The Heroes – Published

January 27th, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I recommend to you my latest book, The Heroes, published today in the UK by Gollancz, and available NOW from all quality emporia of the printed word, and for that matter of the digital word too.  Further information here.  I think it’s rather good, but why take my lying word for it?  Comments from assorted reviewers include:

The Heroes is an indictment of war and the duplicity that corrupts men striving for total power: bloody and violent, but never gratuitously so, it’s imbued with cutting humour, acute characterisation and world-weary wisdom about the weaknesses of the human race. Brilliant.”
— Eric Brown, The Guardian

“Delivered in Abercrombie’s trademark witty style … This is an action-packed novel full of brutality, black humour and razor-sharp characterisation.”
— Dave Bradley, SFX (5 star review)

“It’s an excellent tale and arguably Abercrombie’s best book yet … Its pace really showcases his talent for differently voiced and realistically motivated characters … any genre fan can enjoy what’s one of the best fantasy books of the past year.”
— SciFi Now (5 star review)

“This blood-drenched, thought-provoking dissection of a three-day battle is set in the same world as Abercrombie’s First Law Trilogy (The Blade Itself, etc.), but stands very well alone … Abercrombie never glosses over a moment of the madness, passion, and horror of war, nor the tribulations that turn ordinary people into the titular heroes.”
— Publishers Weekly (starred review)

For those of you for whom the book alone is not enough, and who require a signature to go with it, I will be at Forbidden Planet in London tonight, talking, reading, and signing copies, Guildford Waterstones the following day, and Toppings of Bath that night being interviewed by Dave Bradley of SFX.  The tour will continue the following week, full details here.

And though our American brethren were not due to receive The Heroes until February 7th, I notice that those early birds at are actually already shipping it to citizens of the good old US of A.  I say that only in passing.  And link to it.  LIKE THIS.

You can also see me talking about The Heroes in the actual flesh upon the facebook page of my publisher, Gollancz, should you desire.  Hmmm.  I strangely look like my brother more with every passing year.  It’s not just the nose, it’s the whole manner.  But anyway, I shall be offline for a couple of days, but hope to update you at some point from the road.  Go forth, my children.  Buy, read, and enjoy…

Posted in Uncategorized by Joe Abercrombie on January 27th, 2011.

94 comments so far

  • Clambeard says:

    Thanks for the heads-up! I ordered mine from Amazon and can hardly wait the 2 days to get it.

  • Patrick Wood says:

    The best thing about working in a bookshop is being able to open all the boxes to look for Joe Abercrombie’s new book before it has been put out on the shelf. 10 boxes later and I pulled ‘The Heroes’ from a box and now I have it in my greedy, little hands. Can’t wait to read it! Beginning… NOW!

  • Tyson Perna says:

    Yay! I got a surprise email from Amazon today saying my copy had shipped. Woohoo!

  • senseichow says:

    Just bought it on Kindle this morning. Great work for making the ebook available on the release date.

    I’m going to enjoy this.

  • Pete says:

    So glad I checked my RSS today, made a coffee and by the time I sat down my kindle edition was paid for and downloaded!

    Shame I have to go to work, but I have it on my android phone as well, so I’m sure I’ll find a quiet moment to start reading…

  • Chris Upton says:

    Should be picking this up this afternoon from waterstones in that veritable garden of eden that is Teeside along with a copy of True Grit. Should make a good companion piece I feel.

  • Brett says:

    Yay! My copy should arrive tomorrow or Saturday. It was funny walking into my local Waterstones the other day to grab a copy of “The Lie of Lock Lamora” (upon your recomemdation I should add), and seeing your face plastered all of the place lol.

    I look forward to getting my copy, and to meeting you in nottingham on Tuesday.

    P.S. Congratulations on the great reviews, it seems like it shall be once againa “classic” from you Joe.

  • JamesY says:

    I looking forward to picking up my *signed* copy this evening from Forbidden Planet in London!

  • Harvey Quinn says:

    I will be picking up a copy from you this evening, and joining you for a chin wag.

  • Phil N says:

    Had an email from Amazon yesterday to say mine had been despatched and I should have it by the 27th…..hang on thats today…what am I doing at work FFS theres a book needs reading!!

