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Publisher's Summary

They say Black Dow's 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 smiling by while he 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.

The Heroes

For glory, for victory, for staying alive.

First Law Trilogy

The Blade Itself

Before They Are Hanged

Last Argument of Kings

Novels in the First Law world

Best Served Cold

The Heroes

Red Country

©2011 Joe Abercrombie (P)2016 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

" Lord of the Rings as directed by Kurosawa." ( Wall Street Journal)
"Magnificent, richly entertaining." ( Time)
"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)

What listeners say about The Heroes

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best First Law To Date!

I was reluctant to start this book, despite enjoying the First Law universe, because I'd heard the plot of this book was one long military campaign, which just didn't sound like my sort of book. I'm glad I finally bit the bullet (see what I did there?) because this turned out to be my favorite First Law book to date.

The plot is actually pretty simple. It follows several characters on each side of the conflict (Union or North) as they fight over a hill in the middle of nowhere called The Heroes that only has two uses: it's strategic value as high ground and it's constant use as a clever metaphor in the story.

Every character is "gray", despite motivations running from noble to self-serving and everything in-between. The chaos of war is so incredibly well imagined that it's like the author has lived it himself, though I know he hasn't. The grubby, bloody, petty, bickering, miserable, sweltering reality of medieval warfare is brought to life so convincingly that I really felt like I was there, and now have a new high bar set for any such settings in future Fantasy novels.

The character work is top notch, as I've come to expect from Joe Abercrombie, with minor characters returning to play larger roles, major characters return to play minor roles, and interesting new characters introduced in both minor and major roles. The best of the returning characters was easily Shivers, who stole the scene every time he was in one. Gorst was highly entertaining with his inner dialogue nearly reminiscent of Glokta, and of course Bayaz slithers around entertainingly as his ever-condescending evil self. Of the new character I enjoyed Craw and Beck, who have completely diverging viewpoints, and whose endings contrast beautifully. speaking of beautiful, I'm not sure how a book about death can be beautiful, but this book has plenty of darkly beautiful (grimdark) prose.

What is most surprising about this book is that the story takes place over three days, it is the story of just one battle, and that the whole damn book is just so GOOD. Never the kind of book I would have though I'd enjoyed, but I am beginning to realize that Joe Abercrombie always delivers a high quality book.

Steven Pacey's reading is beyond brilliant. If I could have every audiobook read by this man I would die happy. He's the best of the best.

A masterpiece of Fantasy in my opinion. Absolutely loved it.

11 people found this helpful

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Pacey is as good as it gets

If you could sum up The Heroes in three words, what would they be?

Narrator is great!

Any additional comments?

I can't express just how good this narrator is. Abercromie's writing style and imagination are always top notch but IMO the way that Steven Pacey is able to give each character their own very unique voice and personality is truly amazing. I really wish that all of GRR Martin's books could be re-recorded with Pacey as the narrator.

24 people found this helpful

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Grimdark at it's best

My favorite entry in the First Law world. The entire novel is just one battle over three days where you get to see perspectives from the lowest soldier to the highest commander. There's even an appearance from the First of the Magi.

Steven Pacey makes this a special performance, but the production value makes this one of the best audiobook available.

“AUDIBLE 20 REVIEW SWEEPSTAKES ENTRY”

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Liked best served cold better

Love all his books but this felt the most shallow. Too much war and not enough of the larger universe

5 people found this helpful

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Joe Abercrombie is the best author I've read

Different from the earlier books and still an unforgettable read with incredible characters and writing

1 person found this helpful

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War from start to finish

Top Tier Series: The Blade Itself series, A Song of Ice and Fire series, The Stormlight Archive series, Wheel of time series, The Kingkiller Chronicle series, The Lord of the Rings series::::Second Tier Series: , The Hunger games series, The Black Company Series, The Gunslinger Series, The Asian Saga Series, The Mistborne series:::::Best 1 Book of them all: SHOGUN by James Clavell


1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

good, but weaker than the last book

overall i thought the book was good, but the characters and plot were both a bit less engaging than best served cold.

5 people found this helpful

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Amazing

Loved all of it. Not a dull moment. It's a gritty story of battle that I would roccomend to anyone with the balls enough to read it!

5 people found this helpful

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excellent book, great characters.

if you enjoyed the blade itself series you should definitely read this book. His characters make his stories, here you will find some old and some new, but all are great.

2 people found this helpful

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amazing

I can't believe how good this book is you can take almost any chapter and just read it by itself thank you so much mr. Abercrombie