Ethan's Reviews > Heroes Die

Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover
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M 50x66
's review
Apr 27, 2010

really liked it

Another ass-kicking book by Stover. Doorstopper Sword and Sorcery with a Sci-Fi twist. I’m not a huge fan of mixing wizard hats and rocket ships but this one works well for me.

I actually read this book after reading the second book, Blade of Tyshalle, which was a bit of a mistake since I already knew what was going to happen. It is a credit to Stover that I plowed through this book anyway, and really couldn’t put it down for the last hundred pages (this is exceedingly rare for me).

The book is well-plotted, with none of the gaping holes you might find with lesser writers (I’m talking about you, Jim Butcher). There is a little bit of weirdness with Lamorak, but overall it fits together very well. The action is pretty much nonstop, almost a bit too frenetic in parts.

The writing is pretty strong, too. Whenever Michaelson is on Overworld as Caine, the POV shifts to first person, which I think is a nice touch and very well executed (in Blade of Tyshalle, the shifts in POV were much more distracting and probably should have been dropped).

Characters: lots of them, fairly well realized, though the only one who feels fully 3-D is Hari Michaelson, the main character. There’s only one “good” character that I can find; the rest of them are shades of gray (or just plain black, as the case may be). I would have liked the villains to be a little more sympathetic; Berne is an absolute terror, and Ma’elKoth is just too damn weird to evoke any sympathy whatsoever. Toa-Sytell had some potential as a decent character, but Stover didn’t flesh him out (too busy writing those fight scenes, I guess). Same with Majesty. Stover has a couple of memorable female characters, but unfortunately we don’t get to see too much of them. I have to admit I’m getting a little tired of power hungry whores. They seem to crop up in lots of fantasy books. Tiresome.

This book is for folks who like a lot of action and don’t mind plenty of violence and gore of all shapes and flavors. And cursing. There’s a lot of that, too. And it only gets more intense in the sequel.

Overall, I would definitely suggest this book to my friends. I might even buy a copy and give it to them. I can’t believe it took me 10 years to get around to reading this thing. Oh well.

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