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).
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.
This is my first entry into the first law universe, and I was very pleased.
Abercrombie and Pacey make an amazing duo. What is an extremely entertaining and brilliant story is only enhanced with great narration. I can only say good things about the epic story, the interesting characters, and the world I can't wait to hear more about. I am just so very glad that the First Law trilogy is also narrated by Mr. Pacey! If you are interested but still on the fence, listen to this book.
As in his other books, Abercrombie gives you a story that really draws you in. It's great to see strong female characters that knows how to hold their own .
Let me dive right into this review in much the same way that I did with this book, head first and fully aware of what I was getting into. I am not new to the world that Abercrombie has built, and I was pleased to find it left much the same way it had been before in previous books. However, Abercrombie has begun to do something rare in most fantasy series. His world is progressing technologically and he has placed new characters with some of the beloved cast from previous books.
If you have never delved into this world be forewarned, there will be blood, gore, violence, and strong language. The characters that Abercrombie has created are realistic with their own selfish values and desires. Abercrombie has the ability to give his characters shocking realistic personality. If you have loved his characters in past books, you will find these to be just as detailed and enjoyable. Maybe your new to this world, it might be best to start with the First Law Trilogy to become more aquainted with the harsh, cruel world that Abercombrie weaves with characters that are extremely complex.
In closing, this listen was great. I laughed, cringed, and delighted at this tale told with a western style blending with Abercrombie's harsh approach to fantasy. If you are looking for a fantasy novel or just a novel that walks the razor's edge of reality, you can look no further. Red Country delivers and then delivers a great tale, again and again. I would be remiss in mentioning that this book sees the return of one the great narrators on Audible, Steven Pacey. I would spend my credit based upon his wonderful narration alone.