  • Fordy says:

    Just got my copy through the door… well not through the door, I had to open it for the postman as the package was too big for my letterbox. Must say it looks, and smells, great, apart from the photo inside the back sleeve, that does ruin it a bit 😉

  • enjai says:

    Just got mine from waterstones on the way into work. Double surprise for me in that A) it has extra material and B) it was half price 🙂

    I’ll pick some extra stuff up at Forbidden planet to alleviate the guilt. Maybe get a signed copy of “the blade itself” to hook a friend on the series.

  • Mike says:

    Just picked up my copy on the way to the train station and now have the journey to commence reading. Commencing radio silence…

  • Brett says:

    Just checked Amazon – “The Heroes” dispatched today. Date of arrival today. That has just made my day, I imagine I should have read it by Tuesday =)

  • Tim H says:

    Congrats, Joe! I received mine yesterday and stayed up late reading. It’s one of those books I find myself not wanting to skim any part of. I want to savor this book slowly. The characters are fascinating, and each chapter I’ve read has been a delight.

  • JonathanL says:

    Getting my Kindle copy as soon as I finish Argument and another read of Best Served Cold. Can’t wait! So far, this year has been nothing but your books for me.

  • Mike S says:

    Mine’s winging it’s way from the UK as I didn’t want to wait for the US (official) release date. Snow permitting it will be here by the time I finish re-reading the First Law. Happy days ahead.

  • Troy says:

    Yea im with u tim. Im readin so slow you would think im in special ed…..

  • Haakon says:

    Finished it, and liked it a lot. Splendid characters most of all (only one character whose ending I thought was rather weird), I like how I would like to stab about 80% of them 🙂

  • Mr. Pilkington says:

    My copy should arrive in the post (mail) tomorrow. I am looking forward to it.

  • Tim H says:

    I’ve just noticed one jarring note in the book. What’s with the author photo on the backside flap? Is that the real Joe Abercrobmie or the model who portrays him in publicity shots? The carefully unshaven George Michael chin. The steepled fingers. The pensive gaze. The tousled hair. The High Street suit.

    Is this the guy who writes fantasy books for a living and reviews video games on his blog? Shouldn’t the real Joe Abercrombie be a guy who lives in Manitowoc Wisconsin in his nephew’s basement hand-carving 20-sided dice wearing only his burrito-flecked beard? (Or is that Patrick Rothfuss?) I’m slightly disappointed. And not the least bit envious.

  • Doug says:

    Got my copy Tuesday. About a quarter through, I’ve been distracted by rebuilding my PC. So far I like it a lot.

  • Tim H says:

    I see the mistake now. They’ve accidentally put the photo of some “Lou” Abercrombie in the hardcover US edition of the book. I shit you not. Look at the small caption on the backside flap where the photo is. Just a photo mix-up, we needn’t worry that Joe is some namby-pamby half-bearded soul-gazer. Whew! Best of luck to old Lou, though.

  • Phil N says:

    Looking at the acknowledgements in the back and the photographer I have one question.

    Just how many Abercrombies are there?

  • Susanne says:

    Amazon delivered this morning, and there was much rejoicing. Sorry I couldn’t make Forbidden Planet yesterday. Hope you all had a great time!

    The cover’s a thing of great beauty, marred only slightly by that strange photo of a bearded guy in the back. What’s that all about? I can’t wait to dive in, but alas! I’m at work. How is this fair. I’m so glad I have no plans for the weekend.

  • Yulwei says:

    Just arrived. Totally unexpected. Can’t wait to read it.

  • PammieR says:

    IT ARRIVED – about a minute ago, the lovely postie man handed it to me in person…I have to get back to working but it is beside me calling…..I have a deadline for today nooooo I want to start reading.

    Note to all other part read books with a bookmark on my bedside table. Start deciding which one looses it now!

  • Lara Bambi says:

    Good job, really enjoyed it can’t wait to read it again at a slightly less frantic pace! And having it on Kindle was brilliant, got it at 7 yesterday morning and it made my day. Sadly my hard copy (yes i am too good to you!) hasnt arrived yet though so can’t get a good look at the maps etc. But oh well, im sure it’ll be here by the time i decide to have my re-read.

  • GC says:

    ordered mine from amazon UK so I could keep consistent on the covers. I wait impatiently for it to arrive in New York.

  • Jack the CRUSHER says:

    Fuck yeah you can reccomend this book, Chief. Can’t wait to pick the bitch up.

  • ssgorik says:

    Joe, you should post that short story on your website. Make lots of folks happy. I still have four hundred pages to go in The Heroes, but I want more. Always.

