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What Remains of Heroes

(A Requiem for Heroes #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  593 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Lannick deVeers used to be somebody. A hero, even. Then, he ran afoul of the kingdom’s most powerful general and the cost he paid was nearly too much to bear. In the years that followed, his grief turned him into a shadow of his former self, and he spent his days drowning his regrets in tankards of ale.

But now an unexpected encounter casts Lannick upon an unlikely path t
Kindle Edition, 486 pages
Published April 17th 2015 (first published April 15th 2015)
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David Benem Happy you asked! I'm shooting for late summer, autumn at the latest. I'll be setting up some giveaways on goodreads upon release, so look for those. I…moreHappy you asked! I'm shooting for late summer, autumn at the latest. I'll be setting up some giveaways on goodreads upon release, so look for those. I'm very glad you enjoyed book one. Cheers!(less)

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Average rating 3.85  · 
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Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
This self-published fantasy story had an intriguing blurb that made it sound like it would be my sort of book. I love nothing more than an a good anti-hero story!

The basic story was quite intriguing. The followers of a long banished evil God are trying to release their master. It was the job of seven immortal sentinels and the god blessed Royal line to prevent such a happening. Unfortunately for the people of Rhune a glory hungry king in the distant past banished those 7 immortal sentinels afte
kartik narayanan
Aug 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A Requiem for Heroes is one of the best takes on "heroic" fantasy I have read and I think it will upend this genre.

Why do I think so? - It is a combination of a good storyline with excellent characters and riveting action in a world which is deceptively simple.

Now, since I read What Remains of Heroes & The Wrath of Heroes back to back, I will be combining the reviews for both these books.

The main characters are comprised of people who are 'broken' in one way or another and yet, strive to be bet
Mark Lawrence
I haven't read this book (yet), but it is one of the 10 finalists in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. That's 10 out of 270+ hopefuls!

Read about the competition here

See ratings and reviews of all the finalists here:
Jul 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Brilliant epic fantasy!
I’m gonna also call it Grimdark, while the sub-genre has different definitions, for me it incorporates a grim or grimmer tone and flawed/imperfect characters.

Backed-up by a smooth and clean writing, the world building, character development and story are excellent. The flow and cadence of the book is just flawless and it evolves with a clock’s precision. I was trying to remember when was the last time I’ve read something that builds up without missing a heart beat, and I c
John Keel
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Where’d this guy come from? Keep reading and see why I’m so excited about this book. It’s nice to find a rare nugget of great writing among all the drivel…

This book has this old-timer excited about fantasy after a LONG spell of growing weary of the genre, almost to a point where I’d given up on it. However, this book brings me back to the days of truly epic fantasy that is at once enjoyable, erudite, and mature. I’m not sure the fate of this book or this author, but I hope he’s around long
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
The opening scene was with one of the main POV’s, Lannick, drunk in a bar and chasing after women he shouldn’t be. One of his friends tries to talk him out of it, but Lannick isn’t having it and ends up going home with the women anyway. As it turns out, one of them is the daughter of a general, a general who happens to already despise him. They of course get caught and Lannick has to hide out before he’s caught and arrested and likely killed.

He does get caught but manages to escape, and the
Mar 21, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm very much interested in seeing what happens next. But I don't feel as though this book excelled at getting me to this point.

I tended to forget about Lannick when he wasn't on page, especially in the first half of the book. This is not a trait to be desired in a primary character and in general I feel like his path through the book was an extended effort at stalling in order to set him up for his real role in the second book and presumably beyond. Much of Lannick's arc in this book is about h
Shawn Wickersheim
Apr 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Superbly written, highly creative, great world-building, engaging characters (I think Fencress is my favorite) and overall an entertaining read. While some of the action takes place off-stage, there is still plenty to enjoy. I look forward to reading the next book in this series.
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
(a bigger, prettier version of this review can be found here, on my blog.)

