Last Argument of Kings - Review
Last Argument of Kings is the final novel in the First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. The series finale is divisive, even while not seeming so looking at reviews, installment. Plot and story threads are closed (somewhat), characters story arcs finish and start anew, and the world goes on.
Abercrombie finishes his series with a bang and shows the true power of magic. So much of it is implied throughout the series and in this book we finally get to see real power. The combat and magic in this book is absolutely excellent.
The combat prose keeps you in the action without being confused as to what is going on. As readers we truly get to see Logen’s power. While we keep hearing about how strong he is, it isn’t until the conclusion that Abercrombie’s Conan comes to life.
Like both previous books the real strength here is the character’s. Each is fully realized and actualized upon the page. There is no forgetting this incredible cast of characters. To have so many PoV characters that I cared about is rare. In fact I don’t think I’ve cared so much about the characters since Wheel of Time and that is 14 books worth of involvement.
The story's plot gets finalized but not in the sense that the reader anticipated. There are some major loose ends left. Upon my first read I was really upset at the ending. I was mad that Abercrombie finished the series the way he did. I felt that the characters didn’t get what they deserved, and that I didn’t get the climax I anticipated. On a second read I realized the characters absolutely got what they deserve, and while I feel the climax could have been better Abercrombie’s finish is consistent with the tone set throughout the series.
While the lore of the world is there, it isn’t anything to write home about. It is sufficient to tell the story that Abercrombie went out to tell. You definitely won’t find Sanderson level buildings here, but where else can you?
All-in-all Last Argument of Kings is an excellent end to an excellent series that still leaves many plot threads open for future book opportunities in the same world and time frame.