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

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48 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

Due to the earlier discussion about the extent of his injuries i've been paying more attention than usual to how he was treated, maybe this has led to a far more sympathetic reading than previously. 

Also, never picked up before how low down the scale Glokta was, he had only met the Arch Lektor once previously, in my head he had always been fairly senior, now i realise he was 'middle management' at best.

That’s just struck me too, for some reason I always assumed he held a significant position from the start. It’s also interesting that he seems to be quite principled within the context of his job, pre-Sult at least. He’s reviled pretty much everywhere he is sent (by prisoners, colleagues and superiors) because he sticks to doing his job well.

What’s the opinion on Logan deciding to save Quai? Seems at odds with his character later in the novels and goes against his reflections on how he acted in his past. Plus, we see him leave his friends for dead without even trying to find them. Thoughts?

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2 minutes ago, HelenaExMachina said:

That’s just struck me too, for some reason I always assumed he held a significant position from the start. It’s also interesting that he seems to be quite principled within the context of his job, pre-Sult at least. He’s reviled pretty much everywhere he is sent (by prisoners, colleagues and superiors) because he sticks to doing his job well.

What’s the opinion on Logan deciding to save Quai? Seems at odds with his character later in the novels and goes against his reflections on how he acted in his past. Plus, we see him leave his friends for dead without even trying to find them. Thoughts?

I guess turning up to a magus without his apprentice isn't the best first impression to make. He wasn't to knoe bayaz wouldn't give a shit

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3 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Due to the earlier discussion about the extent of his injuries i've been paying more attention than usual to how he was treated, maybe this has led to a far more sympathetic reading than previously. 

Also, never picked up before how low down the scale Glokta was, he had only met the Arch Lektor once previously, in my head he had always been fairly senior, now i realise he was 'middle management' at best.

Being an Inquisitor in Adua seems a step up from running a concentration camp in Angland, though.,

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I don't care how strong ninefingers is, or how thin Quai was. Nobody carries another man 40 miles. 

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4 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

I don't care how strong ninefingers is, or how thin Quai was. Nobody carries another man 40 miles. 

It doesn't exactly feel like bloody nine summoning scenario either

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21 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

I don't care how strong ninefingers is, or how thin Quai was. Nobody carries another man 40 miles. 

Yeah, that does sound impossible.  Just carrying my 25 pound son around on walks is very tiring, and that's typically less than a mile.  It seems like he'd need to fashion some sort of litter to drag Quai if they're going for realism (and even that would be quite difficult).

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4 hours ago, red snow said:

It's also odd how I'm not seeing glokta as a villain this time - clearly his future actions are changing my opinion on him 

It's probably my profound despise for torturers here, but I like him even less. I mean, it's fun to read, but I see him completely rotten as a person and well past redemption.

1 hour ago, Maithanet said:

Yeah, that does sound impossible.  Just carrying my 25 pound son around on walks is very tiring, and that's typically less than a mile.  It seems like he'd need to fashion some sort of litter to drag Quai if they're going for realism (and even that would be quite difficult).

Well, it seems that a typical Roman legionaries used to carry  between 30 to 45 kg (65 to 100 lbs) on their campaigns. A man would weights more than that, but Logen didn't have to do it every day. If Quai isreally skinny (how old is he, anyway?) and Logen really strong, perhaps it's not impossible. Not sure.

 

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6 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:

Well, it seems that a typical Roman legionaries used to carry  between 30 to 45 kg (65 to 100 lbs) on their campaigns. A man would weights more than that, but Logen didn't have to do it every day. If Quai isreally skinny (how old is he, anyway?) and Logen really strong, perhaps it's not impossible. Not sure.

But carrying gear that is strapped to you via packs, belts, etc is totally different from carrying a man.  I am a medium sized guy and I think I could carry a 75 pound pack many miles if I had to, but I'm sure I couldn't carry even a 50 pound child any great distance. 

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Even a small man is 140lb. Though he was carrying him over his shoulders which is easier than how you would generally carry a child. 

Also he had very limited food for quite a time beforehand. And a number of injuries including a shanka bite to his calf.  

Edited by BigFatCoward

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13 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

What’s the opinion on Logan deciding to save Quai? Seems at odds with his character later in the novels and goes against his reflections on how he acted in his past. Plus, we see him leave his friends for dead without even trying to find them. Thoughts?

I think he left his friends because he wanted to escape the responsibility of leading them, not because he truly believed they were dead.

Saving Quai is just an extension of this, he's trying to leave his past behind.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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14 hours ago, HelenaExMachina said:

What’s the opinion on Logan deciding to save Quai? Seems at odds with his character later in the novels and goes against his reflections on how he acted in his past. Plus, we see him leave his friends for dead without even trying to find them. Thoughts?

