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The Heroes

av Joe Abercrombie

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

Serier: The First Law (5)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,527458,746 (4.09)52
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.
  1. 50
    The Black Company av Glen Cook (Rouge2507)
    Rouge2507: fantasy battles told from the point of view of soldiers
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» Se även 52 omnämnanden

engelska (43)  italienska (1)  tyska (1)  Alla språk (45)
Visa 1-5 av 45 (nästa | visa alla)
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 |
Brilliant! Classic Abercrombie. ( )
  MattCotton | Dec 4, 2020 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Joe Abercrombieprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Borchardt, KirstenÖversättaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Graffet, DidierOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Senior, DaveCartographermedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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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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One day you will read this
And say, 'Dad, why all the swords?'
For Eve. One day you will read this and say, 'Dad, why all the swords?'
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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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