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The Heroes (World of the First Law Book 2) Kindle Edition
For glory, for victory, for staying alive.
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From Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
The Heroes is an indictment of war and the duplicity that corrupts men striving for total power: bloody and violent, but never gratuitously so, it's imbued with cutting humour, acute characterisation and world-weary wisdom about the weaknesses of the human race. Brilliant.-- "Eric Brown, The Guardian (UK)"
Lord of the Rings as directed by Kurosawa-- "Wall Street Journal"
The Heroes is an indictment of war and the duplicity that corrupts men striving for total power: bloody and violent, but never gratuitously so, it's imbued with cutting humor, acute characterization and world-weary wisdom about the weaknesses of the human race. Brilliant.-- "Guardian (London)"
Abercrombie never glosses over a moment of the madness, passion, and horror of war, nor the tribulations that turn ordinary people into the titular heroes.-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review) "
Delivered in Abercrombie's trademark witty style ... This is an action-packed novel full of brutality, black humour and razor-sharp characterisation.-- "Dave Bradley, SFX (5 star review)"
It's an excellent tale and arguably Abercrombie's best book yet ... Its pace really showcases his talent for differently voiced and realistically motivated characters ... any genre fan can enjoy what's one of the best fantasy books of the past year.-- "SciFi Now (5 star review)"
Lord of the rings as directed by Kurosawa-- "Wall Street Journal."
Magnificent, richly entertaining.-- "Time" --This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B00480O978
- Publisher : Orbit; 1st edition (February 7, 2011)
- Publication date : February 7, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 5799 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 546 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #22,171 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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The author also soils the tale with a liberal use the f-bomb. It's unfortunate. Such language is completely unnecessary.
Finally, this isn't a fantasy book. There is essentially zero magic in this tale. It's as if the author was trying to write his version of Michael Shaara's The Killer Angels, a fabulous historical fiction account of the battle of Gettysburg in the American Civil War. I didn't mind the lack of fantasy. I love that kind of historical fiction, but if you're looking for fantasy, you won't find it here.
There is a cast of character and all of them are interesting, from the good people (not many of those) to the bad people (lots of those). It is like Game of Thrones. It is a great story that focuses entirely on a battle and the characters that make up that battle.
There are lots of twists and turns and you just know you do not want to have been there. It was not fun for anyone except the First Magi.
This is Joe at his best! Although he is always at his best. I am reading EVERYTHING he has published. I LIKE THIS GUY.
As ever, Abercrombie is incredibly character-driven and grounded in realism, refusing to flinch from the unpleasant aspects of his world, but also treating his characters with respect, no matter how flawed or selfish they might be. The Heroes uses all of these elements superbly, making a book that explores war in all of its horrors, while also understanding how it can forge bonds, shape destinies, and more. It's neither pro-war nor anti-war; instead, it shows the toll it can take on people, and celebrates those who have to fight them, even as it questions whether any of it is worth the human cost involved, or the way that the people who suffer least so often are those who send others to their deaths. In that, it's pure Abercrombie, looking at so many fantasy tropes and stories and exploring them from the inside out, turning it all over and questioning whether the legend is more important than the truth, all while telling a gripping read with countless great characters, incredible action, and a compelling, unputdownable narrative.
If you are looking for a typical coming of age fantasy adventure story that starts off in an inn ... move along. “The Heroes” is a raw , bloody and stomach churning tale of the horrors and glory of battle with no punches pulled. If your taste in fantasy novels leans more towards “A Game of Thrones” than say “The Sword of Shannara” then you will likely enjoy it. I, for one, am very much looking forward to reading more of Abercrombie’s writing.
Top reviews from other countries
Some of the content is toe curling and teeth grinding. Abercrombie does not hesitate to call a spade a spade, in fact he will more likely call it a f.....g shovel.
There are episodes of gratuitous violence which rather than promote violence are skilfully employed to mock the failures of elements of society and demonstrate his abhorrence of it. Whilst graphically describing warfare his underlying message is to decrie the very purpose of human conflict.
Abercrombie has an understanding of military matters and can readily match the likes of Bernard Cornwall, Simon Scarrow, Conn Iggulden and associates in creating battle scenes of immense proportions.
The character development throughout the series of books is a lesson to any prospective writer. I simply love his books.
Whilst he can graphically describe warfare in the most stunning detail; the underlying message is to decry the purpose of conflict in the first place. He gainfully employs a degree of humour and cynicism to make his point.
The entire series of books is set in a medieval world which is an area that I enjoy to read anyway. The fantasy element although running throughout the books does not dominate the stories but rather runs seamlessly throughout; underpinning the plot .
