Paperback, 610 Pages
Adult/ Grimdrak Fantasy
By: Joe Abercrombie
“Armour …’ mused Whirrun, licking a finger and scrubbing some speck of dirt from the pommel of his sword, ‘is part of a state of mind … in which you admit the possibility … of being hit.”
I have to admit that after reading Best Served Cold my expectations kind of skyrocketed for this one and I ended up slightly disappointed. I have to agree with George R.R. Martin who said this was Abercrombie’s best book up to this point in the series.
The problem with The Heroes is that it reads more like a philosophical book! I know the book is called the Heroes but I did not expect to see the word every other page specially that we know most of the characters from before and they were not so concerned with being heroes in the past.
The main problem I faced with this one is that it had too many characters for my liking and the way they are introduced did not work for me. I don’t mind books with many characters if they are introduced well and given the appropriate time to do that but I do mind it when it feels like info dumping and it becomes too hard for me to remember who is who. If there was not a character’s list at the beginning of the book, I would have probably lost interest much faster. I prefer when characters are introduced gradually and given the time to become realistic which was the case for BSC. To be fair, after 40% of the book, we say goodbye to many characters and the ones that stay are more fleshed which made the second half of the book better than the first half!
“The truth is like salt. Men want to taste a little, but too much makes everyone sick.”
The thing I like is Abercrombie’s writing, the humor works for me most of the time, it is atmospheric and the moral compass of all the characters is broken! There are very good quotes and the internal monologue of some of the characters is the best thing ever (Gorst gets a special mention). I can’t say I connected to the characters as much as I wanted to but it was still good.
The world is dark and that’s not a surprise since it is an Abercrombie book. I like how some of the secondary and minor characters from the older books gets bigger roles here and are thus more fleshed now for me. I think if I reread the first trilogy it will be a much better experience now!
“All you can do is take each day as it comes. Try and do the best you can with what you’re given. You won’t always do the right thing, but you can try. And you can try to do the right thing next time. That, and stay alive.”
Summary: It was a good book but I still prefer BSC which raised my expectations of the books to come. The writing and world are as good as usual but the characters and philosophy were not my cup of tea. I am still excited to continue my journey in this world!