Book Release – Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

Book Release – Before They are Hanged by Joe Abercrombie

I’m very excited to release the production details of Joe Abercrombie’sBefore They are Hanged”, illustrated by the amazing Vance Kovacs. This is the second instalment in Joe’s “The First Law” trilogy, and I’m very pleased to crack on with the first series CK secured.

As usual it’s been a pleasure working with Joe and Vance on this, and we’ve worked really hard to make the release fit in nicely with The Blade Itself (it has to look cohesive on the shelves) and hope this edition is as loved as the first.

Joe has been incredibly supportive from the very start of Curious King and we’ll publish as much of his work as he will allow (which looks like all of the books in his First Law world).

Without further ado, our latest edition – Before They are Hanged:


Vance Kovacs depiction of Sand dan Glokta and his practicals Vitari, Severard, and Frost

Vance Kovacs is producing 9 colour illustrations (1x Dustjacket exclusive to the Standard Edition, 1x Endpaper and 7 portrait pieces within the book).

The pedigree of Vance is absolutely undeniable and his work spans numerous games and movies, and has worked previously with Jaime Jones (Hyperion artist) and Justin Sweet (Legend artist). Most notably Vance worked on God of War Ragnarok, which he did a phenomenal job with that IP. Vance’s style fits in well with Tommy’s, and he has a real eye for emotion, grit and has almost impressionistic brush strokes covering his work.

Following on from Tommy Arnold’s incredible The Blade Itself dustjacket, Vance has created another masterpiece for the Standard Edition. We’ve gone with the prominent characters in Book 2 being the much-reviled Inquisitor (now Superior) Glokta and his three practicals, Vitari, Frost and Severard.

We wanted another statement piece and we feel we 100% have achieved that. Vance has been a pleasure to work with and has been more than comfortable with mine and Joe’s involvement in the art direction.

Standard Edition

Limited to 500 copies only, the standard edition is 480 pages, printed letterpress two colours (black and blue) on Omnia Natural 120gsm by Pat Randle and Ellen Bills from Nomad Letterpress on their Heidelberg Windmill Press.

This is the only version that comes with Vance’s incredible dustjacket of Sand dan Glokta, and this three practicals. This edition is signed by the author and artist only.

It is bound in black buckram cloth with two hit foil stamping to the cover and spine, with rounded spine, tailband and coloured ribbon.

The endpaper will be a another landscape illustration by Vance Kovacs, which will depict the “other side” and the mythical Glustrod. There will be another 7 colour images within the book, 6 interior images and 1 frontispiece.

The book is protected by a black buckram slipcase with unique design foil stamped onto the cover side.

This edition comes with rights to “Last Argument of Kings” (as well as any future Abercrombie works we do) but does not come with rights to rights to our other titles.



Pre-Order Price: £215

Published Price: £230

Deluxe Edition

Limited to 150 copies only. The numbered edition is 480 pages printed letterpress two colours on Omnia Natural 120gsm paper by Pat Randle and Ellen Bills at Nomad Press.

We had originally planned the second book to be a different colour, but then Joe pointed out that if we carry on with the standalones and the final trilogy, the collectors shelf may look a bit like a pack of crayons. So we’re keeping to blue leather for this edition (potentially a different shade), and will switch up the colour for the standalones and final trilogy. Sporting a new “noose” design and three-pass foil stamping on the cover, spine and back.

The tailbands and ribbon will be the same as book 1 and we’re carrying on the blood spattered topedge as it just feels right. This design has been worked up alongside books 1 and 3 to ensure they flow.

As with the Standard Edition, this book comes will an illustrated endpaper by Vance Kovacs and a further 7 tipped in plates (including a frontispiece) and fold out map.

Housed in a curved mauve cloth slipcase with the noose design foil stamped across all three sides.

This book comes with rights to Last Argument of Kings and any future Abercrombie works we take on following the release of LTAH.

 This edition is signed by both the author and the artist.


Pre-Order Price: £575

Published Price: £595

Lettered Edition

Limited to just 26 editions and printed two colour letterpress on Magnani Mouldmade 130gsm paper by Pat Randle and Ellen Bills at Nomad Letterpress, this edition features unique bindings, case and title setting.

Bound in finest Harmatan black goat with blue leather onlays on the front, back and spine with three colours of foil stamping. It includes 4 raised bands, rounded spine, coloured headbands and all 3 edges gilded gold.

As with the previous editions there will be 7 tipped in pieces of art (including a frontispiece) and a fold out colour map. The lettered also comes with a new unque marbled endpaper and foldout piece of art (the illustrated endpaper used in the other two editions).

It’s housed in a black and blue leather solander box with a rounded spine, and blind stamped cross hatching across the front and back covers. There are also 3 hits of foil stamping on the leather covering and inside is lined with a sumptuous dark blue suedel.

This edition is signed by both the author and the artist.

Pre-Order Price: £2400

Published Price: £2500

Pre-order Information

Folliwing this announcement we will be contacting all relevant rights holders with a purchase link for their copy of Before They are Hanged.

Rights holders will have until Sunday April 7th at 21:00GMT to take up their purchase, and then remaining copies will go up for the public pre-sale.

The public pre-sale is planned for Monday April 8th at 20:00GMT. The remaining copies will go live at that time on the website.


We’re really pleased to carry on the First Law series with Joe Abercrombie and we’re planning to ship this late 2024/early 2025 depening on schedules. Vance is well on with the art, and the interiors have been finished for printing.

We have had to increase the prices slightly but this is due to significant costs in printing and paper (over 40% since book 1), but have tried to keep it as low as possible. 

These as the first book will be packaged and shipped by Ludlow Bookbinders. 

As mentioned previously we are printing both this book and Last Argument of Kings at the same time, so we will be able to release and ship LTAH in 2025. Hopefully we can release the name of the artist attachecd to the final book of the trilogy.