Abercrombie, Joe. The First Law. 3 vols (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings). London: Gollancz, 2006-2008. ISBN 978-1473213708.
Great character-driven British fantasy, styled in raw, abrasive realism. The universe too, somewhat less developed than the uniquely strong characterization, grows as the gripping story advances. I give ****/5.