Read Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie Steven Pacey Online


The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it's going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm, and there's only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy. It's past time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta iThe end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it's going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm, and there's only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy. It's past time for the Bloody-Nine to come home. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no one is safe, and no one can be trusted. His days with a sword are far behind him. It's a good thing blackmail, threats and torture still work well enough. Jezal dan Luthar has decided that winning glory is far too painful, and turned his back on soldiering for a simple life with the woman he loves. But love can be painful too, and glory has a nasty habit of creeping up on a man when he least expects it. While the King of the Union lies on his deathbead, the peasants revolt and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is falling across the very heart of the Union. The First of the Magi has a plan to save the world, as he always does. But there are risks. There is no risk more terrible, after all, than to break the First Law......

Title : Last Argument of Kings
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 13616714
Format Type : Audible Audio
Number of Pages : 27 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Last Argument of Kings Reviews

  • Michael
    2019-03-05 05:01

    Because, even after the first two volumes, every character will STILL surprise you. Because Glokta is the best fantasy character I've found since Tyrion Lannister. Because Logen is a mushroom-cloud-laying motherfucker. Because you should've seen it coming but you didn't. You really didn't. Because even "gritty" fantasy writers are usually afraid to go this far against expectations. Because you will laugh. You will get angry. Because you will hate the ending. Because the ending is perfect. Because the last surprise is on the last page. Because every combat sequence is spot on. Because every character's actions are spot on. (Despite the fact that we sometimes don't need quite as much explanation as we get.) Because we need more fantasy authors willing to give people like Terry Brooks, Margaret Weiss, Tracy Hickman and Robert Jordan a really good wedgie. (Giving dead people wedgies might be in bad taste, but it's occasionally necessary.)Because worlds with swords and sorcerers are boring when they're perfect. Because people are boring when they're perfect. Because perfect things are boring. Because this series is totally not boring. Because in some ways Abercrombie's series works better than A Song of Ice and Fire (in some ways, just some, not all of them, please put down those rocks).Because it's time to read something entirely made out of awesome. Because this is it. Because. Just because.

  • mark monday
    2019-03-04 08:25

    and so the excellent First Law trilogy concludes. this was a splendid experience and certainly a hearty one as well. many things to consider and many enjoyments to be had. a full meal! and quite a bitter feast at that.and here is the Last Argument of the title, succinctly delivered by the ferocious sorceror Bayaz:"Power makes all things right. That is my first law, and my last. That is the only law that I acknowledge."SPOILERS FOLLOWthis is a really marvelous series. bold in intent, clear in purpose, both a strikingly rigorous critique of the systems of power and a fun, fast-paced adventure that turns expectations around narrative & characterization upside down. it is not perfect; the most egregious fault is a certain shallowness in the dialogue - many lines read as if they are coming from a particularly snarky tv sitcom. i do not like. but that fault, and other minor ones, pales in comparison to all the positives of the trilogy.the first book basically functions as a a prologue. indeed, in other books, the entirety of the action in that book would probably have been dispensed with in a chapter or two. but The Blade Itself sees the building of character and the constructing of a strong foundation for its overarching narrative as key to its design, and so The Blade Itself sticks in the memory as one of the most in-depth introductions to the action that i've experienced. a bold move; i like. the second book is where all the action is at. but man does Abercrombie fuck with reader expectations in Before They Are Hanged. there are two primary narrative threads in the second book: a Quest for a Band of Adventurers and the Defense of a City Under Siege. for such a contrastingly (to the first book) action-packed novel, the decisions of how to end these two adventures is rooted in the need to illustrate failure - so much so that the novel functions as a sardonic critique and attack on the use of Quests and City Sieges in fantasy. the Quest goes nowhere; nothing is gained and the whole thing is pointless. the Defense of a City fails; good people are slain, a city is taken, and then the 'hero' is rewarded for doing a good job in drawing out the Siege - his actual failure being preordained by his loathsome masters. truly a a kind of rough justice in terms of reader expectations for classic narrative pleasures; i like.Last Argument is likewise determined to smack the reader upside the head with their own complacent desires. this happens in two distinct ways: (1) showing the true darkness at the heart of its sometimes rather loveable characters and (2) giving the novel's various narrative threads some of the bitterest versions of happy endings that i've the first goal, it is important to point out what Abercrombie did in the second book: he made his characters highly appealing. their courage & loyalty & cleverness are highlighted and they are given amusing character traits to make them charmingly down-to-earth. they grow and they do brave things and the novel shows that they can be better human beings, if given the opportunity. the third book is counting on the reader to remember those positive little bits - all the better to sting that reader when they are reminded of these characters' true natures. the only person who escapes unscathed is the most unloveable character of all - the savage and bloodthirsty Ferro, who is my own favorite character. other characters do not make it out with their loveability intact. Logan the berserker barbarian's stomach-turning past is actually explored (with an emphasis on his various mindless atrocities) and, most importantly, we are given a scene where we witness Logan's terrifying alter ego do truly horrible things. my God, he cuts a child in half! he becomes distinctly un-loveable after that little bit. and the same goes for the rest: anti-heroes who Abercrombie set up to be surprisingly sympathetic are given their chance... not to shine, but to molder. Glokta tortures innocent people that he knows are innocent, simply because he is following orders. Jezal overindulges his tendency towards frustrating ditheriness. Ardee becomes a self-pitying, self-loathing lush. Black Dow, Frost, and Severard betray those who have given them trust. Quai is shown to be a foul imposter. and most stark at all, Bayaz the Eccentric Magician is shown to have the true colors of a classic megalomaniac, uncaring of who he hurts & kills, primarily interested in maintaining his authority, a liar and a bully and a murderer, contemptuous of all who do not share his goals, and willing to do literally anything to further those goals and gain more power. Bayaz the Eccentric Magician - the only character who seeks to truly protect a kingdom against the powers of darkness - turns out to be the darkest monster of them all. i the second goal... well, i don't want to do what i did above, and list the viciously ironic happy endings delivered on all the remaining characters. one example will suffice: a Happy Marriage for a king and his new bride. a happy ending where a lesbian is forced to pretend to be deliriously happy to bed her man night after night - or else her lover, a stalwart lady-in-waiting, will be tortured and killed. a happy ending where the naive new king is so pleased with his wife's change of heart that he never questions how that radical change of heart occurred. he finds her crying at the window each night after a session of lovemaking... well, it must be because she is homesick!the cumulative effect of all of Abercrombie's bleakly sardonic decisions is one that gave me a hollow, depressed feeling. and yet i was thoroughly engaged and challenged by each of his decisions. i felt attacked; i felt like the rug was pulled out from under me; i felt as if all that i held to be important and meaningful were simply false constructs based on lazy thinking and a complacency with what i have automatically considered as "good", as "right". being challenged like that is a rare thing. i like.

