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Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three by [Abercrombie, Joe]
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Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 558 customer reviews

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Length: 740 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The sword & sorcery trilogy that began with The Blade Itself (2007) and Before They Are Hanged (2008) comes to a violent, sardonic and brilliant conclusion. The shaky Union, menaced simultaneously by rampaging Northmen and by Gurkish invaders from the south, now must contend with intrigue and treachery in its capital, Adua. Summoned to play parts in a devastating confrontation between magical forces, conscience-ridden berserker Logen Ninefingers and honest, weary Union commander Colonel West come down from the north to meet painfully self-aware torturer Glokta, revenge-obsessed female warrior Ferro, pliable young adventurer Jezal and scheming, unscrupulous mage Bayaz. All these people are believable, especially as they dabble in grimly convincing magic and struggle to hear their consciences through the roar of carnage and betrayal. Abercrombie is a fresh new talent, presenting a dark view of life with wit and zest, and readers will mourn the end of this vivid story arc. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


"Abercrombie is headed for superstar status" -- JEFF VANDERMEER

"All in all it has been one of the most incredible, twisted, inventive and above all utterly enjoyable fantasy reading experiences I've had in a very, very long time . . . Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he knows how to tell a bloody good tale." --

"Breathtaking moments, great characters and grim laughs makes this a cut about your average fantasy. Joe Abercrombie's First Law series has had tired fantasy readers sitting up in pleasant surprise. And rightly so. Abercrombie is a fantasy writer who can really write. Last Argument of Kings is tightly plotted, has wit and style to spare, and in the Barbarian Logen and the Inquisitor Glotka it has two of the best fantasy creations of recent years." -- Gideon Kibbleworth, DEATHRAY

"For any writer to produce work of this quality is superb; that this sequence marks a debut is all the more remarkable. The First Law (trilogy) is, I strongly believe, a seminal work of modern fantasy. It is a benchmark sequence that should be regarded as an example of all that is truly great in today's genre fiction. It stands way above the vast majority of the marketplace. It's damn good stuff!" -- John Berylne, SF REVU

"He's written something not far short of a masterpiece, something special. Last Argument of Kings has everything you could ask for: huge battles, political intrigue, masterly characterisation and surprises by the bucket-load. This book will by turns shock you, excite you, make you laugh, and above all entertain you." -- SPECULATIVE HORIZONS

"Last Argument of Kings delivers exactly what this trilogy needed: a no-holds-barred war story in which secrets are exposed, mysteries are explained and the author resolutely refuses to pull any punches. The ending is superb, particularly the tremendously satisfying epilogue and the final scene. Last Argument of Kings is a more than worthy conclusion to this trilogy." -- THE WERTZONE

"Last Argument of Kings signs off the trilogy on a high, interspersing breathless skirmishes with thriller-like moments. You should always end with the best. Wow them in the final act, make the last chorus a belter, build to a climax and them get them on their feet applauding when the curtain falls. Last Argument of Kings is the textbook example of this theory in practice." -- Dave Bradley, SFX

"Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he knows how to close a trilogy with panache. The final novel in The First Law trilogy, Last Argument of Kings, is without a doubt the strongest novel in the cycle and, indeed, one of the strongest finishes to a trilogy I've come across in a long time. Joe Abercrombie has cemented himself at the top of the heap as one of the most consistent, fresh and exciting new voices in fantasy." -- A DRIBBLE OF INK (website)

"The trilogy as a whole has crept gradually away from the standard fantasy template and gained a very unique feel. Having said this, for a book so different to Tolkien's, I'm going to make yet another Tolkien comparison - the aftermath and bittersweet ending has a very similar tone to the end of Lord of the Rings. each book in this trilogy has shown a distinct improvement, and with this fantastic concluding volume, I'd even go as far as to say it's become one of my favourite series." -- SANDSTORM REVIEWS

All in all it has been one of the most incredible, twisted, inventive and above all utterly enjoyable fantasy reading experiences I've had in a very, very long time . . . Say one thing for Joe Abercrombie, say he knows how to tell a bloody good tale. --

Product Details

  • File Size: 2244 KB
  • Print Length: 740 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (June 18, 2009)
  • Publication Date: June 18, 2009
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002U3CC0Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,195 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By N. C. Smith on March 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
It was with much excitement that I opened the box that months ago I had pre-ordered and had rapid-shipped from the UK.