  • Mark C says:

    Got in from work this afternoon and, as the dog was in the process of killing me with his pink tongued, scrabbly pawed affection, the postman saved my life! By knocking on the door!! And then handing in an Amazon package!!! Containing The Heroes!!!!

    Might have to forgoe the second half of the book I am currently reading and jump right in there… 🙂

  • Jon says:

    I got mine the day before yesterday and now, because of how entertaining your book is, I’ve been procrastinating things I need to do.

    Thanks alot, Joe.

    Thanks alot.

  • Dan says:

    Thank you for this wonderful book Joe. Reading the book gave me that “being at home, surrounded by friends” feeling. Love the world you have created and the “friends” you have given us all. So awesome to visit them all again and can’t wait for more.

  • George says:

    Got my copy today 😀

  • JonathanL says:

    Maybe I missed it, but did the enhanced eBook version gain any traction?

  • JonathanL says:

    my apologies, i see it now in your last post.

  • Katri says:

    Thank you Joe for the reading & signing at Forbidden Planet on Thursday. Got my copy and a wonderful T-shirt as well! I tried to buy one off a lady who was working there, but she wouldn’t sell her shirt (well who would?).

    For the note of it, I arrived at 4.10 pm and there were no queues whatsoever (somehow, I was expecting people lining up outside the shop, and round the block). A bit after 5 I started the queue, and after a while (feeling a bit silly standing there on my own) more people joined me.

    Thanks so much Joe, it was awesome!

    the Finnish lady with red hair

  • Eddwigg says:

    Fooking Superb… nuff said

  • Tim H says:

    Wait just a minute, the Brits get T-shirts too (along with visiting Fins)?! Totally imperialistic and unfair. Except for the surving Pythons, Steven Hawking, and Jamie Oliver, I’m beginning to hate them just a little bit. Pigs. (I already hated Gordon Brown, so this does not affect his status.)

  • Dungeonmum says:

    Thanks for signing for me today (Guildford, lady with the glasses, short hair and sleeping baby in the pushchair). I tried to offer the staff money for a tshirt (beyond awesome, you must feel like a rockstar or something). They said they had a free one in the back room, sadly it went walkies. I forgot to say that this is the first time I will read a word you have written, normally I listen to the most excellent audiobooks. Cheers once again, I can’t wait to get into it.

  • Neil P says:

    I suspect i know who you were you (push chair is a giveaway). Good on you for waiting. I’m not an audio fan, but my partner is, and i couldn’t help but thinking that Joe could narrate the books as well as the pros. Maybe he’s just a sprinter but he (obviously) captures the tone well.

  • Neil P says:

    There must be more than one pushchair fan of joe as the dates dont match. Sentiments remain.

  • Dungeonmum says:

    @ Neil P – which signing did you go to? I’ve listened to BSC and TBI so far, waiting for BTAH in a few days. They really are good. Steven Pacey (of Blakes’ Seven) does an excellent job on TBI, I think he does the trilogy. It’s one of my aims to read more books and audio is a good way to use up dead time i.e. during washing up, long car journeys, laundry etc

  • Rothman says:

    Still waiting ón audible to get its act together, Im rather impatient though

  • Jo Or Mel from Westeros says:

    After choosing to believe it was an accident that you posted MY ARC to George ( silly you ) I picked up a copy of Heroes in London and devoured it en route to Dublin , narrowly missing you at Waterstone’s actually. These are my thoughts –

    !. I love that we get the pretty ( yes axes are very pretty) covers that look very well on my book shelves under swords displayed.

    2. Are you spying on me ? and how do you know what women combatants think all the time ? Seriously -what is your line on that ? Cos you’re bang on – ( oh wait – maybe it reflects badly that I feel I share real world experience with some of your female protagonists, seriously that might be not great … )

  • Garret says:

    Pre-ordered this months ago and I’ve been notified it is winging its way Stateside. Can’t wait.

    Your powerless Hollywood advocate,

  • Garret says:

    Pre-ordered this months ago and I’ve been notified it is winging its way Stateside. Can’t wait.

    Your powerless Hollywood advocate,

  • Jeremy says:

    AW YEAH got my American Version yesterday! So pumped.

  • Neil P says:

    I was at the London Forbidden Planet signing. My partner prefers Steven Pacey over the guy who did BSC (although he wasn’t bad) so hopefully they’ll get him back for the future trilogy at least.

