Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)” as Want to Read:
Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Last Argument of Kings

(The First Law #3)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  103,598 ratings  ·  4,373 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
...more
Trade Paperback, First Edition, 536 pages
Published March 20th 2008 by Gollancz
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Last Argument of Kings, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
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.

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  103,598 ratings  ·  4,373 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
Michael
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
...more
Petrik
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grimdark fantasy fans
Shelves: favorites
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 bru
...more
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."
SPOILERS FOLLOW

this is a really marvelous series. bold in intent, clear in
...more
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.

Unf
...more
carol.
Aug 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Sean Barrs
Feb 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-reads, fantasy
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. ”

description

His wise courage allowed him to defeat the impossible. Only he would have survive
...more
Ethan
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
...more
Alex
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
...more
Edward
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
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, scenes that were so tense I was biting my nails and shocks that had me staring into the darkness of my palms as my hands covered my face.

“I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.”

Before They Are Hanged, Book 2 of t
...more
Dan Schwent
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.
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
...more
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
...more
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
Peter
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Action
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
...more
Markus
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.

“Power
...more
Celeste
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
...more
Jokoloyo
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.



Conor
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.

SPOILERS

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
...more
TS Chan
May 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I've been meaning to read The First Law trilogy for years, after hearing loads of accolades from far and wide across the fantasy bibliosphere. Now that I've done so, I could safely say that Abercrombie deserved all those praises, and I'll contribute by heaping on more of the same.

The First Law was grimdark at its most brilliant, with Last Argument of Kings delivering a superb finale. There's no denying that this is a dark and bleak tale, but there was enough humour to temper all that gritty dar
...more
Joey Woolfardis
The final book in the First Law trilogy, Joe Abercrombie's rather spectacular debut. Last Arguement of Kings sees all the threads of deceit and dastardly plots come together, with twists and turns thrown in, alongside some rather Machiavellian outlooks on life and a more-than-satisfactory dash of that grimdarkness this series is so well-known for.

A lot of trilogys-or duology, or series-have those annoying "here's what happened in the previous couple of books in a nutshell" kind of beginnings, bu
...more
ChopinFC
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, audiobooks
Wow what a satisfying and thrilling conclusion to the first law series! Abercrombie does a full circle and connects the story arc beautifully in this last book! The characters all have defining and proper conclusions. Nothing is sugarcoated and much on the contrary this almost feels like a Grimm dark fantasy ending. Amazing characters, hilarious dialogue and non-stop action makes this a must read!

5 Stars
Mpauli
"Book 3, the final one! We're almost there!"
"Yes, Sir, Mr.Abercrombie."
"So, let's see. We casted characters already and invented plots. What needs to be done now."
"Perhaps an ending?"
"Really? Aren't you enjoying my fabulous characters?"
"Of course, but you know, a good story needs an ending."
"Did Robert Jordan knew that? Does Martin think so?"
"Well, I'm not sure..."
"And they sold way more books than I did."
"Hm, this is true. But weren't you going somewhere with the story?"
"You're right, but maybe
...more
Evgeny
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This is the conclusion of a grimdark fantasy trilogy. At this point practically everything I can say about the plot will be full of spoilers, so the most generic description will have to do. A war is raging in the north between Union and united barbarians. Another war is about to start in the south: people led by powerful and practically indestructible flesh-eaters quietly prepare to conquer Union - unless the northern barbarians do it first. Everything seems to be lost, but some powerful people ...more
Zitong Ren
whelp...

someone help me plz...
maybe?

Ok, so look, I really don't have the energy in me to write a proper review for this book, since my god did it mess me up a lot.

It certainly still is a five star read and everything here is executed brilliantly from the well written and realistic characters to the superbly down action scenes to the scale of the plot twists. The critiquing part of me sees this as an absolute win, however...

And there is a big however here, since, as a person and reader, I can'
...more
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
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Last Argument of Kings (The First Law #3), Joe Abercrombie
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. With too many masters and too little time, Superior Glokta is fighting a different kind of war. A secret struggle in which no-one is safe, and no-one can be trusted. His days
...more
Richard
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
8.5/10

Reading other peoples reviews of this book makes me feel like a sourpuss only going for the 4 star rating. I fully enjoyed reading people’s reviews and bringing back the memories of those who I have since said my farewells to and glad to see that so many people differ on certain things such as favourite characters, whether they enjoyed the ending overall and if this is one of the better fantasy series to come onto the scene in recent years.

As a trilogy I can’t fault this series, the writi
...more
Stjepan Cobets
Feb 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fans of fantasy
Excellent completion of the series, but I think the writer with this book just opened a fantastic world in which live characters from the book. I love writing Joe Abercrombie and high-maintenance I think I'll read a few more of his books. Honestly, sometimes a writer does not have any mercy on the main characters, but in a world that they live anyway no mercy for anyone. The book is so much upheaval, lies, and deception that you simply have to enjoy reading. I've enjoyed. If you like fantasy boo ...more
Tilly
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Although "Before They Are Hanged" is still my favorite book in the trilogy, I finally decided to rate this book full 5 stars too. At first I was thinking about a 4.5 but now I realized, that the only issues I had are just fully representing what the whole series is about: That not everything happens in the way we want it to happen. It is about flawed characters which are able to do very questionable things in some of the most horrible situations we can imagine. When it comes to the complexity of ...more
Adam
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Now I know why they call him Lord Grimdark.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastard, #2)
  • The Republic of Thieves (Gentleman Bastard, #3)
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora (Gentleman Bastard, #1)
  • Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)
  • The Rage of Dragons (The Burning #1)
  • The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3)
  • The Blinding Knife (Lightbringer, #2)
  • King of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #2)
  • The Well of Ascension (Mistborn, #2)
  • The Broken Eye (Lightbringer, #3)
  • The Black Prism (Lightbringer, #1)
  • Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)
  • The Blood Mirror (Lightbringer, #4)
  • Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, #2)
  • Kings of the Wyld (The Band, #1)
  • The Burning White (Lightbringer, #5)
  • The Final Empire (Mistborn, #1)
  • The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2)
See similar books…
18,504 followers
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 (3 books)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)

Related Articles

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
37 likes · 25 comments
“I have learned all kinds of things from my many mistakes. The one thing I never learn is to stop making them.” 1063 likes
“Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.” 339 likes
More quotes…