Sunday, 22 September 2019

Updated Timeline and Map from Joe Abercrombie's FIRST LAW world

With Joe Abercrombie's first First Law book in eight years, A Little Hatred, in stores now, I thought it was worthwhile revisiting the setting for the books with a refreshed map and timeline.

The map shows all the lands that lie within the known Circle of the World. Midderland, the island in the centre, is the heart of the Union and the location of Adua, the capital city. Styria, the setting for Best Served Cold, is the island or subcontinent to the east. The North lies to the, er, north with the Orsrung Valley (the setting for The Heroes) located in the mountains and hills south of Carleon. The Far Country, the setting for Red Country, is located to the west of Midderland. Dagoska and the Gurkhal Empire are to the south.

For this map I added the city of Valbeck, a vital location in A Little Hatred. The city lies inland, north of the lands of Isher and somewhat north of Adua, although there's not a huge amount in it.

Also at the time of A Little Hatred, Styria has become a unified nation-state with its capital at Talins (to the disquiet of the Union), the Old Empire has been (somewhat) reunified and the Gurkish Empire has fallen to internal dissent and civil conflict, although for the purposes of clarity on the map it can still be said to exist. Dagoska is now more of an independent city-state, although it remains reliant on the Union for its economic status (as seen in the short story The Thread), so I have marked it as remaining part of the Union.

A map of the Circle of the World. Please click for a larger version.

The timeline of stories and books is as follows, with novels in bold and short stories in italics. These short stories can all be found in the new First Law collection Sharp Ends, which was published this week.

565 (summer): Made a Monster
566 (spring): A Beautiful Bastard
573 (autumn): Small Kindnesses
574 (autumn): The Fool Jobs
575 (summer): Skipping Town 
575 (spring-autumn): The Blade Itself
575-576 (autumn-spring): Before They Are Hanged
576 (spring): Hell
576 (summer): Two's Company
576-577 (summer to winter): Last Argument of Kings
579-80: Best Served Cold
580: Wrong Place, Wrong Time
584 (summer): Some Desperado 
584 (autumn): Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden 
584: The Heroes
587 (autumn): Three's a Crowd
590 (summer): Freedom!
590: Red Country
592 (spring): Tough Times All Over
605: The Thread
605: A Little Hatred

Previous lists and Sharp Ends list "Made a Monster" as taking place in 570. This was an error, as noted by Joe Abercrombie, and the book has to take place around 565 to better fit the narrative references in the books themselves. A precise date for "The Thread" (the short story that accompanies some editions of A Little Hatred) is not given, but it appears to be relatively shortly before the events of the novel.

Note: this is an updated version of a post previously posted here.

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5 comments:

Stienberg said...

Love the new map! I'm just wondering, didn't the Union expand up to the Sokwaya River at the end of Red Country, pushing the border of Starikland further west in the aftermath? Otherwise, that's the only thing I can think of which would have changed on this map.

Anonymous said...

Original Trilogy

565 Made a Monster
566 A Beautiful Bastard
575 The Blade Itself
575-576 Before They Are Hanged
576 Hell
576-577 Last Argument of Kings

Best Served Cold

579-580 Best Served Cold
580 Wrong Place, Wrong Time

The Heroes

574 The Fool Jobs
584 Yesterday, Near a Village Called Barden
584 The Heroes

Red Country

584 Some Desperado
590 Freedom
590 Red Country

Shevedieh, Javre and Carcolf

573 Small Kindnesses
575 Skipping Town
576 Two's Company
587 Three's a Crowd
592 Tough Times All Over

Anonymous said...

I think this order needs to be corrected. Best Served Cold starts with Caul Shivers reflecting on letting the Bloody Nine go, while Red Country ends with Caul Shivers throwing his brother's dagger into the dirt at Lamb's feet (Logen) and giving up on vengeance. So how can he reflect on giving up on his brother's revenge in 579 if he does not give up on the pursuit until 590 in your timeline?

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...
I think this order needs to be corrected. Best Served Cold starts with Caul Shivers reflecting on letting the Bloody Nine go, while Red Country ends with Caul Shivers throwing his brother's dagger into the dirt at Lamb's feet (Logen) and giving up on vengeance. So how can he reflect on giving up on his brother's revenge in 579 if he does not give up on the pursuit until 590 in your timeline?

21 April 2021 at 12:37:00 GMT"

--Caul Shivers gives up on vengeance a lot. The first time, when he's in Styria and is talking about letting the Bloody Nine go, he's talking about how he leaves the throne room in the North when Black Dow betrays Logen. The timeline is most definitely correct. Every book even talks about events in the last book, like Cosca talking about Murcatto or w/e.

Anonymous said...

The easiest way to prove that BSC is before RC is that Shivers starts BSC with both eyes and he has a metal one in RC