“Last Arguments of Kings” was published in 2009 and is the third book in “The First Law” trilogy by Joe Abercrombie (http://www.joeabercrombie.com/books/). Mr. Abercrombie has published 8 books. This eBook is availed on Kindle.
This trilogy is set in a non-earth world similar to medieval-era Europe, where there are knights and wizards. The story is set in the Union. To the north the Union is bordered by the barbarian Northmen, and from south the Gurkhul Empire threatens. The same basic characters appear in this novel as in the first two. The story is told third person from the many principal player’s points of view.
The king has died leaving no heirs. The Open Council must now vote on the new king. Everyone is surprised when at the last minute First Mage Beyaz reveals that there is a bastard son of the King. He is named king, but he inherits a shaky throne as the Gurkhul Empire has invaded and Adua is at risk. Beyaz is at the new king’s side giving guidance, sometimes too much guidance in the king’s mind.
Jazal dan Luthar reunites with Ardee West. She is far below his class, but he thinks he has deep feelings for her. He is regularly sleeping with her, but still unable to commit to her. Superior San dan Glokta who was asked by Collem West to look after Ardee, confronts Jazal and tells him he must either marry Ardee, or get out of her life.
In the far north the battle with the Northmen continues. Colonel Collem West is in the thick of it along with Logen Ninefingers and a band of Northmen. Together they develop a risky plan to bring the war in the north to an end.
Superior San dan Glokta finds more treason in the capital. He also finds himself now with two masters – Arch Lector Sult as well as the banking house of Valint and Balk. He cannot continue to satisfy them both and finds himself in increasingly desperate situations.
Ferro Maljinn feels betrayed by Beyaz. She has not been able to take her vengeance on the Gurkhul as he had promised. And she hates the city of Adua, as well as all of the “pinks” that live there. She feels others are watching her and Beyaz is using her.
All is brought to a climax with the city of Adua under siege, but that does not stop the intrigue within the walls even as the city teeters on the brink of being overrun. There are battles and intrigue, twists and turns as the trilogy comes to a conclusion.
I enjoyed this book as much as the first two and give it a 5 out of 5. I thought is was well written and kept up a fast pace. All of the principal characters have their strengths as well as their flaws. Most of the major story threads are wrapped up at the end of this novel, but there you are left with more to be learned.