Last Argument of Kings - Joe Abercrombie

Ady Hall

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The David Gemmell awards are being held tonight. So - what chance has this novel?

And for anyone who wishes to discuss the outcome of the most excellent First Law trilogy - you can begin your rants, raves and general ruminations here!

I really did enjoy the trilogy. After the initial reading of the Last Argument of Kings I was kinda jaded - I so wanted pretty little bows to wrap up the pretty little story. But time and a second reading really allowed the story to mellow and sink in - it's not all about the neat ending. It's about life continuing - nasty stuff happens to the best of peeps, and the worst of peeps often will rise to the top.

The twists that resolve themselves in this book really do grab you by the throat. And there is such a wonderful 'full circle' aspect to each and every character - so inventive. However, I really do hope we visit some of these guys and gals again in future books - I long for a cheerier ending for some - and a nastier end for others... but whatever happens - the reader is guaranteed a happy ending!

:p
 

soulsinging

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I loved this book so much. I had heard a lot of people were disappointed with the ending, but I thought the book surpassed by far every other book in the trilogy. The ending was perfectly in line with the rest of the series. Dark, and definitely wraps things up, but not as nicely or prettily as one would think. I didn't get much of the hype surrounding this series until book 3. It's odd... most people seemed blown away by Blade Itself but ended up disappointing by the end. I didn't care for Blade Itself, I found it rather boring actually. But by the end I was hooked and rate it with Martin as my favorite fantasy series.
 

Werthead

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The David Gemmell awards are being held tonight. So - what chance has this novel?
At the time, pretty good. However, since it didn't win, obviously now zero :p

Still, Joe seemed happy with the consolation prize, a mini-recreation of Druss' war axe.

The winner was Andrzej Sapkowski for his novel Blood of Elves, which given that Sapkowski has been a writer in the genre for decades and his Witcher books have an audience as large and enthusiastic, if not moreso, than Gemmell's, it was an appropriate win.

That said, Joe seemed cheered by the news that Sapkowski hasn't got a book to compete against Best Served Cold at next year's award :)
 

Nikitta

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The winner was Andrzej Sapkowski for his novel Blood of Elves, which given that Sapkowski has been a writer in the genre for decades and his Witcher books have an audience as large and enthusiastic, if not moreso, than Gemmell's, it was an appropriate win.
How would you describe his books, compared to Abercombie's? or is that an impossible question to answer?
 

Nikitta

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I loved this book so much. I had heard a lot of people were disappointed with the ending, but I thought the book surpassed by far every other book in the trilogy. The ending was perfectly in line with the rest of the series. Dark, and definitely wraps things up, but not as nicely or prettily as one would think. I didn't get much of the hype surrounding this series until book 3. It's odd... most people seemed blown away by Blade Itself but ended up disappointing by the end. I didn't care for Blade Itself, I found it rather boring actually. But by the end I was hooked and rate it with Martin as my favorite fantasy series.
I felt it was a good ending of the series, though there's just one question which I'm burning to know the answer to, but it makes sense to end it like this with no happily or unhappily ever after, because you never know what could happen next.

To me, the series raised a lot of questions, like what power really is, what strength and weakness is - about good and bad too. All those sort of questions I find dealt with in the series. Maybe he didn't intend to put all of that in there, but I find it and think that it adds more depth to it.
 

soulsinging

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The winner was Andrzej Sapkowski for his novel Blood of Elves, which given that Sapkowski has been a writer in the genre for decades and his Witcher books have an audience as large and enthusiastic, if not moreso, than Gemmell's, it was an appropriate win.

That said, Joe seemed cheered by the news that Sapkowski hasn't got a book to compete against Best Served Cold at next year's award :)
I have Blood of Elves but haven't read it yet. I enjoyed the Last Wish quite a bit, even though I typically don't care for short story collections and that's what it was in many ways. But I hesitate to get Blood of Elves rolling, because the rest of the series is not available and they say reading the book between Last Wish and Blood of Elves is helpful, though not necessary. I basically smell a plot in the air by the publisher to re-release the whole thing in a more expensive set than the simple mass market versions out there now, maybe something like the $20 paperbacks you have to buy Abercrombie in. I mean, the release of the next book in the series was pushed back to 2010... and all the books are written already! It stinks of opportunism.
 

soulsinging

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I felt it was a good ending of the series, though there's just one question which I'm burning to know the answer to, but it makes sense to end it like this with no happily or unhappily ever after, because you never know what could happen next.

