).They key off barbarian warrior Logen Ninefinger's catch phrase, “You have to be realistic about these things," noting the various elements of our own history woven into Abercrombie's fantasy setting. (For my money, the novel also weaves aspects of Tolkien and Arthurian mythos together quite expertly.)
They say that Abercrombie is "a skilled writer whose clever turns of phrase are darkly funny... Each character’s motivations are different but compelling, and the fight scenes are impressively described." Finally, they conclude, "The story is wickedly funny, the fight scenes memorable, and the characters fascinating. Nothing in this novel is as it seems, and Abercrombie’s contribution to the genre is sure to endure."