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The Heroes

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.
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Three men. One battle. No Heroes.

About the Author

Joe Abercrombie is the author of the First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, Before They Are Hanged and Last Argument of Kings). His standalone novels (Best Served Cold, The Heroes and Red Country) are also set in the First Law world. His novels have been shortlisted for the World Fantasy Awards, British Fantasy Awards, John W. Campbell Award and the David Gemmell Legend Awards. His covers are also award winning, and have won both the David Gemmell Legend Award and the World Fantasy Award for best artwork. Joe formerly worked as a freelance film editor and is now a full time writer who lives in Bath with his family. Follow @LordGrimdark on twitter for more information, or visit


Black Dow, Protector of the North, wages war against the King of the Union as their great armies meet on a plot of ground near a ring of stones known as "The Heroes." Heroic fantasy, with an emphasis on military actions and magical warfare, marches to the forefront in Abercrombie's (Best Served Cold) latest novel. Featuring a colorful cast of warriors, wizards, and royalty, this tale of individual heroics in the context of a three-day battle blends broad-scale action with the gritty details of men at war. VERDICT Reminiscent of Steven Erikson's Malazan novels and Jim Butcher's Codex Alera novels in terms of scope and military action, this will appeal particularly to military fantasy buffs. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Highly recommended - a funny, finely-wrought, terrifically energetic work of high fantasy. Seek it out -- Joe Hill

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