Top Ten Quotes from the First Law Series

The fantastic First Law world was conceived by my favourite British fantasy author of this generation, Joe Abercrombie. His books are very much like many other modern fantasy authors who have subverted the stereotypical Tolkien-esque fantasy and hauled the genre into the grittier, more violent and darker side. I believe George RR Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire’s author) – started the trend. Abercrombie and others followed.

There are six books based in First Law World, as of now. The First Law – which is a trilogy, Best Served Cold, The Heroes and finally, Red Country.

I have read and enjoyed every book he has written yet. They have a multitude of quotable lines and it’s hard to narrow down only ten. Nevertheless, I have tried my best without without spoiling anything for anyone who might like to read Abercrombie later.

It goes without saying that every quote has sprung up from Abercrombie’s mind, though as to their ‘credits’, I will write the name of the character who stated it in the story.

“Once you’ve got a task to do, it’s better to do it than live with the fear of it. – Logen Ninefingers”


“You were a hero round these parts. That’s what they call you when you kill so many people the word murderer falls short.” – Sajaam


“The truth is like salt. Men want to taste a little, but too much makes everyone sick.” – The Dogman


“Severed heads never go out of fashion. Used sparingly and with artistic sensibility, they can make a point a great deal more eloquently than those still attached.” – Nicomo Cosca


“Sometimes it doesn’t matter too much what choice you make, as long as you make it quick and stick to it.” – Logen Ninefingers


“You should laugh every moment you live, for you’ll find it decidedly difficult afterwards.” – Sazine


“Suffering is what gives a man strength, my boy, just as the steel most hammered turns out the hardest.” – Bayaz


“Evil turned out not to be a grand thing. Not sneering Emperors with their world-conquering designs. Not cackling demons plotting in the darkness beyond the world. It was small men with their small acts and their small reasons. It was selfishness and carelessness and waste. It was bad luck, incompetence, and stupidity. It was violence divorced from conscience or consequence. It was high ideals, even, and low methods.”  – Temple


“You can’t truly hate a man without loving him first” – Logen Ninefingers


“Proof is boring. Proof is tiresome. Proof is an irrelevance. People would far rather be handed an easy lie than search for a difficult truth, especially if it suits their own purposes.” – Glokta

That’s it. There are many more lines in the First Law series worth quoting, but these ten would always be my favourite. Until the next book gets released, at least.


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