From Publishers Weekly
Starred 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. Union commander Lord Marshal Kroy coordinates the fight with the aid of a motley group of incompetent, self-important officers. The strangely sympathetic Col. Bremer dan Gorst is officially a royal observer who nurses a burning desire to kill or be killed. Leading a much smaller army against the Union is Black Dow, whose grip on the throne of the Northmen is tenuous and based on fear and brutality. Calder, a slippery and cunning egotist, advocates peace while plotting to take Black Dow's place. 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. (Feb.)
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
When he�s not writing large-scale fantasy novels, Abercrombie moonlights as a freelance film editor, a skill that undoubtedly contributes to his forte of crafting cinematically vivid action and crisp, witty dialogue. His latest novel revisits territory well trodden in his First Law trilogy, which opened with The Blade Itself (2006), and traverses an imaginary landscape reminiscent of a medieval Europe populated by citizens of the Union Empire and its tribal enemies to the north. Here the story concentrates on a sometimes violent, sometimes bafflingly strange three-day battle taking place on and around an insignificant Northlands hill crowned by monolithic burial stones called The Heroes. While the battle looms as only one stepping stone in a larger campaign by the Union�s Lord Marshal Kroy in preventing the North�s Black Dow from seizing more lands, the clash of key adversaries will prove decisive. Yet the premise here is less important than the multiple political intrigues, scandals, and jealous feuds enacted by Abercrombie�s parade of colorful characters. One of Abercrombie�s most masterfully executed and compellingly readable novels to date. --Carl Hays