vrijdag 15 juli 2016

Joe Abercrombie: Last Argument of Kings


Last Argument of Kings is the third book in The First Law by Joe Abercrombie.
My copy has 670 pages and I got it from Bol.
You can find all my The First Law reviews here.

                                *   SPOILERS   *

The book reads rather slow but is very, very absorbing. It’s fast paced, dark, powerful, complex, and different enough from other Fantasy books I’ve read so far to be interesting.
Abercrombie is a very accomplished storyteller. The writing is sharp, witty, to the point and easy to read. The dialogue isn’t amazing but it’s good. And it’s funnier than you’d think if you like irony.

I still don’t like Ferro’s character. She has served her purpose in this book and gone insane. She hasn’t grown, there’s still only one thing on her mind and she kind off peters out. Very unsatisfying.
Logen surprised me and I loved that. We always knew he isn’t a nice guy but he might be the one who started the war by pushing Bethod so far. This raises the question if Bethod ever was as bad as we (along with every character) were led to believe.
And Bayaz! Who saw that one coming at the start of the first book? I did by the third one but not when I started the series. I truly wanted him dead, and preferably I’d do it myself. Everything he does has only one reason; to benefit himself. His mask has come off.
Abercrombie actually managed to make me care for Jezal because of his treatment by Bayaz. I felt so sorry for him. He has realized the good he can do and he’s not allowed to.

In the end, the different, seemingly unrelated storylines come together in a truly, epic finale. I absolutely loved this huge battle scene and its repercussions.
It’s not a happy end for most of them. West dies (that hurt), Bayaz betrayed every one of them, Logen is back where he started, Ferro has no idea what she should be doing and Jezal is a puppet king.
Few of them got what they wanted or deserved, whether it be good or bad but I loved the ending Glokta got. He is my favorite character. The Jezal-Ardee-Glokta thing made me smile quite a few times.

The ending was too vague though. I would have liked more questions answered instead of raised. Abercrombie clearly wants to write more books about these characters or set in this world.

The book has got it all. There’s compassion, betrayal, lots of violence and torture, jealousy, unrequited love, madness, rage, loyalty, manipulation (lots of manipulation) and surprise.
Last Argument of Kings is a very dark, gritty and bitter book.

Highly recommended series! It has a few faults, but those aside I really enjoyed reading the books.


Happy reading!

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