Jump to content
A True Kaniggit

The First Law- But a Second Reread (or Third, or Fourth or Fi.....) spoilers for First Law books

Recommended Posts

I'm a little behind schedule this week. My thoughts for chapters 20-32:

Thinks I liked:

  • It's great when fantasy worlds don't fall for the trap of having distinct cultural groups speak a generic common tongue. It's also great when they do so without the need inventing weird names and words with lots of consonants and apostrophes. I love how Abercrombie deals with the issue so far.
  • The theatrical outfittter's scene is a memorable one. It has multiple readings, both within in-world, and as a commentary on fantasy tropes. And also, in a "meta" fashion, I love how Logen says "Stories? Some people have too much time on their hands."

Thinks I disliked:

  • It doesn't make much sense that Varuz was constantly warning Jezal about how good Gorst was during the training sessions, and then the bet-maker acts as if he is an underdog and offers Glokta even odds during his first match.
  • The real Quai is supposedly killed in the explosion, isn't he? Tolomei didn't know Malacus, and yet she behaves very much like him afterwards. Also, the very first thing he does after the explosion is recite the second law, just as the real Quai had recited the first law in his fever dreams. I think that, at least in retrospect, we should be able to observe some change in the character.

Random thoughts:

  • Both Ghurkul and the Union are expansionist empires, conquering neighbor lands and submitting their people (Kadir, Muntaz, Stariksa, Angland). Not keeping slaves is the only moral high ground I can see for the Union.
  • It seems weird that the assault at the Mercer's house and Kult's arrest is ordered after the guild has been publicly declared guilty.
  • What happened to Superior Kalyne? Kult confirms that he wasn't the one behind the leak, but I don't think that we meet him again. Was he killed by Sult?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Though any resolution between bayaz and khalul will have to involve a bit of magical nonsense. 

I don't think that we have been told to expect a resolution to the conflict in the new trilogy, and I'm afraid we won't get it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Do you think those attacks wouldn't work on non-eaters as well?  I assume they would, although I don't think we ever saw Yulwei attempt it.  And he did mention those were young eaters who sort of sucked.  I think Yulwei might have had a great deal of trouble if he were dealing with one of the more powerful eaters we see. 

It would work on a regular human but so does a stake through the heart of a human as well as a vampire. My point was it might be a specific weakness in the way that a vampire is prone to a stake through the heart. Also that maybe if he had switched the element for each victim it may have no longer killed them. Just wild speculation - i suspect yulwei was just being flashy

So the consensus does seem to be that the price for having matrix style powers doesn't seem that bad. So it must only be a rare few who get powers or the fact no one beleives it will give them powers that stops everyone from trying. It does feel to me that it's more a law the magi, euz and co created to stop humans gaining power.

So the shanka are cyborg/golem entities as kanedias built them (according to bayaz at least)? That's probably why i have the Frankenstein/gargoyle image. I guess it could also just be that the maker was a geneticist and Even bayaz doesn't comprehend such "magic"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Both Ghurkul and the Union are expansionist empires, conquering neighbor lands and submitting their people (Kadir, Muntaz, Stariksa, Angland). Not keeping slaves is the only moral high ground I can see for the Union.

The Union having no moral high ground is part of the story, I'm inclined to think. We root for the union because we're with the protagonists and being conquered is horrifying for anyone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the end of “Red country Joe” kinda gives indication magic, in general will play a far lesser role or be as grand a force to be used in the future trilogy. The “Dragon” failed to awaken and Cosca speech on the inevitablely of civilization killing off the magic seems to indicate magic will be far less an effective means of war. 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, The hairy bear said:
  • What happened to Superior Kalyne? Kult confirms that he wasn't the one behind the leak, but I don't think that we meet him again. Was he killed by Sult?

 

Body found floating in the docks, bloated beyond recognition?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

 

  • What happened to Superior Kalyne? Kult confirms that he wasn't the one behind the leak, but I don't think that we meet him again. Was he killed by Sult?

 

Probably.  Or else languishing in a concentration camp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

 

  • The real Quai is supposedly killed in the explosion, isn't he? Tolomei didn't know Malacus, and yet she behaves very much like him afterwards. Also, the very first thing he does after the explosion is recite the second law, just as the real Quai had recited the first law in his fever dreams. I think that, at least in retrospect, we should be able to observe some change in the character.

 

 

The real Quai was eaten and left for Glokta to find and deal with.  On a rereading there is a noted change in Quai's behaviour pre/post Tolomei taking over. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

The real Quai was eaten and left for Glokta to find and deal with.  On a rereading there is a noted change in Quai's behaviour pre/post Tolomei taking over. 

Yes. But I think most of this change is noticeable in the second novel.

