“Dance!” laughed the Bloody-Nine, and the sword reeled around him. He filled the air with blood, and broken weapons, and the parts of men, and these good things wrote secret letters, and described sacred patterns that only he could see and understand. Blades pricked and nicked and dug at him but they were nothing. He repaid each mark upon his burning skin one-hundred fold, and the Bloody-Nine laughed, and the wind, and the fire, and the faces on the shields laughed with him, and could not stop.”
Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he knows how to end a trilogy brilliantly!
Last Argument of Kings was a marathon, rather than a sprint. It was a bittersweet & worthy ending to The First Law trilogy. In fact, it was my favorite installment! I found myself taking my time even more than usual. I inhaled every word, every page of this monster slowly. Almost as if I were dragging it out, wanting to avoid reading too much at any one time for fear I would be finished before I was ready. I just didn’t want to be done with this trilogy!
Even in this third novel, Abercrombie continues to build onto his characters. These are some of the best I have ever read! Logen, Dogman, Ferro, Jezal, Bayaz, Tul, Black Dow, Caul Shivers, Ardee, Collem West.. there are so many characters to like, dislike, to relate to. Most of the characters reside in the moral grey area. They may surprise you, or disappoint you. They are oftentimes messy. But that is what a well-rounded character should be, in my opinion. One way or another, I want to FEEL. And fucking hell, does Abercrombie ever do that!
Out of all of these fantastic characters, it is Glokta that I cannot get enough of. Glokta is at the top of my favorite characters of all-time, for sure. He is such a complex, self-loathing, deeply damaged, wry individual. Getting to be inside his head during this series added such an appreciated level to the story. There is so much depth just within his fascinating character alone! There were times his tragic story broke my heart, other times I couldn’t help laughing at some of the things he would say. With Glokta’s story, Abercrombie ripped out my heart, stomped all over it & then threw it back into an empty chest cavity. I would love a prequel Glokta story – there is still so much left to tell!
Last Argument of Kings is about so many things: revenge; political treachery; redemption; love. The last half of the story is a balls-to-the wall action packed battle sequence. This is what is to be expected from a final book in such an epic series. And yet.. it surprised me again. Because I knew it would be good, but I couldn’t imagine the brilliance it actually ended up being. It took the genius of the first two books & then excitedly puked all over them, in the best way possible!
The First Law is such an absorbing, gritty, incredibly human trilogy. It is something special, truly. I love it so damn much! It makes my heart so happy that I still have three more books, plus a short story collection & at least another trilogy within this world left.
“Nothing needed saying.”
PS. Mr. Abercrombie, do you think we could get a map in the new trilogy? I BEG OF YOU!