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The First Law Re-Read Volume II - rereads are a dish best served cold

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7 hours ago, SeanF said:

Where it comes over as a bit random to me is the way that Sult instructs Glokta to find evidence to prove that Bayaz is a fraud who performs parlour tricks, in TBI, while being aware that magic and the occult are realities, all along.  

I think Sult genuinely believed Bayaz was a fraud though.

i’m also not sure exactly how much Sult is supposed to know about what he is investing in.  Doesnt seem to be too closely monitored until Goyle shows up.

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On 6/11/2019 at 2:46 AM, SeanF said:

Where it comes over as a bit random to me is the way that Sult instructs Glokta to find evidence to prove that Bayaz is a fraud who performs parlour tricks, in TBI, while being aware that magic and the occult are realities, all along.  

Yeah, it still feels a bit like this angle could have used more fleshing out (i know joe outlined the trilogy and then fleshed out aspects in second/third drafts but this might still have been a later fix). I guess it's made pretty clear that it was a very feeble/non existent attempt to reach the other side suggesting it was a bit of desperation. Maybe Sult knew bayaz was genuine towards the end and he was trying to fight fire with fire?

On the last stretch now and I'm being reminded if just how strong the ending was for me. 

Things i noticed (or had forgotten from first read) was ardee being genuinely caring at Glokta's proposal. Maybe there us hope the new trilogy won't gave them hating each other?

That Jezal shows glimpses of maybe being capable of being a good king/decent man (in helping the wounded and speeches about pardons etc. His flaw is mainly that he's very naive and a bit of a coward.

Logen being a bit unreasonable and gruff. He's clearly an awful person to be king. I also felt like his anger towards Bayaz was the least warranted of all those from the quest. As Bayaz said he saved his life, gave him a sword and purpose. He Even offered to tell him more in book 1 but it was logen who refused. This to me just highlights how logen thrives off strife and how it's probably not too disimilar to how things soured with Bethod.

Whereas Jezal and Bayaz was a scene where i was on Jezal's side. He has been messed around and it's interesting how Bayaz bullies Jezal yet is relatively cowed by logen. It could be Bayaz has more respect for logen and/or killing the bloody nine may not be as easy. Spirit talkers are harder to replace than kings too.

Loved how Glokta told Bayaz to shut up and called him a pompous prick. And that is Bayaz's worst quality to me - his pompous arrogance. In a way he did save adua. Yes there was the magic nuke but was that really worse than the gurkish invading? But it's his attitude that gets me. If it wasn't for the fact i read these before breaking bad was a show, I'd have sworn Bayaz was based on Walter White. If it wasn't because people would expect cranston to play a villain he might have been a good shout for Bayaz.

One last thing. Brint is another "bastard king" in waiting. Could his featuring in the next trilogy mean there are greater things ahead? I could imagine Bayaz putting Brint into play if jezal and his heirs were becoming liabilities. Or even funnier, if someone else used Brint as a potential king.

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4 hours ago, red snow said:

That Jezal shows glimpses of maybe being capable of being a good king/decent man (in helping the wounded and speeches about pardons etc. His flaw is mainly that he's very naive and a bit of a coward.

 

Naive I’ll concede, but not cowardly. I mean throughout the “Argument of Kings” The pain Bayaz inflicted upon Jezal was clearly horrendous, so I don’t begrudge him for getting in line with Bayaz’s orders rather than continued to be tortured.

    

4 hours ago, red snow said:

Whereas Jezal and Bayaz was a scene where i was on Jezal's side. He has been messed around and it's interesting how Bayaz bullies Jezal yet is relatively cowed by logen. It could be Bayaz has more respect for logen and/or killing the bloody nine may not be as easy. Spirit talkers are harder to replace than kings too.

I don’t think Bayaz is the type of character whose respect for anyone has ever stopped him from exploiting them as much as he’s able.

 

4 hours ago, red snow said:

In a way he did save adua. Yes there was the magic nuke but was that really worse than the gurkish invading? But it's his attitude that gets me. If it wasn't for the fact i read these before breaking bad was a show, I'd have sworn Bayaz was based on Walter White. If it wasn't because people would expect cranston to play a villain he might have been a good shout for Bayaz.

 

But then again Adua probably wouldn’t have been in danger if Bayaz didn’t keep pushing his feud with the prophet.

And, honestly if he gave himself up or told Jezal to at the very least surrender, a lot more lives would have probably been spared.

Hell to be clear he purposefully sabotaged any attempts at peace between the two empires.

So I really think you’re being too generous when you say he saved Adua.

It’s like a man saving a child from a burning building he’s purposefully set on fire.  

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3 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Naive I’ll concede, but not cowardly. I mean throughout the “Argument of Kings” The pain Bayaz inflicted upon Jezal was clearly horrendous, so I don’t begrudge him for getting in line with Bayaz’s orders rather than continued to be tortured.

