I hope you’re not sick of Joe Abercrombie yet, because my top 15 Science Fiction and Fantasy novels are filled with his brilliant work. The Heroes is Abercrombie’s fifth book and he continues to offer one page-turner after another. While I thought the First Law Trilogy had some faults, its world-building and character development were exceptional, and that world-building pays huge dividends in his two subsequent stand-alone novels (both of which take place in the same Universe after the events of First Law).
The Heroes is the story of a three-day Battle. The entire novel covers a span of a mere 5 days, and yet the character development, plot twists, and turns, and battle scenes all stand out to make an exceptional, page-turning read. One particular chapter in the middle of the book called “Casualties” may be the best battle sequence I have ever read. In that chapter, Abercrombie paints vivid pictures of the violent war raging all around and does so in a completely fresh, unique style. What is amazing about the chapter is that it really did not even involve the main characters.
I absolutely loved Best Served Cold and did not know if this could possibly meet that level. But I think it did in a completely different way. The stories are so different yet connected. Though the novel is a stand-alone in the sense that the plot is completely self-contained, you are doing yourself a disservice if you do not read Abercrombie’s work in order. It’s all good and events/world-building from prior novels only add to the gravity of many scenes in this novel. Read Joe Abercrombie, read The Heroes…excellent novel.