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The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
Cover Artist: Michael Frost and Gene Mollica
Review by Benjamin Wald
Orbit Paperback  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780316193566
Date: 21 October 2011 List Price $14.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Article /

Joe Abercrombie has become a central figure in the new trend towards gritty fantasy, kicked off by the success of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series. Abercrombie's new novel The Heroes exemplifies all of the strengths of this new style of fantasy, and of Abercrombie himself as an author. It eschews the broad scope of many fantasy novels for a closer focus on a single battle that takes place over the course of three days, showing us close up the sordid details of war, the corruption and power lust that causes the battle, the pointless slaughter it entails, and the aftermath of the battle for all concerned. It's a bloody, morally ambiguous, and utterly gripping read.

From official release/information:

Product Description: 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.

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 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.

(Source: Orbit)

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