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Reading list: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

Well the 5th Abercrombie book in the first law universe is now done & dusted. An account of a battle between the North & the Union littered with Abercrombie’s ‘Grimdark’ morally flawed almost heroes & villains. Bloody & brooding in equal measure the sundry sarcasms of the cast give it a lighter tone than you’d expect.

The battle scenes are well realised. One trick of Leapfrogging POV from soon to be deceased combatants in melee is perhaps overused.

While the Northern forces (saxon/viking style) are clear I kind of lose track of the Union ones. At one point they seem very 19th century with their uniforms & command structure. Then there arms & tactics (including the use of ‘flatbows’ with pikes & spears) feels very renaissance. Latterly characters use shields & armour in the manner of knights. It’s an interesting smorgasbord but the wargamer nerd in me wanted a clearer picture of how things meshed. I accept the casual reader wouldn’t care but if I compare it with Adrian Tchaichovsky’s shadow of the apt series – there you get a much clear picture of how the Wasp Empire military works.

The books is cracking read & a neat addition to the world – one a par with the first law trilogy but inferior to Red Country (Joe Abercrombie does China Melvilles Iron Council.) Though I haven’t read best served cold yet.


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