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Last Argument of Kings

(The First Law #3)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  130,025 ratings  ·  6,175 reviews
The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him but it's going to be a big one. Battle rages across the North, the King of the Northmen still stands firm, and there's only one man who can stop him. His oldest friend, and his oldest enemy. It's past time for the Bloody-Nine to come home.

With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta i
Trade Paperback, First Edition, 536 pages
Published March 20th 2008 by Gollancz
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Josh It's at least as good. Just...well, consider the tone the first two novels take. Tolkien this ain't. In fact, I'd say it's a complete subversion of th…moreIt's at least as good. Just...well, consider the tone the first two novels take. Tolkien this ain't. In fact, I'd say it's a complete subversion of the sort of "quest fantasy" novels of the 50's-90's we're all so used to. I shudder to think how the Wheel of Time books would have ended had Abercrombie wrote them (shudder in a good way though; for one thing, they would have ended sooner).(less)
James It was. You won't regret time spent on this trilogy.…moreIt was. You won't regret time spent on this trilogy.(less)

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Average rating 4.31  · 
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 ·  130,025 ratings  ·  6,175 reviews

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Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grimdark fantasy fans
Abercrombie has been titled as Lord Grimdark for years now; I truly believe that Last Argument of Kings is majorly responsible for this.

“Round and round in circles we go, clutching at successes we never grasp, endlessly tripping over the same old failures. Truly, life is the misery we endure between disappointments.”

Last Argument of Kings is the third—and final book—in The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Every plot lines from the first two books lead to the revelations and rut
Because, even after the first two volumes, every character will STILL surprise you. Because Glokta is the best fantasy character I've found since Tyrion Lannister. Because Logen is a mushroom-cloud-laying motherfucker. Because you should've seen it coming but you didn't. You really didn't.

Because even "gritty" fantasy writers are usually afraid to go this far against expectations. Because you will laugh. You will get angry. Because you will hate the ending. Because the ending is perfect. Becaus
mark monday
Jun 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-modern
and so the excellent First Law trilogy concludes. this was a splendid experience and certainly a hearty one as well. many things to consider and many enjoyments to be had. a full meal! and quite a bitter feast at that.

and here is the Last Argument of the title, succinctly delivered by the ferocious sorceror Bayaz:
"Power makes all things right. That is my first law, and my last. That is the only law that I acknowledge."

this is a really marvelous series. bold in intent, clear in
Jul 24, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book blurs the lines between good and evil sooo well that i dont even know what to think.

i read somewhere that suggested a bad villain is someone who is just a jerk for no reason, a good villain is someone who thinks theyre right but in reality theyre wrong, and a great villain is someone who IS actually right but their methods go beyond what any moral person would approve of.

and let me tell you what - there are so many great villains in this. but they dont even feel like villains! thats
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. This book probably deserves better than two stars, but I just can't bring myself to call it good, because I didn't really enjoy it even though I read it fairly quickly. Don't get me wrong: it's interesting enough, and the characters are still vaguely engaging, and there's plenty of action. By all means, the formula is there (even though it does feel a little bit tired).

So what's the problem? I guess I was just hoping Abercrombie would be able to salvage some of his characters and
Kat  Hooper
Mar 31, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Say one thing for this reviewer, say she's a weak-minded sucker.

She really enjoyed the first two books of Joe Abercrombie's The First Law trilogy. This story was original, had a unique style, fascinating characters, and a darkly cynical style. She liked it. It was fresh. But she was kind of hoping, even daring to expect, that the last book, Last Argument of Kings, might have an ending that was, if not perhaps exactly happy, at least somewhat satisfying.

Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy, fantasy
Wow. Just finished, and that was a book that was just... wow. Made expectations, fulfilled them, broke them apart into little pieces and reassembled into a huge jagged collage of a work. Amazing. Glokta continues to be the character you would love to hate, except that he is the very essence of tortured humanity. Jezal grows beyond a self-involved ego into a man willing to stand for his beliefs--except that he remains manipulated and somewhat ignorant of the extent to which he is played. Logen un ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My brother and I were lucky enough to interview JOE ABERCROMBIE!. Check it out! Joe Abercrombie INTERVIEW

SO good. The re-read made this trilogy even better, which I thought was impossible. Nothing is impossible when it comes to Abercrombie's writing, and no mistake. 5 Bloody Stars.

Last Argument of Kings is one of the best final books of a trilogy I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading - actually, scratch that, it’s one of the best books I have EVER read. Seriously, it had moments of laughter, sce
Matt's Fantasy Book Reviews
Mar 16, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A spectacular ending to an incredible series -- One of the best books fantasy books of all time.