  • Petrik
    2019-02-22 02:15

    "Say one thing for Last Argument of Kings, say it's dark fantasy at its best" Logen's father said. After finishing the book and the trilogy, I decided to give this book a rating of 5 stars. Why? well, as Logen Ninefingers always said "you have to be realistic about these things."Last Argument of Kings is the conclusion to the First Law Trilogy and it completely delivered on all aspect of great quality dark fantasy. It provides a fitting ending to the trilogy, it's dark, funny, bloody, oh yes it's really bloody, intense and packed with fast paced actions. Out of 670 pages around 300 pages are filled with war, death, and Abercrombie wrote it in a way that we, the reader feels we are truly in the middle of all the chaos and mayhem with all the characters. Actions scenes, torture scenes are all vivid although sometimes there is way too much details into some unnecessary stuff imo. However, it doesn't change the fact that Abercrombie really pay attention to details and gave one heck of a fine trilogy into the literature world. Joe Abercrombie will now be included into one my favorite author lists along with Brandon Sanderson, and at the same time along with Mistborn trilogy, these trilogy are going to my favorite shelves. Any fans of dark fantasy and Song of Ice & Fire series will definitely have a blast with this series like I am. Thank you for reading my reviews and thoughts on this book!Side note:-Obviously this book is not for kids, "you have to be realistic about this" unless you want your kids to be a torturer or some kid who goes rampage on their lego and screamed he is the Bloody-Nine.-The Bloody-Nine is probably one of the most badass characters I've ever had the chance to encounter in fiction worlds. (Not literally of course, otherwise.. you know, I'll be dead.)-"If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” - Ramsay Bolton

  • KatHooper
    2019-03-11 01:04

    ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Say one thing for this reviewer, say she's a weak-minded sucker.She really enjoyed the first two books of Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy. This story was original, had a unique style, fascinating characters, and a darkly cynical style. She liked it. It was fresh. But she was kind of hoping, even daring to expect, that the last book, Last Argument of Kings, might have an ending that was, if not perhaps exactly happy, at least somewhat satisfying.Unfortunately, Last Argument of Kings was more realistic than happy. Hooray, some might say -- a realistic ending! But realistic is not what this reader reads fantasy for. For three books she read about people's heads being chopped off, painful body parts clicking, toothless gums being sucked at, pain, wasting disease, bodies being cleaved in half, more pain, betrayal, torture, treason, tyranny, loveless marriages, abusive fathers and brothers, miscarriage, alcoholism, prejudice, more pain. Lots of pain. It has to get better, right?Alas, no. There just wasn't enough redemption to balance all of the pain. A couple of characters became more noble (they couldn't have become less so), but their triumphs were outweighed by the degradation of other characters. It was all just kind of depressing.Besides that, there really wasn't anything new in Last Argument of Kings. The story ends (for better or for worse), but there was none of the freshness that was so exciting in The Blade Itself. The writing is well above average, but not brilliant, and it certainly wasn't pretty.What she's trying to say is: The First Law is an entertaining and well-written story for someone who is more the cynic than the optimist. But it left this reviewer feeling icky. Very icky. Read more Joe Abercrombie book reviews at Fantasy Literature .

  • Saleh MoonWalker
    2019-03-02 07:26

    Onvan : Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3) - Nevisande : Joe Abercrombie - ISBN : 575077905 - ISBN13 : 9780575077904 - Dar 536 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2008

  • Bookdragon Sean
    2019-02-27 02:18

    The end of this series is a cleverly crude mirroring of it’s opening, and it’s just so damn hilarious. I’m saying no more regarding that, but Abercrombie never fails to make me laugh. Logan Nine-fingers is such a great character; he really is one of the strongest aspects of this series. His wise courage allowed him to defeat the impossible. Only he would have survived such an ordeal. Abercrombie sure knows how to write an excellent battle sequence, but the one on one combat at the end of the book a whole new level of gripping. It was tense. It was exciting. And it felt like it could have gone either way. Every stroke of the sword was vital. One wrong move and it was over. The odds were against Logan; he faced a terrible foe, but Logan is a survivor. He has been through so much in his life, and he will continue to face his enemies until he falls. He is unshakable. His proficiency for killing grants him a new beginning by the end. He is in a position where he could go anywhere and be anyone. It will be interesting to see how far the character goes in the future. Now I’ve of course read Red Country but I want to see Logan after that. I hope one day that we finally get to see his end, whatever that may be. I think we need to because at the moment Logan’s story is far from over. An origin story would also be quite good. We know the basics of where he came from, but to read about it all would be great.Strong endings all round Now I’ve just been babbling about Logan so far, though he is not the only great character in this series. Sand dan Glokta stands amongst my favourite characters in all fantasy fiction. He is on par with Tyrion Lannister in his wit, cynicism and intelligence. He is the unsung hero. He is the cripple; the man twisted with rage and despair, but he also pulls through it and continues to serve his country despite his many personal daemons. He finally gets his due, one deserved and one justified. As I said with Logan, I would love to see a reprisal of this character. His newest novels (The Shattered Sea trilogy) whist in themselves quite good, simply are not on par with his first trilogy. The tone isn’t the same. The story is no where near as good. So I think a return to this world is in order.

