Monday, 29 March 2010

Coming Attractions: The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie

We've been hearing about The Heroes for a while, now - for one thing, Joe name-dropped this tremendously exciting forthcoming fantasy in a few interviews for Best Served Cold - but today, thanks to Lauren Panepinto over on the Orbit Books blog, we know that much more.

For starters, here's the blurb:

"War: where the blood and dirt of the battlefield hide the dark deeds committed in the name of glory. The Heroes is about violence and ambition, gruesome deaths and betrayals; and the brutal truth that no plan survives contact with enemy. The characters are the stars, as ever, and the message is dark: when it comes to war, there are no heroes...

Meet the Heroes.

Curnden Craw: a ruthless fighter who wants nothing more than to see his crew survive.

Prince Calder: a liar and a coward, he will regain his crown by any means necessary.

Bremer dan Gorst: a master swordsman, a failed bodyguard, his honor will be restored - in the blood of his enemies.

Over three days, their fates will be sealed."

I never did finish the First Law trilogy, though I still mean to, and while I'll admit to having had a few issues with Best Served Cold - you can read more those in The Speculative Scotsman's review here - to say I'm looking forward to Joe's next novel doesn't quite do my anticipation justice. Three primary characters and three days; from that brief tidbit alone it seems likely that The Heroes will have the focus and precision that I found lacking in Best Served Cold.

Of course, the blood, the guts, the grim and glorious - I don't doubt all that'll be present and correct in The Heroes, too. This is a new Joe Abercrombie novel we're talking about here!

Lauren, the darling, was also good enough to reveal the current state of its cover art:

Gorgeous... well, that wouldn't be the word to describe the Steve Stone art reflected in the spatters of blood which will adorn the US edition of The Heroes come March next year, but at the least I appreciate that in a general sense it matches the rather controversial Stateside cover of Best Served Cold. It's worth noting that the map in the background is only placeholder until the artist finishes his geographical rendition of the latest fantasy kingdom to emerge from Joe's imagination.

I'll be very interested to see what we can look forward to here in the UK in terms of cover art. Expect an installment of Cover Identity on that very subject forthwith!

It's still a year away - so long to wait! - but between the blurb and the cover art, you can count The Speculative Scotsman good and psyched for The Heroes' eventual release.

In the interim, perhaps I'll finally finish The First Law. Is it worth my time, readers? Bear in mind I've only read the first book in the trilogy, and though I found Best Served Cold a bit of a slog at times, by the time I turned the last page I'd enjoyed the hell out of it.


  1. Yes, oh yes. A 1001 times yes. The First Law is definitely worth your time to finish. The entire trilogy is exceptional and I heartily recommend you pick it up and finish now.

    Now you've got me excited about The Heroes again...

  2. You should definitley finish the First Law. It is one of the better trilogies I have read. While Best Served Cold had some issues, he had none of those problems with the First Law. Read it! :)

  3. They were pretty good, worth finishing by all means. Looking forward to the Heroes!

  4. Well paint me pink and call me excited. I'd squee if it didn't go against all my principles.

  5. Go on, Rachel - hell with principles, squee all you please! I promise, it'll just be between you, me and the internet. :P

  6. Thanks, but I think I should decline. I've seen good people fall victim to the addictive properties of squee. Some say it acts as a gateway exclamation to stronger effusive statements such as 'OMG'.