This isn’t a review. Quite the contrary: I was reading a review of this book and it reminded me of a certain something. As the subject title suggests, this is going to be triggering as fuck.
So, right off, I’m going to tell you that I think very, very little of Abercrombie. I don’t see anything exceptional in his books: to me they are nothing more than yet another tired and tiresome effort to out-gritty, out-grimdark George R. R. Martin except with even less engaging characters, and more shittiness. Yes, that’s right babies, I declare Abercrombie’s narrative shittier and creepier by far than Martin’s–and that’s Martin with the rapeyness and the “Aryan Savior of Mongol Horde” fame.
What cinched this, you ask? The Last Argument of Kings, the conclusion of his First Law trilogy.
A little context. You don’t need to have read the book or the preceding two, but the basics are: one of the main characters, Jezel, has become king. Another main characters–a POV in fact–is Inquisitor Glokta, who’s achieved ascendancy in his organization, which specializes in torturing confessions out of people. Princess Terez, daughter of Duke Orso, has been politically sold to Jezel to marry him and become queen. Except Terez hates Jezel’s guts and has no use for him, and doesn’t do much to hide it. She refuses to have sex with him. Glokta, finding this situation quite untenable pressured by asshole wizard Bayaz, decides to intervene to ensure that a royal heir will be born:
‘You don’t have much use for men, do you?’
The two women looked up at him together, then Shalere snatched her hand away from the queen’s shoulder. ‘I will have your meaning!’ barked Terez, but her voice was shrill, almost panicked.
‘I think you know my meaning well enough.’
Terez’s voice being shrill and shrieky and screechy is going to be a theme. Countess Shalere is Terez’s childhood friend and lover. Yep, Terez is a lesbian. A man-hating lesbian at that, because where would we be in an Abercrombie book without a lazy stereotype?
Take a guess where this is going. Oh, guess!