  • Dan Schwent
    2019-03-05 08:02

    As the Gurkish march on Adua, Bayaz schemes to defeat them, Jezel discovers his secret parentage, and Glokta tries to learn things no one wants him to know. Meanwhile, the Northmen are holed up in a fortress in the hills with Bethod's army at their gate, waiting for the Union army to arrive. Will they arrive in time? Is even Bayaz enough to defeat the Gurkish?Apart from my Dark Tower reread of 2011, It's been a long time since I read the final book in a fantasy series. I guess re-reading the Elric books was the last time and probably Amber before that. The Last Argument of Kings, final book in the First Law trilogy, is way up in the series ender hierarchy.The manure hits the windmill in a serious fashion in this volume. Several pretty important characters die. The rest of them have their lives change in real ways. Who would have Jezel dan Luthar and Logen Ninefingers would wind up kings? Or what would happen after they did? Glokta and Bayaz were by far the most captivating characters in this volume. Glokta shocked me time and time again and I'm still not sure if Bayaz slew his mentor or not, only that he has his fingers in most of the pies in the bakery. All the revelations toward the end blew my mind.There are so many things I want to gush about in this volume, like Bayaz using the Seed against the Eaters, Glokta marrying Ardee West, and the fight between The Bloody Nine and the Feared. I knew the confrontation was coming as soon as the Feared was introduced and I was pretty sure of his weakness. I just didn't picture the battle to be so brutal.The character development over the course of the three books was pretty damn amazing considering where Jezel, Logen, and the rest started. The ending was the icing on the cake.Like I said in my reviews of the other books, people compare these books to George R.R. Martin but they aren't that similar other than the brutal deaths. The First Law is way more like Pratchett. This particular volume reminds me of Watchmen quite bit when the heroes find out just how thoroughly they've been jerked around.Five blood drenched stars. That's all I have to say.

  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    2019-03-15 06:28

    The last book in Abercrombie’s dark fantasy trilogy. Done. Dusted.It’s going to be a while before I’ve properly assimilated everything that happened over the course of the series. It’s quite something, and it’s well worth your time if you enjoy genre fiction.Last Argument of Kings – thoughtsStrange and painful events seemed to follow in his wake like stray dogs barking behind the butcher’s wagon.Like I mentioned in one of my earlier reviews, it isn’t clear whether this wants to be (dark) heroic or (dark) high fantasy. It does contain elements of both; It’s very, very violent and bloody at times, but it also has moments of hush and awe. As expected, the action sequences are spectacularly impressive, especially any featuring Logen Ninefingers, or more particularly, The Bloody Nine.[He] stood still and caught his breath, the sword hanging down by his side, the grip cold and wet in his clenched fist. He’d never been much of a one for moving until it was time. “Best tell me your name, while you still got breath in you. I like to know who I’ve killed.”I’d be hard pressed to select just one word to describe Abercrombie’s writing, but something that did spring to mind was “immediate”. There is an intimacy and urgency to the prose that pulls the reader in, kicking and screaming, for better or worse, until everything is played out. At almost 700 pages in pretty small print this is no light read, and yet it’s over before you know it.The characterisation in this story and in this entry in particular, is extraordinary beyond my ability to describe. The POV characters are fairly ambiguous for the most part and you’re never quite sure just who is going to carry the day as the biggest bastard, or beloved, of the series. I think, though, that I’m not alone in being partial to master Ninefingers, who is easily one of the most bad-ass and provocative anti-heroes to grace (if you could call it that) the pages of a book. It meant nothing to [the Bloody Nine] who men were, or what they had done. He was the Great Leveller, and all men were equal before him. His only care was to turn the living into the dead, and it was past time for the good work to begin.A word of honour has to go to Inquisitor Glokta, whose inner musings are a delight and whose story is rife with intrigue and delivers the most surprises.It always amazes me, how swiftly problems can be solved, once you start cutting things off people.As with the previous books, there is a lot going on, mostly concerned with warfare. Siege, battle, bloodbath, siege: wash, rinse, repeat. Despite that, it remains a fascinating story that manages not to be overshadowed by the mayhem. The (extended) ending is likely the portion that readers will quibble over the most, but it’s a fantastic achievement all in all. Great stuff all round.Addendum:In a recent review of a different book I made a comment regarding the use of (crude) expletives during certain, um, scenes of intimacy. The same thing happens here, but it didn’t seem so out of place at all. This either makes me the biggest hypocrite in the universe, or this is just that good a book. You have to be realistic about these things.

  • Alex
    2019-03-01 02:22

    Okay, so here's the thing with this book and why I gave it no stars:1) It's the third and final volume in a trilogy that up to this book was pretty much as good as fantasy gets: good characterizations, egaging plot, nice overall writing style, etc etc etc.1a) I specifically liked the first two because they were surprisingly nasty, not dark mind you (no brooding emo heroes of the night), nasty.1b) "Nasty" isn't meant sexually either, incidentally, in case you were flashing to Janet Jackson right then.2) All of that remains true for this book. I think it's important to know that no actions or events in this book are implausible given what's happened before or are unbelievable to the characters as written to this point.SPOILER-ISH3) Man, everything goes to shit and everyone dies or is fucking miserable forever is what happens here in book three. 4) And that turns out to be the point of it all, the philosophy the series intends to convey: That everyone is a total shit and you will die and death will be awful and degrading, but that's what life's like anyway so who cares. 4a) I think it's because that's the IT of the series that I found the book so dispiriting and also retroactively ruinous of the first two, which I no longer particularly like knowing what they'd lead to. 4b) Which makes me worry a little that I've turned into Pollyanna No-Unhappy-Endings let's have some cookies and hugs.4b -i) Or even worse, someone who requires moral edification in entertainment.5) I am going to resist those ideas about myself, even as I struggle to figure out why this is so repugnant to me, why I feel so.. almost offended by this book. I guess because this ending seems as trite as one where everyone wins and has cookies and hugs, only looking for some deeper credibility by instead of cookies it's slavery instead of hugs it's sharp pointy sticks being jabbed in various orifices. It ends up not TRYING to say anything more then the easiest black or white thing it could say, and it's even worse when you have this feeling the author COULD HAVE DONE BETTER.

