Justus's Reviews > The Heroes

The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie
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Mar 05, 2011

liked it
Read from March 05 to 06, 2011

I really liked what Abercrombie does with The Heroes, deconstructing the stereotypical fantasy battle to see how gruesome and farcical it really is. This isn't Tolkien's Fellowship laughing about how many dozen orcs they've killed. This is real people in a real war. I like what Abercrombie is doing with the fantasy genre.

Unfortunately there are just enough problems that knock this down to 3-stars. The biggest one is simply that I think the author tries to fit in too many characters, with the result that none of them really get a satisfying depth. Calder and Gorst are the closest but don't really make that satisfying splash in the reader's consciousness.

At the end of the First Law trilogy I felt like Abercrombie went overboard with his cynical wrap-up. He does that again here. I know Bayaz is the First Magi and hundreds of years old and whatnot but it all feels too tidy for how messy everything else in Abercrombie's world is.

Random note: the entire set up feels bit like The Killer Angels (i.e. a fantasy retelling of Gettysburg).

Also: thank god for fantasy authors who don't feel the need to make everything a multi-volume series.
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