  • Mike says:

    Finished reading The Heroes today, absolutely fantastic! Problem now is waiting for the next book, come on Joe, get back to that keyboard, you have a book deal to honour!

  • Scott says:

    This may have been explained before, but why the difference between the covers of the UK and US editions? My preference is for the UK one. I hope very much that will be the one in stock when I return to Oz!

  • Rob says:

    Just recieved my copy! started reading it in the office

  • David says:

    Joe! Heroes is causing me marital distress! I’m over here in the US and my wife doesn’t understand the addiction a British fantasy writer such as yourself can bring. I started reading the book friday and the wife keeps putting her nose into my reading and preventing me from finishing as quickly as I must. Any advice?

  • Michael Gibbons says:

    @ Neil P – Steven Pacey did a brilliant job on the First Law Trilogy. Michael Page did an equally brilliant job on Best Served Cold. Their styles are different but both are really good, although Page’s Nicomo Cosca owns! Joe says Pacey is not available for The Heroes so I’m hoping that Page can be obtained to keep some consistency with the books.

  • Neil P says:

    I think for the stand-alones it’s not too bad to have PAge on them. I guess if the rumoured second trilogy occurs and assuming it features most of the cast from the first law then it would be nice if they could get Pacey back.

  • Brett From Southampton! says:

    Hey Joe, Good to see you today thanks for signing my book (and the one for my ma’s birthday she’ll be chuffed!) Hope the rest of the tour goes well.

    Take care,


  • innokenti says:

    Thanks for the talk and signing in Reading! Enjoyed the Q&A thoroughly and started reading on the train home. Gripped! GRIPPED.

    Clearly no time for games or TV this evening. I may even have to forgo food.

  • Murph says:

    thanks again for the signing and q & a down at reading. we don’t get many authors down there and it was a great evening.

    although you could have just told me Logen and Glotka’s fate instead of forcing me to buy your next books.

    writers…i tell you 😛

    oh and i’ve started the book, and i already know i’m gonna have a couple of sleepless nights…unable to put the book down.

  • Max says:

    Read the book…


    totally awesome in every way, shape and form, your best yet. At first I thought Gorst was too like Glockta but his final chapter really changed my opinion of that! Not knowing what happened to Aliz is the cruelest thing ever though S:

  • Tim H says:

    I just finished the book, and I’ve got to say it’s the best yet. Loved the characters and enjoyed each and every page. I recently read Eugene Sledge’s memoir of Peleliu and Okinawa (With the Old Breed), and I thought this might come off looking a little silly in comparison. What surprised me is how honest The Heroes felt. Even the bleak humor rings true. And I think the story of Beck is one of the most lovely things Joe’s written.

  • JenMo says:

    Got my copy yesterday. Sort of wish I could have the parchment cover. Still can’t wait to crack it open!

  • Eric Lundstedt says:

    another yank gets his copy. from amazon. feb 2nd. smells like…victory.

  • Michael says:

    Just got my copy signed at Waterstones in Manchester. Thanks for an entertaining evening (again) Looking forward to your third trip up here. P.s. Thanks for not spotting the Rothfuss resemblance this time.

  • Quinny says:

    Anyone noticed that the ‘about the author’ section describes Joe as the “Number 11” best selling author?! Who knew Joe could be so disingenuous! Misprint ftw. Looking forward to reading the book Joseph, keep writing my good man.

  • smeej says:

    Just got my ‘parcel’ (silly UK) shipped halfway across the world so I could get it before my fellow Americans. The far better cover and increased girth are a bonus!

  • Trout says:

    Just picked up my copy. I am pretending to work while reading it and felt everyone should know… This book is another great piece of literature by Joe. Thanks for bringing me another story with my favorite characters. I expect that sleep will allude me once again while I unravel the mysteries within.
    Please Joe never stop writing…

  • Nick Sharps says:

    Finished! Quite the read if I may say so myself. Looking forward to the next installment!

  • DrGonzo says:

    Got mine…

    Just have to finish that book about the Boxerriot 1900. But first glimpse on the dramatis personae looks great.

  • Phil N says:

    Really not happy. Got my copy last Friday and I’ve just reached Day Three. At this rate I’ll be finished by Saturday. What the hell am I supposed to do then Joe?

    Damn you for writing such a readable book.

  • Yulwei says:

    Definitely better than Best Served Cold and solidly seated with the First Law Trilogy as one of you best works. Kinda sucky giving us no further info on Ferro especially after that little teaser in BSC. You lose points

  • Ady Hall says:

    Excellent read. Thank you very much, Joe.