  • Robin (Bridge Four)
    2019-03-06 06:22

    “Mercy and weakness are the same thing in war, and there's no prize for nice behavior.”When your two favorite characters in a book are a master torturer and a warrior who occasionally is filled with so much bloodlust that he forgets who he is and is as likely to kill a friend as much as a foe you really shouldn’t be surprised to have mixed feelings at the end of the series.But I was surprised. Maybe I’m too used to the series I’m reading ending by tying everything up neatly in a bow and giving out an appropriate number of Happily Ever Afters. I can’t really say that happened. There are some people who got what they deserved, others who got far more than they deserved and even more who did not get what they deserved at all. At the end I wasn’t sure how to feel. This is one of those stories that is going to stick with me and I’ll wonder what the characters went on to do long after the story ended.I’m going to give Joe Abercrombie some props. He made me love characters that I shouldn’t have liked at all. I mean who loves the torturer in a story, but Glotka is one of my all-time favorite Anti-Heroes. I also adore Logan who sometimes goes on killing sprees and might kill his most trusted ally, still Logen Nine-fingers really made this story for me.Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he is never boring. I flew through the last half of this book needing to know what was going to happen. I was surprised by revelations that just kept coming. There was one character that I absolutely loved in prior books that I couldn’t believe how much I despised them by the end of this one.“But you love to play the good man, don't you? Do you know what's worse than a villain? A villain who thinks he's a hero. A man like that, there's nothing he won't do, and he'll always find himself anexcuse.”I really do not want to give away anything about this story. I just ask that you go in with an open mind and be ready for a very wild and unconventional and always entertaining ride. The ending to this trilogy is much like Abercrombie’s characters; complex, interesting, controversial and perfectly unapologetically flawed. Maybe that doesn’t sound like a good thing but looking back on it now a week after I finished I really liked some of the chances he took with his story.I really hope he revisits a few of these characters since he left it a little open for some of them in the future. I grew really attached to so many of the characters in the story and I really want to see them again.

  • Ethan
    2019-02-21 00:07

    Disappointing. This book probably deserves better than two stars, but I just can't bring myself to call it good, because I didn't really enjoy it even though I read it fairly quickly. Don't get me wrong: it's interesting enough, and the characters are still vaguely engaging, and there's plenty of action. By all means, the formula is there (even though it does feel a little bit tired).So what's the problem? I guess I was just hoping Abercrombie would be able to salvage some of his characters and bring the story to a satisfying conclusion, but frustratingly, most of the characters end up less likeable at the end than they were at the beginning, and the book's "conclusion" feels loose and sloppy.I'm okay with a "no good and no evil" sort of world, with ambiguous heroes, but for crying out loud, Abercrombie can't seem to come up with a sympathetic character, or any sort of heroic progression. His characters are in turn spineless, self-centered, vengeful, ruthless, feckless, and amazingly passive. Unlikeable in the extreme. Logen seems to be a completely different character from one book to the next, Ferro is static, Glokta becomes boring (can he stop tonguing his gums for a page or two, please?), and Jezal crumples into a worthless sack of dookie. By the end of the book, there was not a single character I was rooting for, and I really didn't care whether they lived or died. In fact, I was kind of hoping they would die, since then there wouldn’t be any sequels. Whatever happened to characters like Elric of Melnibone, Raven of the Black Company, Caine, Tyrion Lannister, Riddick, et al?The humor seems to have disappeared by the third book, as well. This is too bad, since humor actually makes the characters a lot more sympathetic.There is also some odd plotting. The logic of Bayaz is baffling: why exactly is he spending so much effort to build an empire when he could have accomplished his goals with a lot less hassle (he is, after all, incredibly rich and powerful and all that). And why does he show so little interest in "his" empire? Not even a hint of pride? What’s the point?In the end, that’s what I came to. What exactly was the point of the story?Oh well. Maybe I’ll pick up another book by Abercrombie someday, but not any time soon.

  • Conor
    2019-02-25 08:29

    4.5 starsLast argument of kings is an appropriately epic, dark and brilliant ending to a trilogy filled with great characters and a beautifully crafted, intricate plot. It provides a definite(if somewhat disappointing) ending to the trilogy that still leaves space for the characters and story to be further explored in the following standalone novels.SPOILERS Jezal's character development was easily the best written in this series and among the best I've seen in any fantasy. From his introduction as an arrogant, lazy nobleman in the first book I expected him to develop into a wiser, kinder and generally better guy. However this development, although predictable, is still handled brilliantly here. Returning to the city of Adua, Jezal has decided to forget ambition and instead has decided to spend his life with the woman he loves... but he quickly backslides on this romantic plan when offered a promotion. Reverse character development is something I've rarely seen in fantasy and is cleverly written here. Meanwhile in the North the truth about Logen's violent past is revealed. I always considered Logen's vaguely bloody past to be exaggerated, however in this novel we truly see 'The Bloody Nine' and his indiscriminate savagery reveals a different side to the tough, dependable man he is so desperately trying to be. One scene in particular in which he murders a beloved character demonstrates the senseless violence of his bloodrage, which had been hinted at with Ferro in earlier books. As he gradually returns to his old ways, we come to see why he was so hated, and so feared. Despite the love a lot of people seem to have for him I've never really bought into Glokta. He's always seemed an imitation of Tyrion Lannister to me. A cynical, witty, shrewd political operator who is an outsider in society due to a physical deformity. (And who in the second book in the series commands the defence of a besieged city, I mean come on Abercrombie). I did feel for Glokta however when he was simultaneously betrayed by his two most trusted henchman. On the other hand his interactions with Ardee added hopefulness and sympathy to what was otherwise an often bleak character arc. Also lols. Lots of lols. Their relationship results in 2 of my all-time favourite Glokta scenes. The scene in which he visits her house after being ordered to assassinate her was initially tense (made all the more so by Abercrombie's willingness to have his protagonists do terrible things) and then heartwarming. The second was the scene in which he threatens to go all medieval on the ass (in so many words) of an extremely powerful politician if that politician threatens 'his' wife and child. Tears.So. The ending. I was disappointed by the ending, not throw my book off the wall disappointed but still. I've given the book 4.5 stars because my problems with the ending were due to the tone and the treatment of 2 of my favourite characters more than any real plot hole or pacing error and because other than the last few pages the book is almost flawless.Jezal ends the book not only alive but as king of the union. Yet he is only the powerless pawn of the ruthless megalomaniac Bayaz and trapped in a loveless marriage to boot. Due to her treatment of Jezal I initially felt that the 'jewel of Talins' was a ridiculously 2-dimensional character created to absolve Jezal of all blame in his loveless marriage. However at the end it is revealed that she is a lesbian...completely justifying her coldness, spitefulness, random petty cruelty and her bitter desire to see the entire population of Adua murdered for her own convenience. Those lesbians right? Smashes face off keyboard*Possibly my most disappointing moment in the book was when Jezal, who had only a few pages earlier been willing to make a heroic, self-sacrificing last stand against an unstoppable, murderous 'eater', completely capitulates to Bayaz allowing himself to become a meaningless figurehead for the nation. For me that scene and it's results rendered Jezal's entire character development throughout the series completely meaningless. I know I just praised Abercrombie for his 'reverse character development' (patent pending) but that was just too much. Major Wests' death was another crushing disappointment. One of my favourite characters throughout the series, West was the only major character who died and he did so in a completely meaningless, off-hand way after the climactic battle was already concluded. I feel that his death was greatly different to GRRM-style meaningful main character removal that adds realism and suspense as well as affecting the plot in unexpected ways. The pointless death of a great character didn't seem to affect the plot in any meaningful way and we see only second hand accounts of his failing health without any poignant final POV as death approaches. At least Logen Nine Fingers ended the story in an appropriate way. For a while I was worried he would end the series as a peaceful king leading the north to a bright future, which as much as I liked him, would have been completely at odds with his character and the theme throughout his story arc of having to pay for the sins of the past. I was mildly disappointed that his ability to talk to spirits was forgotten in this book, especially as I had hoped it would be linked into the seeming superpowers he has while(whilst?) in berserker mode. Nevertheless his violent, mysterious (at least until Red Country)end was well written and suited his character perfectly. Despite my personal complaints about the ending I still felt this was an epic, complex and fitting final installment to a great series.

