Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Heads Will Roll (Necromancer, #0.1)” as Want to Read:
Heads Will Roll (Necromancer, #0.1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Heads Will Roll (Necromancer 0.1)

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  370 Ratings  ·  79 Reviews
Lena’s not your typical animal trainer. And when she and her unicorn partner, Steve, decide to enter a fight, it’s definitely not your typical fight…
At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
ebook, Free Online, 32 pages
Published November 27th 2012 by Tor Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Heads Will Roll, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Heads Will Roll

Free Four by Veronica RothDestroy Me by Tahereh MafiHana by Lauren OliverGlitches by Marissa MeyerSummer's Crossing by Julie Kagawa
YA Short Stories and Novellas
120th out of 561 books — 1,119 voters
The Witch of Duva by Leigh BardugoThe Too-Clever Fox by Leigh BardugoLittle Knife by Leigh BardugoBrimstone and Marmalade by Aaron CorwinPonies by Kij Johnson
The Short Fiction of
22nd out of 121 books — 49 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,282)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
badass cage fighting unicorn?? don't mind if i do.

so this one takes place in the same world as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, but like The Too-Clever Fox, and UNLIKE A Visit to the House on Terminal Hill: A Tor.Com Original, it will still make sense to the uninitiated. like me. I KNOW, I KNOW i should read them - so many of you love that series, but i haven't taken the plunge. yet. but i will.

for now - i just have this story, which is about lena and her unicorn-pal steve. do NOT make fun of steve
The Holy Terror
I just made a "unicorns" shelf because of this short story ... And now I feel like I should've come across books with unicorns before now and the fact that I haven't seems like a shame.

This is a free short story that's under 20 pages and was something fun to read when I had a bit of downtime. You can read it here. I think this author writes female main characters better than males, and even though I saw such a small amount of Lena, I liked her better than Sam from Hold Me Closer, Necromancer. M
These Tor short stories are so addicting!!

Plus they are helping me cheat a bit on my 2016 challenge ;)
Karly *The Vampire Ninja & Luminescent Monster*

UNIKITTY ..... but not really..... This is a little more "Eragon" than "Legoland", although, McBride does toss some snark and wit in at times....

Unicorn cage fights?! Say what?! And truthfully it was interesting but I would have liked to have seen it fleshed out a bit better....

All and all, worth the time but I'm kind of glad it was free :/

Go here, Karen liked it better than I which probably means I under or over read something somewhere along the way.

Unicorns are champions of nature and man spends his time destroying it, so yeah, we’re not exactly in Steve’s top five favorite things. I’m pretty sure we’re right behind fungus on his list.

Vi en un blog un link a esta historia y la verdad me encantó.

¿Una valkiria y un unicornio llamado Steve luchando por la justicia? Quiero más.

(btw, love the art-cover)
Feb 10, 2013 Julia rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Fantasy fans
Recommended to Julia by: The Holy Terror's review
This was absolutely hilarious. Cool seems to be the perfect word to not only describe the story, but also the main character, Lena, herself. She's rebellious and believes in herself and she has such fabulous confidence, which is such a rarity in YA stories. She is a no-nonsense, direct girl and can describe herself better than I can:

I’m battle cries, death rattles, and the light touch of a swan’s feather.

Which served as a great foreshadowing for this: (view spoiler)
Tadiana ✩ Night Owl☽
Tor short story: A young woman and her white unicorn, Steve (professionally known as "Phantom") take on other mythological creatures in cage battles. ("Unicorns pick their own names, and I’d love to see someone go up to Steve and tell him he chose poorly. I, for one, would think twice about it.")

This story reminds me of the Percy Jackson series, except that it's maybe a little bloodier, but it's very Greek-mythology-in-our-world, and the writing has a similar sense of humor. There's also a stron
Laura Thomas
Dec 15, 2012 Laura Thomas rated it it was amazing
Whoa! I don’t think I even blinked while reading this.

Lena is the epitome of tough. She can hold her own with the best. Half human and half Valkyrie, she has much of the warrior women’s strengths.

Her partner, Steve, is a snow-white unicorn. You don’t see many of them around, and definitely not in the fighting arena.

The unicorn is a symbol of purity and usually has to be starved, beaten and driven insane in order to get them to fight.

