We meet Logan Ninefingers (or the Bloody Nine as he is sometimes called), a great barbarian warrior from the north who is running away from his homelands. We have the selfish army officer Jezal dan Luthor who is trying to make it as a duellist by doing as little as possible, and finally Inquisitor Glokta, a torturer who is hideously deformed after being tortured himself, who is investigating a large conspiracy that seems to go deep into the government. The stories of these three characters become intertwined as events unfold, and the reader discovers that there is a lot going on in this world.
Abercrombie juggles these various plot lines with skill and builds up a detailed picture of the wider world. With well written dialogue, and heroes who aren't afraid to do questionable things The Blade Itself will make you want to finish the trilogy just to find out what happens to these great characters.