Red Country

Red Country

Book - 2013 | First trade edition.
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A New York Times bestseller!
They burned her home.
They stole her brother and sister.
But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into an alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust . . .
RED COUNTRY takes place in the same world as the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold, andThe Heroes. This novel also represents the return of Logen Ninefingers, one of Abercrombie's most beloved characters.

First Law Trilogy
The Blade Itself
Before They Are Hanged
Last Argument of Kings

Novels in the First Law world
Best Served Cold
The Heroes
Red Country
Publisher: New York : Orbit Books, 2013.
Edition: First trade edition.
Copyright Date: ©2012
ISBN: 9780316187206
Branch Call Number: FIC Aberc
Characteristics: 463 pages : map ; 24 cm


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SPPL_János Mar 15, 2018

A mismatched trio joins a wagon train across a frontier-land in pursuit of their kidnapped siblings. This is a unique western-themed tale that remains strictly in the realm of swords-and-sorcery fantasy (heavier on the swords). It takes place in the same world as Abercrombie's "First Law" series but worked fine as a standalone for me. I am ravenous to find more "western fantasy" like this!

Dec 14, 2016

A fantasy western that takes place in the "First Law" universe. This book, along with the war drama western "The Heroes", really shows off the author's ability to adapt different genres into his fantasy universe.

(no character spoilers, but light background spoiler warning)

The story takes place 20 years after "The Last Argument of Kings", and takes place in the distant land of Near Country, west of Union controlled Starikland and north of the warring "Old Empire". The setting is akin to the old west, with the added element of the neighboring British Empire-analogous "Union" vying for control of the region against the Roman/Byzantine-analogous "Old Empire". Between these two powers seeking to expand their territory, you have independent settlers looking to start new lives in mining country with a burgeoning independence movement, and different groups of native peoples looking to resist or avoid all newcomers to their lands.

The focuses of the story are the headstrong Shy South, who's siblings have been kidnapped; her giant but docile stepfather who promised her mother to watch out for them; and Temple, who serves as lawyer and secretary to Nicomo Cosca, leader of the mercenary "Company of the Gracious Hand".

The story begins with more slow moments than other entries in the series, but it picks up the pace as you get further into it. If you are a fan of the First Law series or enjoy genre blended Western/Fantasy novels, you should definitely check this title out. Especially if you've read the first trilogy but want to know what happens long after. There are plenty of important cameo's and references to the event's from that series.

mvkramer Apr 10, 2016

When a story is about pursuit - for example, about a woman chasing a band of bandits who've kidnapped her younger brother and sister - you expect the story to have, I don't know - a little momentum? I know Joe Abercrombie likes to wander off into the POV's of a bunch of random characters, and often it works very well, but in this case it turned the story into a swampy delta of plotlines that just dragged on and on, distracting from the main story. I was pleasantly surprised by the genuine, positive character development that happened at the end. Abercrombie isn't known for happy endings, but this one is better than most!

JCLGreggW Apr 29, 2013

As a Joe Abercrombie fan, I found this one to be a bit of a step backwards - you'd think that doing a western-flavored fantasy novel would fit right into his wheelhouse, but even though Lamb and Shy South, the main characters, are wonderfully drawn, the plot is a bit too by-the-numbers and never leads to any sort of satisfying conclusion. If you're looking for better examples of his spectacular style of gritty fantasy, you would be better served trying out his two other (far superior) standalones, THE HEROES (fantasy as grimy WWI trench warfare, his best novel to date) or BEST SERVED COLD (fantasy as a revenge thriller.)


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mvkramer Apr 10, 2016

Sexual Content: An enthusiastic, consensual scene between two main characters.

mvkramer Apr 10, 2016

Violence: Fistfights, swordfights, torture, murder, maiming and massacre. Not for the faint of heart!


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SPPL_János Mar 15, 2018

"Folk she had known to be big on religion had tended to use it as an excuse for doing wrong rather'n a reason not to."

SPPL_János Mar 15, 2018

"You stick a bunch of drunken murderers together, ain't long before some turn to thieving, then to lying, then to bad language, and pretty soon to sobriety, raising families and making an honest living."

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