    

I don’t think Bayaz is the type of character whose respect for anyone has ever stopped him from exploiting them as much as he’s able.

 

But then again Adua probably wouldn’t have been in danger if Bayaz didn’t keep pushing his feud with the prophet.

And, honestly if he gave himself up or told Jezal to at the very least surrender, a lot more lives would have probably been spared.

Hell to be clear he purposefully sabotaged any attempts at peace between the two empires.

So I really think you’re being too generous when you say he saved Adua.

It’s like a man saving a child from a burning building he’s purposefully set on fire.  

It's still worse if they just leave you to burn though. The bad thing for me is the possibility this was just an excuse for him to use a new magic. Hard to tell whether the eaters could have been stopped otherwise.

Bayaz still appears to be the better master. Although him vs khalul isn't exactly a great choice.

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9 hours ago, red snow said:

 

One last thing. Brint is another "bastard king" in waiting. Could his featuring in the next trilogy mean there are greater things ahead? I could imagine Bayaz putting Brint into play if jezal and his heirs were becoming liabilities. Or even funnier, if someone else used Brint as a potential king.

I had totally forgotten about that as well. Intriguing, especially with Joe stating up thread that he's in all 3 of the new trilogy. Maybe hes actually the prince who was promised. 

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4 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Naive I’ll concede, but not cowardly. I mean throughout the “Argument of Kings” The pain Bayaz inflicted upon Jezal was clearly horrendous, so I don’t begrudge him for getting in line with Bayaz’s orders rather than continued to be tortured.

Jezal should have 'done a tommen', just to spite the poisonous old fuck. I know he claims he could just drop someone else in place, but I'm not sure it would be as easy as he says it would be. Or maybe he'd just leave glokta in charge and not even pretend anymore. 

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4 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

I had totally forgotten about that as well. Intriguing, especially with Joe stating up thread that he's in all 3 of the new trilogy. Maybe hes actually the prince who was promised. 

Yeah, Joe's "spoiler" was what made that scene stand out. 

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4 hours ago, BigFatCoward said:

Jezal should have 'done a tommen', just to spite the poisonous old fuck. I know he claims he could just drop someone else in place, but I'm not sure it would be as easy as he says it would be. Or maybe he'd just leave glokta in charge and not even pretend anymore. 

That's kind of what i meant by cowardly. Jezal behaves as most people would but your logen/glokta/ferro's of the world are brave enough to do the "fuck you" and stand by it.

I also wonder whether Glokta was hinting at future resistance when he shot down the bank tax for hospitals. Little rebellions when bayaz isn't watching. That said, the re-read highlights just how good a deal Glokta has - there's really no reason whatsoever for him to go against Bayaz other than his dislike of being under someone's boot. That said he spends the entire trilogy under one master or the other, he complains but usually goes along with it. So i don't really see him wanting to go against Bayaz other than through his little rebellions eg like when he spares people.

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finished the original trilogy. my preference of books is still in reverse publication order but I think that is very much because it is more like a 3 act single story - which manages to stick the landing.

I still think this could be made into a TV show with today's technology and a little bit of inventiveness. It's only really the final battle in Adua with the eaters, large scale destruction and magic nukes that would be expensive to depict. Dagoska in book 2 would only be expensive if they decided to show what is largely only talked about in the books (although it's true that TV is a lot more about showing action). I actually think the trickiest thing with a TV show would be in translating Glokta to screen.  First there's the question of how disfigured you make him for the screen without losing too much of the actor. I think the loss of teeth might have to be worked around (easy solution is he has some false teeth - no idea if they had that tech but for the show it could be a concession). The limping/watery eyes etc fairly easy to do though. But it's the internal monolgue that will be tricky to make up for without having to concede he's going to come across as far more villainous. We'd still get his sarcasm though. Luckily Jezal is pretty much the same on the outside as he is on the inside. And I think Logen says enough to get a proper feel for him. West might come off a little dull but I know some find him a bit dull anyhow. The good thing is that all the non POV characters shine in the book, meaning there's little reason for them not to on screen unless the POV reactions to these characters adds a lot.

Think I'll take a break to read some non-fiction before doing the stand-alones. That and the 2nd part of Lawrence's "impossible times". I need to keep an eye on the time left before the new book is out but I should be ok. I might have to scarifice the "sharp ends" re-read is all.

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On 6/13/2019 at 3:51 PM, red snow said:

Loved how Glokta told Bayaz to shut up and called him a pompous prick. And that is Bayaz's worst quality to me - his pompous arrogance. In a way he did save adua. Yes there was the magic nuke but was that really worse than the gurkish invading? But it's his attitude that gets me. If it wasn't for the fact i read these before breaking bad was a show, I'd have sworn Bayaz was based on Walter White. If it wasn't because people would expect cranston to play a villain he might have been a good shout for Bayaz.

