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.
Sci-fi/Fantasy geek :)
Think you know Joe Abercrombie? While this book is another excellent read from an extremely talented writer, it certainly pushes the bounds of his earlier books. It has that comfortable blue jeans feel, but I could definitely feel the writer pushing out of his own comfort zone and expanding his expertise beyond war and gore. Yes, there is plenty of action, but this book goes farther afield into human interaction. I'm purposely being vague :)
You could easily read this book without having read any of his others, but if you've read the others, you will have a far deeper appreciation for the... restraint on display here. The character array is nothing short of brilliant (as usual) and the narration is beyond brilliant (also as usual)!
No big shocks, just a lot of great character development and storytelling, which is just all right with me. This means our story can continue it's bloody march forward without getting all goofy because the author overreached (as often happens in many series). When your writing is this good, you can just let the story unfold without cataclysmic end-of-the-world uber drama and leave (at least many) of your characters alive to fight another day.
So, I say bring it on Mr. Abercrombie! Stretch it on out there a bit from time to time, just retain the elements that keep those pages turning and we'll be here eagerly awaiting to immerse ourselves in your imperfect world.
I think Steven Pacey is wonderful with his narrations. His voices, accents, and emotions are fantastic. Abercrombie is an amazing author. I have read all his works to date. I'm never disapointed
So many different characters, with twists and turns, that only Abercrombie can do
Again his is brilliant, with voices, accents, and emotions.
There were many but the first and was the attack on the farm homestead.
This book reminds me a bit of the Glen Cook series "Black Company". Of course it's only one book compared to 10, but the characters and inter actions remind me of Black Company series. If you enjoyed that series you will love this story. The best part you only have to read this one book. However I suggest all of Abercrombie's works, he is a genius.
The best character from Abercrombie's First Law returns to us and doesn't disappoint. As is standard, this is bloody, bleak, but hugely entertaining. Steven does excellent voicing and accents. Thanks Joe, and bring us more of the Bloody Nine!
In writing this review, I'm assuming that 99% of the readers will have read the first books (The Blade Itself, etc.) with Logan Nine Fingers as one of the main characters. Suffice to say, it was great having him back. Even better was the return of Steven Pacey as narrator. The Abercrombie-Pacey alliance makes for an exceptional experience.
This book is a great follow on to the early stories, but can stand alone on if the reader has no background of the characters. Indeed, many characters are new. Although not as epic in scale as the first three books, the story has a simple entertaining plot that moves along nicely. Be warned, however, that this book tends to the darker side, as do most of the books in this series. Joe Abercrombie’s characters are neither good nor evil, which can make for some interesting sub-plots.
Overall, highly recommended, but you should start with the first 3 books in the series to get the best appreciation of this one.
This is as good as the First Law Trilogy. I found myself sitting in the car to just listen to a few more minutes and was disappointed that it had to end. It's a great story filled with vibrant characters. Next to Lamb I really enjoyed the appearance of Nicola Cosca. Dark, gritty and pretty much not a single "good" guy among the characters, I love this book and the world Abercrombie creates. Steven Pacey is the perfect narrator for these stories. I can't wait for another one.
Disciple of the written word and Audible fanatic. I am an Urban and Epic Fantasy Fan. I also enjoy some Paranormal Romance.
Everytime I read Joe Abercrombie I am surprised at how much I enjoy his books. If that seems a strange statement then understand that I am not usually a fan of this type of storytelling.
The characters are real not overblown like most in this genre.
I found myself laughing and wanting to remember quotes from the characters.
The action and interaction in this book never left me bored or allowed my mind to wander.
You will be surprised at how many characters you recognize if you read his other books and if you are a new reader you won't be lost but references will drive you to pick up his other books.
I will be looking forward to see what Joe Abercrombie comes up with next.
Just refund the book back to a credit and then buy the book with that credit again. you may need to log out and log back in for your android/iphone audible app but this will allow you download the audiobook without issue.
Joe Abercrombie is so good I just buy hus stuff without caring what the book is about. I grew up reading everything Robert E. Howard. Abercrombie is the modern incarnation of Howard. Read his stuff, listen to his stuff, whatever.... you will not be disappointed.
By the way, Pacey is pretty bad-a too. Not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good, if you get my drift.
Increasing my ops tempo by allowing storytellers to whisper in my ear(buds).
After listening to the first three hours I decided to bail on Red Country. The senseless violence and crude circumstances of medieval mercenary life was getting to me. I missed my squeaky clean corridors of space. Then I went back and re-read some of the five-star reviews. So now I am going to complete the book.
Five days later…
I finished Red Country after remembering what I found attractive about the First Law trilogy: humor. It may seem entirely paradoxical but amidst the Sam Peckinpah carnage—where men are exsanguinated in nearly every scene—there lies an undercurrent of sanguine whimsy. Joe Abercrombie is one of the foremost modern practitioners of the insult. His characters are all adept and the underhand compliment. Once the mind is trained to listen for these barbs, even the most mangled melee becomes melodious. Find this optimistic hook and you will have found the key to Amercrombie, and hours of enjoyable listening.
Steven Pacey is one of those one-man-show performers. Even with a cast of thousands he manages to give every character, no matter how minor, their own distinct voice. And Pacey’s sense of pacing is marvelous. He instinctively knows how to give each scene the right level of energy to achieve the greatest dramatic impact. Without his narration I would not have been able to engage with the story. Like Bronson Pinchot he can take a story of passing interest and make it into something special.
P.S. — Several Joe Abercrombie books have been reissued by a new publisher and the reviews for the older versions are no longer available unless you already own the title. There are literally thousands of ratings and hundreds of fine reviews on the original audio versions of Joe Abercrobmie’s First Law trilogy. If you are new to his writings, these are now inaccessible to you. This is unfortunate, since it was the opinions of my fellow reviewers that convinced me to try Abercrombie’s books in the first place. If you wish to know what I thought about Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy, and Best Served Cold, you can find them on my reviews page.