Whilst I have a comprehensive library of books that include many classics, I am now an Abercrombie fan forever.
It was great to see my favourite character from the original books – Bayaz – making an explosive return. Lights up every scene he’s in. Joe Abercrombie can write bastards, literal and otherwise, better than anyone.
I read this book right after Deadhouse Gates, which has possibly the most memorable battle scenes I’ve ever read. I was therefore initially a bit worried if this would be the best time for me to read another fantasy book about war. I should’ve had complete faith in Joe Abercrombie’s abilities. He wrote an action packed few days of intense action, and somewhat similar to the Malazan series, you find it difficult to root for a particular side and stick to it.
Too many memorable characters, Abercrombie’s forte, and without resorting to specific spoilers, there’s one PTSD chapter that is masterfully done.
Joe Abercrombie has written, yet again, an absolute work of genius, about real characters with real weaknesses and frailties, who still have their fifteen minutes of fame to shine, even in the worst of times. This really should be my favourite Abercrombie book, but damn that trilogy bias!
Do I still miss the original trilogy? Insanely. But this book can fight it out with the best that’s out there.
Joe's writing style is as usual brilliant, but I really didn't enjoy this story and I would have preferred to buy a shorter non bloody version, which could probably be read in 1 hour.
I suppose I will have a better understanding of the main characters as the series goes on, but I really struggled with this book and I do wonder why I carried on now I have got to the end.
Craw and his dozen have been sent to secure a hill, crowned by ancient standing stones known as The Heroes, which is being held by some of the Dogman’s men. He manages to pull it off without violence. But neither he, nor his dozen are aware of how important that hill is going to be in the coming days, for the Union is marching all of its legions North.
Somehow Abercrombie has managed to take a simple concept as a war, and a pointless one at that, and turn it into a 500+ paged novel, and managed without even having any one main protagonist. What he does do is introduce a rogues gallery of fighters on either side of the war, so instead of one main story arc, we get six arcs that enjoy almost an even amount of page space. The North has its named men, with Black Dow, a charismatic but murderous leader, as their chief. Craw is the ‘I’m too old for this s***’ warrior that tries to the right thing in ever situation, whilst looking out for his crew; amongst whom are Whirrun of Bligh, a legendary warrior who carries the Father of Swords and Wonderful, the only female warrior who can hold her own against any of Black Dows men. Also on the Northmen’s side is Prince Calder, the scheming son of the former ‘King of the North’, who’s smirk and double-edged words only seem to land him in deeper waters. Then there’s Beck, a farm boy who has dreamed of earning a Name and following in his heroic father’s footsteps.
The Union is led by Lord Marshal Kroy, a seasoned general who takes the loss of men personally but is surrounded by sycophants and the King’s old drinking buddies. His daughter, Finree has come along to show support for her husband, a nobleman who’s family has fallen from the King’s favor, whom she hopes to advance through her own politicking. Another man who has fallen from favor is Bremer dan Gorst, a warrior with very few equals but only allowed near battle as the Royal Observer, though his only wish is to fight his way back into the King’s good graces. Then there is Corporal Tunny, a seasoned soldier and slacker. He’s that guy that get you anything you need, polish, extra rations or a blanket, for a price. The characters are colorful and well-realized, making you care for what happens to them and hope for their safety every time they face danger. This in itself is no mean task, as Abrecrombie manages to strike such a fine balance that the reader doesn’t care what side the characters are fighting on, but rather empathise with each characters personal situation instead.
The world-building is gritty and believable. There are no undead, demons or dragons to distract from the action, and the battles are every bit as muddy, bloody and confused as you would expect a battle to be, but even the gore is tempered by that underlying sense that the violence is pointless and dehumanizing. The Union could very well be the Roman Empire trying to conquer the Northern lands of the British Isles, which quickly helps to establish the style of armour and clothing, the style of the architecture and the lay of the land, within the readers mind.
The writing may not be written in stanzas, but Abercrombie has managed to tell the story of an epic battle in the tradition of Homer’s Illiad, choosing to focus on the heroics of individuals rather than force the reader to pick sides and politics. The plot might not enrich your lives, but you will most certainly remember his motley cast of characters and no doubt will find yourself browsing for other titles by Abercrombie.
The Heroes can be read as a stand-alone novel (as I did), or can be read as part of a linked series of books that started with The Blade Itself. What is certain is that Abercrombie has made himself a ‘Named Man’ amongst writers of Fantasy and a contender for the crown of ‘King of Heroic Fantasy’.