Well, considering one of the Gurkish's main reason for their expansion is to acquire slaves to feed Khalul's eaters... Yeah, Bayaz is a dick, but he's much better than the alternative.  And I don't think they were really trying to expand into the Union for food (more for Khalul to test his eaters because he thought Bayaz was weak enough to be defeated without direct conflict from himself), but it does sound like that's why they were taking over much of the southern continent.  

 

On 6/13/2019 at 8:39 PM, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Naive I’ll concede, but not cowardly. I mean throughout the “Argument of Kings” The pain Bayaz inflicted upon Jezal was clearly horrendous, so I don’t begrudge him for getting in line with Bayaz’s orders rather than continued to be tortured.

I also don't think Jezal is a coward.  It took him awhile to work up towards being a fighter, but in LAoK he did charge straight into the breach.  I do think Bayaz actually did quite a good job making him kingly; his internal monologue was much different during the siege than it was in the first two books.  He just rightly knows how outclassed by Bayaz he is.

 

On 6/13/2019 at 3:51 PM, red snow said:

Whereas Jezal and Bayaz was a scene where i was on Jezal's side. He has been messed around and it's interesting how Bayaz bullies Jezal yet is relatively cowed by logen. It could be Bayaz has more respect for logen and/or killing the bloody nine may not be as easy. Spirit talkers are harder to replace than kings too.

This might be part of it.  I kind of think a significant portion of Bayaz not treating Logen the same are 1. that he just doesn't care that much about what the Northmen are getting up to and 2. that he likes having two antagonistic territories in his home region that he can play off each other and use for experimentation (gun powder in The Heroes).

 

 

I knew BSC was the book I was least looking forward to rereading, as it was my least favorite on the first time through, but it's more of a slog than I remember.  I've been working on it three weeks already, and I'm still on 37% in.  There's just nothing about it that draws me to read it.  Still trudging along though...

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Red country is the one I'm most wary of but also most optimistic of enjoying more. There's a bit in last third of BSC that dragged, i seem to recall round about when things go badly wrong for Shivers and the team becomes quite sour towards each other. But the rest i remember very fondly particularly because it was Joe's first genuine done in one installment.

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On 6/14/2019 at 12:24 AM, BigFatCoward said:

Jezal should have 'done a tommen', just to spite the poisonous old fuck. I know he claims he could just drop someone else in place, but I'm not sure it would be as easy as he says it would be. Or maybe he'd just leave glokta in charge and not even pretend anymore. 

Meh, suicide usually is not an easy choice, and totally against basic human instinct.

On 6/14/2019 at 5:14 AM, red snow said:

That's kind of what i meant by cowardly. Jezal behaves as most people would but your logen/glokta/ferro's of the world are brave enough to do the "fuck you" and stand by it.

I don’t think so. None of the people you’ve listed considered/attempted suicide regardless of the difficult situation they find themselves in. Hell even Glockta never tried to kill himself while he was a prisoner. And he’d have the ability if he truly wanted to. He could have bashed his head in. He didn’t. 

Ferro likewise at mutilates herself in order to stop being sexually assaulted(I imagine this didn’t work that effectively), but never tries to kill herself.

 

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On 6/15/2019 at 5:49 PM, red snow said:

 the team becomes quite sour towards each other

Haha. That's one way to put it I guess.

Just a couple of attempted murders.

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On 6/15/2019 at 10:47 PM, RedEyedGhost said:

Well, considering one of the Gurkish's main reason for their expansion is to acquire slaves to feed Khalul's eaters... Yeah, Bayaz is a dick, but he's much better than the alternative.  And I don't think they were really trying to expand into the Union for food (more for Khalul to test his eaters because he thought Bayaz was weak enough to be defeated without direct conflict from himself), but it does sound like that's why they were taking over much of the southern continent.  

 

I also don't think Jezal is a coward.  It took him awhile to work up towards being a fighter, but in LAoK he did charge straight into the breach.  I do think Bayaz actually did quite a good job making him kingly; his internal monologue was much different during the siege than it was in the first two books.  He just rightly knows how outclassed by Bayaz he is.

 

This might be part of it.  I kind of think a significant portion of Bayaz not treating Logen the same are 1. that he just doesn't care that much about what the Northmen are getting up to and 2. that he likes having two antagonistic territories in his home region that he can play off each other and use for experimentation (gun powder in The Heroes).

 

 

I knew BSC was the book I was least looking forward to rereading, as it was my least favorite on the first time through, but it's more of a slog than I remember.  I've been working on it three weeks already, and I'm still on 37% in.  There's just nothing about it that draws me to read it.  Still trudging along though...

BSC is my favourite.  The cast are just such a bunch of shits, but very funny.

