Superb modern fantasy. This novel is a successor to Joe Abercrombie's earlier work 'The First Law' trilogy - which is also available as an audiobook and also narrated by Steven Pacey.
If you haven't read or listened to that trilogy, I highly recommend beginning there. I have a separate review for the trilogy that goes into detail on its virtues.
If you have read the trilogy, then you'll be familiar with the capabilities of Abercrombie as an exceptional writer, and Pacey as an exceptional narrator. This novel is the pair at their best once again....and more time in the company of Logen Ninefingers, The Bloody-Nine!
Abercrombie's writing never disappoints, but it's as sharp as ever. The story is exciting, moving, dark, funny, and probably some other things as well. The narration is first-rate. Pacey brought the characters to life perfectly. I would strongly recommend this to any fan of Abercrombie, or fantasy, or books, or life.
Towards the end the original series and especially "Hero's" I was starting to worry a bit about Mr. Abercrombie. I've been disappointed by many of my favorite authors as of late, but this was a refreshing shot of good old story telling. Thx Joe.
love audio books - Anglophile
I took a chance and tried to download again and this time it worked. I have now downloaded all three parts: Part 1 6:44:50, Part 2 6:31:14, Part 3 6:49:01. I got tired of waiting and started reading it on my Kindle. I like the audios better - especially having Steven Pacey as the narrator. He read the first three books in the First Law series (The Blade Itself, Before They are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings).
rarely has an author so completely captivated me with their fiction. Abercrombie has created an immersive world of gritty realism. Despite the existence of high magics and ancient evils on the edges of each story, the essence of Red Country (and all of the first law universe) comes from the mundane and entirely human experiences of the characters. That's the real mastery behind the narratives woven here. There is permanence to every choice we make, no matter how small, and the consequences change us. Life can be truly ugly and ruthless, but there are moments of beauty and joy if you look hard enough and are willing to sacrifice for them. Just don't expect them to last too long. You've got to be realistic.
Lots of quality bloody nine death and terror. if you liked the other books in the series, you'll love this one.
An omnivorous fiction reader, I'm totally flummoxed by folks who " don't have time" to read for the helluva it. Prescription? Audible!
I've enormously enjoyed my last three weeks of binge-listening to Joe Abercrombie's First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold and Red Country (in that order) and deem it time well-spent. Abercrombie's characters are satisfyingly complex and multi-dimensional. Even the villains, bit players and walk-ons are presented with convincing and, in many cases, entertaining back-stories. Every bit of dialog snaps and nudges the action - of which there's no scarcity - along at a good clip, frequently with dry and wry insights and humor. Narrators Steven Pacey and Michael Page are masters - both are subtle, nuanced and enormously talented voice actors who consistently present the books' multiple characters with fidelity and empathy. I discovered Abercrombie through a listener review of which I was enormously skeptical. As a fairly critical listener/reader, I'm almost embarrassed to file a similarly gushing review. However, I'd recommend Abercrombie even to those listeners who generally thumb their noses at works relegated to the "fantasy" genre. Abercrombie's Audible selections are lively, entertaining, well-plotted, thought-provoking - and well worth a serious binge.
Joe Abercrobie is just so gritty and realistic you can't help but become invested in his characters. Yet despite that gritty realism I find myself laughing out loud all the time. Easily one of the best authors around right now, right alongside Sanderson, Rothfuss, and Martin.