  • simon says:

    just finished, very enjoyable read.

  • PinkInk says:

    Wait a sec!
    Only 519 pages??? What the Hell did I pay for!
    At least theres a picture of some handsomeshady-looking Guy at the End!

  • Kate says:

    Thanks Joe! It’s been a great read again.

    I’m not sure if I got everything with Whirrun and his prophecy. What happened at the end? It’s just that it was all bollocks, or he missinterpreted it somehow.

  • Chris Upton says:

    Who cares about prophecies! Its the cheese sandwich that really matters!!!
    For some reason I imagine whirrun to have a strong welsh accent.

  • Um... says:




    ps. NICE MAPS JOE!!

  • Sedulo says:

    My first copy arrived on February 3 and I am going to start reading it in about 6 hours. Talk about practicing a ridiculous delay of gratification. Well, I had to wait until I had a day with low responsibility, plenty of provisions so I wouldn’t need to leave the house and no risk of interruptions!
    Soon I will be at the battlefield.

  • Longasc says:

    I am a huge fan of your First Law Trilogy and also enjoyed Best Served Cold but I did not particularly dig any of the characters you portrayed in the Heroes, there was also not nearly any story or development of any kind complex, sorry to say that! Kearney’s “Ten Thousand” or Gemmell’s “Legend” do much better in this regard, there was not much going on in “Heroes”.

  • barfly says:

    got mine at Joe’s signing in London on the 27th. good event, charming fellow, and very accommodating too: signed mine with exactly the inspirationally foul-mouthed message i requested. i look forward to the read, right after i finish LOTR. no pressure there Joe. 😉

  • Jasca says:

    Just finished The Heroes. Great work, Joe!

  • Peter says:

    Done. Quick read. Would’ve liked some more Shanka action seeing as majority of the plot takes place in the North. Other than that, keep up the great work. Can’t wait till we change settings!

  • Iceman says:

    Joe, you must be disappointed at only getting the third spot in the Sunday Times best-sellers list. Oh well, better luck next time.

  • Nick Sharps says:

    Oh yeah, what about the Shanka? That seemed like a bit of a pressing issue during the First Law Trilogy, I’ve been curious about that.

  • Nick Sharps says:

    –Also Whirrun was my favorite (basically my Harding Grim for the Heroes). The cheese sandwich bit was epic.

  • The Grumpy Buddha says:

    Um, Nick, I think you mean “cheese-trap.”

  • Nick Sharps says:

    My folly

  • Just released today and I bought it today.

    My only regret is I wish I had the UK cover.

  • Shadowjhunter says:

    Excellent read! Loved, loved, loved Craw and his crew. Also, do more ‘Naming’ stories! So good!

  • Phil N says:

    I’d always thought the Shanka were from the far north of the north (beyond the Crenna even) and were not actually in the actual north.

    I remember Bayez saying something in Before They Are Hanged about them being pushed to the farthest reaches of the world beyond civilisation.

    I think Whirrun could have made a good recurring character.

    I wonder how long after the battle the last chapter is set, never got any idea how far along Calder’s wife was in her pregnancy seeing he wanted to wait till after the baby was born to deal with Reachy.

  • enjai says:

    I think folks need to be a little careful as the last couple of comments verge dangerously (or cross) spoiler territoy.

    Enjoying the book so far (on day 3). The time format gives it a slightly different feel from previous outings (almost like 24 or 72) but the etertaining characters and twists are still there.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Holy cow, what a lot of comments. I think this is now the most commented upon post I have made. Just to pick up Enjai’s point – there are some spoilers in there. I’ve had to trash a couple of comments for that reason. Let’s keep it spoiler free, please.

  • The Chubby 41 says:

    Finished the book.
    LOVED it. It had everything from the first 3 I loved (original characters with captivating interactions) and nothing of the stuff I’m not a big fan of (world ending situations and domineering magic always seems to be a plot design to compensate for something).
    You’ve taken over the spot GRRM has left barren. TYTY!

  • Michael says:

    Have I missed something with this book. The character Red-Hat has a tiny part in the chapter Onwards and Upwards were he basically clears a section of woods sinlge handedly of Ironhand Carls. During the chapter he has a remarkable personal and friendly dialogue with Dogman, and for such an insignificant part he is listed amongst the characters at the start of the books. Am I the only person to come the conclusion that Red-Hat is the Bloody Nine.

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