Brash, Funny, Brutal and Wise

December 1st, 2010

In much the same way as the first few touches of brightness mark the sable heavens well in advance of a glorious dawn, a couple more early reviews of The Heroes have lately brought nourishing light to the inky void that is the internet.  The first from Simon Appleby at Bookgeeks:

“Abercrombie’s take on fantasy has always been dark, almost nihilistic, yet shot through with black humour. The deliberate irony of the title of this book is that he does not write about heroes, he writes about ordinary people thrust in to extraordinary situations who seldom, if ever, acquit themselves heroically. The futility of settling arguments by violence is the clear message of this book,making it an anti-war war story – which I suppose all the best war stories are, really – but it’s also a very strong continuation of his excellent previous books, and is sure to be enjoyed by his many fans. Highly recommended both for fantasy readers and lovers of Cornwell and Iggulden.”

And another look from Thomas Wagner at

The Heroes is a brilliant and brash novel in which a pointless and wasteful battle teaches the survivors who they really are … It’s often bleak, but that’s because it’s honest. Its most powerful moments are typically its quietest, and interestingly, these can occur in the heat of the action. And frequently — hell, right from its opening chapter — the book is gloriously funny. It’s like an epic fantasy version of All Quiet on the Western Front spiked with some of the irreverence of Altman’s M*A*S*H.”

Can’t knock that, although I almost prefer his twitter precis – “Brash, funny, brutal & wise.”  You know, that’s pretty much what I was aiming it…

Posted in reviews by Joe Abercrombie on December 1st, 2010.

8 comments so far

  • SwindonNick says:

    Now you are just being a tease!!!!

  • Davieboy says:

    Reviews, reviews, we don’t need no stinkin’ reviews – just give us the precious book already! We wants to hold it….

  • A-drain says:

    I’m not sure but wouldn’t it be a good idea to rush this book out befor Christmas so I can force my in-laws to buy it for me as a gift.

    Not only that but it could include a big ass map and call itself the holiday gift pack and then I can get all my in-laws to go in on it together. Just an idea to help Smeagol…um..Davieboy out.

  • A-drain,
    Christmas is when the publishers tend to bring out their very biggest guns, all the marketing and publicity effort is going into those big Christmas releases, and a book like mine would get totally lost in the scramble. In January there’s a lot less going on, and I can get a lot more support from both publisher and booksellers, while hoping to hoover up a bit of the kids’ christmas money. It’ll be book of the week in Waterstones at the end of Jan, for example, which would never ever happen in December. But if you insist on pre-ordering prior to Christmas I couldn’t stop you…

  • Yulwei says:

    Sounds a lot better than the reviews for BSC

  • Doug says:

    Not certain I’d call your fantasy nihilistic, but at least they like it.

  • Wilfred says:

    “Recommended both for fantasy readers and lovers of Cornwell and Iggulden”.

    It would be very cool to see the same sales figures as Cornwell. Though I fear the pool shaped as a magical sword would distract you from your writing. 🙂

  • Gustav Lembke says:

    Peter Brett said: “Joe Abercrombie is my new nemesis. His books are too damn good.”

    I can’t decide which books i love the most!

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