  • Jokoloyo
    2019-03-20 05:30

    Secrets revealed! Plots twisting here and there! Maybe you could outguessed some of plots? The good news is even if you did outguessed a plot, it didn't make the story less fun. Some of the plot twists were actually simple, but the author's execution skill is marvelous. Oh yeah, your memory that still held the details of book one would be rewarded handsomely on this book.

  • ChopinFC
    2019-03-22 04:07

    Wow what a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to the first law series! Abercrombie does a full circle and connects the story arc beautifully in this last book! The characters all have defining and proper conclusions. Nothing is sugarcoated and much on the contrary this almost feels like a Grimm dark fantasy ending. Amazing characters, hilarious dialogue and non-stop action makes this a must read!5 Stars

  • Mpauli
    2019-02-28 03:03

    "Book 3, the final one! We're almost there!""Yes, Sir, Mr.Abercrombie.""So, let's see. We casted characters already and invented plots. What needs to be done now.""Perhaps an ending?""Really? Aren't you enjoying my fabulous characters?""Of course, but you know, a good story needs an ending.""Did Robert Jordan knew that? Does Martin think so?""Well, I'm not sure...""And they sold way more books than I did.""Hm, this is true. But weren't you going somewhere with the story?""You're right, but maybe that's not the point of a story.""Really? I'm confused.""There is a lot of rothfuss lately on the internet about stories within stories about storytelling without telling a story.""And people like that?""Apparently a huge kvothient of the peer group does. Maybe I should write something like that.""A little late for that now, ain't it, boos?"Well, what else is successful?""Star Wars, boss.""That's an idea, finishing a trilogy and then living on it, creating tons of follow-up stuff and Merchandising. Maybe we even get Natalie Portman to play a role in a crappy prequel.""Natalie Portman is mentioned quite often in book reviews lately, isn't she, boos?""Makes you suspicious, doesn't it?""So, we're still in need of an ending. Was way easier with the brginning.""That's it!""What's it, Sir, Mr. Abercrombie?""We don't need an ending, we need a beginning."And thus the third book in Abercrombie's First Law trilogy ends with an epilogue chapter called "The beginning".This book lived up to its predecessors from end to beginning and has a few surprises for the reader.As always, the characters are well executed and outshine the other elements of Abercrombie's writing.So, if you're a reader for whom characters are the most important part of a book, you can easily add a 5th star to the rating.All in all the series is a fun ride that cleverly plays with a lot of fantasy tropes and likes to turn them on their heads.If I wanted to be really picky, I could tell you that the world-building lacked a bit for my taste and that I personally had preferred it to have a few better developed antagonists from the Ghurkish side, but that's not really what the book wants to be good at.So, I would highly recommend it to everyone, who's not afraid of a bleak world and cruel events. I'm definately delving back into the First Law universe with the three standalones, but most likely not right away."Mr. Abercrombie, sir?""Yes?""About these Northmen...""What about them?""There's more of them now. Here's a little girl with a huge hammer...""Well...I'll think of something."

  • Evgeny
    2019-03-04 07:09

    This is the conclusion of a grimdark fantasy trilogy. At this point practically everything I can say about the plot will be full of spoilers, so the most generic description will have to do. A war is raging in the north between Union and united barbarians. Another war is about to start in the south: people led by powerful and practically indestructible flesh-eaters quietly prepare to conquer Union - unless the northern barbarians do it first. Everything seems to be lost, but some powerful people still have some cards to play (very weak ones I might add).This is the book to which I can finally give 5 stars without any doubt. The writing quality is still top-notch, the characters remain interesting and some of the weak ones from previous books finally developed into real 3-dimensional ones. There were enough plot twists in the book to keep me interested in reading throughout the whole book and I did not see quite a few of them coming. The power play behind the scene is revealed at last with some very much unexpected shadow puppet musters.Speaking about the whole trilogy: is it worth reading? The answer is definite yes with some minor reservations. This is a grimdark fantasy, have no doubts about it. For the most part it successfully avoids being too bloody and macabre, but do not expect it to be shiny happy read: it is not. There are plenty of gruesome moments in there: consider the fact that one of the main characters is an Inquisitor whose job is exactly what you would expect from one and who happens to be very efficient at what he does - it is impossible to avoid very dark moments.The first book really takes its time to set up the board and the game pieces - while it is not boring at all, much more excitement starts from the second one onward. You will also get much better understanding of the whole picture after the first book.My final recommendation: definitely read the trilogy, but beware of its dark nature; if dark fantasy is not what you like, avoid it even if this is one of the best examples of this particular sub-genre. The writing quality is excellent, the characters and their development are very good, and some of one-liners are outstanding. This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one:

