First, as other reviewers have said, this is a fantastic story. If you like the work by authors such as Sullivan, Brett, Lynch, or Rothfuss, you should like this one. It is a stand-alone story but I think it is best appreciated if you first read the 1st Law trilogy.
Abercrombie is an extremely gifted writer. He is particularly skilled at conveying the brutal, mean, filthy, unjust, and sometimes horrific nature of the world he creates and people that inhabit it. While listening to his writing I constantly marvel at the prose and his ability to turn a phrase.
And the narration by Pacey is a perfect fit. Perfect. He brings to life the gritty world Abercrombie develops in a way that enhances an already great story.
I have always loved reading, helping people to find a passion for these amazing books lead me to work in a local bookstore.
Authors like Joe Abercrombie and George RR Martin write the kind of books that force you to keep reading, while the ups and downs of morally complex and interesting characters slowly leach away your faith in humanity.
While not every character in his books dies or necessarily comes to a bad end, Joe Abercrombie knows that his characters exist in a world without the ease and comfort we see in our own world. His characters exist in a world where redemption is not the end of every story and hope, love, and faith are not the answers to all of life's problems.
If Mr. Abercrombie wrote "Winnie the Pooh" Christopher Robin would be an orphan seeking revenge for the burning of the 100 Acre Wood, only to discover once he had his revenge he has become worse than the men he killed, blood would soak his hands and drench his dreams, and we would love him.
I liked Joes First Law books and this one was decent but once I was firmly into the story I lost interest. It became apparent that this was a try to stretch the low fantasy genera towards a western theme, with a new frontier, restless natives, caravans of settlers, wide open spaces and various dastardly villains and somewhat dastardly heroes.
But there was still something kind of British about the approach to this very traditionally American genera that I suppose was origonal but made it seem like it was written by someone who had read about or heard second hand about the American west but not been there.
Maybe I am just not interested in westerns but this did not hold my attention though it was somewhat memorable.
Awesomely gruesomely fantastic
Lamb. Can't say why without spoiling it for others, but I can't wait to see/hear more about Lamb!
Pacey is amazing. These stories were designed for him to read. He captures all the characters so well! His interpretation of Cosca is fantastic, but so is Lamb and Shy and Temple and everyone else
This book made me cringe and wince and shudder and crave for more. I laughed, I was sorrowful, I was disgusted and I was hopeful. I was compelled to keep listening. Love this book!
When is there going to be more?
Going with the flow while we speed through the universe on a massive rock!
Even if you haven't read The First Law trilogy or either the Heroes or Best Served Cold you can fully enjoy this one. Would it help to have the back story? Sure, but it is not a deal breaker.
Steven Pacey is one of my favorite Narrators and he comes through again with a stellar performance. If you are a fan of Pacey and Abercrombie's previous work then you won't be disappointed with this one.
One of the things I love about Joe Abercrombie's books is how real they feel. The detail when describing battles and the ruthlessness of the characters actions makes for deep and layered story and character arcs.
This very well be my favorite of Joe Abercrombie's books. I recommend this book if you like gritty, brutal, and bloody battles with love and good intentions mixed in.
Still trying to figure out how George R.R. Martin gets so much more publicity than Joe Abercrombie. I loved this book from beginning to end. Like many have said, it's a western set in a fantasy world. Shy South is the main character. A woman who takes on an impossible journey to recover her kidnapped brother and sister. However, Lamb is the character that will draw your attention. This book never gives his real name, but if you read the First Law Trilogy (and I most definitely recommend that you do), you'll recognize him right off. Great story.
Steven's voices are terrific. He read the all of the books in the First Law trilogy, and when I heard Lamb speak, I knew right off who he was. That realization was like running into an old friend. I don't think it would be as powerful in print alone.
The negotiations with the "Ghosts" and Lamb's reaction was terrific.
This is a superb story with excellent character development and an element of badassary that you can not find anywhere these days. It's both hilarious and vicious; silly and sad but above all it's a visceral experience that you won't soon forget.
Let me start by saying that I liked the first three books. I liked them but didn't love them. They were full of great moments and you could see how much potential both the story line and author held. But this book... Blew me away.
In my opinion this book shows that Joe Abercrombie is becoming an excellent mature author and he will only get better. All the elements that danced around the first books, the elements that were hit and missed have come together. It's possible to see the growth of his writing ability as you read though the books and I'm amazed at how much I enjoyed this book.
If you enjoy books by Jim Butcher and Kevin Hearne you will like this book. It is by no means the same plot or story as the Dresden Series or the IDC but it has the same spirit maybe even a darker spirit that those other authors can muster. I guess it is best to say that I get the same feeling when I read this book that I do when I read those other two authors. It's an understanding that this person is a master story teller and no matter the medium they will entertain and excite. That is really what I look for in an author and I think it's what draws people to them.
You might want to start at the beginning (The Blade Itself) just for background but it's not necessary to enjoy this book.
If you are not utterly entertained by Nicomo Cosca's personality, Shy's sharp tongue and the tour de force that is Lamb (Logen Ninefingers) aka The Blood Nine. Then god help you. You have to be realistic about these kinds of things.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy Reader
I read Joe Abercrombie’s First Law trilogy a couple of years ago and really enjoyed it. I’ve been meaning to read some more of his work since then and I finally decided to pick up Red Country because it was getting a lot of praise.
I liked it quite well, but I don’t think I liked it as well as the First Law trilogy. It was really very good in many ways, but I didn’t think the story was quite as interesting. It certainly wasn’t bad, but it felt a little aimless at times.
The characters were solid. I liked Shy, Temple, and Dab Sweet all well enough. They were fairly diverse and interesting. Lamb was my favorite of course. I don’t want to give anything away, but those who have read the First Law trilogy will be thrilled by Lamb I’m sure.
I wasn’t that excited about Cosca though. He was also in the First Law trilogy, but to a lesser extent. He was just such a repulsive character, I really got tired of him by the end.
Perhaps the best part of the novel was the setting. It definitely had a “wild west” feel to it even though it was set within the same world as the First Law trilogy. I thought that was pretty cool.
Regardless of all of the connections to the First Law trilogy, this novel is a standalone and I don’t think you would need to read the trilogy first. If you have, then there will be a number of connections that you’ll get, but if you haven’t, I don’t think it would really matter.
Overall, I liked Red Country. It was an interesting and entertaining read. It was definitely a bit different than other fantasy novels that I’ve read, largely due to the setting, and that was kind of refreshing. Recommended.
Very unique, i can't find another to come close.
Yes, Steven Pacey+Joe Abercrombie= Success everytime.
Temple was one of the most funniest char. Love the Bloody Nine in the picture.
I have reread this book over and over in the last few months and haven't gotten bored with it. There is only one problem i can't find anything that can match Joe Abercrombie work, other than The Song of Fire and Ice series and right now I am waiting on both to come out with new work.
I had put off reading this book and I am not sure why. When I like an author I tend to listen through all of their books. Last month I realized I had not listened to Red Country.
Steven Pacey does a great job on the narration.
The story is more of the wild country and settling of the new land. Many of the old characters play a role and continue with their humorous reality checks on the human nature. Not every one is a hero, or a coward.
If you enjoyed the First Law Series you will enjoy this book.