That’s not the case with Steve. He’s a full partner with Lena a
Dec 10, 2015 Mili rated it it was amazing
I totally read this at work - feels naughty -~

My first try at Lish McBride her work. Like her style, it reads easy. A short Unicorn tale with his female ( half human, half valkyrie ) partner saving creatures from the fight pits. Wonder if she'll write a longer tale about these characters, they seem awesome =)
April Cote
A bad-ass fighting unicorn named Steve. When he speaks to you in your mind you smell spring and picture beauty. But then he fights other mythological creatures in illegal fights. His partner is a bad-ass as well. Her name is Lena and along with Steve, they enter the arena and tear shit up.
This story was magical fucking amazing. It needs to be a novel. A series. Because I have never read a story about a bad-ass unicorn.

I was never the little girl who wanted a unicorn growing up. I wanted an Ewo
Amy (Other Amy)
Unicorns pick their own names, and I’d love to see someone go up to Steve and tell him he chose poorly. I, for one, would think twice about it.

I was going to wait on this one as it's in the same universe as Hold Me Closer, Necromancer, which I haven't read, but I couldn't resist the cage fighting unicorn. (The story made fine sense without having read the novel.) This was a fun read. It reached for more than that, but there wasn't enough there in there to make it. But seriously. Cage fighting un
Dec 10, 2015 Ewide rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
This book was such an awesome read....
Brittany (The Book Addict's Guide)
Initial Impressions 12/23/15: Well that was just positively delightful. I absolutely loved the characters, the strength, and the way Lish McBride gets me to instantly accept all of these supernatural creatures even though it's something I usually don't perceive as realistic. I LOVE her characters and how awesome they are (especially her female characters)! This novella was absolutely wonderful and I just loved it. The humor is prevalent throughout as well which is something I enjoyed so much in ...more
Dec 26, 2014 Maki rated it really liked it
Lena’s not your typical animal trainer. And when she and her unicorn partner, Steve, decide to enter a fight, it’s definitely not your typical fight… had me at "her unicorn partner, Steve".

This is a quick and quirky story set in the world of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.

There are cage fights between a slew of mythical creatures. There is a unicorn named Steve. And the story ends with the main characters (figuratively) riding off into the sunset.

I haven't read the Necromancer series, but I t
Dec 03, 2015 Governor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I really liked the atmosphere and setting of the story. Wouldn't say no to a full book about the characters.
April-Jane Rowan
Dec 20, 2015 April-Jane Rowan rated it liked it
A fun romp with lots of lovely beasties.
I'm so happy I read this short story. How happy you ask? This happy.

PS: I'm the girl with the bowl.

This story is just another reason why I love Lish McBride so much. A few years ago, I fell head over heels for her Necromancer series. The story was original, the dialogue wildly entertaining, and the writing seamless. McBride is one of those writers who can make me forget I'm reading. Her words flow together effortlessly, and this story is no exception.

Wildly creative, Heads Will Roll, tells the
Karyn Kar Mun (Thy Evil Queen)
Back when Julius Ceasar ruled the Roman Empire, gladiator games were all the rage. Humans – usually criminals – fought with wild animals for the cheap entertainment of an audience that cared far more for a “good show”, than the lives lost and bloodshed.

This story is a gladiatorial game with mythological creatures. Here, unicorns are fighters.

[…] train them like you train dogs for a cage match. Get them young, young as you can. Starve them. Beat them. Slip blood into their milk. Give them a taste
After having read the first book in the series and hearing this was about a war-unicorn, I couldn't resist. It's a short story that you can read in mere minutes but the beauty of it is that it leaves you wanting so much more - and then you have an entire series to get stuck into. As a stand alone, this would suck but as a prequel it works to get you interested.

Also see: war-unicorn.
Jan 25, 2016 Rebecca rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
I read this as part of the Fierce Reads Anthology, but it also available on Tor.Com - it was free at the time of this review actually so worth a look.

I had never even heard of Lish McBride, but now I can't get her story out of my head. Lena is so cool. She's witty, tough and fantastically sarcastic. The perfect kind of lead character. Oh and did I mention she's half Valkyrie. Then, meet Steve, a white unicorn intent of delivering justice in a bad ass, fighting unicorn kind of way. Talk about bre
Apr 16, 2015 Bridget rated it it was amazing
The cover is what drew me in, but the story is what kept me. This story is published on, which lets you read it for free here Thanks Tor!