To me, the series raised a lot of questions, like what power really is, what strength and weakness is - about good and bad too. All those sort of questions I find dealt with in the series. Maybe he didn't intend to put all of that in there, but I find it and think that it adds more depth to it.
I imagine I can guess that burning question, and I agree with you there ;) But I did enjoy the philosophy in the book. The essential futility of most people's lives, the illusion of control we think we have over life. The difficulty, if not impossibility, of changing who we are.
 

Ady Hall

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The Witcher books will be tagged on my Amazon wishlist - heard good reports about the PC game for the series too - so congrats to the Polish fella - and by all accounts it seemed like a successful event!
 

harvb

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Loved Last Argument of Kings, I really did. Logen remains my firm favourite character, primarily because he reminds me of me - everything he does turns to brown-stuff - but the ending was so very poignant. I'm surprised more people didn't like it that ending to be honest. Is it because it's not very Holywood, do you think?

BTW if you guys haven't read Best Served Cold yet, you're missing a treat.

Re: Witcher books. Haven't touched these yet, I was tempted but the game has me more tempted... Worth doing both?
 

Nikitta

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Loved Last Argument of Kings, I really did. Logen remains my firm favourite character, primarily because he reminds me of me - everything he does turns to brown-stuff - but the ending was so very poignant. I'm surprised more people didn't like it that ending to be honest. Is it because it's not very Holywood, do you think?
The only thing I don't like about the ending is one unaswered question that I really want to know the answer to. Posting it here would be too much of a spoiler, so I won't.
 

harvb

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Well I think you ought to, but with a SPOILER warning. After all, Joe doesn't have his own section here, so why not?
 

Nikitta

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Well I think you ought to, but with a SPOILER warning. After all, Joe doesn't have his own section here, so why not?
Okay. I'll also write it in white. What I wonder is


SPOILER

Does Logen survive the last fall that we saw him plummet himself into? I know that he might meet his end soon after, even if he does survive it, but I still need to know if he survived the fall, itself.
 

NoneSuch

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**Spoilers**

Of course we can't be 100 percent certain, but I think it's more than likely Logen survived the fall. I believe it was supposed to be similiar to Logens fall in the first book. I reckon half the point is that the story doesn't just end because the books finished, that even the end is a new begining for the characters.
 

soulsinging

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**Spoilers**

Of course we can't be 100 percent certain, but I think it's more than likely Logen survived the fall. I believe it was supposed to be similiar to Logens fall in the first book. I reckon half the point is that the story doesn't just end because the books finished, that even the end is a new begining for the characters.
SPOILERS AS WELL


I kind of agree. I see him surviving, but for slightly different reasons. I don't think it's supposed to indicate any kind of new beginning. If anything, to me, it kinda indicates the opposite. It's kinda of a "wherever you go, there you are" sort of philosophy. All of the characters survive grueling and painful challenges to their character to achieve the aims they thought they wanted, but find that in the end, they are almost completely ineffective in terms of actually making a difference in the cold, hard, cruel world around them. Look at how they end up:
Glotka gets out from under Sult to be his own "master", but is still a pawn/tool to a much more powerful authority.
Jezal gets the fame and renown he wanted, only to find it hollow and lonely; even his notions of his own superior nobility are shattered.
Bayaz does defeat the 100, but Khalul is still very much alive and secure across the sea.
Ferro has run all over the world and gotten some vengeance, but still is in no better position and runs off to basically seek the same battles she fought at the beginning of the series.
Logen has defeated Bethod, but is still an outcast in his own kingdom with no home or peace.
 

NoneSuch

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*Spoilers*

To be fair a new beginning doesn't have to be a positive one for them, but I do pretty much agree with your post everyone does end up doing the same thing they started, and in practically the same places. I still think at the end of the day Glokta got off best, if you ignore what the Gurkish did to him. I mean he might be a pawn, but he's got the girl, controls the Union via Bayaz instruction, and has all the money and power he could wish for. I doubt he even minds being a pawn aslong as he's not under constant threat from being stabbed in the back, or atleast not from many people.
 

ratsy

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*Spoilers*

This series was fantastic. I do agree with most of what has been said here. I must say that Logen sure got the short end of the stick and he has to be one of the most tragic characters I have read. He was the I found myself rooting for even though he seemed destined for destruction. A man who wants nothing but to be better than he had been. He wants the girl and doesn't want to be the Bloody Nine any more. Of course he can't change who he is...Say one thing for Logen Nine-fingers, say he is tragic.
 
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