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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 (1427 )
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4.3 (1162 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John 04-28-14
    John 04-28-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Not my cup of tea"

    Good story. It took me 2 tries but I made it. This was a good story , I did finally get in to it and was glad I finished it. Just not my cup of tea

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 07-25-13
    Ronald 07-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This one was abit slow"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Heroes to be better than the print version?

    Nothing


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Heroes?

    To be honest this book didn't keep my interest as much as Arbercrombie's other work.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Page – was your favorite?

    None wish Pacey was performing


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    no comment


    Any additional comments?

    I've read this book twice i just couldn't get into it like i did for Best served cold and Red Country.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Justin INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, United States 07-05-13
    Justin INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA, United States 07-05-13
    ratings
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    4
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    Story
    "Great characters. Good Story. Weak Narration."
    Any additional comments?

    As somebody who fell in love with the Abercrombie's First Law series, I was a little disappointed. The characters were great, definitely Abercrombie's strong point, and the story was nothing special but fine and well structured. However, the narration was a big let down. Steven Pacey did an amazing job with the First Law series so maybe my expectations were too high but Page does not do this book any justice. Many of his voices are completely over the top and he did not capture the grim sarcastic tone that Abercrombie's books have, and that Pacey does so well. Page does get better toward the second half of the book but still not the same as Pacey. I'd recommend buying a hard copy of this one.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Coe Seattle, WA, USA 04-01-13
    Coe Seattle, WA, USA 04-01-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gritty, honest storytelling"
    Where does The Heroes rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    In the top 3 (of about 30).


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Marshal Kroy, for trying to do the right thing and seeing that sometimes there isn't a right thing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I took extra-long dog walks so I could hear more.


    Any additional comments?

    Joe Abercrombie has ruined me for other authors. When I read battle scenes in other books, I get impatient with all the near-misses, and the way that the protagonists get all the lucky breaks. In a real battle, for all the crazy near misses, there must be many more cases where the guy didn't turn around in time, or ducked left instead of right, or tripped on a gopher mound.

    Abercrombie tells the whole story. He tells us about the cases where the near-miss didn't happen, about the guy who is formidable on the battlefield but chews his nails when he gets nervous in the evening between battles, and about the inevitable aches and pains that come with beating on other people and getting beaten. His characters are human and multi-dimensional, and funny enough to make me laugh out loud. One twist really surprised me, enough that I was again laughing at the crazy but credible way things went.

    It has been a while since I read Abercrombie's other books, but I didn't feel lost, and I don't think that jumping into this as a first-time Abercrombie book would be a problem.

    I am often bored by action scenes, but I was riveted by the action in this book. When any character can die at any time, suddenly it's important to know what happens and how. I also liked the way the tone shifts with each different point of view. Each character sees the world in a different way, and notices and interprets things differently. When I read that this book just covers a single 3-day battle, I thought it might be all action, no heart. I should have trusted Joe. As rough and dark as his books are, they are all about heart and soul and how people really think.

    I've never heard the other narrator that some reviewers are raving about, but I very much enjoyed Michael Page's narration. The characters all had distinct voices, and the general quality of his voice was great for this book's style.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    james 03-22-13
    james 03-22-13 Member Since 2015

    Seeking shade

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Say one thing about this book, say its a winner!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Heroes the most enjoyable?

    I love to read Joe Abercrombie. This stand alone novel goes deeper into fringe characters years after the First Law Series. Abercrombie's books build on each other but does not give you cliff hanger endings that set you up for disappointment. Tidy conclusions that leave you faintly curious and pleasantly surprised to pick up his other books.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mason A Richard 03-19-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Love the book not the narrator"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Heroes to be better than the print version?

    No. I've read and listened to this book. Don't like narrators version of certain characters such as Caul Shivers and The Dogman. That being said, he does others well and it doesn't ruin the book by any means.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Like any Joe Abercrombie book, the characters in it. Whirrun of Bligh and Bremer Dan Gorst in particular are fantastic additions to a world already full of great characters.


    Did Michael Page do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    He does. I just didn't like his take on certain ones. I did like his Whirrun of Bligh.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 03-15-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Story. Exactly what I expect from Joe"

    After having read the first law trilogy, this was exactly what I expected. Violent, funny, lots of twists and turns. It is ingaging and extreemly run to listen to. Buy this and you won't be disappointed.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Diamond Bar, CA, United States 01-14-13
    Michael Diamond Bar, CA, United States 01-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great fighting scenes"

    Terrific descriptions of fighting and battles. Excellent major characters. Thorougly engaging and hard to put down. Many more named and described characters than were necessary to keep the story moving. I will definitely try another book by this author.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nils heber, UT, United States 10-28-12
    Nils heber, UT, United States 10-28-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Great narration, SLOW story line"

    This book is supposed to take place about 8-10 years after the end of The First Law series. I liked that series a lot, and was hoping for more of the same.

    This story dragged on and on. It had the makings of a good story, but it never got off the ground. I gave up after about 6 hours. Couldn't finish it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 10-08-12
    Keith Arlington, TN, United States 10-08-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Expectations Dashed"

    First off Joe Abercrombie is one of my favorite authors, but I think he abandoned the personality he gave to Black Dowe. The book takes place after the death of the Bloody Nine, and starts with Black Dowe as king of the north. I had thought that Abercrombie had taken some time to introduce the Black Dowe character, while he traveled with the Bloody Nine. Black Dowe was in my mind was a soldier first because he loved to kill. He went from battle to battle with very little thought into the effort. He was not above starting fights with his traveling companions if he went to long between battles. He was the kind of man who encountered men that just wanted to fight with or against him. Black Dowe was a named man that earned his name. He was the man that struck fear into other men almost as much fear as the Bloody Nine himself. He often abandoned planned raids and just barreled in. The thought that he would build alliances, or follow battle plans seemed foreign to his personality. On top of all that he is now king and not killing very much. Black Dowe showed his bad temper a lot but it did not turn violent till the end of the book. His own officers were scared of him but Black Dowe did nothing to show why that was. Black Dowe had some how found a witch that joined his side. She kept showing up and leaving you with an ominus feeling, like something important would happen around her. Nothing ever happened with her except she showed up every now and again. The story left me wanting and I think it is Joe's worst effort yet.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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