  • Richard
    2019-03-19 02:21

    8.5/10Reading other peoples reviews of this book makes me feel like a sourpuss only going for the 4 star rating. I fully enjoyed reading people’s reviews and bringing back the memories of those who I have since said my farewells to and glad to see that so many people differ on certain things such as favourite characters, whether they enjoyed the ending overall and if this is one of the better fantasy series to come onto the scene in recent years. As a trilogy I can’t fault this series, the writing is probably up there with the best I’ve read in the fantasy genre (if not all genres) with some truly descriptive characters and settings and some really graphic fights added in too. Glotka is probably one of the best characters in fiction and really came back into the forefront of entertainment for me. But he’s not alone and others such as Logan, Jezal, Bayaz and West could have a massive essay written on how good they are with all their character flaws and interactions with each other and consequences on each other and the world. I won’t gush too much here though as I won’t do this justice, I will only say that the characters have very much developed from the beginning of this series to where things left off and a very satisfying way. The reason for not giving it the elusive 5 *s? It didn’t grip me as much as the second novel (also I think this is a first ever for me where the middle book in a trilogy turns out to be my favourite and I think I might be alone there looking at people’s opinions on this one) and there was a bit too much plodding in parts like at the very end after a hectic 150 pages beforehand. The epilogue was really well done though and linked nicely back to the very start of the series. Whilst not my favourite in the series it was a great way to tie things off. It was a 700 page novel that took me a little over a week to read so that surely says something. I would push this series on any who were teetering whether to read these or not. There is no way that I won’t read this series again in the future when the memories start to fade. Before then though I have the stand alone novels and also the new YA series of his. Good times with all that to go at! If you like this try: “Assassins Apprentice” by Robin Hobb

  • Tilly
    2019-03-13 07:22

    Although "Before They Are Hanged" is still my favorite book in the trilogy, I finally decided to rate this book full 5 stars too. At first I was thinking about a 4.5 but now I realized, that the only issues I had are just fully representing what the whole series is about: That not everything happens in the way we want it to happen. It is about flawed characters which are able to do very questionable things in some of the most horrible situations we can imagine. When it comes to the complexity of the characters, I would definitely say that this series is on the same level like ASOIAF in my opinion and that really says something. I absolutely adore Logen Ninefingers character. (view spoiler)[I felt so bad for him the end. I found it absolutely believable that he truly wanted to change as a person but the circumstances just did not allow it and he had to experience the same shit over and over again. The fight between Logen and Fenris the Feard was probably the most epic events of the whole book in my opinion, by the way. I hope to find out more about Logen´s fate in the spin-off novels because his end in this book was so abrupt.(hide spoiler)] Jezal dan Luthar had probably one of the best character arcs ever through the course of the trilogy, he changed so much as a person and still felt so realistic. Unfortunately I really came to dislike or even despise Bayaz in this book. Nearly every time he enters the scene at the end of the book I just wanted him to disappear or send him to hell honestly. (view spoiler)[It is so frustating to know that nearly every bad direction the story took was mostly his fault in the end and even more frustating that no one is really able to do anything against him. (hide spoiler)] I could write so much more about all these characters and the brilliance of this story but this would be far too much. I will definitely miss Glokta´s inner monologues, Ferro´s snappishness, West´s conflicts with himself, all these great men from the North and so much more. For everyone who hasn´t started this series yet: IT IS ABSOLUTELY WORTH YOUR TIME! I would highly recommend all three of them for any epic fantasy lover but you should definitely be aware before starting them, that there are neither completely good nor completely bad characters. There are only characters which do what they have to do to survive.

  • Lema
    2019-03-11 04:20

    [throws a bucket-load of stars at you]I don't know where to start, it's been what a week? Still not freaking over it!Reading this was one hell of a nerve-wracking emotional roller coaster, every time I add a fantasy series to my list of favorites of all time, I would think that there's no way I'll ever get to experience this intense emotion ever again (dramatic I know) but then some genius sociopath like Joe Abercombie would write something like this evil trilogy and Voilà! you are messed up for life! :DBrilliant depiction of my favorite nasty bastards by Darya KuznetsovaThis book was not only brilliantly paced, filled with character development and twists and turns, but it genuinely scrambles your brain pretty hard. It makes you question your morals and principles as a human being.. I mean you should have seen some of the shit I cheered for, and wouldn't hit me until a few minutes later like "what the hell Lem, when did you sell your soul to the devil?" or my personal favorite reaction "I should never speak of this otherwise I would get committed" except for here on GR because it's a safe place and all of us bookworms go bonkers for the worse pieces of shit out there in literature :'DAnd then the Ending happens!! it left me wowed, conflicted and not sure to feel elated or just plain cheated that it left so many open endings. I decided to go with elated, and because Lord Grimdark decided to grace us with a new trilogy set 30 years following the event of this book in the same world with hopefully some cameos form our loved ones, so hopefully that would answer some of our neverending questions.In conclusion, READ THIS FREAKING TRILOGY! First book is like an awesome introduction, second book has one of the most amazing character building scenes I've ever seen, and third book I just want to keep it near me so I can reread some of my favorite parts whenever it hits my fancy (Petrik you know of what I'm talking about *starry eyes*)

