Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Last Argument of Kings

Last Argument of Kings marks a new standard in the fantasy genre. The war against Bethod continues in the North and soon the Gurkish will bring war to the very heart of the Union. With the King on his deathbed the power struggles intensify and Glotka struggles to satisfy two conflicting masters. Failing to find the seed, the travel group breaks up with Logen returning to the north to settle with Bethod, while Bayaz schemes to put Jezal on the throne. The last book in the First Law Trilogy is chock full of battles, betrayals, and machinations.
When I read other reviews saying Abercrombie took the fantasy tropes and completely tore them up in Last Argument of Kings, I wasn’t sure exactly what they meant. I have to admit I was shocked at how events turned out. The battles were amazing, the character machinations and revelations even more so. What really surprised me was how the reader’s preconceptions of the characters and the world were totally turned on its head.
Thus, The only complaint I have of Last Argument of Kings is that the world-view is too cynical for my tastes, but I think that’s Abercrombie’s point. Idealism is one extreme and cynicism is the polar opposite. Those who have power don’t want to lose it and view those who don’t as less than they are. Bayaz has survived so long because he’s the meanest, most manipulative guy on the block. We don’t see anything of Khalul so it's hard to make any judgments, but the implication is that he is not any better. The battle in the series is not between good and evil but rather between those with the ultimate power.
Last Argument of Kings is fantastic and one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in a long while. Abercrombie has established himself as a giant in the genre. I get shivers thinking of the next book, Best Served Cold. An absolute must-read.
Rating: 10/10.


ThRiNiDiR said...

nice review! mine is coming up in a few days...i have to gather my thoughts first.

Benjamin said...

Thanks! I admit I had to let the book settle in my mind first before I could write the review. There was a lot to mull over.

I look forward to reading your review!

Anonymous said...
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RedEyedGhost said...

Great review, Ben!

It was the best epic fantasy I've read in a long time, and possibly the best ending to an epic series I've ever read.

I am curious about the third comment here. Security is a good thing, right? And the commenter obviously has mastered the english language. Should I click on it?? :P

(way too much blogger spam lately...)

ThRiNiDiR said...

hej benjamin...if you are still interested, the review is available now; two of them actually (me and my colleague reivewed the book simultaneously without knowing it...but I think the different view on things came as quite refreshing). let me know what you think. have fun.

Benjamin said...

REG, I agree completely. LAoK is a great book and the first 10 that I've given so far on this blog.

I'm thinking of adding a security feature to the comment section like Pat has to cut down on the spam. I don't want to do it but I will if it becomes necessary.

Thrinidir, thanks for the info. I'll be sure to check them out!