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The Heroes

af Joe Abercrombie

Andre forfattere: Se andre forfattere sektionen.

Serier: The First Law (5)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1,575468,741 (4.09)53
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.
Nyligt tilføjet afprivat bibliotek, RobertDBAllan, beekno, ariaa03, Sethgsamuel, jemadar, profanation, Ellemir
  1. 50
    The Black Company af Glen Cook (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: fantasy battles told from the point of view of soldiers
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Viser 1-5 af 46 (næste | vis alle)
War! What it is good for? To everyone there is a different answer and when all those people populate the same battlefield it adds another layer to the fight. The Heroes is the fifth book and second standalone set in Joe Abercrombie’s First Law world as old foes locked in a new war that suddenly comes down to a devastating battle for all involved.

Eight years after the end of the original trilogy, The Union and The North are at war once again, but impatience is growing on both sides. Prodded by the ancient Magi Bayaz the Union army under commander-in-chief Lord Marshal Kroy with his ally The Dogman advance towards the town of Osrung that is situated next to a Stonehenge-like structure on a hilltop named The Heroes which is on the road to the capital of the North that Protector of the North Black Dow had slowly retreated towards. Seeing the sudden change of plans of the Union, Black Dow rallies his forces that are feed up with his fighting retreat strategy. Over the course of a little more than a week as the opposing forces head towards the battlefield, fight for three days, and aftermath which results in peace are seen by six characters: Curnden Craw, the aging chief of a crew of Named Men, known to all as a real straight edge; Prince Calder, Bethod's younger son, an infamous charmer and schemer among the straightforward Northmen; Bremer dan Gorst, King Jezal's disgraced former bodyguard, and a near unstoppable one-man-army; Finree dan Brock, the venomously ambitious daughter of Lord Marshal Kroy; Corporal Tunny, a long-serving veteran and cynical profiteer, who also does his best to keep his misfit rookies alive; and finally, Beck, a young farm-lad craving to follow in his famous father’s footsteps, until his first taste of the atrocious waste of human life. By the end of the book, the Union sets up a protectorate under The Dogman while transferring its army to Styria to fight the Snake of Talon while the North regroups under the rule of King Scale as his brother Calder begins manipulating things behind the throne.

Once again Abercrombie writings a compelling narrative with very questionably moral characters, though as his arc goes throughout the book Beck appears to be the most morale character by the end which is saying something. Though not directly connected, the effects of Monza’s vengeance tour through Styria have had ramifications in the North as the two supernatural powers of the world have to contend with this third player on the game board and that effects decisions on both sides of the battle. This is seen from the beginning when Bayaz joins the Union army looking to test new weapons while getting out of a needless war in the North but with a complaint King of the North who will not go along with his rival’s plans to spread Union forces on various fronts. For those following Black Dow, the long stretches of campaigning are tiring and frankly privately agree with Calder that the North needs to rebuild again but cannot come out and say it. Added to the mix are those looking for personal glory or advancement that themselves impact the broader battle and thus effect the politics on both sides for good or ill. Over the course of 541 pages that covers roughly seven days in which three are flowing with blood these interactions as well as in the heat of battle events shape not only the battle but the world in unexpected ways.

The Heroes might focus on one battle, but Joe Abercrombie packs so much into this battle that the reader realizes that so much more is going on that they’ll want to see what the fall out years down the road will be. ( )
1 stem mattries37315 | Jul 11, 2021 |
Another gem from Abercrombie. I likehow he brings characters back from previous books that were bit players before and then become the focus of another book. Can't wait for the next one. Thsi guy can really write great fantasy books with an edge that keep you interested from cover to cover. ( )
  Rick686ID | Jan 27, 2021 |
A stand-alone in the world of The First Law trilogy. It's best to have read the trilogy before reading this book. That way, you'll recognise most of the characters and thus better appreciate the story.

The event - a 3-day battle - takes place after the events in The First Law trilogy. It's still the Union vs the North(men). The Bloody Nine is no longer among the living - or is he? -, which means Black Dow and his gang are opposed to the army of Lord Marshal Kroy and his troops. And in case you'd wonder, yes, Bayaz (First of the Magi) has returned to lend fate a helping hand... on both sides. Black Dow, on the other hand, also has his surprise: Ishri, who also knows her way in the world of magic. And it seems she's no stranger to Bayaz (and vice versa, of course). Glokta is no part of the story, sadly enough. Then again, I wouldn't know what he could have done here.

Black Dow's gang and Kroy's troops wage a very bloody battle, with severe casualties on both sides. What they fight for, is actually a fairly small piece of territory. Much ado about nothing, you could say. Something with a group of stones, The Heroes, and in the vicinity of those, The Children and Skalring's Finger, all standing rocks/stones. But that's not really what's at stake; it's about a larger part of territory, like dividing the United Kingdom: You get this and this piece of land, there are the borders, and you can have this piece of land. It's almost like Abercrombie based this story a little on [a:Bernard Cornwell|12542|Bernard Cornwell|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1240500522p2/12542.jpg]'s The Saxon Stories. Or is it a figment of my imagination?

