First Law Reading Order, a Grimdark book series by Joe Abercrombie

The First Law is a fantasy series written by British author Joe Abercrombie.

Reading the First Law World Series in Order

The First Law is the title of the original trilogy in the series, but there is more to it than the first three books. There is also more than one way to read them, the publication order or the chronological order.

The First Law Books in Publication Order

The Blade Itself (2006, The First Law trilogy)
Before They Are Hanged (2007, The First Law trilogy)
Last Argument of Kings (2008, The First Law trilogy)
Best Served Cold (2009, standalone book)
The Heroes (2011, standalone book)
Red Country (2012, standalone book)
Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law (short stories, 2016)
A Little Hatred (2019, Age of Madness trilogy)
The Trouble With Peace (2020, Age of Madness trilogy)
The Wisdom of Crowds (2021, Age of Madness trilogy)

The First Law original Trilogy.

The First Law Books in Chronological Order

All of the 13 short stories are collected in Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law.

– “A Beautiful Bastard” (short story)
– “Made a Monster” (short story)
The Blade Itself (The First Law trilogy)
Before They Are Hanged (The First Law trilogy)
– “Hell” (short story)
Last Argument of Kings (The First Law trilogy)
Best Served Cold (standalone book)
– “Wrong Place, Wrong Time” (short story)
– “The Fool Jobs” (short story)
– “Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden” (short story)
The Heroes (standalone book)
– “Some Desperado” (short story)
– “Freedom!” (short story)
Red Country (standalone book)
– “Small Kindnesses” (short story)
– “Skipping Town” (short story)
– “Two’s Company” (short story)
– “Three’s a Crowd” (short story)
– “Tough Times All Over” (short story)
A Little Hatred (Age of Madness trilogy)
The Trouble With Peace (Age of Madness trilogy)
The Wisdom of Crowds (Age of Madness trilogy)

More about the First Law series

The Story of the First Law series

The First Law trilogy is set in a fictional medieval world where magic is real and there are many different races, including humans, dwarves, and trolls. The story follows several different characters, including a brutal barbarian warrior, a cunning smuggler, and a noble warrior, as they navigate a world filled with political intrigue, violence, and betrayal.

What follows is the official presentation of the first book in the series, The Blade Itself:

Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he’s on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian — leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies.

Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules.

Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. But then Glokta hates everyone: cutting treason out of the Union one confession at a time leaves little room for friendship. His latest trail of corpses may lead him right to the rotten heart of government, if he can stay alive long enough to follow it.

Enter the wizard, Bayaz. 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 Logen, Jezal, and Glokta a whole lot more difficult.

Murderous conspiracies rise to the surface, old scores are ready to be settled, and the line between hero and villain is sharp enough to draw blood.

Does the First Law series need to be read in order?

Yes. At least, read the trilogies in order.

There are two ways to read The First Law series. If it’s the first time you read it, the best way is to follow the publication reading order, because some of the short stories contain spoilers. When you know the story, you can revisit it by following the chronological order.

How many books are there in the First Law series?

The First Law series consists of two trilogies (The First Law and The Age of Madness), three stand-alone novels, and short stories. In total, there are 9 novels and 13 short stories.

Where can I find the First Law’s short stories and novellas?

All of the 13 short stories set in the First Law world are collected in Sharp Ends: Stories from the World of the First Law.

Is there an adaptation of the First Law books series?

Not all book series are destined to be adapted as movies, TV Shows, radio dramas, or others. As of today, at least, there is no adaptation of the First Law books.

About the author of the First Law series

Who is Joe Abercrombie?

Joe Abercrombie is a British author of epic fantasy and science fiction novels born in Lancaster, England in 1974. He studied psychology at Manchester University before working as a freelance film editor.

In 2006, he published his first novel, “The Blade Itself,” which was the beginning of the First Law trilogy. The trilogy was a critical and commercial success, and Abercrombie has since published several more novels set in the same world, as well as a number of standalone novels and short stories.

In addition to his writing, Abercrombie is also a screenwriter and television producer. He has written several screenplays and worked on a number of TV shows, including the popular British series “Misfits.”

What has he written beyond the First Law series?

Most of the books written by Joe Abercrombie are set in the First Law world, but not all. He also wrote a young adult fantasy series, the Shattered Sea trilogy.

The Shattered Sea trilogy follows the story of a young prince named Yarvi, who is the youngest son of the King of Gettland. When Yarvi’s father and brother are killed in battle, Yarvi is suddenly thrust into the role of king. However, he is physically weak and is not well respected by his subjects, so he must use his intelligence and cunning to hold on to his throne and avenge his family.