I thought that [b:Blood Song|13569581|Blood Song (Raven's Shadow, #1)|Anthony Ryan|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1363126955s/13569581.jpg|19148922] was going to be the best book I read this year. That one was so good that I was left with the sense that no other book would be its equal for years to come. [b:Before They Are Hanged|902715|Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)|Joe Abercrombie|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1179318094s/902715.jpg|2116927] comes along and shatters that idea. This is a 6 star book. The battle scenes, the interwoven multiple plots, the in-depth character development, and a world so finely tuned by words that you can smell the odors and feel the action scenes as you read. This book is great. I put it up there with [b:The Return of the King|18512|The Return of the King (The Lord of the Rings, #3)|J.R.R. Tolkien|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1367746343s/18512.jpg|2964424] , [b:Nine Princes in Amber|92121|Nine Princes in Amber (Amber Chronicles, #1)|Roger Zelazny|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1368213697s/92121.jpg|1383240], [b:The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe|100915|The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)|C.S. Lewis|http://d202m5krfqbpi5.cloudfront.net/books/1353029077s/100915.jpg|4790821] . An instant classic. Why? because how many books leave you visually stunned by the grenade of lyrical content? How many books contain a realistic bad ass in the form of Logen Nine Fingers? How many books contain a mortally frail wizard in the frame of Baez? The heroes suffer and you feel their mortality as they continue to win you over time and time again.