I don't feel that way.  I see Gloka and Ninefingers in a similar light here (if I may tie in multiple conversations from this page).  Both know they are evil, and their actions regularly show them as such.  Both have moments in which they try to tell themselves different, and more importantly tries to fool the reader into thinking they might be different.  Logan thinks he is going to find a better man if he tries but never (until Red Country) is willing to stay out of the situations that bring out B9.  Gloka always asks himself 'why' he does the things he does, as if questioning his actions in anyway changes the morality of what he does.  Logan is more likeable, Gloka more despicable and self-pitying, but both are quite regularly perfectly willing to do horrible things for not real great reasons.

We will see this later when Bethod lays out just how Logan often forced his hand during the uniting of the north, and how Gloka ran strait to the inquisition once he decided to leave home.

Both are a joy to read.  Both flat out get stuff done.  But upon reread I found no sympathy for either of them or their relative situations.

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Chapters 10-19

Thinks I loved:

  • The characters: All of them are really interesting, and each has a clearly distinct voice from the very beginning.
  • A lot of important pieces that will become important in later books are introduced casually as world-building, such as the Gurkish menacing Dagoska or the commoner's revolt in Kern. And Sulfur almost spoils the ending when he tries to convince Jezal to keep training: “Give up fencing and you give up more than that! This is how one comes to the notice of the public, you see? They decide, in the end. There’s no nobility without the commoners, no nobility at all! They decide!”

Thinks I didn't like:

  • Too many plot convolutions. In this reread, it seems to me that many of the secondary characters act stupidly or without a clear purpose just to bring the plot forward:
    • Superior Kalayne shows to the Mercers the confession of Salem Rews, and they decide to murder everyone on the list. Then they learn that Salem Rews, who has already confessed everything he knew and was about to be sent to Angland, is still in the city. Sending an assassin to him is just stupid. In the first place, it's just stupid to try to get revenge because everyone confesses under torture. In the second place, many men would say that a life at Angland is a fate worse than death. In the third place, it's an obvious ploy. How can the Mercers be stupid enough to send there the same assassin? And one that know the identity of the man who has contracted him?!?
    • Many things make little sense around the character of Quai. Why does Bayaz has an apprentice that does not seem to have the character, the will or the memory to become a Magi? Why did he send him to find Logen when he clearly wasn't up to the task? Why does he recite the First Law in his fever dreams? Why does he insist that it is forbidden to touch the other side? Are we supposed to assume that he is tempted?
    • How did Bayaz pretended Quai to find Logen in the Wilderness? Bayaz tells Logen "I have called and you have answered, and that shows good manners", but later he also says "The spirits have little to say to men, I understand, though I have never spoken with them; I have not the gift."
    • After Logen’s “death”, his band separated for a month for no apparent motive. When they reunited, it seems that they still haven’t decided who among them should be the new leader. And although they had been attacked a month ago by “an awful lot” of Shanka, it’s only after they met a group of twelve that they feel the need to “warn someone”.

Random thoughts:

  • What do you think that happened between Bethod and Logen? I think it's interesting that it's not revealed (for now), but I wonder what it could be.  Calder says Logen "bit his master's hand", and Logen says that “the feud cuts both ways”.
  • Bethod accuses Logen of being “An animal! A coward! An oath-breaker!“. The first one is obvious, but I wonder about the other two. I particularly struggle to imagine what could have done Logen to justify the accusation of cowardice.
  • Knowing what will happen, it's particularly fun when Sult asks Glokta if he has absolute confidence in his practicals, and he says "absolute".
  • Introducing Bayaz as a butcher makes for an interesting image and a nice presentation of the characters, but... what was he doing, really?
  • Ardee says the “The Fall of the Master Maker” is full of wise Magi and stern knights. Knights do not seem to be around Adua in present times. It’s nice to see some fantasy with actual signs of evolution across the centuries.
  • We should ask Abercrombie if Carpi the Styrian assassin is a relative of Faithful Carpi from Best Served Cold.
  • Glokta thinks about his mother in present tense. If she is still alive during ALH, she would be in her nineties.
  • In the mural of the abandoned house, Kenedias appears with two “practicals”. Joe once confirmed that one was Tolomei. Any ideas on who could be the other?
  • Blacktoe calls Logen “Ninefingers! The Brynn! The Bloody-Nine!”. Does anyone know what a Brynn is?
  • Joe wisely sends us the first clue that the order in which his work is to be read is not a straightforward matter. In chapter 9, Glokta had told us that "it was a bright summer day", but in chapter 12 Glokta himself says it's "a bright, cloudless spring day". Which implies that Glokta went to Villem dan Robb's house before deciding to go there. :blink:

 

Edited by The hairy bear

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28 minutes ago, The hairy bear said:
  • Blacktoe calls Logen “Ninefingers! The Brynn! The Bloody-Nine!”. Does anyone know what a Brynn is?

