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Last Argument of Kings (First Law) (Bk. 3) (original 2008; edition 2009)

by Joe Abercrombie

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2,324712,716 (4.16)65
Member:egraaf
Title:Last Argument of Kings (First Law) (Bk. 3)
Authors:Joe Abercrombie
Info:Gollancz (2009), Paperback, 704 pages
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Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie (2008)

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English (67)  German (2)  Dutch (1)  Spanish (1)  English (71)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
So many mixed feelings on this book and I will try to address this without delving into spoilers. The writing is top-notch. The tension is intense throughout every plot--each character is at risk, and the stakes are high. That said, the end left me frustrated. Mind you, I know the genre is grimdark. I didn't expect happy endings. Even so, I wish the ending hadn't kept dragging on, because the longer it went, the less I liked it. It came back to a simple fact: most of the characters didn't change through the course of the trilogy (the major exceptions to this being Ardee and Jezal). There was no enlightenment, no growth. This contradicts how most books--heck, even 1000-word flash fiction stories--usually develop a character arc, and it left me without a sense of satisfaction at the end.

That said, I am still mightily impressed with Abercrombie, and I will look for more of this books. This trilogy was still a great read overall, even if the very end wasn't quite what I wanted. ( )
  ladycato | Oct 24, 2016 |
I just can't decide how to rate this book. I enjoyed everything about the Last Argument of Kings except the ending. Although, I'm not as unhappy about it today as I was when I finished the book last night. It has been on my mind so Joe Abercrombie knew what he was doing. If there was another book in the series, I would rate it 4 to 5 stars.

I am going to give it 4 stars because I do recommend this series...unless you are squeamish or require a HEA. ( )
  Amanda105 | Sep 5, 2016 |
I greatly appreciate Abercrombie's style and panache. I think he is a very skilled writer, I just find his worldview to be utterly disheartening. Some people might laud him for having the guts to make his characters truly suffer, but what is the point of such suffering if his character don't gain anything in the end? Ferro is left haunted by demons, hellbent on revenge. Jezal is turned into a puppet king with none of his own agency. Logen is presumed dead. What was the point of the suffering, the pain, the struggle if in the end nothing changes? Why should I care at all about the characters and their fight? To me, the ending turned the books into nothing more than a nihilistic farce. All of the love I had built for the characters crumbled away like dust in the wind.

Now don't get me wrong. I do not demand happy endings. In fact, I find happy endings just as repulsive as this emptiness. There is no point in raising the stakes so high and making the characters suffer so much if in the end they don't get anything for their troubles. There is such an emphasis on the characters becoming better people. Jezal and Logen both want to be better men. But all this book showed me was that it is impossible to ever become a better person. If you try, you are left even worse off than you were before.

So I'm left with the question: What is the point of this book? ( )
  EruditeVolatility | Jul 12, 2016 |
more difficult to keep a track of all the action than the previous two, or perhaps I wanted to relive it all so finished at a gallop...At the end, some ends are tied up and some are loose, and there is nothing fairytale about any of it... I loved it! ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Thrilling conclusion to a great trilogy, hated to see it end. ( )
  CMSkiera | Jan 26, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
The author's "voice" feel and read smooth. The world building and character development is masterful. The character development is so good that they feel like old friends at this point. And then the ending broke my heart! It is "not really" a “happily-ever-after” (HEA). Those characters that the author is so good at creating? Some of them did not have a HEA. But on the other side of the coin, maybe I got so heartbroken because the author is so good at weaving the story that I felt it deeply. Gotta give the author a lot of kudos for that! It gives you pause to wonder though if some of the “good guys” might not really be good and some of the “bad guys” might not really be bad. The whole trilogy is just a long sad tale where I couldn't find much of a meaning to the heros' struggles. Is it even a fight of good versus evil? So at the end of it, what were all their struggles for? All their trials? All their hardships? For what? The answers to those questions were not very satisfying to me as a reader. I also find the writing style using multiple threads to be slow going, annoying and feels discordant to read. So despite the masterful author’s “voice”, I don’t think I would be buying anymore work by this author.
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Joe Abercrombieprimary authorall editionscalculated
Preuss, AlexanderCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Life being what it is, one dreams of revenge.—Paul Gauguin
Last Argument of Kings—Inscribed on his cannons by Louis XIV
Does the devil know he is a devil?—Elizabeth Madox Roberts
Dedication
For the Four Readers

You know who you are
First words
Superior Glokta stood in the hall, and waited. He stretched his twisted neck out to one side and then to the other, hearing the familiar clicks, feeling the familiar cords of pain stretching out through the tangled muscles between his shoulder-blades. Why do I do it, when it always hurts me? Why must we test the pain? Tongue the ulcer, rub the blister, pick the scab?
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0575084162, Paperback)

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 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 ...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:00 -0400)

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The King of the Union lies on his deathbed, the peasants revolt, and the nobles scramble to steal his crown. No one believes that the shadow of war is about to fall across the heart of the Union. Only the First of the Magi can save the world, but there are risks.… (more)

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