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The Incorruptibles [Kindle Edition]

John Hornor Jacobs
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £3.59 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

In the contested and unexplored territories at the edge of the Empire, a boat is making its laborious way up stream. 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.

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Product Description


5 * The Incorruptibles is a rare thing: a clever story and an action-packed one (SFX)

One part ancient Rome, two parts wild west, one part Faust. A pinch of Tolkien, of Lovecraft, of Dante. This is strange alchemy, a recipe I've never seen before. I wish more books were as fresh and brave as this (Patrick Rothfuss)

It's GUNSLINGER meets LORD OF THE RINGS. It is amazing." And "This book is legit amazing (CHUCK WENDIG)

Fantasy needs writers who push the envelope, and Jacobs finds the edge and tears right through it. If you want original, you've picked up the right book (MYKE COLE)

It's here that The Incorruptibles gets good. Great, I'd go so far as to say. Now that the stakes have been made plain, our heroes' real responsibilities revealed, and the overarching conflict at least alluded to, Jacobs' novel properly kicks off. What follows is grim and gripping, surprising and exciting, tense and tremendously well-told, too (

wildly innovative and highly readable story which, I think, should be nominated for quite a few awards next year. It is unlike anything else out there at the moment and I think many will be surprised by its unflinching ambition and often, beautifully poetic language (Upcoming 4 Me)

8.5/10 Fast paced, action packed with its unusual mix of Westerns, daemons and Ancient Rome (Fantasy Book Review)

This for me reminded me of the first time i read a Mark Lawrence, Scott Lynch and Joe Abercrombie, that sense of WOW, this is fresh and new and exciting. That i need to read more from this author very soon (Pandemenion Books)

This is an author with vision as we're slowly separated from our preconceptions (The Bookbag)

The Incorruptibles is not the longest book in the world, but its relentless drive, its tight focus and its identifiable characters leaves you wanting more at the end, and it is more memorable as a result of its brevity. Definitely an author I'd revisit again (SFF World)

The Incorruptibles is a great opener to a new series, you will learn a lot, some questions are answered but a lot more raised. I am already a big fan of this series and am looking forward to see just in which direction John Hornor Jacobs will take his story next (The Book Plank)

A quick, interesting and original fantasy novel. Definitely recommended, I am eager to read more by this author, and certainly more in this world (Civilian Reader)

4.5/5. An absorbing turn into secondary world fantasy that deserves a wide audience (SF Signal)

In short, read 'The Incorruptibles'. Just do it. Once Hornor Jacobs lets the plot have its head, the book is a joy to behold (Graeme's Fantasy Book Review)

This is definitely one of my favourite reads so far in 2014 (The Eloquent Page)

The Incorruptibles blends coyboys, the Roman empire and high fantasy and not only get away with this unusual mix but pulls it off with such aplomp that you're left wondering why no one has attempted it before (The Financial Times)

Book Description

On the edges of the Empire, life is hard - and men must be harder. Gritty fantasy perfect for fans of Abercrombie's RED COUNTRY or Mark Lawrence's PRINCE OF THORNS.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 3312 KB
  • Print Length: 321 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (14 Aug. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #54,248 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Incorruptibles 6 Oct. 2014
By Keen Reader TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Time was, you could walk thousands of miles in this land without seeing another soul. The stretchers kept to themselves in their high reaches, dreaming their unfathomable dreams, and only came out to trade with us once in a blue moon."

I picked up this book by chance, and I'm mightily glad I did. It is a tremendously good book, absolutely one out of the box and one of the best books I've read this year without doubt.

The setting is a world where men and other races exist - not always harmoniously. The gods are old, but there are those who are not god-given - imps, daemons - their infernal alchemy mixes ill with some of the other races. In this world are two who make their home where they find it; Fisk and Shoe, two mercenaries, working as outriders accompanying the river voyage up the Big Rill of the boat of Gnaeus Saturnalius Cornlius, the Imperial Governor. Fisk, a man who carries a past with him, one that's so dark that even Shoe, his partner of ten years, doesn't know it. Shoe, a half-dvergar, half-man; long-lived, short in stature, big in heart, who refuses to risk damnation from daemonry.

These two find themselves mixed in a world where politics and greed go hand in hand, where daemonic alchemy and science mix awkwardly, where men live close to the land and risk dying every day, where the vaettir roam down from the White Mountains and kill without mercy or favour. Where the voyages of Imperial Governors are not always pleasure cruises, and where the fates of three Empires could rest on the shoulders of two uneasy mercenaries.