'Brynn' is a girl's name in Wales meaning 'hill'. So perhaps Logen's people are known as 'Hill Men' or 'Hill People'?

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9 hours ago, SkynJay said:

I don't feel that way.  I see Gloka and Ninefingers in a similar light here (if I may tie in multiple conversations from this page).  Both know they are evil, and their actions regularly show them as such.  Both have moments in which they try to tell themselves different, and more importantly tries to fool the reader into thinking they might be different.  Logan thinks he is going to find a better man if he tries but never (until Red Country) is willing to stay out of the situations that bring out B9.  Gloka always asks himself 'why' he does the things he does, as if questioning his actions in anyway changes the morality of what he does.  Logan is more likeable, Gloka more despicable and self-pitying, but both are quite regularly perfectly willing to do horrible things for not real great reasons.

We will see this later when Bethod lays out just how Logan often forced his hand during the uniting of the north, and how Gloka ran strait to the inquisition once he decided to leave home.

Both are a joy to read.  Both flat out get stuff done.  But upon reread I found no sympathy for either of them or their relative situations.

But most of this is informed by what we know about logen later. In this book there is little to no evidence he is anything other than a man who is a bit too good at killing. He seems considerate and likeable and as far as we can tell only attacks those who attack him. They also establish bethod and co to be the type of people a decent man would rub up against.

As for accusing logen of being an animal, a coward and an oathbreaker. He might have killed someone in cold blood that Bethod had told him not to (a bit like in sharp ends). Or Logen may have finally refused to carry out a murder/mission justifying the name calling.

I quite liked the implication that Bayaz mainly aided bethod in order to acquire logen ( in their meeting he implies Logen is the only thing he got out of the deal). This might mean that everything that happened to Logen was a bit like what's about to happen to Jezal but from a northern angle.

I still wonder how much logen recalls about his actions with bethod. Were their times when B9 persona was fully in control? Does he remember all the shitty things he has done? If he does then he is a piece of work. But there are still contradictions such as why does he spare those from the duels (is it because it ties the clans together better than killing named men/leaders would). I'm also trying to remember why on earth Bethod would let a gang of his fiercest enemies go free. These are all people who challenged Bethod. He either places a lot of trust in oaths or there's something I'm forgetting 

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2 hours ago, The hairy bear said:

Chapters 10-19

Thinks I loved:

  • The characters: All of them are really interesting, and each has a clearly distinct voice from the very beginning.
  • A lot of important pieces that will become important in later books are introduced casually as world-building, such as the Gurkish menacing Dagoska or the commoner's revolt in Kern. And Sulfur almost spoils the ending when he tries to convince Jezal to keep training: “Give up fencing and you give up more than that! This is how one comes to the notice of the public, you see? They decide, in the end. There’s no nobility without the commoners, no nobility at all! They decide!”

Thinks I didn't like:

  • Too many plot convolutions. In this reread, it seems to me that many of the secondary characters act stupidly or without a clear purpose just to bring the plot forward:
    • Superior Kalayne shows to the Mercers the confession of Salem Rews, and they decide to murder everyone on the list. Then they learn that Salem Rews, who has already confessed everything he knew and was about to be sent to Angland, is still in the city. Sending an assassin to him is just stupid. In the first place, it's just stupid to try to get revenge because everyone confesses under torture. In the second place, many men would say that a life at Angland is a fate worse than death. In the third place, it's an obvious ploy. How can the Mercers be stupid enough to send there the same assassin? And one that know the identity of the man who has contracted him?!?
    • Many things make little sense around the character of Quai. Why does Bayaz has an apprentice that does not seem to have the character, the will or the memory to become a Magi? Why did he send him to find Logen when he clearly wasn't up to the task? Why does he recite the First Law in his fever dreams? Why does he insist that it is forbidden to touch the other side? Are we supposed to assume that he is tempted?
    • How did Bayaz pretended Quai to find Logen in the Wilderness? Bayaz tells Logen "I have called and you have answered, and that shows good manners", but later he also says "The spirits have little to say to men, I understand, though I have never spoken with them; I have not the gift."
    • After Logen’s “death”, his band separated for a month for no apparent motive. When they reunited, it seems that they still haven’t decided who among them should be the new leader. And although they had been attacked a month ago by “an awful lot” of Shanka, it’s only after they met a group of twelve that they feel the need to “warn someone”.

