My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A satisfying climax to Abercrombie’s trilogy, drawing the varied strings of his narrative inexorably together, whilst still leaving enough loose strings to provide numerous opportunities to expand upon his world in later volumes. Glokta and Logen grow in power as their compromises eat away more and more of their original desires and purpose; the First of the Magi comes further into the light, and what is revealed threatens the stability of the world itself; the careful power structures of the Union and the Northmen are explored and set to trembling; and the novel comes together in a shuddering climax of genuinely epic proportions.
The First Law trilogy grew in confidence and ambition as it progressed, and this volume provides a thoroughly satisfying climax to the narrative. The Bloody Nine comes into full focus, and finally begins to live up to the reputation the character has amongst readers: he never quite reaches full realisation, but it’s a good setup for revelations in further novels. Characters like Black Dow, the Dogman, and Vitari are set up well for further adventures, making their inevitable returns satisfying for the reader.
All in all, a bloodily fun and entertaining climax to the series, and worth the wait.