Last Argument of Kings review

9 07 2008
Last Argument of Kings

Last Argument of Kings

I finished Joe Abercrombie’s Last Argument of Kings over the weekend. I actually dawdled to the end of the book. I paced myself, reading a few pages every night rather than bashing my way through it in a few frantic hours. I wanted to prolong the experience. Yes, it was that good. Abercrombie writes in this epic noir style. He has the trappings of conventional heroic fantasy: wizards, barbarians, a kingdom under threat but he subverts them brilliantly so tired tropes suddenly take on a cynically bitter world view. Abercrombie brutalises his characters and while this is nothing new, JV Jones and George RR Martin have been doing it for years, Abercrombie takes it in an interesting, sometimes sickening, new direction. My favourite of his characters is Glokta, the man who after years being tortured in prison, takes “do unto others” as his own personal motto. But the remainder of his characters all linger in the mind.  

Abercrombie makes me sick with jealousy. Bastard. His writing style feels effortless which is always a good sign that its anything but. His characters all have unique voices and the twists and turns of the tale might send you to a physio afterwards. With just the First Law trilogy behind him Abercrombie has made himself one of my personal favourites. Highly recommended.





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