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Fantasy Book Club – March 2011: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie

Well, we’ve all finished or at least nearly finished The Name of the Wind and what a book it was! The sequel is of course out this month and where as many of us will be jumping upon that whale of a book (I hear it’s almost 1000 pages!), many more of us are going to take a break from Kvothe and visit another, equally popular title.

Voting this month was close, in fact far closer than ever before. We had Kraken, A Game of Thrones, and The Blade Itself all making strong claims for the honour of being read/re-read by our members. In the end though, it was Joe Abercrombie’s popular The Blade Itself that came out on top and will therefore be March’s Fantasy Book Club Read, much to the delight of many members.

The Blade Itself (cover)

Inquisitor Glokta, a crippled and increasingly bitter relic of the last war, former fencing champion turned torturer extraordinaire, is trapped in a twisted and broken body – not that he allows it to distract him from his daily routine of torturing smugglers.

Nobleman, dashing officer and would-be fencing champion Captain Jezal dan Luthar is living a life of ease by cheating his friends at cards. Vain, shallow, selfish and self-obsessed, the biggest blot on his horizon is having to get out of bed in the morning to train with obsessive and boring old men.

And Logen Ninefingers, an infamous warrior with a bloody past, is about to wake up in a hole in the snow with plans to settle a blood feud with Bethod, the new King of the Northmen, once and for all – ideally by running away from it. But as he’s discovering, old habits die really, really hard indeed…especially when Bayaz gets involved. A bald old man with a terrible temper and a pathetic assistant, he could be the First of the Magi, he could be a spectacular fraud, but whatever he is, he’s about to make the lives of Glotka, Jezal and Logen a whole lot more difficult.

Reading will commence on March 1, 2011

Book Club Rules

Rule 1: We don’t talk about Fantasy Book Club. Oh, sorry that’s a different club. You are actually welcome to invite friends and tweet this link about everywhere. We want as many readers as possible!

So…How does it really work?

Choosing a Book

What we do is take suggestions from our forum members throughout the month and then open a poll about 2 weeks before the month’s end. Then our members vote on which book they would like to read. A week before the end of the month we close the poll and users have a week to obtain the book – either borrow it, buy it, find it and pull it out from your collection, etc.

Spoiler Free Discussion

Next, we want discuss our books in a way that will not spoil the story, so we limit how much you can discuss and when.

Week 1 – You may only discuss the first 1/4 of the book
Week 2 – You may only discuss the first 1/2 of the book
Week 3 – You may only discuss the first 3/4 of the book
Week 4 – Anything goes

We are going to go based on page count. So for example, if a book has 500 pages then week one you can discuss up to page 125 and then week two 250 and so on. Each week will have a seperate thread, so as not to spoil the story for people who fall behind or come in late.

What if you want to read faster than that?

Not a problem at all. You are more than welcome to read ahead, but when discussing things just remember to post in the appropriate thread. And if you’re not sure when something happened, you can always use the spoiler tag to hide your post.

Should you not want any spoilers or discussion during the reading process, then just come after the end of week three and start discussing the book once you have finished. (This is how most book clubs operate anyway.)

If you would like to join in this month you can visit our forums and add your name to the list.

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