It's like George Martin wrote a spin off novel about the merry adventures of the Brave Companions.

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11 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

Meh, suicide usually is not an easy choice, and totally against basic human instinct.

I don’t think so. None of the people you’ve listed considered/attempted suicide regardless of the difficult situation they find themselves in. Hell even Glockta never tried to kill himself while he was a prisoner. And he’d have the ability if he truly wanted to. He could have bashed his head in. He didn’t. 

Ferro likewise at mutilates herself in order to stop being sexually assaulted(I imagine this didn’t work that effectively), but never tries to kill herself.

 

I wasn't suggesting those characters were committing suicide unless you count telling Bayaz to go fuck himself as suicidal? I'm just saying they had the stones to put their lives on the line. I think you got the wrong end of the stick.

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5 hours ago, SeanF said:

BSC is my favourite.  The cast are just such a bunch of shits, but very funny.

It's like George Martin wrote a spin off novel about the merry adventures of the Brave Companions.

I'm with you. I know The Heroes is technically a better written and structured novel, but the characters of BSC are Abercrombie's best, and Shivers' my favourite character arc he's ever done. And any novel with Cosca in it automatically gets a boost for me...  

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Posted (edited)

Went on a trip to Germany a couple weeks ago and hammered through The Heroes pretty quickly.  I enjoyed it a lot more on this second go around than before I think.  Reading it quickly helped too I think. The day to day flow of the battle really pressed in.  No quibbles at all with that book.

Then this weekend I flew out to Dallas for a cousin's wedding and wound up finishing Red Country.  Another book that I liked better in this second go around.  Almost feels like a book that needed to wait a bit longer for the invention of the revolver though... so many scenes of people standing around and pulling back their coat to reveal the handle of a knife or the final staredown between Shivers and Lamb that were begging for a Sergio Leone soundtrack and a pistol.  :lol:   My one gripe with RC came near the end.  Just before Shy and Temple stagger back into town, Mayor dan Eider (I didn't realize they never actually mentioned her by name) is lamenting the death of the town and is talking about Curnsbick's manufactory.  She is talking about how people were moving out and he is now getting people to mine coal and how he started with two tin smoke stacks and now has three brick smokestacks.  Later when Cosca's crew comes back in, they are talking about how its been less than two months since they left (that feels really long given the events of the book... but okay).  All of that change seems to have happened a little too quickly in my mind and it did distract me some.  I get that he's setting up the industrial revolution that will be the backdrop for the coming trilogy, but the speed of it seemed improbable.

This was another book where I remembered things happening, but not remembering how.  I knew Cosca died talking to Temple and that he had been stabbed... but Sworbreck doing it absolutely stunned me all over again.  Overall, he nailed the western theme.  Really felt like a fantasy version of Unforgiven.  Jason Priestly as Temple.  Gene Hackman as Cosca.  The biographer following Little Bill around.  Leef as the Scofield Kid.  Savian and Morgan Freeman... sorta fills the role of the other old worndown fighter.  

A great series of books and can't wait to get my hands on ALH.

Edited by Rhom

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Posted (edited)

 

On 6/19/2019 at 4:48 AM, red snow said:

I wasn't suggesting those characters were committing suicide unless you count telling Bayaz to go fuck himself as suicidal? I'm just saying they had the stones to put their lives on the line. I think you got the wrong end of the stick.

You’ll have to forgive me for getting the wrong idea. In my defense you did say Jezal was acting cowardly(in the context of acting like a normal person would in the situation), by not committing suicide, and then remarked Logen, Ferro, Glocka would’ve stood by their fuck you. I took  “stood by” to mean you’d thought they’d do the “brave” thing and kill themselves in Jezal’s situation rather than be Bayaz’s puppet. 

And respect to the bolded so does Jezal. He repeatedly risks his life for others throughout the novel. If Bayaz said he’d merely end Jezal’s life(which I think Jezal could still recognize the wizard could arrange),I think Jezal would’ve still resisted.  The reason he’s capitulating to Bayaz isn’t a fear of death. It’s the fear of unimaginable pain. 

If Bayaz tortured, Logen,or Glocka the same way he did Jezal I imagine their reactions wouldn’t be that different. But they’d perhaps be more insufficient pawns due to the trauma. 

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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How tall are Logen and crew? Like when West describes them they all seem to be really big guys. Bethod comments Logen is much taller than him and how Bethod himself was pretty big himself, so how big are we talking here? 

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6 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

How tall are Logen and crew? Like when West describes them they all seem to be really big guys. Bethod comments Logen is much taller than him and how Bethod himself was pretty big himself, so how big are we talking here? 

In my head he is about 6'6", though i have absolutely nothing to back that up. 

I don't think Dow was described as being particularly tall, Finree 'i thought you'd be taller'.  

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