  • Stjepan Cobets
    2019-02-28 00:01

    Excellent completion of the series, but I think the writer with this book just opened a fantastic world in which live characters from the book. I love writing Joe Abercrombie and high-maintenance I think I'll read a few more of his books. Honestly, sometimes a writer does not have any mercy on the main characters, but in a world that they live anyway no mercy for anyone. The book is so much upheaval, lies, and deception that you simply have to enjoy reading. I've enjoyed. If you like fantasy books, then this series not to be missed, a world that was created by the writer, is fantastic. The main characters such as the supreme magician Bayaz, Logen, Glokta, Jezal, Feero, simply can hate or love. The characters are so well-woven and complex, simply, if you hate them and sympathize with them. Even minor characters have a story that is perfectly integrated into the whole book. Now a little about the third part of the series; The war in the north is in full swing, an expedition organized by the Bayaz is infamously ended, Glokta returned to Aduu. Logan goes to the north to take part in the war, although not so sure that it wants, Jezal hopes to appease from Bayaz, but he has completely different plans for him, Glokta still dealing with the search for traitors of empire, that is increasingly as a new threat hangs over the empire the threat Gurkhul empire, a wild Feero finally comes to collect all debts to Gurkhul empire. But who will survive in this way is questionable. With pleasure, I read all three books and I would recommend it to all fans of fantasy. I think it's a great series and could appeal to a wider audience of readers.

  • Carol.
    2019-03-08 08:17

    Wow. Just finished, and that was a book that was just... wow. Made expectations, fulfilled them, broke them apart into little pieces and reassembled into a huge jagged collage of a work. Amazing. Glokta continues to be the character you would love to hate, except that he is the very essence of tortured humanity. Jezal grows beyond a self-involved ego into a man willing to stand for his beliefs--except that he remains manipulated and somewhat ignorant of the extent to which he is played. Logen unfortunately sees too many more appearances of The Bloody Nine, and it costs him almost everything even as he wins. Commander West continues to lead with loyalty and strategy. Everyone is so humanly flawed, admirable in their nobility and despicable in their actions at times. Truly an impressive but uncomfortable work. The dark side of fantasy, not because it delves into Evil with the capital "E," but because it shows how choices and character continue to drive us, perhaps causing us to make the very same mistakes, or the choices we make when we have no choice at all. Even the most unsympathetic of characters have their moments. (view spoiler)[ The final scene between West and Glokta is tear-worthy. And it leaves us with the question, is Bayaz, the First of the Magi, any better than Mamun? (hide spoiler)]

  • Mikko Karvonen
    2019-02-24 01:29

    "Delightfully twisted, and evil." The excerpt from The Guardian tells everything you need to know about Joe Abercrombie. He writes twisted fantasy where the characters are as wicked and dark as the plot twists and morale is not a relevant consideration for any decision. And he writes it well. In short time he has become one of the leading names of the genre, mainly thanks to the First Law trilogy that concludes in the Last Argument of the Kings.And after finally completing the trilogy, I can't help but coming to the conclusion that Abercrombie has nothing to offer to me.I freely admit that he writes very varied characters, who have believable flaws and internal struggles. His dialogue is great and each character has a distinct voice of his or her own. However, by the third book in the trilogy, the obsession of making everyone dark, troubled, twisted, and gritty starts to work against the story. The transition from one character to another no longer offers an interesting contrast, and the plot twists start to become very predictable. This is not shades of grey, this is just the black of a black-and-white world. And as a result, none of the characters really develop anywhere during the story, even though they all had enough inner demons to really do so.I was also very disappointed to see that my biggest worry after reading the first two books was very much realized: Abercrombie is all about his characters, and in the end he does not have a very interesting story to tell. Or that he does not tell it in a very interesting way. When I finally got to the bit where a handful of pages were dedicated to revealing what was actually going on behind the scenes, I very much wanted to groan.Telling everything in the end may work in the detective novels, but it does not work in fantasy, especially not after the big conflict has already been resolved. I want to understand what the conflict is all about to actually care about it and the characters caught into it. The great revelation in itself was also somewhat of a let-down. The setup was promising, but it was used more as an excuse, than as a great, unifying theme. Not to mention that all of it didn't even make that much sense. So in the end, Last Argument of Kings was let down by a combination of far-too-predictable twist and a weak background story that was delivered in an uninspiring way.Joe Abercrombie is clearly a talented writer. Unfortunately, based on the First Law trilogy, it seems that he is not a very interesting storyteller. To me, a truly memorable fantasy author should be both.

  • Dana Ilie
    2019-03-17 08:20

    Nimeni nu primeste ceea ce merita, "Trebuie sa fi realistic".Trebuie sa recunosc ca as fi putut foarte usor sa urasc cartea aceasta, si am avut destule motive, dar vine Abercrombie si si cu talentutul lui scriitoricesc le varsa, le aduna le leaga cu funda si trage concluzii care iti lamureste intrebari, dar lasa sfarsitul suficient de deschis cat sa-si puna cititorul intrebari. Regretul vine cand dai ultima pagina si te desparti de personaje. Au fost personaje pentru care am fost trista , pentru altele stiu ca trebuia sa ma bucur , dar nu am putut, si mai sunt si personaje care primesc totul.O serie magnifica pe care o iubesc datorita personajelor.

  • Hanne
    2019-02-20 02:07

    While reading the final hundred pages of this book, there is one quote that came to mind: “All this has happened before, and all this will happen again.” It’s from my favourite tv-series Battlestar Galacticabut it could be a tagline on these series as well. I have to admit after book 1 and 2 I thought that these trilogy was really good, but I didn’t fully understand the utter brilliance it supposedly had. Now after book 3, I get it. This last book is the culmination of so many things and shows some utter brilliance indeed. One of the things that makes this book so brilliant: Abercrombie gives you a few jaw-dropping electroshocks along the way: (view spoiler)[Jezal king? Quai actually being Tolomei? The bloody nine killing Tul? (hide spoiler)] which distracts from the real nuclear bomb that has been dropped at the start and is slowly building to general destruction of everything you thought you knew. Of everything that was so carefully constructed in Book 1 when Abercrombie really took his time to build solid foundations for all his characters.(view spoiler)[Tolkien learnt us to trust the grumpy old wise wizard that lives in seclusion most of the time, but comes out of hiding and heads to court when things get tough. Bayaz seemed to fit that profile, he even got himself a fellowship of his own, but it becomes clear that he is in fact a huge manipulator, power-hungry and he does not care about the consequences of his actions. This book is so complex, so intriguing, so fabulously constructed. At the end you really start wondering whether you have been cheering for the ‘bad side’ all along. The cost of winning is just too high. Listening to Bayaz stories all of it did happen before, he constructed this world, he casted the characters, he wrote the script and he has been recycling that script for a few decades already. “All this has happened before, and all this will happen again” The book even ends how it began. With Logen jumping/falling off a cliff.(hide spoiler)]