The last book in a fantasy series can make or break the entire thing, and luckily Last Argument of Kings achieved this in spectacular fashion. This book is legitimately one of the best fantasy books ever written, and will help this series be considered an all-time great fantasy series, among the titans of this genre like The Lord of the Rings and A Wheel of Time.

The tone of this book is dark, and invo
Sean Barrs
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 4-star-reads
The end of this series is a cleverly crude mirroring of it’s opening, and it’s just so damn hilarious. I’m saying no more regarding that, but Abercrombie never fails to make me laugh. Logan Nine-fingers is such a great character; he really is the strongest aspect of this series.

“You can never have too many knives, his father had told him. Unless they're pointed at you, and by people who don't like you much. ”


His wise courage allowed him to defeat the impossible. Only he would have survive
Mar 01, 2009 added it
Okay, so here's the thing with this book and why I gave it no stars:

1) It's the third and final volume in a trilogy that up to this book was pretty much as good as fantasy gets: good characterizations, egaging plot, nice overall writing style, etc etc etc.

1a) I specifically liked the first two because they were surprisingly nasty, not dark mind you (no brooding emo heroes of the night), nasty.

1b) "Nasty" isn't meant sexually either, incidentally, in case you were flashing to Janet Jackson right
Nov 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
24/25 (96%) 5 stars.
A dark, bloody, impressively written wrap-up to a stellar trilogy that leaves room for other books to pick up the action again. I had a hard time getting into this trilogy but in the end all I can say is: it's one of the best trilogies I've ever read. Definitely the second-best trilogy I read this year after the Gentleman Bastard trilogy (*crying intensifies* will I ever get The Thorn of Emberlain?).

What sets Abercrombie apart from other players in the genre is his magnifice
William Gwynne
Here is a review of Last Argument of Kings on the channel - The Brothers Gwynne

“Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.”

Dived into this third instalment in The First Law trilogy straight after finishing Before They Are Hanged. I was tempted to leave it a few days, as I actually felt trepidation at finding out what happens to the characters that I now love, despite their serious flaws. I know that Joe Abercrombie can be a nasty, nasty man to his characters,
Sep 10, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good gracious and gravy, this initial trilogy was amazing!!! There is no way for me to adequately express its greatness...

I have nothing but love. Ughhhh, my heart is bursting for Abercrombie's creation. Pure genius. This is a must for Fantasy Readers. I am really looking forward to continuing on in this world!

My friend, Shannon, and I binged this first three books together and it was so fun. The characters; I just want to be with them!!

This Review ✍️ Blog 📖 Twitter 🐦 Instagram 📷

Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars

“Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.”

I am 10 years late to the party but I am happy that I finished my first trilogy by Abercrombie and it met most of my expectations! I mentioned in my reviews of the last books that the books read like one huge story rather than three books and it means this book had to tie up everything and close all the story lines which it did in one way or a
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
mina reads™️
Mar 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff
Damn Joe Abercrombie is a sick fuck...i like it
Dirk Grobbelaar

The last book in Abercrombie’s dark fantasy trilogy. Done. Dusted.

It’s going to be a while before I’ve properly assimilated everything that happened over the course of the series. It’s quite something, and it’s well worth your time if you enjoy genre fiction.

Last Argument of Kings – thoughts

Strange and painful events seemed to follow in his wake like stray dogs barking behind the butcher’s wagon.

Like I mentioned in one of my earlier reviews, it isn’t clear whether this wants to be (dark) heroic
Mikko Karvonen
Dec 25, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
"Delightfully twisted, and evil." The excerpt from The Guardian tells everything you need to know about Joe Abercrombie. He writes twisted fantasy where the characters are as wicked and dark as the plot twists and morale is not a relevant consideration for any decision. And he writes it well. In short time he has become one of the leading names of the genre, mainly thanks to the First Law trilogy that concludes in the Last Argument of the Kings.

And after finally completing the trilogy, I can't h
Robin (Bridge Four)
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lovers of Game of Thrones and Flawed Characters.
“Mercy and weakness are the same thing in war, and there's no prize for nice behavior.”

When your two favorite characters in a book are a master torturer and a warrior who occasionally is filled with so much bloodlust that he forgets who he is and is as likely to kill a friend as much as a foe you really shouldn’t be surprised to have mixed feelings at the end of the series.

