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    Description

    In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way upstream. Riding along the banks are the mercenaries hired to protect it - from raiders, bandits and, most of all, the stretchers, elf-like natives who kill any intruders into their territory. The mercenaries know this is dangerous, deadly work. But it is what they do.

    In the boat the drunk governor of the territories and his sons and daughters make merry. They believe that their status makes them untouchable. They are wrong. And with them is a mysterious, beautiful young woman, who is the key to peace between warring nations and survival for the Empire.

    When a callow mercenary saves the life of the Governor on an ill-fated hunting party, the two groups are thrown together. For Fisk and Shoe - two tough, honourable mercenaries surrounded by corruption, who know they can always and only rely on each other - their young companion appears to be playing with fire. The nobles have the power, and crossing them is always risky. And although love is a wonderful thing, sometimes the best decision is to walk away. Because no matter how untouchable or deadly you may be, the stretchers have other plans.

    ©2014 John Hornor Jacobs (P)2014 Orion Publishing Group

    Ce que les auditeurs disent de The Incorruptibles

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    Global
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Interprétation
    • 5 out of 5 stars
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    Histoire
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    Commentaires - Veuillez sélectionner les onglets ci-dessous pour changer la provenance des commentaires.

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    • Global
      3 out of 5 stars
    • Interprétation
      5 out of 5 stars
    • Histoire
      3 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Melanie
    • Melanie
    • 31/03/2016

    Great world, competent prose, messy story

    The core concepts of this fantasy western are great, as others have noted. Some of the characters are interesting, too, especially the narrator (though many are flat and hard to keep track of). The writing is competent and effective.

    However, the story is structurally all over the place. Many characters are introduced only to be killed, often before we've had a chance to care at all. Many subplots don't relate to much of anything and/or don't resolve by the end of the book. The main plot question itself doesn't resolve in anything like a satisfying way. In that respect, it's more like a literary fiction than a genre fiction--and that's not a compliment, coming from me.

    The book also takes hours before the plot actually begins. Up till then, it's just narrative. This thing happens, this next thing happens, then this thing happens, and we're only reading because we're interested in the world and the narrator. Relationships develop and intensify off-camera. Sometimes the narrator imagines what might be happening, which felt uncomfortable to me.

    Finally, most of the character arcs either don't resolve at all or end up with the character weaker than they were to begin with. I'm not going to explain because of spoilers, but take my word for it that I was indignant. I felt like exciting concepts had been introduced, made vital to the character, and then simply trashed, both disappointing me and weakening the character.

    Personally, I do not recommend this book. However, I know that many readers place higher importance on worldbuilding and prose than the plot and conclusions--in other words, they care more about journey than destination--and those readers would probably find a lot to enjoy here.

    12 personnes ont trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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      4 out of 5 stars
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    • Kindle Customer
    • 24/05/2021

    Good but asks a lot of the listener

    There's a lot to unpack here but I believe it's worth the listen. I came for Steven Pacey, I finished the book (and am now listening to book 2) because I like the main character, Shoestring. The world is a combination of settings including Roman (Political and Cultural society), the American Old West (Six shooters and wide open plains), Fantasy (Elves, Dwarves and for those who play D&D it has a distinctly Eberron feel), Horror (demons and devils) all mixed together. It's a bit much really, but once I let go of my expectations, I grew accustomed to it if not in love with it. Regarding Steven Pacey, I think he's trying to do an American accent but many of his pronunciations are English and it is off-putting to my American ears. He still conveys a lot of emotion and gives the characters their own dimension, which is why I gave 4 stars. His work on The First Law books is OUTSTANDING and really deserves the highest praise. I recommend it to everyone

    1 personne a trouvé cela utile

    • Global
      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
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      5 out of 5 stars
    Image de profile pour Elijah Weber
    • Elijah Weber
    • 30/03/2022

    Fresh Grimdark, Tasty Content, Stellar Narration

    Steven Pacey's narration skill is such that he could read the mission statement from a company that makes breadbaskets and I would be enthralled. That being said, the writing quality of John Horner Jacobs' first book in this series is such that it stands alone. The author blends grimdark fantasy tenets together with a fresh take on firearms, dwarves, elves, and Roman Patricians. The story narrator (First-person stlye) stays true to himself throughout, and though his perspective shifts, its clear that 'Shoestring' is the same person chapter-to-chapter, and reacts as hos character would to ongoing events. I am on the edge of my seat waiting for the second book to download. Kudos Steven Pacey, Kudos John Horner Jacobs, Kudos Shoestring, and Kudos Fisk!