For the most part, this novel follows the exploits of three primary characters: Lannick is an old soldier, once a hero and a captain in the royal army, and a former member of a sort of secret society of protectors. Now he’s more of an old drunkard who spends most of his time in the pub drowning the sorrows of losing his entire family to a gruesome murder. Karnag is a thief and an assassin who is going completely bonkers in
Aug 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars.....a really solid debut novel from this author.....the ending slightly meandered in my opinion but nevertheless will still be looking into reading Book 2 upon release.
Jun 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the great pleasures of reviewing self-published fantasy is that every so often, a book comes from absolutely nowhere and surpasses your expectations.

I had never heard of David Benem before, and as of writing this review there are only two things I can tell you about him: he entered Mark Lawrence's self-published fantasy blog-off and he sure can write.

What Remains of Heroes treads what is beginning to become familiar ground, dark fantasy with morally conflicted or ambiguous characters that
Vincent Vale
Apr 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing

What a great book. Benem has constructed something truly unique with this story. It has everything you look for in an Epic Fantasy novel. A diverse cast of characters, amazing world building, and an elegant writing style that really is levels above the rest.

This is not a young adult fiction. It's mature and sophisticated. The characters had great depth and were fun to follow. I especially enjoyed Lannick with all his flaws. He is a rich character who--while sti
J.P. Ashman
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I can see why this made it to the final of SPFBO 2015

I listened to it on Audible and have to admit I struggled with the narration only as much as the accent wasn't what I was used to listening to. As for the voices, they made the characters stand out immediately and oh what characters they are.

Grey area. That's where many of the characters live. The lines between good and bad are blurred, in a good way. Brutal action and bloody encounters meet heartfelt beliefs and unlikely heroism. I look forwa
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book was amazing personally. Best indie debut I've read since blood song. This is not a young adult book. It is a maturely written and more grim novel that is full of meaningful reflections, as well as moral and emotional dilemmas. The characters are far from your average heroes, hence the title, but they are all relatable and not colored with overused tropes.
While this book left many things unanswered and hanging in the balance plot wise, it did manage to set up a interesting and
Ria Bridges
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every so often, when reading self-published novels, you run across one that makes you wonder why the author chose to buck tradition and go with self-publishing as their main option. Was it because self-publishing was quicker than sending manuscripts to agents and/or publishers and hoping for the best? Was it because they saw an opportunity to make a greater financial return on their efforts? Was it because they did apply with agents and publishers and their novel was turned down?

I sincerely hop
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't draft many reviews but this book deserved the time. I found it dark, violent, yet thoughtful--a rare concoction on the fantasy shelves. The characters, at first blush common archetypes, were complex and well drawn; the same sorts of compliments can be given to the plot and themes. This was an easy 5 out of 5 and I'm frustrated I can't dive into the sequel already. Hurry, author!
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I knew nothing about this book going in. All I knew was that I really enjoyed Mr. Benem's story in the Lost Lore anthology. It turned out to be a very good read for quite a few reasons.

The characters were very much to my liking.
We had Lannick a down on his luck war hero who has spent quite some time trying to drink away the pain of his life. While well written Lannick is probably my least favorite of the POVs.

Karnag and Fencress as both assassins/for hire criminals but mostly murder it seems.
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
2.5 stars.

Please note that this book--series--has found an audience and my view is of the minority. That this did not resonate with me or excite me as much as most other readers should not dissuade anyone from checking it out. I did find it an entertaining tale, though ultimately nothing novel. Good writing but not a standout. Seems headed towards a hero's redemption feel-good tale. I wanted to love this, I really did, but it just fell short of my hopes.

This strikes me as a long set-up for thing
Fred Phillips
Sep 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, dark-fantasy
Though I wasn’t chosen as one of the blogs for Mark Lawrence’s Self Published Fantasy Blog Off, I committed on my own to at least give all 10 finalists a chance, hoping that one of them would blow me away.

My plan is to read the samples available on Amazon for each book. If by the end of that sample, the book has grabbed me, I’ll buy it and keep reading. If not, I’ll pass on it.