Main characters are Black Dow, Bremer dan Gorst (Observer of the king, but he does fight more often than not, as it's in his nature), and Calder (son of Bethod, former leader of the Northmen and killed by the Bloody Nine). Of course, there are more POV's than just those three. A lot more, even. Luckily, Abercrombie added a list in the beginning of the book, to clearly indicate who's who and on what side he/she is. And a little map of the area at the beginning of every day of the battle, showing where each party is located as the battle progresses.

Each party also has internal battles to fight, egos clashing and what have you. This leads to some surprising changes and twists, I must say.

There's even a bit of love involved: Gorst being in love with Finree (Kroy's daughter), who's together with another colonel (Brock), who was saved by Gorst (although he didn't really want to, so he could be together with Finree). The love is not mutual, especially not as Gorst suddenly spills his heart and really speaks his mind to her, how he feels about her. Makes you feel more sympathy for the guy.

I also like how Abercrombie made at least one character realise that fighting and war aren't as glorious as it's often presented. Beck, a sort of coward who thought it'd be cool to follow in the footsteps of his father and with his sword, returns home with some pocket money and realises that living a normal life isn't so bad after all, especially compared to the hardship of war (having to kill people, etc.). Craw, one of the old school warriors of Black Dow's camp, decides to retire, as his physique doesn't allow any more him to carry on. But after a while of carpenting and having spoken to Hardbread, he decides to join the latter, since that's his kind of world; not the one of the normal people.

Calder, a sly coward, and Black Dow have a decisive challenge. Black Dow couldn't refuse, as his image and ego would be seriously damaged; Calder thought it the only way to escape death. A "dramatic" turn of events leads to a new era. Let's keep it at that. And like written above, Bayaz is partly responsible for that.

Also, the war here isn't all about swords and shields. Bayaz introduced a new kind of weapon, at least for that era: cannons.

Abercrombie made this story very descriptive (hunger, blood, hardships, egos), showed each camp has different tactics and styles, but also how a war is never an answer; there are only losers, no matter what. Add a philosophical thought here and there, and it becomes more than just a Fantasy novel. Bonus for the humour and play with words now and then. A heavily recommended novel, I'd say!

Something language-related then: He didn't always follow the rules of the English language, which made the dialogues more lively, more realistic. This is fine by me, to some extent. What bugged me the most, however, aside from him having omitted several comma's (seriously, I'd rather have too many comma's than too few, if it can aid in smoother reading), was his constant use of "who", mainly where "whom" should have been used. There is a difference between the two, yes, see:
Grammarly
Oxford Dictionaries
Grammarbook
Professor Malcolm Gibson Wonderful World of Words ( )
  TechThing | Jan 22, 2021 |
The forces of the Union are about to meet those of the North in battle. Over the next three days war will be waged, and men will die. Or become heroes. Or something in between. This is the story of those bloody days, the story of the men, and occasional women, on both sides who fight.

I picked this one up because I had heard fairly positive things about Abercrombie’s books, and this was a stand-alone, although set in the same world as his First Blade series, or so I understand, as I haven’t read that. I had no idea of what to expect, or even of the plot, apart from the fact that it was about a war. Or a battle fought over three days would maybe be a more accurate description.

At first I wasn’t sure quite what to make of it. I didn’t really like any of the characters, although I thought that the writing in places was very entertaining. And, as the reader is just thrown in with very little backstory, I was a bit worried that I should have read other books in this ‘verse before this one. Just to get a sense of place. But as I kept reading I found that I didn’t need that. It may very well have added to my read if I did know more about the world, but it really is not necessary to appreciate this book.

The majority of the characters are unlikable. Or you find yourself thinking that you’d like that character if only he was a little different, or maybe if he redeemed himself over the course of the book. Well, some may do so, I’m not going to tell you that.

What I enjoyed most about this book was the way unlikeable characters became understandable, and I found myself hoping they’d get what they wanted, even if I didn’t agree with their methods or actions.

It is a very solid, rewarding read. And I think I’ll have to find time for more of his books. ( )
  Fence | Jan 5, 2021 |
Like there are good B Movies there are good B Books. And this is one of them. But after all I can't give it more than three stars. Nice story, nice characters, but overall not much depth to it.
  gullevek | Dec 15, 2020 |
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Joe Abercrombieprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Borchardt, KirstenOversættermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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Unhappy the land that is in need of heroes. - Bertolt Brecht
A rational army would run away. - Montesquieu
You can't say that civilization don't advance, however, for in every war they kill you in a new way. - Will Rogers
I'm not sure how much violence and butchery the readers will stand. - Robert E. Howard
You never have to wait long, or look far, to be reminded of how thin the line is between being a hero or a goat. - Mickey Mantle.
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'Too old for this shit,' muttered Craw, wincing at the pain in his dodgy knee with every other step.
'Too old for this shit,' muttered Craw, wincing at the pain in his dodgy knee with every other step. High time he retired. Long past high time. Sat on the porch behind his house with a pipe, smiling at the water as the sun sank down, a day's honest work behind him. Not that he had a house. But when he got one, it'd be a good one.
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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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