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The Heroes | [Joe Abercrombie]

The Heroes

They say Black Dow has killed more men than winter and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand by smiling while Black Dow claws his way any higher. The orders have been given, and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.
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Publisher's Summary

They say Black Dow has killed more men than winter and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand by smiling while Black Dow claws his way any higher. The orders have been given, and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them. Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honor on the battlefield. Obsessed with redemption and addicted to violence, he's far past caring how much blood gets spilled in the attempt. Even if it's his own.

Prince Calder isn't interested in honor, and still less in getting himself killed. All he wants is power, and he'll tell any lie, use any trick, and betray any friend to get it. Just as long as he doesn't have to fight for it himself. Curnden Craw, the last honest man in the North, has gained nothing from a life of warfare but swollen knees and frayed nerves. He hardly even cares who wins anymore; he just wants to do the right thing. But can he even tell what that is with the world burning down around him? Over three bloody days of battle, the fate of the North will be decided. But with both sides riddled by intrigues, follies, feuds, and petty jealousies, it is unlikely to be the noblest hearts or even the strongest arms that prevail. Three men. One battle. No Heroes. This audiobook is introduced and closed out by author Joe Abercrombie, who also reads the acknowledgements.

©2011 Joe Abercrombie Limited (P)2011 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"The Heroes is Joe Abercrombie doing what he does best but better than ever before: gritty, violent, morally ambiguous and darkly funny fantasy with a streak of intelligent cynicism." (The Wertzone)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (1370 )
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4.3 (1110 )
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  •  
    Braden San Francisco, CA, United States 04-19-11
    Braden San Francisco, CA, United States 04-19-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Why this narrator?"

    I have never finished a book narrated by Michael Page. I bought this book without looking at who the narrator was and i regret it. I will go buy the real book and read it. The other books in the series were great so i just bought. Never going to make that mistake again.

    17 of 23 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandra 03-05-14
    Sandra 03-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "not up to the first series quality"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was really disappointed in this audio book. The first series was so well done, both the writing and the narrator, I just expected this book to be of the same caliber. But it wasn't.
    I haven't finished it yet. I don't know if I will. I am over half-way but so far, I haven't cared about what happens to any of the characters.
    After listening to Steven Pacey who was such an awesome narrator for the first series, I really found it difficult to listen to Michael Page. He is not up to the quality of Steven Pacey. His long passages were monotonous and lost me on several occasions. Although he did have different voices for each character, they were not as colorful, nor as easily recognized as Steven Pacey's characters. Overall, the book is a disappointing waste of time.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Stop jumping around in the POV and give me someone to care about. Go back to using Steven Pacey as the narrator.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Michael Page?

    I have purchased another of Joe Abercrombie's books with Michael Page as the narrator so I will give it a try. However, if I had not already made the purchase, I would not buy the book based on the fact that Michael Page is the narrator.


    Do you think The Heroes needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    only if they change the narrator.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 12-08-13
    Erik Sooke, British Columbia, Canada 12-08-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    147
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    "Another great book in the series!"

    I'm assuming that if you're thinking of reading this book, that you've read the series from the very beginning. As a stand alone book, I think most would find this annoying without the background information on the characters.

    As I have followed the series since the beginning, I was already intimate with the strengths and weaknesses of the characters in the series, and I am familiar with the dark style of story telling that is Joe Abercombie. As a result, these issues were not a distraction for me.

    Standing on it's own merits, I found the story to be well crafted and very enjoyable. Once I started it, I found it hard to stop listening and couldn't wait to get back to it once I had. This is a hallmark o a very enjoyable work.

    As for the narration: I think Michael Page is a first rate narrator in his own right , but he has a very difficult task of trying to continue behind another master. Switching narrators in a series is never a good idea, as listeners are always shaped and then biased to the narrator that introduced them to the series. That is the case here, although once you get over this, the performance is very good.

    So, if you have liked the series to date, you will likely find this book as good!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Micah Pierrefonds, QC, Canada 08-09-11
    Micah Pierrefonds, QC, Canada 08-09-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Dark Humour - The Absurdities of War and Politics"

    Do you like the "Flashman" books by George Macdonald Fraser? The "Sharpe" books by Bernard Cornwell? The unflinching portrayal of combat and war in movies such as "Platoon"? Then this book is for you.

    The absurdities of the functioning of large armies. The politics of conflict. The personal pettiness that affect both. I found myself laughing out loud many times at the internal monologues of hard-done-by Bremer dan Gorst, hard-bitten Corporal Tunney, and war-weary Curndon Craw.

    Joe Abercrombie's dry/black humour is masterfully narrated by Michael Page as he captures the voice and sentiment of each point-of-view character.

    Why are you still reading? Go get this book and start listening!

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luis Morgan Hill, CA, United States 07-12-11
    Luis Morgan Hill, CA, United States 07-12-11 Member Since 2007
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    "Once again Michael Page ruins it..."

    While the story isn't up-to-par with "The First Law" series, it's entertaining enough... But once again, Michael Page's narration, penchant for giving virtually every character an undue amount of gravitas and O-V-E-R E-N-U-N-C-I-A-T-I-O-N basically ruins it.

    For the hell of it, I listened to the first 30 minutes of "The Blade Itself" and I nearly cried with joy and sadness at not having Steven Pacey read the books that follow.

    I can only hope and pray that Mr. Pacey is brought back when and if Mr. Abercrobie returns us to our old friends Sand dan Glokta, the unwitting Jezal dan Luthar and the ever-so-practical Logen Ninefingers.

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marcheta 03-14-11
    Marcheta 03-14-11 Member Since 2007

    love audio books - Anglophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Please bring back Steven Pacey!"

    I still miss Steven Pacey's narration. His reading of the First Law trilogy was pure magic. Luckily I have the book of The Heroes, so I'm just going to read it.

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula Stein 03-14-11
    Paula Stein 03-14-11
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    "I Should Have Listened!"

    I read the reviews. I even wrote a review myself for Best Served Cold also narrated by Michael Page. I didn't listen to myself, and I didn't listen to the folks who posted their reviews for Heroes. I should have listened! The narration is terrible; even worse than Best Served Cold. It destroys what would otherwise be a terrific story.
    I am usually a pretty persistent individual and can cope with poor narration to at least get through the novel, but not this time. I've had to stop listening and I'll buy the book instead. What a shame because Steven Pacey did such a brilliant job of The First Law series.

    14 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-10-11
    M. Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-10-11
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    "Pure Abercrombie"

    Great book and pure Abercrombie. Gritty, grim and very funny. Not of the faint of heart.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julius 06-22-11
    Julius 06-22-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Reader is not as good as The Blade Itself"

    I didn't care for it after the feel of the characters changed so much. It it s bit of a disappointment from the reader.

    9 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-19-13
    Jim "The Impatient" Springfield, MO, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2015

    I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Glen Cook jr."

    Sit down, let's talk about it. And talk and talk. Let's say manly stuff and sound mean.

    I loved The First Blade and was going to get the second book in the trilogy, but this book went on sale. No one warned me this book had no plot. So before I get buried to the back pages of reviews, let me warn you this book has no plot, it is all talk.

    It is not terrible to listen to. There are some cool things said. Some parts are funny. Lots of parts are not. If I am going to listen to almost 23 hours of book, I need something besides talk. I need a plot, a mystery, something. If I want to listen to old men I can go down to any rural gas station in the morning, where there will be seven or eight farmers telling war stories.

    If you have not listened to Joe, then get First Blade, unless you are a fan of Glen Cook and The Black Company, then you will love this book.

    Michael Page makes all books sound like they are classics. He can make the phone book sound like masterpiece theater.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
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