As with the first two books, Last Argument of Kings has superb cover-art. It's a very dashing trilogy displayed on your bookshelf appropriately.

But to the story:

In the first two installments, in particular the first, action took a back seat to characterization. You can check out my critiques of both those books if you like. Some of the most interesting and original-yet-archetypical characters in fantasy were made flesh and earned high-praise for me for that feat.

In Last Argument of Kings, action definitively steps to the fore. All of the plot-lines that were set up like dominoes in the first two books are tipped, and before you know it you're swept up in a tide of the little black bricks like Mel Brooks' entrance in the computer-animated 'Robots'. From climax to climax, Mr. Abercrombie charges you through exciting conclusions to every plot and sub-plot introduced before-hand.

This is a difficult review to write because, even more than usual, I would be loathe to give away even the slightst hint of what happens, but most of those characters from the first books that you felt needed some comeuppance get it in this book. But Joe Abercrombie isn't sentimental, and by the end of this book it will be plain that some of those that got a comeuppance didn't deserve it as much as others or as much as you might have thought they did, and those that deserved good certainly don't get it, and many of those that you used to want good things for you'll find you no longer do.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When you come away from a book feeling disappointed in pretty much every character - minor and major alike, and outright wishing death upon several of them, it's hard not to feel disappointed in the book itself.

It left me wondering whether good writing was enough, or if something actually has to happen in the story itself. Ultimately, nothing changed for any of the characters. If you want to know what they are like at the end of book 3, look no further than the first half of book 1. We're left with the same characters doing the same things, just to different people.

The perverse cynicism is so unrealistic and forced that I felt a near-overwhelming compulsion to fly to the U.K., have beautiful women drag Mr. Abercrombie to a pretty garden with singing birds and bright sunlight, and force him to take antidepressants until he breaks down under the torture and lets himself smile for a moment.

**** Spoilers ****

Glokta's ending was probably the best of the bunch, but still disappointing. He ends up in the same profession, doing things that he hates for a master that he hates for reasons that he hates, and gets to babysit someone he hates for added... err, hate.

Ferro becomes an extra superhuman woman bent on vengeance. That's different because she started out as just a superhuman (notice the missing 'extra') woman bent on vengeance.

Logen kills one too many of his own friends, flip-flops between being sure he can be good and sure he can't, and really doesn't do much more than spectate. Even in his big fight, West and friends win the battle for him. He's just a leaf swept along by the wind, and I can look out my window to see that. The character didn't even contribute many hilarious observations like in past books.

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Format: Paperback
Alright, I'll confess: I loved this trilogy and I enjoyed the third installment every bit as much as the first two. This is an unconvential fantasy epic that stands typical fantasy stereotypes on their heads and I had a blast reading it and would unhesitatingly recommend the entire series. This is fantasy with dirt under the fingernails and pus festering under ragged scabs though. Sure, you have your traditional cast of characters...barbarian warrior, old wizard, handsome young captain, and a fearless warrioress, etc. but Abercrombie takes these archetypal characters and gives them deep character flaws, dodgy pasts, and poor attitudes. They must face hard circumstances in a complicated and morally ambiguous world. His books are complex and extremely well-plotted, the characterization superb, the dialogue excellent, and the writing is involving and keeps you riveted to your seat. Even though this finale ran over 600 pages I managed to bang it out in a day, partially because it is so deliciously readable but equally because I simply couldn't put it down until I finished it.

The Last Argument of Kings is a grand finale too. Abercrombie satisfactorily ties up most all of the major plot points but there is enough ambiguity at the end that additional books would not necessarily be precluded. Personally, I would have preferred a tighter, less ambiguous ending but I wouldn't be surprised if elements of the ending weren't driven by the editor/publisher. I'll forgive Abercrombie for it and, I confess!, I still loved the book and think it is a wonderful five star read.

I'd hazard a guess though that there will be some readers who may not like how this series ended...because it isn't necessarily pretty and it certainly isn't a fairy tale ending.
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