Edit: Actually I think I know which part you're talking about. Give me 5 minutes.

Edit 2: Yes. I see what mean now. In the next to last chapter, when Logen is trying to talk to everyone going on the journey. At this time fake Quai does become a surly little bastard compared to how the real Quai was.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i've just read the section where they were at the bridge at Aulcus and Quai was practically rubbing one out over the skills of Kanedias, that should have given a clue.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4/Mar/19 -> The Great Leveller - Bloody Company . 135 pages.
  • 11/Mar/19 -> Long Shadows - Scant Mercy .  139 pages.
  • 18/Mar/19 -> So this is Pain - No Good For Each Other. 127 pages.
  • 25/Mar/19 -> The Hero's Welcome - Back to the Mud. 129 pages.

Schedule for Before they are Hanged

Initial discussion should start on 04 March.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

i've just read the section where they were at the bridge at Aulcus and Quai was practically rubbing one out over the skills of Kanedias, that should have given a clue.

Yo, in my defense. Quai could've been a fanboy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

 

 

The Union having no moral high ground is part of the story, I'm inclined to think. We root for the union because we're with the protagonists and being conquered is horrifying for anyone.

Plus, while they don't have slaves they treat their peasants as such - they even wind up with a rebellion. And the angland penal colony may as well be slavery as we know plenty of innocent people wind up there courtesy of the inqusition.

 

11 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

I think the end of “Red country Joe” kinda gives indication magic, in general will play a far lesser role or be as grand a force to be used in the future trilogy. The “Dragon” failed to awaken and Cosca speech on the inevitablely of civilization killing off the magic seems to indicate magic will be far less an effective means of war. 

Wasn't the dragon a machine though? That was the vibe i recollect. I guess it could be a hybrid as there were plenty of scenarios in the tower of the master maker that seemed as much magic as tech. Unless the "fear" was caused by subsonic meddling? I like to think the team were in a lift regarding how they reached the top of the tower. But the sliwing of time seems magical unless high speed travel was at play

 

2 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

The real Quai was eaten and left for Glokta to find and deal with.  On a rereading there is a noted change in Quai's behaviour pre/post Tolomei taking over. 

It seemed more like quai drops out of the story in the final third of the book. But I've still a few chapters to go. 

What are people's thoughts on the book? So far i think I've enjoyed it more but i cam still completely understand why i almost gave up on the series as there isn't much action in the first book. With hindsight there's some great set up but the pay off is really in the second and third book.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, red snow said:

Plus, while they don't have slaves they treat their peasants as such - they even wind up with a rebellion. And the angland penal colony may as well be slavery as we know plenty of innocent people wind up there courtesy of the inqusition.

But the Union isn't herding entire villages into the waiting mouths of the eaters.  Which is a pretty big deal.  If I had to choose between living as a peasant in the Union or Gurkhul, I'm taking the Union and it isn't particularly close.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it's not something I'm keen to point out, I rather like the fact the book kind of makes fun of Islamophobia. The Gurkhul in a number of other science-fiction and fantasy books would be the "evil brown foreign horde" that is coming to kill our white protagonists. However, we see that they're being wrongly blamed for the murder of the King as part of a set up by Bayaz to make the war inevitable. Yes, they took back one city but they were willing to leave it there.

At the end, both the Union and the Gurkhul are not so different.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Maithanet said:

But the Union isn't herding entire villages into the waiting mouths of the eaters.  Which is a pretty big deal.  If I had to choose between living as a peasant in the Union or Gurkhul, I'm taking the Union and it isn't particularly close.

Ehhhh....one of the last major, "Bayaz is a piece of shit" revelations is that his apprentices eat people too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Ehhhh....one of the last major, "Bayaz is a piece of shit" revelations is that his apprentices eat people too.

Bayaz has one apprentice at a time (that we know of at least).  That's pretty different from hundreds. 

Edited by Maithanet

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Bayaz has one apprentice at a time (that we know of at least).  That's pretty different from hundreds. 

True.

Though Bayaz's solution is nuking his own city so I'd probably choose Barbarian land.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

While it's not something I'm keen to point out, I rather like the fact the book kind of makes fun of Islamophobia. The Gurkhul in a number of other science-fiction and fantasy books would be the "evil brown foreign horde" that is coming to kill our white protagonists. However, we see that they're being wrongly blamed for the murder of the King as part of a set up by Bayaz to make the war inevitable. Yes, they took back one city but they were willing to leave it there.

At the end, both the Union and the Gurkhul are not so different.

Meh. There is depth however. The second Ambassador Glocka tortures really seemed to genuinely want and showed indicationthere was a strong sentiment that the Church and state need to separate among many of the empire’s elite.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×