Random thoughts:

  • What do you think that happened between Bethod and Logen? I think it's interesting that it's not revealed (for now), but I wonder what it could be.  Calder says Logen "bit his master's hand", and Logen says that “the feud cuts both ways”.
  • Bethod accuses Logen of being “An animal! A coward! An oath-breaker!“. The first one is obvious, but I wonder about the other two. I particularly struggle to imagine what could have done Logen to justify the accusation of cowardice.
  • Knowing what will happen, it's particularly fun when Sult asks Glokta if he has absolute confidence in his practicals, and he says "absolute".
  • Introducing Bayaz as a butcher makes for an interesting image and a nice presentation of the characters, but... what was he doing, really?
  • Ardee says the “The Fall of the Master Maker” is full of wise Magi and stern knights. Knights do not seem to be around Adua in present times. It’s nice to see some fantasy with actual signs of evolution across the centuries.
  • We should ask Abercrombie if Carpi the Styrian assassin is a relative of Faithful Carpi from Best Served Cold.
  • Glokta thinks about his mother in present tense. If she is still alive during ALH, she would be in her nineties.
  • In the mural of the abandoned house, Kenedias appears with two “practicals”. Joe once confirmed that one was Tolomei. Any ideas on who could be the other?
  • Blacktoe calls Logen “Ninefingers! The Brynn! The Bloody-Nine!”. Does anyone know what a Brynn is?
  • Joe wisely sends us the first clue that the order in which his work is to be read is not a straightforward matter. In chapter 9, Glokta had told us that "it was a bright summer day", but in chapter 12 Glokta himself says it's "a bright, cloudless spring day". Which implies that Glokta went to Villem dan Robb's house before deciding to go there. :blink:

 

1. Logen had become addicted to killing, destroying Bethod's attempts to make peace with his remaining opponents.

2.  Jaremias, IIRC, the first apprentice of The Master Maker.

 

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44 minutes ago, red snow said:

But there are still contradictions such as why does he spare those from the duels (is it because it ties the clans together better than killing named men/leaders would).

I'm also trying to remember why on earth Bethod would let a gang of his fiercest enemies go free. These are all people who challenged Bethod. He either places a lot of trust in oaths or there's something I'm forgetting 

Since its implied during the 'jaws/scars' conversation on the journey to find the seed that he was B9 during his duel with Grim, i always wondered how Grim was still alive. 

IIRC their release was at Bayaz doing, but i can't remember the specifics, i think this was discussed during the Bethod-Logen chat proir to the duel with Fenris. 

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1 hour ago, red snow said:

I still wonder how much logen recalls about his actions with bethod. Were their times when B9 persona was fully in control? Does he remember all the shitty things he has done? If he does then he is a piece of work. But there are still contradictions such as why does he spare those from the duels (is it because it ties the clans together better than killing named men/leaders would). I'm also trying to remember why on earth Bethod would let a gang of his fiercest enemies go free. These are all people who challenged Bethod. He either places a lot of trust in oaths or there's something I'm forgetting 

58 minutes ago, BigFatCoward said:

IIRC their release was at Bayaz doing, but i can't remember the specifics, i think this was discussed during the Bethod-Logen chat proir to the duel with Fenris. 

I haven't read it recently, but my interpretation was that Bayaz made a deal for Logen's life.  Thus Bethod expels him instead of killing him.  As for the rest of the crew, it is hard to imagine that Bayaz would have made a deal for their lives too, but it's possible that Bethod wasn't sure what would happen if he tried to kill them (Logen might fight with them, they might kill a bunch of his men, they might have enough supporters to make a political problem, etc).  While I see your point RS that they Logen's gang represents a fierce threat, that really cuts both ways.  Trying to kill a half dozen armed killers quietly in a single night is risky business.  Perhaps Bethod knew that could go wrong a lot of ways, and went with the short term benefit of banishing them and hoping they stay gone.  Then Bethod could solidify his position has King in their absence and be in a stronger position to defeat them if they ever come back. 

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6 hours ago, red snow said:

I quite liked the implication that Bayaz mainly aided bethod in order to acquire logen ( in their meeting he implies Logen is the only thing he got out of the deal). This might mean that everything that happened to Logen was a bit like what's about to happen to Jezal but from a northern angle. 

I don't think it's quite like that.

Bethod was probably supposed to be the North's version of Harod. A small leader who rose to power with Bayaz's assistance.

But Bethod quit listening to Bayaz, so Bayaz had to replace him.

Edited by A True Kaniggit

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I feel the need to point out that the revelation of the Bloody Nine's true nature and Glokta's is meant to be a M. Night Shamalyan-esque twist.

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1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

I feel the need to point out that the revelation of the Bloody Nine's true nature and Glokta's is meant to be a M. Night Shamalyan-esque twist.

I think we are all aware of that but those types of twist are best when there were clues there all along. 

I was also wondering regarding "the first law" whether logen may have unwittingly (or intentionally) broken it at some point? Maybe that's what the bloody nine/beserker entity is? Could his ability to speak with spirits possibly allow him to communicate with demons/the other side? What is the difference between spirits and demons? Would be neat if the trilogy is actually about logen breaking the law. Just throwing random thoughts out

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