These ‘about me’ sections, or even sections that inform you about blogs, have never been my forte. Much to my chagrin, I was never taught the unwritten rules of what you are supposed to say. The links at the side of the blog – Twitter and Goodreads, for example – are liable to tell you more than I could ever say in words.
Mostly, this will be a book blog. I read a lot, and I love to share my views on my most recent reads. I try to read a little bit of everything, but if you look closely you’ll notice I will occasionally become obsessed with one specific genre for a short period of time. Old books, new books, yet to be released books – I read them all. If you’re an author looking for advance readers or just wish for more reviews of a book you’ve already released, please feel free to contact me. There is a contact form at the side of my blog – if you scroll down below the Twitter and Goodreads sidebar you will find it – so drop me a message and I’ll be sure to get back to you in double time. After all, finding new authors is what makes the book world go around.
Thanks for taking your time to read this. With a little bit of luck, you will find my blog much more interesting than this mundane introductory section.
Thursday, 11 August 2016
Review: Last Argument of Kings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I wasn’t quite as pleased with the first book in this trilogy as I had hoped to be. It was an okay read, but I was left wanting more. Despite this, I had high hopes for the second book. There was so much promise. Fortunately, Joe Abercrombie delivered. Thus, I was hopeful with the third book. Whilst it wasn’t my favourite book in the First Law trilogy, it was a great read. Not quite as good as the second book, but it was almost there.
You see, Joe Abercrombie sat on my to-read list for a rather long time. I had many internal debates in bookstores as to whether or not I was to pick up his books. Whenever there is a Goodreads giveaway for one of his books, I enter. It is through one such giveaway that I came to be reading this series – well, at least partly.
Allow me to tell you a short story, before I get down to writing my review of this book, just so you better understand how I feel towards it.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine offed me a collection of his fantasy books. He was cleaning out his house, making more room, and wanted to unload some of his books. Who better to hand them to than little old me? Everyone who knows me is aware of my love for books, of how I will nab any and all offered. I asked him what was included and he gave me a wonderful list (at this point I would like to point out the embarrassing fact of how he has only read a couple of them, thus leaving me to question our friendship). There were many squeals as names were read out. Patrick Rothfuss. Joe Abercrombie. Robin Hobb. Scott Lynch. The last easily brought out the biggest of squeals because the first two Gentleman Bastard books were being handed over. Still, I was pretty excited by a lot of the names.
Now, obviously, I jumped into the Scott Lynch books first. Such a thing goes without saying. Yet, I was interested in many of the other books. My problem, however, was I didn’t know where to go after finishing the two Scott Lynch books (other than ordering book three and awaiting book four, that is).
Enter another friend, this one being someone who spends all their free time reading high fantasy. Most of the names she had either read or they are on her to-read list. Thus, she was happy to make suggestions. To begin with, she told me Patrick Rothfuss. This changed when she realised I’m an impatient soul, and she had no wish to force another wait on me. Thus, she told me to read Joe Abercrombie. Before I could do such a thing, though, she wanted to borrow the last two books. Whilst she has read his other series, she had only read the first of this series. I allowed her to borrow the books, and my reading was to be put aside.
Whilst waiting for her to finish with the book, I saw a giveaway for Sharp Ends. It’s a collection of short stories set in The First Law world. Knowing I now had the trilogy waiting to be read, I entered the giveaway. I was more than a little bit surprised when I won. I informed my friend, highlighting how I needed her to speed up her reading because I needed to get on top of things before my winning arrived. It arrived quite quickly, though, and she wasn’t quite done.
Finally, however, I got the books back. Upon return, my friend informed me of how I would love the books. They’re very character driven, and right up my street, she told me. Basically, she fangirled and I took her word for it.
Having now finished the series, I can understand why my friend – and so many other people – think so highly of the series. Whilst it is not my favourite series in the genre, it is certainly a great read. If you’re a fan of fantasy then it is worth picking up, if only so you can see what Joe Abercrombie is all about.
All three of the books are very character driven. With the first book I feared this would overshadow the story, preventing progress, but as the series moved on this changed. In the first book we found out so much about the characters, they were really brought alive (whether they were a main character of a side character), and this continues throughout. It wasn’t until the second book that I really became happy with where the story was going. In the first book I felt clueless, I wasn’t sure where things were heading. The second book there was a clear goal in mind, as things were moving towards something. In the third book, the movement continues and everything is brought together.
Each character’s story continues to move forward, each taking a different direction, everything being brought together. There is so much I could say about the way everything was brought together, yet I fear I will end up giving spoilers. Just know it is wonderful. A few things were predictable, but these things were part of a much larger picture. This bigger picture really make the series worth it. Things that you read in the first two books click into place, and you realise just how massive the endgame payoff really is. Honestly, I was so happy with the way everything was brought together to show us how everything has been played throughout the trilogy.
I really cannot say enough about this one. The way things were brought together really brought the series to life for me, giving it that something more that allowed me to understand why people enjoy the First Law series so much. The story is so much fun, and in the end you’re left perfectly content.
I think it’s safe to say I will no longer be so tentative when it comes to picking up Joe Abercrombie books.
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