Monday, November 16, 2009

The First Law: Last Argument of Kings


Last Argument of Kings is the concluding volume of Joe Abercrombie’s breathtaking debut trilogy, The First Law. There’s not a whole lot of things that I can say in this review if I wish to remain truly spoiler-free, but I shall do my best, but I make no promises. You have to be realistic about these things.

It’s been two months since I read book two (reviewed here), and picking this book up felt like a meeting between old familiar friends. All those characters that I had grown to love were returned. Split between wars on both sides, the Union looks to be in quite a mess. Scores are settled amazingly. Loose ends are all tied up neatly. When the smoke clears and the dust settles and you finally finish the book, you’ll be left as speechless as I was. (Actually, I busted out laughing in disbelief, which led to “huh.”, which led to “wow".”)

Like with the previous novels, Last Argument of Kings is a novel about characters. You feel as if you’re inside the head of Logen Ninefingers as he contemplates what to do about a dire situation. You hurt with Jezal as he struggles with his day-to-day existence. You feel your neck crack and your eye leak with Glokta and wonder with him why he does it. The plot is chiefly character driven and the experience is perfect.

If you’ve read the first two books then you know that there is a lot going on in the Circle of the World. A lot of stuff you don’t understand, but you suspect Bayaz knows more than he’s telling. A lot of mystery and lies, and sorting the truth from fiction is a thrilling activity.

Over all, and to keep my mouth shut to remain spoiler-free, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The entire series was an absolute joy to read. The ruthlessness and brutality is reminiscent of GRRM, but at the same time different and unique. Everything reads realistic, and it’s easy to relate to most of the characters. I strongly urge you to pick up these books and read them. Enjoy them. Bask in their wonder. And when you finish, you’ll know that you’ve read something like you’ve never read before. The conclusion of Last Argument of Kings was a perfect fit to the series and I strongly recommend you try this series out.

And now, like with my review of Before They Are Hanged, I give you some of my favorite quotes.

"That's what war is. A lot of folk getting killed that don't deserve it." Dogman
"No, it ain't ever that simple. We all got our reasons. Good men and bad men. It's all a matter of where you stand."--Logen
Why do I do this?—Glokta

*An e-pal (David) gave me the last two books of this series. He mentioned that some books are just too good to set on the bookshelf and not share. I completely agree to that statement. Plus, his generosity was a refreshing breath of good, honest air in Internet Land. So, I now offer these final two books up to whoever would like them. It’d be strongly advised to have read The Blade Itself before diving into these. If you’d like them, just email me your name and shipping address and I’ll take care of the rest. From Dave to Me. From Me to you. Maybe when you read them you’ll pass them along, too. (If I get more than one email, then I’ll do some sort of random pick or something.)


Krista said...

Great review, Logan! I have yet to pick up the second book but I hope to soon, 'cause I really wanna revist these crazy characters :) Mostly Logen and Glokta, there my favorites! :) very unique characters...

That is so awesome of you that you will giveaway these books :) I would email you, but I already have these two books sitting on my shelf! So, who ever gets them I hope you enjoy them!!!

Oh, and I just LOVE these covers! They're all very different and really cool :)

So what's next? Warbreaker? LOL! Happy reading to you! :)

David Wagner said...

Aw, you could have been a bit more free with some of the details! That's ok, I respect your desire to remain spoiler free...

You gotta admit, though, that battle between Logan and Fenris the Feared was amazing...

I had a small eye-roll over the reveal at the end where the identity of the dude with the burned face was made known to Glokta... seemed a bit too convenient.

Other than that, remarkable series. In case you were wondering, Shivers is a major player in Best Served Cold, if you plan to read that one. That ain't a spoiler - you could find that out on the dust jacket... Heck, I'll ship the book to you if you want it! For old time's sake...

logankstewart said...

@Krista: I really like the covers, too. Now I'm reading STAR WARS Death Troopers, then probably I'll review a Christian book for a publishing company, then probably Lamentation or Warbreaker. Too many books...

@David: It's so tough to keep your mouth shut when you read a fantastic book, and I felt staying safe is better than saying too much. Aye, Logen v Fenris was awesome. Anytime the Bloody-Nine comes into play it gets awesome. I liked the way Shivers' character played out. Nah, you can hang on to your own Best Served Cold. I'll get a copy myself sometime in the coming months. I may do a bit of musing tomorrow on the book with a spoiler warning attached, kind of like I did with Before They Are Hanged.

Melissa (My World) said...

Hey Logan, Great review.

I am with Krista, I can't wait to get back into these books. We read book one and I have books two & three but am waiting for things to slow down a little bit. Maybe after the holidays we can get going with these reads again. I really loved these characters. I am curious to see where they go after book one.

Thanks for the few tips! I like tips at times. Although, by the time I get to reading the book I will have forgotten what I read here. I may forget by morning. lol.

But, all in all glad to hear you enjoyed these books soo.

logankstewart said...

Melissa, I'm glad you liked my review. You should definitely savor these books, because they are simply perfect. Enjoy whenever you get to them.