His chosen comrades thought at school
He must grow a famous man;
He thought the same and lived by rule,
All his twenties crammed with toil;
‘What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘What then?’
Everything he wrote was read,
After certain years he won
Sufficient money for his need,
Friends that have been friends indeed;
‘What then?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘ What then?’
All his happier dreams came true —
A small old house, wife, daughter, son,
Grounds where plum and cabbage grew,
poets and Wits about him drew;
‘What then.?’ sang Plato’s ghost. ‘What then?’
The work is done,’ grown old he thought,
‘According to my boyish plan;
Let the fools rage, I swerved in naught,
Something to perfection brought’;
But louder sang that ghost, ‘What then?’
“In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl. A great black shape against the fires beyond he loomed up, grown to a vast menace of despair. In rode the Lord of the Nazgûl, under the archway that no enemy ever yet had passed, and all fled before his face.
All save one. There waiting, silent and still in the space before the Gate, sat Gandalf upon Shadowfax: Shadowfax who alone among the free horses of the earth endured the terror, unmoving, steadfast as a graven image in Rath Dínen.
“You cannot enter here,” said Gandalf, and the huge shadow halted. “Go back to the abyss prepared for you! Go back! Fall into the nothingness that awaits you and your Master. Go!”
The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
“Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
And in that very moment, away behind in some courtyard of the city, a cock crowed. Shrill and clear he crowed, recking nothing of war nor of wizardry, welcoming only the morning that in the sky far above the shadows of death was coming with the dawn.
And as if in answer there came from far away another note. Horns, horns, horns, in dark Mindolluin’s sides they dimly echoed. Great horns of the north wildly blowing. Rohan had come at last.”
Gives me chills down my spine every time I read it. One of the few times Peter Jackson was able to evoke the same kind of emotions in the film version was Rohan’s charge into battle.
Author Joe Abercrombie tweeted this today:
Joe Abercrombie’s The First Law trilogy was one of the best fantasy series I have read in years. I ate it up nearly as quick as Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, Stephen King’s The Dark Tower or more recently Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastards. It felt like reading The Lord of the Rings if Middle-Earth were as brutal of a world of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Just like people you’ll love the main characters one minute and hate their guts another. I never saw the twists coming, and when dialog was spoken I thought afterwards of course they would say that. I left reading the books thinking I could write something like this because of the ease of the prose then jealous when I realized how wrong I am because these books were brilliantly written. It’s one of those series that leave you floored as a reader and a writer.
As always remember that there are spoilers ahead.
I have to say ahead of time I have not read the First Law side books though I do know the big reveal of Red Country. Red Country, being the latest book in the First Law timeline takes place thirteen years after The Last Argument of Kings. So here is what I am speculating will occur in the next trilogy.
- Sand dan Glokta and Jezal dan Luthar will no longer point-of-view characters. Jezal will make an appearance, maybe even just a mention but won’t have any prominent plot points. Glokta will be a prominent secondary character to one of the point-of-view characters.
- There will be three or four new point-of view characters to replace the one we’re losing: Jezal, Glokta and Collem West.
- I’m on the fence on whether Dogman will still be a point-of-view character.
- Logen Ninefingers (still alive as revealed in Red Country) and Ferro Maljinn will be the only returning characters with a point-of-view.
- What the Bloody Nine is will be fully revealed in Logen’s quest to confront Bayaz.
- Bayaz manipulation of the North and the Union will begin to unravel but perhaps not fully free of the First of the Magi until the third First Law trilogy.
- Ferro will have to deal with her madness if she is to accomplish her goals with the Gurkish.
- The spirits that Logen can talk to will become more prominent again, and why he can do so will be revealed.
- Perhaps Bayaz himself will have a point-of-view exploring his background with the other magi.
- The Great Eastern Library will make an appearance
- Maybe even one of the other magi not seen in the original trilogy will get a point-of-view to explore Bayazs background.
- We will finally meet Khalul in person, perhaps through Ferro but like Bayaz his downfaill won’t come until the next First Law trilogy.
- Tolomei will be released or break out from the House of the Maker
- It is implied that Bayaz killed Juvens, we’ll find out why.
- The other side will be explored more, perhaps be a main focus of the plot.
- The mythology of Euz and his four sons, Kanedias, Juvens, Bedesh and Glustrod will be explored.
- Logen Ninefingers will be actually dead by the end of this trilogy, having started what will be the downfall of Bayaz.
- However, the Bloody Nine may not. With Logen dead the Bloody Nine may takeover to wreak havoc in the third trilogy.
- Luthar may die before the end of the second trilogy.
- There is no way there is only two laws by Euz. A third law will be revealed.
- Cawneil, one of the magi, may be forced to give up her slothful ways in the Great Western Library, possibly even have a change of heart about being a cynic.
- Zacharus may take a stand against Bayaz, and he will fall doing so possibly revealing Bayaz’s more sinister nature.
Obviously this is all based on having not read the three World of the First Law books, as I understand Bayaz makes an appearance in one of them.
There’s nothing like the feeling of discovering a new favorite book series and I hope Abercrombie will continue to do so with the next trilogy.