Review: Heroes, Joe Abercrombie

Rating: 5 out of 5

This was my second time with Mr Abercrombie’s ‘Heroes’. I remembered the book as a story of the wild North, describing human characters making their way — or at least trying to. I only read what I previously thought after I finished it again, and I can’t say my previous review was very insightful.

I don’t think my favourite characters changed — Tunny and Craw were still the best, Gorst I didn’t like overly much, and Scale was okay but nothing special — but what I took away from them did. Craw’s story is the more instructive: having the utmost respect for ‘the right thing’ is even less of a course these days now than four years ago (“Those are the times”…). We could continue analysing that for a long time, but let’s side-step.

The action was believable — the author manages to convey the utter confusion of a combat scene very well. It is also noteworthy very few aspects remain unconsidered with both the logistics of muddy pathways and boglands forming parts of this story. I also found one of the literary devices — the POV jumping from one person to the next through finding a connecting line — which was used to describe the battle quite memorable.

Overall, however, this is far more a story of the human connections between the various people than a description of combat. Swords and arrows abound, but nothing would get done without the loyalty, anger, and hatred that the characters manage to bring out in their peers.

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