This is awesome. The writing was imaginative, the imagery was wonderful, and I loved the characters. Steve, the badass unicorn was funny, their mission was noble and badass, and the main character-Lena- was badass and awesome and strong and cynical. I loved it. Plus the idea and the mythology were really interes
Maryann Sims
Jan 21, 2016 Maryann Sims rated it it was amazing
Short story, but very good, had a great pace to it, and I read it all in one setting.

Phantom, the stage name for Steve, is like a pit fighter, only he is a huge white unicorn, and like it says in the book unicorns choose their own names, and I would not want to go up to him and tell him Steve was not a good choice.

There is not a slow point in the whole story, you keep wanting to see what will happen next, the description of the creatures are short, but at the same time enough to know what you ar
Jul 10, 2014 Kaethe rated it really liked it
A slick story about fighting fantastic creatures against one another. Available online.
Dec 16, 2013 Sabrina rated it it was amazing
Loved this. I'd like to have a whole book about Lena. Please? :)
Feb 16, 2014 Amelia rated it really liked it
Shelves: i-read-for-free
For a freebie that was pretty damn awesome. A heroine who's half-valkyrie and half-mechanic-from-Rhode-Island riding a fighting unicorn called Steve, liberating the downtrodden and enslaved with horn and spear... what more can you possibly want??

I'm getting more and more excited for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer.
Jun 28, 2014 Nicole rated it it was amazing
With just enough mythology to provide a nice introduction, and without going overboard, this short story provided a fantastic introduction to the same world McBride carefully constructed in Hold me Closer, Necromancer. It had a strong ending, opened in just the right moment and was full of action and blood-shed throughout: a fantastic way to get readers interested. Lena, the protagonist, with a family background in the magical world, is no nonsense, often sarcastic or blunt, and kickass.... McBr ...more
This one didn't move me this way or the other.

Short story about a young half Valkyrie and her friendly white unicorn Steve, fighting for justice and freedom.
It's not bad, just missing something (at least in my humble opinion ). Maybe improves after reading the full-length novels of Necromancer. Kids will love it all the same.

Link here:

Jan 07, 2016 Katherine rated it it was amazing
Shelves: great-shorts
Very fun little story. Not an obvious connection to the Necromancer universe as it is all about fights with supernatural creatures (unicorns and the like) yet set in everyday life like the Necromancer series. There is no indication as to whether or not the general public knows, but if it is in the same universe then nope, they don't, which makes you wonder how on earth they don't. But that's a never no mind for what is otherwise a fun and action-y story. Learning about the creatures put in fight ...more
Aug 16, 2015 Dana rated it really liked it
Lish McBride is another author that I like very much. I am always left wanting more when I finish one of McBride's books or stories. This one is no exception. A good read and over too soon. I recommend it!
Feb 26, 2014 Rainey rated it really liked it
Weird and brilliant. McBride writes bright, descriptive scenes and quick action sequences without being too lofty or verbose. "Heads Will Roll" is a crackpot's delight of a short story.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 42 43 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Men Who Wish to Drown
  • Brimstone and Marmalade
  • Among the Thorns
  • The Department of Alterations (Crewel World, #0.5)
  • Jacks and Queens at the Green Mill (The Shadow Society #0.5)
  • Prophet (Struck, #0.5)
  • White as a Raven's Wing (InCryptid, #2.6)
  • Elephants and Corpses: A Tor.Com Original
  • Dress Your Marines in White (Monument 14, #0.5)
  • A Cup of Salt Tears
  • Warm Up  (Vicious, #0.5)
  • The Horrid Glory of Its Wings
  • The Witch of Duva (The Grisha, #0.5)
  • In the Sight of Akresa
  • In The Land Of The Dead (Rot & Ruin, #1.5)
  • Errant (Killer Unicorns, #.5)
Lish McBride was raised by wolves in the Pacific Northwest. It rains a lot there, but she likes it anyway. She spent three years away while she got her MFA in fiction from the University of New Orleans, and she liked that too, although the hurricane did leave much of her stuff underwater. She enjoys reading, having geek-laden conversations about movies, comics, and zombies with her friends, and of ...more
More about Lish McBride...

Other Books in the Series

Necromancer (2 books)
  • Hold Me Closer, Necromancer (Necromancer, #1)
  • Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer, #2)

Share This Book

“Pity. What a useless emotion when you don't act on it. Pity is supposed to trigger compassion.” 6 likes
More quotes…