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Joe Abercrombie books in order

Joe Abercrombie is an English writer.

Born in Lancaster, England, he studied Psychology at Manchester University.

Joe had always dreamt of redefining the fantasy genre, something that inspired him to begin writing the epic trilogy based around the misadventures of barbarian Logen Ninefinger.

He currently lives in Bath with his wife, Lou, daughters Grace and Eve, and his son Teddy.

More about Joe Abercrombie

Genre: Fantasy / SF

Born: 1974

United Kingdom


Non Series

  • The Heroes (2011)
  • Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law (2016)

The Age of Madness trilogy

  1. A Little Hatred (2019)
  2. The Trouble With Peace (2020)
  3. The Wisdom of Crowds (2021)

The First Law trilogy

  1. The Blade Itself (2006)
  2. Before They Are Hanged (2007)
  3. Last Argument of Kings (2008)

The Great Leveller trilogy

  1. Best Served Cold (2009)
  2. Red Country (2012)

The Shattered Sea

  1. Half a King (2014)
  2. Half the World (2015)
  3. Half a War (2015)
The Great Leveller trilogy

Detailed book overview

Non Series

The Heroes

“Three men. One Battle. No Heroes.”

Black Dow is said to have murdered more men than winter; clawing his way to the throne of the North in a bloody hill of skulls. The King of the Union however won’t just stand by and do nothing as he claws his way any higher.

Discredited master swordsman, Bremer dan Gorst, doesn’t care how much blood he will spread in his quest to restore his stolen honour.

Prince Calder on the other hand will go to great lengths to acquire power, so long as he doesn’t have to fight for it himself.

No longer caring about war, Curnden Craw just wants to do the right thing.

The fate of the North will be decided in over three bloody days of battle.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-0316193566
Publisher: Orbit
Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law

This is a collection of short stories from the World of The First Law, bringing together content that was previously published, with award-winning tales with never-been-seen-before new short stories.

As war ravages, and betrayal thrives, words become just as lethal as the weapons.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2016
ISBN: 978-0316390828
Publisher: Orbit

The Age of Madness trilogy

A Little Hatred

Leo dan Brock hopes to earn his fame on the battlefield by defeating armies of Stour Nightfall, but Prince Orso, the inefficient son of King Jezal, is an expert at disappointments.

Savine dan Glokta, the daughter of the most feared man in the Union, hopes to propel to the top of society. The slums however have other plans for the socialite.

The age of the machine may be on the horizon, but the age of magic simply won’t die.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2019
ISBN: 978-0316187176
Publisher: Orbit
The Trouble With Peace

"Peace is just another kind of battlefield..."

Savine dan Glokta, once Adua's most powerful investor, finds her judgement, fortune and reputation in tatters. But she still has all her ambitions, and no scruple will be permitted to stand in her way. 

For heroes like Leo dan Brock and Stour Nightfall, only happy with swords drawn, peace is an ordeal to end as soon as possible. But grievances must be nursed, power seized, and allies gathered first, while Rikke must master the power of the Long Eye...before it kills her.

Unrest worms into every layer of society. The Breakers still lurk in the shadows, plotting to free the common man from his shackles, while noblemen bicker for their own advantage. Orso struggles to find a safe path through the maze of knives that is politics, only for his enemies, and his debts, to multiply.

The old ways are swept aside, and the old leaders with them, but those who would seize the reins of power will find no alliance, no friendship, and no peace lasts forever.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2020
ISBN: 978-0316187190
Publisher: Orbit
The Wisdom of Crowds

Some say that to change the world you must first burn it down. Now that belief will be tested in the crucible of revolution: the Breakers and Burners have seized the levers of power, the smoke of riots has replaced the smog of industry, and all must submit to the wisdom of crowds.

With nothing left to lose, Citizen Brock is determined to become a new hero for the new age, while Citizeness Savine must turn her talents from profit to survival before she can claw her way to redemption. Orso will find that when the world is turned upside down, no one is lower than a monarch. And in the bloody North, Rikke and her fragile Protectorate are running out of allies...while Black Calder gathers his forces and plots his vengeance.

The banks have fallen, the sun of the Union has been torn down, and in the darkness behind the scenes, the threads of the Weaver's ruthless plan are slowly being drawn together...

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2021
Ebook: B08RYR6XY2
Publisher: Orbit

The First Law trilogy

The Blade Itself

 “The blade itself incites to deeds of violence.” – Homer

Notorious barbarian Logen Ninefingers is on the brink of being a dead man having made one too many enemies.

All that Captain Jezal dan Luthar, a selfish nobleman, thinks of is fleecing his friends at cards and attaining glory in the fencing circle.

