Friday, March 14, 2008

In The Limelight: "The Last Argument of Kings" by Joe Abercrombie

~ In The Limelight ~
Meaning: At the centre of attention.

Origin: Limelight is an intense white light which is produced by heating a piece of lime in a flame of burning oxygen and hydrogen. The effect was discovered in the 1820s by Goldsworthy Gurney and the application of the process to create a bright light was developed by Thomas Drummond around 1825. It was widely used in 19th century theatres to illuminate the stage and was first used in a public theatre at Covent Garden in London in 1837.

Clearly, actors who were the centre of attention on stage being said to be in the limelight. The figurative use, to people or things that were the centre of attention outside the world of theatre, came into use around the turn of the 20th century. (source)


We have only a few days more to wait now for the official release of Joe Abercrombie's conclusion to The First Law trilogy, which is one of the most popular fantasy works in progress over the last couple of years. It's a modern take on and the subversion of fantasy clichés, it mocks and reveres them at the same time. The knack at making you have an intense relationship with the characters is the undeniable strongpoint of Abercrombie's writing. He managed to invented some of the most visceral and memorable characters to date with the life weary barbarian Logen Ninefingers and the dashing hero-gone-torturer Sand dan Glokta that shine above others. Abercrombie's ability to make you almost feel each blow that the characters throw at each other as well as making you duck in front of the book during these passages doesn't fall far behind his skill at characterization.

The people who had the privilege to read and review the advanced reading copy (ARC) of "The Last Argument of Kings" all seem to have in common the thought that the conclusion to the trilogy dwarfs its predecessors in quality and scope and give the book perfect scores almost unanimously. At this moment it seems that mr. Abercrombie is one of the rare few who actually managed to improve with each subsequent novel and for the time outdistanced himself from his peer writers (Patrick Rothfuss with his postponed sophomore effort; and Scott Lynch with his sub par sophomore book) by a fair margin.

As I absolutely loved the first two books ("The Blade Itself" and "Before They Are Hanged") I am most eager to get my clutch on "The Last Argument of Kings" which will be released on the twentieth of March. Since I was a bit disappointed by Erikson's "Midnight Tides" and still have two more books to read before "Toll the Hounds" surfaces (30.June); and there is yet no official word from GRRM's publishers on the release of "A Dance With Dragons" (a fall release is the soonest but not the most possible) as well, therefore is this probably my most anticipated realease for the year. And to stir the proverbial cauldron a bit before I stop with my praise galore - It would be no surprise if "The First Law" is conceded the title of the trilogy of this decade in a few years time. Watch out! Joe the cookie mons...hmmm...Joe Abercrombie has just entered the building!

Here are some reviews of "The Last Argument of Kings" to whet your appetite:

Sandstorm Reviews,

A Dribble of Ink,

Graeme's Fantasy Book Review,

The Genre Files,

The Wertzone,

and Pat's Fantasy Hotlist


~ Thrinidir ~



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