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Book Details

Sharp Ends

71.4% complete
2016
2023
1 time
See 13
A Beautiful Bastard [Kadir, Spring 566]
Small Kindnesses [Westport, Autumn 573]
The Fool Jobs [East of the Crinna, Autumn 574]
Skipping Town [The Near Country, Summer 575]
Hell [Dagoska, Spring 576]
Two’s Company [Somewhere in the North, Summer 576]
Wrong Place, Wrong Time [Styria, 580]
Some Desperado [The Near Country, Summer 584]
Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden … [Near Barden, Autumn 584]
Three’s A Crowd [Talins, Autumn 587]
Freedom! [Averstock, Summer 590]
Tough Times All Over [Sipani, Spring 592]
Made A Monster [Carleon, Summer 570]
Book Cover
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 First Law World*
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First Law World*   See series as if on a bookshelf
A series of novels written by Joe Abercrombie that take place in the same world that the original First Law trilogy did.

1) The Blade Itself
2) Before They Are Hanged
3) Last Argument of Kings
4) Best Served Cold
5) The Heroes
6) Red Country
7) Sharp Ends
8) A Little Hatred
9) The Trouble with Peace
10) The Wisdom of Crowds
Copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie
For Mum and Dad, Couldn’t have done it without Your genetic material.
'Yes!' shrieked Salem Rews, quartermaster of his August Majesty’s First Regiment.
May contain spoilers
'Changed my mind.'
Comments may contain spoilers
A Beautiful Bastard copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie

Small Kindness copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie

The Fool Jobs copyright © 2010 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Swords & Dark Magic, edited by Jonathan Strahan

Skipping Town copyright © 2013 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Legends, edited by Ian Whates

Hell copyright © 2010 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Best Served Cold

Two’s Company copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie

Wrong Place, Wrong Time copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie

Some Desperado copyright © 2013 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Dangerous Women, edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin

Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden copyright © 2012 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in The Heroes

Three’s A Crowd copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie

Freedom! copyright © 2013 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Red Country

Tough Times All Over copyright © 2015 by Joe Abercrombie. First published in Rogues edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin

Made a Monster copyright © 2016 by Joe Abercrombie
Synopsis* (may contain spoilers)
Sharp Ends is a collection of short stories, written by renowned author Joe Abercrombie, which is based in the world created by his First Law Trilogy. The collection of stories focuses on various characters and events throughout the world of the First Law Trilogy, exploring the gritty and violent nature of the world in which the characters reside. The stories are set in various locations throughout the world, ranging from the islands of the Shattered Sea to the north of the Circle of the World.

The story opens with the title tale, “Sharp Ends,” where we meet the main character, Shev, a knife-wielding thief from the city of Sipani. Shev makes a living by robbing the wealthy merchants of the city, but this time around, she takes on a job from an ex-lover, Faldor. He asks her to steal a valuable object, a priceless artifact from the vault of the Duke of Sipani himself. Shev can't resist the challenge and she sets out to undertake this seemingly impossible task. Shev manages to steal the artifact, but not without attracting unwanted attention from a group of mysterious men, who seem to want the artifact just as badly as Faldor does.

In “A Beautiful Bastard,” we meet the infamous Sand dan Glokta, now serving as the Chief Inquisitor of Adua. Glokta is about to be married off to the daughter of an influential member of the city's wealthy elite. Glokta reluctantly agrees to the marriage, and not long after the wedding, he discovers that his new wife has an ulterior motive. She's not in love with him, but rather wants to use Glokta's position to gain access to some highly classified information in the Inquisition's possession. Glokta quickly realizes his wife is working with a group of rebels and must decide how to handle the situation.

“Small Kindnesses” is another story in the collection that features Sand dan Glokta as the main character. In this story, we are introduced to Carlot dan Eider, a wealthy merchant who hires Glokta to investigate the disappearance of his daughter. Her disappearance is rumored to be the work of the notorious criminal, Shy South. Glokta, who has a history with Shy, is hesitant to take on the case, but ultimately agrees to investigate. Glokta finds Shy, but the two end up working together to try and find Carlot's daughter.

In “The Fool Jobs,” we meet Curnden Craw, a former member of the Northmen's Dogman's crew, who is now trying to make a living as a muscle-for-hire in the city. Curnden is hired along with a group of other mercenaries to steal a shipment of valuable books from a wealthy lord. The group sets out to complete the job, but things quickly go wrong, and they find themselves having to fight their way through a group of heavily armed guards.

One of the standout stories in the collection is "Two's Company," where we meet two female mercenaries, Nicomo Cosca and his trusty right-hand, Temedia. The two are hired to protect a group of wealthy merchants as they travel through the dangerous Badlands. Along the journey, the group is attacked by a band of vicious bandits who are led by an old enemy of Cosca's. The group must work together to survive the attack and make it to their destination alive.

