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Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three Paperback – 12 Mar 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 232 customer reviews

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Frequently bought together

  • Last Argument Of Kings: The First Law: Book Three
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  • Before They Are Hanged: The First Law: Book Two: 2
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  • The Blade Itself: Book One Of The First Law (Gollancz S.F.): 1
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Product details

  • Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (12 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575084162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575084162
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 4.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (232 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out (Joe Hill)

Book Description

Striking, character-driven and cynical noir fantasy.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An awesome finale to an amazing series, what am I going to do now?!

The best in the trilogy, Joe Abercrombie literally kills it!

Update 10/03/17 - ****Warning**** Do not read, makes all other fantasy seem bland.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Could not stop reading god knows how he puts it all together,
Really enjoyed reading this book start on next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The ending is a tad disappointing but the book itself is a great read
Overall the series is very good read with great characters, though some degree of predictability creeps in at times
Still, it's recommend it!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very solid story and easy to get into. Looking forwards to reading more. Definitely the bed of the series so far.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Best fantasy fiction out there at the moment.
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Format: Audio Download
A series that makes you check back to the Audible website in the vain hope that there might somehow be just one more book that has magically appeared. Between Abercrombie and Pacey this has been a genuinely remarkable journey. The previous reviews of the first two books have said it all; great characters, great narration, great humour and of course a great story.

The only question that remains is whether this third and final installment (not counting the First Law World series which is not really a full continuation) finishes it off well enough to be a suitable ending. For me it does. That said there is a genuine wrench and the very end does come as a bit of a shock. There is definitely a feeling that this world is going to keep living and a sense that the reader is missing out on the ongoing saga. However, I think the way that this ends, especially for Logan himself is perfect. After all, you can say one thing about Logan Ninefingers, he is a legendary figure. No mistake.

All of the favourite characters remaining from the previous two books get their moments in the sun. The relationships between them continue to intrigue, amuse and delight up to the end. Abercrombie once again gets to demonstrate his unique approach to romantic encounters along with many other things and Pacey once again delivers a masterclass.

When I finished this it really was incredibly tempting to hop straight over to the First Law World series because incredibly it seems to have received just as good a reception as this. But no, I will give it some time because like a fine wine or gourmet meal these need to be savoured rather than simply devoured.
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Format: Paperback
Here's a quote that any fantasy author would want in their inside cover, "the best fantasy trilogy since Lord of the Rings." This is exactly what Joe Abercrombie can now put in his `First Law' trilogy; the unfortunate thing will be that the quote is from a random Amazon reviewer i.e. me. Despite my lowly status I am a keen science fiction and fantasy reader so I believe my opinion still counts and that Abercrombie has created the best set of fantasy books for years. As a threesome `The First Law' is an epic saga, but like all stories, they must come to an end. `The Last Argument of Kings' is in many ways a fitting finale as it has more action and battle sequences than the previous books combined, but it also suffers somewhat from the curse of `the end'.

As a set `The First Law' is a new high mark in low fantasy. Abercrombie's fantasy world is gritty and feels real, magic is replaced by dirt and evil. In many ways `Last Argument' reverses this trend as is the most fantastical yet; magic becomes far more prominent towards the end. The battle sections between mages and wizards etc did not sit comfortable with the 1500 pages of the series beforehand. Previously, magic was hinted at, even seen briefly, but it could always be explained as mysticism. By the end magic is very real and these sequences are amongst the most convoluted and confused in the trilogy.

Issues do not end here. Abercrombie revels in his grimy fantasy world, but the book draws some bleak conclusions. The `good' characters were never likely to prevail more than the `bad' characters, but almost everyone takes such a pounding that you can't help feeling a little deflated. Despite the downbeat nature of the book, it does not detract from how awesome Abercrombie's writing is.
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Format: Paperback
The Last Argument of Kings really is a difficult book to review.

On the one hand I want to give it the best review I possibly can because, just as with the previous two novels, Joe Abercrombie has produced a well written tale with brilliant characters and an unforgettable world. Throw on top of that the unbelievable number of twists thrown into this novel and I found myself loving every moment of it. Whilst a lot of those twists you will see coming a mile off, they only serve to mask all the other countless twists that will genuinely take you by surprise.

However, on the other hand this book suffers from a hugely unsatisfying ending. There was about a hundred pages to go when I started to suspect that I wouldn't be happy with how things were going to finish. The story was winding down and there were just so many unresolved story lines that I couldn't imagine them all being summed up. The sad fact is that none of them were, at least not to a finality. I finished this book wondering if this really was the end of a trilogy or if maybe it is just a middle book of a series waiting upon the next.

Continuing his trend of brutal writing that kind of hints that there will not be any happy endings for his characters, we are left feeling that no one has come out the happier for the experiences in this novel, save maybe one whom I won't name right now to saving spoiling the ending for those who haven't read it. There was a time when I would have called this kind of writing brave being as we are in a world where most tales finish with a happy ending. However in recent times there have been a large number of these gritty books that aim for a brutal realism that leaves most stories unhappy and the sad trend in them all is that there are no happy endings for anyone.
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