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
"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)
To be honest this book didn't keep my interest as much as Arbercrombie's other work.
None wish Pacey was performing
I've read this book twice i just couldn't get into it like i did for Best served cold and Red Country.
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.
In the top 3 (of about 30).
Marshal Kroy, for trying to do the right thing and seeing that sometimes there isn't a right thing.
Yes. I took extra-long dog walks so I could hear more.
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.
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.
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.
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.
He does. I just didn't like his take on certain ones. I did like his Whirrun of Bligh.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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