“The Last Argument of Kings” is the final story in the collection and serves as a prequel to the events of the First Law Trilogy. We are introduced to some of the key players in the upcoming events, such as Bethod, Logen, and Ninefingers. The story is set during the time when King Guslav has just died, and the various factions in the North are jockeying for power. Bethod is trying to become the ruler of the North, Logen is fighting alongside him, and Ninefingers is off on his own quest for vengeance.

Overall, Sharp Ends is a fantastic collection of short stories that explores the gritty, violent world of the First Law Trilogy. The stories are well-written and engaging, featuring a wide range of characters from throughout the world of the First Law Trilogy. Fans of the series will love revisiting some of their favorite characters, and newcomers to the world will find this collection to be a great introduction to the series as a whole. Abercrombie once again proves himself to be a master of the genre.

Extract (may contain spoilers)
Canto Silvine finished his morning slice of bread and honey, licked his finger, used it to sweep up the crumbs from the plate, and smiled as he sucked it clean. The quiet joy of routine. It was something Mauthis was very keen on, routine. Canto tried to be keen on the same things powerful people were. He thought, perhaps, that might one day make him like them. He had no other ideas how to achieve it, anyway.

He frowned at a honey spot on his sleeve. ‘Damn it!’ Mauthis would be less keen on that, presentation being key, but any more time dithering and he would be late. And if Mauthis hated one quality above all others in a clerk, it was tardiness. He stood, trying desperately to make no noise, but the legs of his chair caught on the uneven boards and made an awful grinding.

‘Cantolarus!’ hissed Mimi’s voice from the other room, and Canto winced. Only his mother used his full name. Only his mother, and his wife when she meant to give him a lecture. As she padded into the room with their son in her arms she had her serious eyes out, that slight wrinkle between the brows that he’d loved to see before he married her, but which had steadily lost its appeal over the months since. To begin with, that wrinkle had come when she told him how their life would be when they were married. Now it came when she told him how far their actual life fell short of what they had agreed.

‘Yes, my love?’ he said, in a tone that tried to laugh her off and reassure her both at once, and achieved neither.

‘How long do you expect us to stay here?’

‘Well, certainly until I get back from work!’ He gave a nervous titter.

She did not. Rather, that wrinkle deepened. There was a loud bang on the ceiling, followed by the burble of raised voices from above, and Mimi’s eyes rolled up towards it. Damn bad timing, for those bastards to start arguing just then. If Canto was half a man he would have gone up there and had a stern word with them about it. So Mimi told him. But Canto was not half a man. Mimi told him that, too.

‘This was supposed to be temporary,’ she said, and their son gave a quivering stretch as though attempting to pile more guilt on Canto’s sagging shoulders.

‘I know, and it is, it is! But … we can’t afford anything better quite yet. My pay won’t cover it—’

‘Then either your pay must rise or you must find a better-paying position.’ That wrinkling grew harder. ‘You’re a father now, Cantolarus. You have to demand your due. You have to be a man about it.’

‘I am a man!’ he snapped, in the most peevish and effeminate way possible. He forced his voice deeper. ‘I’m due a promotion. Mauthis said so.’

‘He did?’

‘I just said so, didn’t I?’ In fact, Mauthis had not spoken to him directly for three months, and that had been to bloodlessly correct him over a minor error in one of his calculations.

Mimi’s angry frown had turned into a suspicious frown, however, and Canto counted that a victory, however it was managed. ‘He’s said it before,’ she grumbled, hitching their son up a little. He truly was an enormous baby. ‘It hasn’t happened.’

‘It will happen this time, my love. Trust me.’ That’s what he said every time. But it was easier to lie than to have the hard conversation. Much easier. Fortunately, their son chose that moment to give a mew and tug at his mother’s nightshirt. Canto seized his chance. ‘I have to go. I’m late as it is.’

She tipped her face towards him, probably expecting a kiss, but he did not have it in him, and fortunately their son was struggling now, eager to be fed. So instead he flashed a watery smile, and stepped out into the mouldy hallway, and pulled the door rattling to.

A problem left behind was just the same as a problem solved.

Wasn’t it?

 

Added: 23-Nov-2019
Last Updated: 23-Jan-2024

Publications

 26-Apr-2016
Orbit US
Kindle e-Book
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
26-Apr-2016
Format:
Kindle e-Book
Cover Price:
$17.99
Pages*:
296
Read:
Once
Reading(s):
1)   5 Nov 2022 - 13 Mar 2023
Internal ID:
12768
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-316-39080-1
ISBN-13:
978-0-316-39080-4
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Lauren Panepinto - Cover Design
Gillian Redfearn - Editor
Greg Ruth  - Cover Artist
Dave Senior - Map
From amazon.com:

Sharp Ends is the ultimate collection of award winning tales and exclusive new short stories from the master of grimdark fantasy, Joe Abercrombie.

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.

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 . . .
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
First ebook edition: April 2016

E3-20161206-JV-PC

All Covers for this edition of the series

Related

Author(s)

Joe Abercrombie  
Birth: 30 Dec 1974 Lancaster, England

Awards

2017World Fantasy ConventionWorld Fantasy Award - Collection Nominee
*
  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI. There aren't a lot since this is an iffy way to do it - AI seems to make stuff up.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.






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