Inquisitor Glokta would relish nothing more than seeing Jezal brought home in a jar. But then again Glokta hates everyone, and his most recent trail of bodies may steer him right to the spoilt nerve centre of government—should he live long enough to follow it.

Old scores will be set and new ones will be settled as murderous intrigues come to light.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2006
ISBN: 978-0316387316
Publisher: Orbit
Before They Are Hanged

 “We should forgive our enemies, but not before they are hanged.” – Heinrich Heine

Superior Glokta has the monumental task of defending a city girdled by enemies and crawling with traitors. Being around treacherous allies is made worse given the fact that his predecessor is nowhere to be seen.

Crown Prince Ladisla is determined to drive away the Northmen who are leaving a trail of fire and blood across the frozen country. The only problem however is that he commands the most ill-armed and ill-trained group of soldiers in the world.

And Bayaz, the First of the Magi, leads a group of brave adventurers on a dangerous mission through the ruins of the past.

When three individuals make an unexpected alliance, they stand a greater chance of attaining a common goal…but only if they overlook their own detest for each other.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-0316387354
Publisher: Orbit
Last Argument of Kings

 “Last Argument of Kings.” – Inscribed on his cannons by Louis XIV

As war ravages over the North, and the King of the Northmen remains unshaken, Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him. But it will require the Bloody-Nine to come home.

Superior Glokta is waging a different kind of war. With his sword-fielding days very well behind him, his current weapons are blackmail, threats, and torture.

Jezal dan Luthar has substituted life in the battle field for a simple one with the woman he loves. But love can be painful too.

Chaos is about to hit the heart of the Union, with the King of the Union on his deathbed and the peasants revolting.

Only the First of the Magi can save the world, albeit at a very costly price.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2008
ISBN: 978-0316387408
Publisher: Orbit

The Great Leveller trilogy

Best Served Cold

“Revenge is a dish best served cold.” – Pierre Choderlos de Laclos

It's Springtime in Styria, otherwise known as war time.

War has raged on for nearly two decades. The merciless Grand Duke Orso has locked horns with the squabbling League of Eight. As armies and cities are brought to the ground, bankers, priests and older, sinister forces conspire behind closed doors to choose their next king.

Monza Murcatto, the Snake of Talins, has amassed her wealth as a mercenary in Duke Orso’s ranks.

With her triumphs however making her too popular for her employer’s liking, Murcatto is betrayed and left to die down a mountain.

Seven men must face the sword, with nothing but revenge in her heart. But what happens when the most lethal assassin in the world is sent to finish the job Duke Orso started?

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2009
ISBN: 978-0575082489
Publisher: Gollancz
Red Country

“Each land in the world produces its own men individually bad – and, in time, other bad men who kill them for the general good.” – Emerson Hough

When her home is burned while her siblings are subsequently abducted, Shy South sets off on a vengeful quest to reclaim her family.

Journeying with just a pair of oxen along with her faint-hearted old step father Lamb for the company, South makes a shocking discovery about her step father’s bloody past.

From a town crippled by gold fever to the unmapped mountains; they enter into a forceful alliance with Nicomo Cosca, the notorious soldier of fortune, and Temple, his good-for-nothing lawyer.

These two men should however never be trusted.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2012
ISBN: 978-0316187206
Publisher: Orbit

The Shattered Sea

Half a King

Prince Yarvi may have sworn to reclaim the throne he never wanted, but he must first survive the chains and harsh waters of the Shattered Sea with only one good hand.

Born a failure in the eyes of his father, Yarvi must use his intelligence as a weapon in a world where a strong arm and a cold heart reign.

As it were, outcasts and the lost turn out to be quite useful compared to any court of nobles .

Will the usurped become the usurper?

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2014
ISBN: 978-0804178419
Publisher: Del Rey
Half the World

With nothing but revenge in her heart, Thorn simply can't wait to avenge the death of her father. How then can she be labeled a murderer by the same man who taught her how to kill?

But sometimes a woman becomes a warrior and a warrior sometimes becomes a weapon.

As she journeys halfway across the world to secure allies against the brutal High King, beside her is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill.

Will Thorn forever be used by the powerful or will she form her own path?

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0804178433
Publisher: Del Rey
Half a War

Princess Skara must defeat her fears to reclaim her birthright.

Father Yarvi did well to move from a slave to king’s minister. The merciless Grandmother Wexen has however assembled the one of the most powerful armies; placing Bright Yilling at the very heart. Yilling bows to no god but Death.

Thorn Bathu and Raith, the sword-bearer, are arguably born to fight, and die. Brand the smith and Koll the wood-carver would however prefer standing in the light.

But when war speads, fighting evil with evil may prove to be the only salvation.

Author: Joe Abercrombie
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0804178464
Publisher: Del Rey