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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 (1364 )
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4.3 (1105 )
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  •  
    james 03-22-13
    james 03-22-13 Member Since 2015

    Seeking shade

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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
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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
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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
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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
  •  
    C. L. Turner 08-27-12 Member Since 2011

    Tutivillus

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    "Better than "Cold""

    The Heroes was almost up there with the First Law series...close. Had Steven Pacey been narrating, it may well have been right on pace. The writing is bit better than "Best Served Cold" although there is some repetition to it (J.A. reuses quite a few phrases and descriptions...almost formulaic in places). I did enjoy the change of pace and the implied movement of the overall story arc. You know there are twisted things coming...and it will be fun.

    Can't wait until "Red" makes it to audio.

    Please have Steven Pacey do it!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William 01-25-12
    William 01-25-12 Member Since 2014
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    "Keep it coming Abercrombie"

    Great transition from the earlier books that took place over long periods to about a week in this one. I wish they had stuck with Pacey narrating but Page does alright. If you liked all of the other books you'll enjoy this one too.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. 10-18-11
    B. 10-18-11 Member Since 2008
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    "I concur with the others.....Bad narration."

    Great book. Bad on my ears. Love the series. Ill listen to all of them again. Buuuuuut I will read this one next time.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada 04-06-11
    Kevin Dominion, Nova Scotia, Canada 04-06-11
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    "A good Abercrombie read"

    I enjoyed it. While i agree that Mr. Pacey is an astonishingly good narrator, I cannot fault Michael Page. Yes, the transition from Pacey to Page was a bit jarring, but i think the negative reviews based on that are unfair. The novel is a good read. Its a bit more superficial then the trilogy, but thats ok.

    However, i would like to see Joe Abercrombie try his hand at a new project. I am satisfied with having the Heroes as the conclusion to this set of books, and think i might hesitate to buy another novel set in this particular world.

    2 of 7 people found this review helpful
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