The Heroes

The Heroes

Book - 2012
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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 neighbour, 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.

Bremer dan Gorst, disgraced master swordsman, has sworn to reclaim his stolen honour 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 honour, 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 any more, 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.

Publisher: London : Gollancz, [2012]
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780575083851
Branch Call Number: FIC Aberc
Characteristics: 610 pages : map ; 20 cm


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mvkramer Mar 22, 2016

First of all, I'd like to give kudos to Abercrombie. This book has loads and loads of characters, but he manages to give them all personality and uniqueness. Despite taking place over such a short period of time, the story is very compelling, full of twists and turns until the very end.

Jan 18, 2016

Reading this books was a bloody good time... and I mean BLOODY. Recall the fight scenes in the movie Braveheart. Now imagine a story with nothing but that gruesome fighting for hundreds of pages. A little too long for me, but intense. I found who I was rooting for change from one chapter to the next. There is a lot of villainy on both sides without any real villains.

Jan 04, 2016

Multiple voices explain what it is like to be in the middle of a bloody sword battle. Gruesome but engaging book on the realities of war from those who have to fight them.

Oct 15, 2014

Abercrombie's ability to give his many characters authentic 'voices' brings this prolonged battle to life. Just a great read and even better as an audiobook.

Aug 05, 2014

The story of several days of battle between the Northmen and the Union, in Joe Abercrombie's world, from multiple viewpoints. Some characters, from his previous novels- The Blade Itself, were mentioned
but were not central to the story, so the previous books are not needed to have been read.
I like how all the characters were self deprecating to themselves, but had to posture and make themselves out as brash heroes "in public". How he lets everyone know how senseless war is. How the youngest "hero" Beck, develops and grows up in those few days.
A bit confusing at times, jumping from one viewpoint to another, and from one side of the battle to another. Bayuz' influence in the war is hinted at, but not not exactly how he was able to achieve his ends.

JCLGreggW Feb 15, 2013

This standalone novel from fantasy author Abercrombie takes a grunts-eye-view of three days of battle in a fantasy world. The well-organized Union squares off against the rough and tumble skirmishers of the North, centered around a Stonehenge-like structure called "The Heroes." Abercrombie delivers a dark yet brilliant novel, full of memorable characters on both sides who rise and fall with the tides of war. Fans of gritty fantasy or historical fiction will find much to love here. Highly recommended.

Aug 07, 2011

Another great book from a great author. I've thoroughly enjoyed all of Abercrombie's books so far and look forward to the next.

debwalker Feb 26, 2011

Fantasy sword epic meets mlitary historical fiction.
"A devastatingly realistic look at the emotional and moral landscape of military combat - never mind that it's set outside historical reality." --Ron Hogan


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mvkramer Mar 22, 2016

Sexual Content: There's an explicit sex scene between one character and a prostitute.

mvkramer Mar 22, 2016

Violence: This is a graphic war story - blood and guts all over the place.

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