But I was surprised. Maybe I’m too used to the series I’m reading ending by tying everything up neatly in a bow and givi
Alex Nieves
Apr 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Full video review here: https://youtu.be/SARMd-trt1g

What a freaking conclusion to this incredible trilogy. This is definitely my favorite of the 3 and there were just SO MANY AWESOME MOMENTS in this book. Video coming soon but damn, I need some more First Law.
Peter (on hiatus)
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
The Last Argument of Kings is a great ending to a superb fantasy trilogy. Don’t think this fantasy as light and ethereal – no, think dark, brutal and bloody. There are battles and battles and battles to be fought, and the most crucial is between Logen Ninefingers and his old friend come-enemy Bethod in the North.

This is just a wonderful trilogy that provides everything you need for a breathtaking page-turner. Great characters, a world of intrigue, battling nations, supernatural influence
Aug 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
“The only difference between war and murder is the number of the dead.”

A fitting end to the trilogy, and yet the end seems rather pointless. These books are pageturners, they're sometimes funny, and they're mostly highly enjoyable, but there always seems to be something missing. Some deeper meaning. Some focus beyond just subverting tropes for cheap laughs.

Watching Bayaz' plans unfold is, in the end, what this trilogy has to offer, but fortunately it is indeed quite the enjoyable exercise.

David Katzman
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review is for all three books in the First Law trilogy. I was set to name this as the greatest fantasy trilogy that I've ever read. And yet the ending hit me so hard that I just can't muster up the enthusiasm that I had halfway through Book 3. Not to say that this isn't brilliant in so many ways. And while I respect the view of humanity as an honest and not unreasonable critique, it's hard to be quite as enthusiastic about something that, in the end, is so dark. Viewing our current society, ...more
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: grimdark, fantasy
You can find this review and more at Novel Notions.

I’ve read some dark stuff in my life, but I believe that Last Argument of Kings is the bleakest, most brutal book I’ve read, ever. Joe Abercrombie undoubtedly earned his title as the King of Grimdark. If it wasn’t for the humor Abercrombie had been deftly layering into the story since The Blade Itself, I don’t know that I could’ve finished this final installment. I joked with my fellow Novel Notions bloggers that I felt like I needed to bathe i
Apr 06, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Oh, look, this is five stars as well, imagine that! (Please feign faux being shocked)

Look, I honestly don’t think anything I’m going to say here is anything that hasn’t been expounded on before, but Lord have mercy, it must be conveyed in some shape/form/fashion.

There’s a reason Abercrombie is considered a master of his genre; this book, in my opinion, takes that and sums it so very excellently. Abercrombie takes these vivid real characters, characters placed in extraordinary situations. Howev
Aug 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Secrets revealed! Plots twisting here and there! Maybe you could outguessed some of plots? The good news is even if you did outguessed a plot, it didn't make the story less fun. Some of the plot twists were actually simple, but the author's execution skill is marvelous. Oh yeah, your memory that still held the details of book one would be rewarded handsomely on this book.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Genre: Epic Fantasy

This is the third book in the First Law Trilogy. It’s action-packed and full of surprises. This is my favorite book among the three. When I say it is full of surprises I actually mean it 100%. Completely unpredictable and you have no idea what the author has in store for these characters. The turn of events will blow your mind.

This is a grimdark fantasy so be sure not to get attached to any of these characters (if you could) because you never know where they will
Apr 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

Last argument of kings is an appropriately epic, dark and brilliant ending to a trilogy filled with great characters and a beautifully crafted, intricate plot. It provides a definite(if somewhat disappointing) ending to the trilogy that still leaves space for the characters and story to be further explored in the following standalone novels.


Jezal's character development was easily the best written in this series and among the best I've seen in any fantasy. From his introduction
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller
[4.5/5 stars] This was easily the best one yet!

And I kind of ruined the experience for myself. By not planning ahead well enough to actually get through my library hold before it was due back, I had to stop part way though and wait three months to get it again… I swear I should’ve just bought it then and there, but I’m stubborn). In any case, the fact that I was interrupted right in the middle of all the action and still managed to be just as invested several months later is a testament to how g
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Joe Abercrombie was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Manchester University, where he studied psychology. He moved into television production before taking up a career as a freelance film editor. During a break between jobs he began writing The Blade Itself in 2002, completing it in 2004. It was published by Gollancz in 2006 and was followed by two other books in The First Law trilogy ...more

Other books in the series

The First Law (6 books)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • Best Served Cold
  • The Heroes (First Law World, #5)
  • Red Country (First Law World, #6)

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