Logen finally returns home – and soon finds that once back on old soil, old habits die hard – almost as hard as the Named Men that have lined up to take their revenge. Jezal returns home expecting things to be the same – but soon gets swept up in the tide of politics in the Union’s capital. Glokta returns home expecting to be found floating by the docks before the day’s out – but finds himself increasingly in a position of power. Meanwhile, Bayaz is pulling all sorts of strings, preparing for a showdown the likes of which the world hasn’t seen in a long time… Will any of the characters find any sort of closure at the end of this bitter saga?
Listened to the audiobook with Steven Pacey (whom I liked a lot).
Overall, the trilogy deserves a solid three-star rating, perhaps bordering on three and a half. I do not think that the trilogy is a masterpiece, but it is a definite recommendation for someone looking for a character-heavy grimdark fantasy story.
I especially like that Abercrombie creates a dark atmosphere and dark characters without the edgy use of obvious solutions like sexual violence or babyslaying (not that it doesn’t have its fair share of violence…) but focusses instead on the nature and motivations of his characters and the bleak results of their actions.
I will not say that the conclusion of the series was moving, or that it made me particularly happy – but it fit very well with the grimdark tone of the trilogy, which Abercrombie follows through all the way to the end.
If you have just finished this trilogy and have not yet tried A song of Ice and Fire, that is a definite recommendation too.