  • The Shayne-Train
    2019-03-18 06:07

    Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he writes like a motherfucker.I've been recommending this series to all of my fantasy-reading friends, most especially those all into the George R.R. Martin type of gritty-ass fantasy.See, I did it myself. I hate it when Abercrombie gets compared to GRRM. But how do you avoid it? So I word it thus: in the world of dark, realistic fantasy, Martin is Hitchcock and Abercrombie is Peckinpah. That's the only way I can make that comparison and sleep at night. Plus, it makes me seem SUPER douchey and elitist, just the way I like it.So, hey, I'm reviewing a book. Sorry, forgot.While there were no not-awesome books in this series, this one came the closest for me to almost being 'meh.' But that was just in the first, ummmm, I dunno, one-seventh. It was all political maneuvering and intrigue. I'm not opposed to that, but I've tasted the sweetness of Abercrombie action scenes, and it's hard to go back.The characters that you love and hate go unexpected places in this book. Not out-of-character unexpected, just "wow, I did not see that fucking coming" unexpected.And the ending, oh man, that ending. No tying up shit into a nice little bow. I applaud him for his bravery and skill in crafting an ending that is simultaneously epic, comprehensive, and ambiguous.I don't think I'll ever read a fantasy series that's as good as this one. It's all downhill from here. You have to be realistic about these things.

  • Ana Tijanić
    2019-02-28 08:16

    Prvi zakon odličan od počeka do kraja.Trilogija puna dinamike,humora i obrta.Likovi su dobro razvijeni.Tu i tamo neka predvidiva situacija ali ne u tolikoj meri da pokvari celokupan utisak.Bilo je uživanje čitati.

  • Arthur
    2019-03-13 03:06

    Just finished The Last Argument of Kings...Mixed feelings.Definitely it is not worth re-reading, otherwise it would be like Logen, pissing into the wind. Real life is depressing enough, why make it worse?I didn't expect a happy ending, but everything, absolutely everything to be bad? While you have to be realistic is a good motto, the ending is not realistic because life is shit and people do not change is overplayed.The Blade Itself starts with a chapter 1 - End, and The Last Argument of Kings ends with the last chapter - Beginning.It explains a lot. In the beginning the main characters were in shi*t, and in the end they wandered into the same sh%t.Nothing really has changed. Protagonists didn't really develop, change, improve. The whole trilogy's goal was to hammer home a point:'Our minds never change!''You never change''Nothing has changed. I still need vengeance.''A man can change,' whispered Logen...yet he stood alone... I believe the story is not finished. I am sure, there will be at least one more trilogy. I know, I will give it a try. But if it ends up like this one, it will be the last for me.I am unsure between rating it 6 or 8 out of 10.

  • Skylar Phelps
    2019-03-11 08:21

    Say one thing about Joe Abercrombie, say the man can write!I am still amazed by the quality of the prose and overall finesse of this series. I absolutely loved Abercrombie's writing style and respect the polished excellency that this entire series carries.The profound depth of the characters is also something I must applaud. None of them were really 'the good guy' but I found that I loved them, not only DESPITE their faults but oftentimes BECAUSE of their faults. My only complaint was of some of the content. It was overly violent, brutal, vulgar and so very very bleak. I listened to the audio books and I had to skip a couple of parts because in my opinion they crossed the line of acceptability. So be prepared for a grim tone and plenty of injustice.

  • Orient
    2019-02-26 06:17

    It is the last book in The First Law trilogy (happy 'cause it ended quite good and sad 'cause it ENDED)and I can say for sure that it is the most striking in the trilogy and one of the most gripping stories I've read so far. My praises to the authorThis books encircled me with action, magic, mysteries and did it wildly. And without a doubt it's the characters that rule this trilogy. The Bloody Northmen and the Union, with Bayaz pulling the strings have the key roles. The author is able to involve simple minded people, violent brutes, clever and sly characters and allured me to care about them indeed. These characters are not always good people – they’ve killed people for silly or harsh reasons and yet I worried, felt sorry for them and laughed from their jokes at the same time. There are no “good guys” or “bad guys”, there are just simple, sinful and true people. And of course they are heroes (and antiheroes) not forgeting my beloved one, Sand dan Glokta,who steals the show and further fortifies his role as one of most interesting and intriguing characters in the trilogy. Ah, and we can't forget Jezal dan Luthar, such a bastard in the beginning, he makes some hilarious shifts in his character and actually becomes a likeable king. A high reveal.The trilogy ends much the same as it begins: fighting roughly. It's hard to tell what Mr. Abercrombie has prepared for the readers so far, hope I'll meet my beloved ones in the other books of this fabulous writer.

  • Ana-Maria Negrilă
    2019-03-17 07:03

    Cărțile sunt o oglindă a lumii; chiar dacă imaginea reflectată poate fi distorsionată, totuși recunoaștem ceea ce vedem în jurul nostru. Unele cărți pun accent pe personaje și pe frământările lor, altele pe acțiune, altele pe descrierea lumii. După cum am subliniat mai devreme, Prima lege este o carte în care personajele transformă universul ficțional într-unul posibil, într-un fel de recreere a trecutului prin prisma prezentului.Există o multitudine de personaje care populează țările. Unele au apariții meteorice, dar sunt bine individualizate printr-un gest sau printr-o întorsătură a frazei. Altele străbat cele trei volume și, chiar dacă nu sunt personaje principale, simpla lor mențiune, în diferite părți ale narațiunii, contribuie la veridicitatea lumii.continuarea aici