I was totally blown away by this book; this is a world unlike any other, yet there are, from the corner of your mind, thoughts of the Wild West, of the Roman Empire, of Spanish grandees, of old races, gods and devilry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A enjoyable read and feels like there is enough depth to pull something interesting out of the hat. I have to admit to being significantly concerned at the start that the "wild west meets Rome" thing would be too gimmicky; but the author does a great job of holding it together. Some interesting magical touches, and an engaging narrator take you on a relatively rapid ride, that quickly sucked me in.

My one note of concern is the portrayal of the "stretchers" and their obvious analogue to Native Americans in this Wild West backdrop. I found it genuinely difficult reading as the author confirmed some of the very worst real-world fictional atrocities and stereotypes that were propagated to dehumanise the Native Americans and turn the victims of genocide into criminals worthy of extermination (e.g. stealing and eating babies) .

I know this is fiction, fantastical fiction at that, and I don't believe the author is being deliberate here, and that he may have time in future books to show me that he is building a different take - but is it really OK to have your Native American stereotype stealing babies from plucky innocent settlers?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have recently avoided novels in favour of short story collections. (Short attention span and all that). However, this author has restored my confidence with his excellent 'Southern Gods' (wish I had come up with that storyline) and now this utterly enjoyable page-turner. Other reviews have outlined the story, and much better than I ever could, but suffice to say, this is a real action-packed caper full of gunplay, romance, demonology, blood and guts.All you could want, really. What really makes it special though, are the very strong characters.Some sightly flawed, others beyond hope, and there are the stretchers; an amazing race of creatures that rival the Alien for sheer terror.So, imagine Cormac Mcarthy re-writing 'Blood Meridian' set in a mythical land where gunfighters are really centurions, demons are harnessed to power transport and balistics, and anything can happen. Buy this great book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cowboys & Indians with a hint of fantasy noir 25 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was a real gem . I started it with no idea where it would lead me but was left wanting more .
The blending of the different genres was flawless - I know of no other book where Ancient Rome morphs into The Searchers with a strong fantasy noir foundation .
Read it you won't be disappointed
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is great fun to read, and the setting is an interesting mashup of steampunk American West and Roman Empire. The characters are three dimensional and well-portrayed.
My only unease is with the main antagonists, the 'Stretchers'. Despite the book being set in America, the author has written out Native Americans per se and replaced them with Stretchers, who are kind of like 'evil elves meet evil Red Indian stereotypes. They steal babies, eat people, and are generally a bad thing.
Yes, it's a fantasy. No, I don't pretend this is the end of the world, or that it ruins the book for me. However, for a book published in 2014 to tap into a dated, clichéd and negative portrayal of Native Americans, and perpetuating the 'real people didn't live in America until the Europeans arrived and settled an otherwise empty continent' narrative without any (apparent) sense of irony, seems unnecessary and could easily have been avoided (by including some 'real human' Native Americans to clarify the Stretchers were something distinct).
If it had been written fifty or a hundred years ago, I would have viewed it differently.
If there's any Native American sci fi reviewers on Amazon who have their own thoughts to share, I'd be interested to hear.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing
So very Disapointing. It should have been good.
The author did not have a clear idea of where he was going
Published 7 days ago by Big Six
4.0 out of 5 stars A very enjoyable read
This novel was an enjoyable break from the mold regarding typical dwarves and eleven fantasy tropes. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 5 months ago by Mrs. M. Lewis
4.0 out of 5 stars A heady fantasy cocktail
**I am grateful to Nudge for providing me with a free review copy. I was reading an uncorrected manuscript proof, so some details might differ from the published book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Petra Bryce
5.0 out of 5 stars best read in an age
This was one of those few books these days that I just couldn't put down. I rarely ever comment but this one deserves it I felt . Read more
Published 5 months ago by Rory brennand
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting mish-mash of genres
A great story that's a combination of Roman(ish) history, the Wild West, Steampunk with a few traditional fantasy elements and daemons! Highly recommended.
Published 6 months ago by merlinmarra
5.0 out of 5 stars Incorruptibles
Great yarn and need more of same. Is there more? You can't leave us with just that "There's a war coming" come on Mr Jacobs get that keyboard working
All the best
Mick T
Published 7 months ago by Mick T
4.0 out of 5 stars Refreshingly different
Well, this was refreshingly different but hard to do justice to in terms of description! This is a kind of alternate history that blends the Romans, the Wild West and a bit of... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nick Brett
4.0 out of 5 stars Saddle up, Pard!
An entertaining blend of genres. Great fun!
Published 8 months ago by Edward Cox
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