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The Heroes: A Tale of Guts and Glory
Another Medieval Novel For the Win
Last summer, after reading the latest addition to A Song of Ice and Fire , A Dance of Dragons, I was fervently searching for another fantasy-medieval novel that would whet my appetite. As an ardent fan of George R.R Martin, I was at a loss since I finished all of his works and I wanted to read something new instead of rereading A Game of Thrones. I wanted something similar yet different, thus managing to stumble upon a book while browsing in the library. The title intrigued me--The Heroes , as well as the the cover- a lovely medieval weapon. I began to peruse through it, obeying the adage, 'Don't judge a book by its cover', and I was hooked.
The premise is fairly simple and typical in most fantasy-medieval books: an evil man who has brutally murdered his way to become king and therefore must be annihilated before he obtains any more power. In The Heroes, that man is Black Dow, a man who has "killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls". However, there are no actual 'heroes' who embark on a quest to finish him off like in many fantasy tales. Rather, there are three very flawed men who are thrown into the mix: a man trying to reclaim his honor from a past battle, a selfish power hungry prince that doesn't like getting his hands stained with blood, and an apathetic man who is tired of war and has lost hope in everything. They are three men but very unlikely heroes who manage to work together indirectly.
Abercrombie skillfully weaves this tale with such detail and flair , without fearing blood and gore, that I couldn't put this book down. While he is heavily influenced by George R.R Martin's works, which is apparent in his writing, Abercrombie, nevertheless, maintains his own unique singularity and style in The Heroes. Although I haven't read of Joe Abercrombie's previous works, after reading The Heroes, he's on my radar when I go to a bookstore. If you love A Game of Thrones, I would recommend that you sharpen your sword ,get ready for battle , and indulge yourself in The Heroes.