Release Date: March 7, 2011
Published by: Tantor Audio
Source: Purchased from Audible
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Buy Links: Amazon | B&N | Audible
They say Black Dow's killed more men than winter, and clawed his way to the throne of the North up a hill of skulls. The King of the Union, ever a jealous neighbor, is not about to stand smiling by while he claws his way any higher. The orders have been given and the armies are toiling through the northern mud. Thousands of men are converging on a forgotten ring of stones, on a worthless hill, in an unimportant valley, and they've brought a lot of sharpened metal with them.
For glory, for victory, for staying alive.
"War is honest. There's no lying to it. You don't have to say sorry here. Don't have to hide. You cannot. If you die? So what? You die among friends. Among worthy foes. You die looking the Great Leveller in the eye. If you live? Well, lad that's living, isn't it? A man isn't truly alive until he's facing death." Whirrun stamped his foot into the sod. "I love war!"
I can't recall the last time I had this much fun listening to an audio book! Joe Abercrombie's talent for writing amazing characters and battle scenes paired with the exceptional narrating of Michael Page was the perfect listening experience. I can't claim to be a seasoned audio book listener, but of the 30 narrators I've heard, I've never experienced one as amazing as Page. He really brought this story to life.
Throughout The Heroes, I laughed at the warriors' crude jokes and taunting, I caught myself smiling at triumphant moments, and I was nervous every time I thought my favorite characters might not make it. I went through a variety of emotions and, for me, that's how I know I've read (or in this case listened to) a 5 star story.
Despite what assumptions you could make from viewing the cover and reading the synopsis, The Heroes wasn't an all-male cast of characters and I was very happy to discover that the women in this story were not sniveling damsels in distress. There was Wonderful, a savage female warrior in Craw's fierce Dozen. There was also Finree, the ambitious daughter of Lord Marshal Kroy. She didn't carry a sword, but was still an independent, strong-willed character. The other notable woman in this story was Ishri, a sorceress who stood as advisor to the Protector of the North, but her role was less significant than the others.
Overall, I thought The Heroes was an amazing listening experience and I have plans to purchase all of the stories in the First Law series. If you're a fan of action and adventure, masterful character development and enjoy a hearty dose of crude humor, vulgar language and like your violence extra bloody, then The Heroes is your next read.