Since it was one of the highest rated so far, I opted to start with David Benem’s “What Remains of Heroes,” and it was a
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
What Remains of Heroes is a story of a formerly war hero, Lannick deVeers, a priest, Bale, and a thief and murderer, Karnag, and two other characters. Lannick has fallen hard after his family has been murdered. He has been drowning his sorrow at the Wanton Vicar when he made a mistake of sleeping with the General's daughter. In order for him to gain the revenge that he desperately wanted and to save the kingdom of Rune, that he protected, he would need to become the man he was before.

Bale is sen
P.F. Davids
Oct 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What Indie Fantasy Should Be!

I've been digging through the offering of Indie Fantasy on Kindle Unlimited trying to find something that could keep my interest to the end without having to groan through it. What Remains of Heroes is truly a diamond in the rough. Interesting characters, good world building, solid editing, a classic good vs. evil plotline. If I had picked this up in a bookstore, I don't think I would have been disappointed.

The writing can be a little rough around the edges. Characte
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Dear author, where have you been on my life? This book was fantastic. I'm glad I stumbled upon it. Now do us all a huge favor, and harry up and release the next book!! On the double LOL I was so engrossed in the story, that I have lost all track of time. Fantastic character development, very emotional, and I love the fact that even the protagonist has flaws of their own. Amazing absolutely amazing.
David Miles
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good book with a well-planned plot and appropriately-flawed heroes. I rarely like novels that shift from character to character, but this one kept me intrigued and interested.

Can't wait to read the sequel!
Oct 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book

Found this book through Mark Lawrence's website. Love it just reread it since it had been a while and am now onto the second installment
Feb 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What can I say, this book clearly stands out like a shining star in the universe of books. I stumbled over it last year (before I discovered r/fantasy) on the SPxx-something list Mark Lawrence does for indie authors. I liked the cover and tone, so I put on the radar.

So, a couple of weeks ago, I finally started reading it. And I immediately loved it!

It’s a dark world. The fragile balance of it is about to be overthrown by dark powers, led by evil sorceres, the Necrists that serve the ultimate evi
Jul 24, 2018 added it
Dnf at 50%. I couldn’t get into the characters. A bit too choppy for me.
Melissa Hayden
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook, fantasy
This was a story I really enjoyed. The world is dangerous and each character is doing their best under the terrible circumstances to survive and take care of things on their list. Blood, gods, magic, and turmoil. The writing style is easy to follow and know who is who and where they are. You got me! I look forward to continuing this series!

*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast
Sep 19, 2016 rated it liked it
Many of the best books I read in the last years come from independent authors, so I decided to have a look at the finalists of Mark Lawrence's self-published fantasy blog-off.
According to the blurb and the reviews I found here on Goodreads, What remains of Heroes was the closest to my taste.
I like epic fantasy with a touch of grim-dark and of course I love heroes, especially if they are not shiny paladins too perfect to be real.
I am happy to say that I found everything I like in this book.
We hav
John V.
Dec 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book did a great job of defying my expectations. Events I've been pre-conditioned to look out for - the revelation that turns a drunk into a hero, the comeuppance for a particularly grisly murderer, and the triumph of a hero over his/her demons - had plenty of page-turning twists.

In fact, all the twists caused me to root against some of the main POV characters at points. At first, I found this development off-putting: "Why am I reading about this jerk?" But then I realized this book is a c
Brother Nero
Dec 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
In What Remains of Heroes, David Benem weaves a classic fantasy tale of reluctant heroes caught up in events almost beyond their understanding. Benem's characters are well-developed and memorable, and the author's vibrant descriptions of his setting gives life to the world he has created, which keeps things interesting for the reader.

This book is well-written with nice pacing. The storyline is interesting from the beginning until the end. I enjoyed the story so much that I finished it in 3 days.
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A Requiem for Heroes (2 books)
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“I could give two shits about who sits on what throne and what flag rises from Rune’s towers. Whoever it is I have to kneel to is always going to be some vicious swindler who climbed into that throne on the backs of the poor, the broken and the dead.” 2 likes
“The more evil in the world the less good, and the converse. Bale thought differently. He guessed the true goodness in men’s hearts, the kind that kindled self-sacrifice and real courage, only manifested in the face of true evil. At all other times, like now, it sat dormant, smothered beneath layers of ambivalence. Along” 2 likes
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