Last Argument of Kings by Joe Abercrombie
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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.
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