Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell; her brother and sister have been stolen and she's going to have to return to her bad old ways if she's ever going to see them again. She sets off in grim pursuit with only her cowardly old step-father Lamb for company. But it turns out he's hiding a bloody past of his own. None bloodier.
Their journey will take them across the lawless plains, to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feuds, duels and massacres, and high into unmapped mountains to a reckoning with ancient enemies, and force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune...and a man no one should ever have to trust…
Steven Pacey is best known for his role as Del Tarrant in the third and fourth seasons of the sci-fi series Blake's 7.
He has worked extensively in Theatre, TV and film for many years and in 2009 played opposite Graham Norton in La Cage Aux Folles at London's Playhouse Theatre. He has read numerous audiobooks including Joe Abercrombie's First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold and The Heroes, and abridged titles by Matthew Reilly.
©2012 Joe Abercrombie (P)2012 Orion Publishing Group
Thank god Luke I read your review after finishing the book. I can't understand why did you include such a spoiler without an alert dude. I would report you, but after voting negatively the button disappeared.
Very good book guys. If you aren't familiar with Mr. Abercrombie's books you should start with the first law trilogy, and after that continue with Best served cold, The heroes and finally Red country.
An engineer enjoying his share of escapism.
Did not expect to see another book by Joe Abercrombie so soon after The Heroes and was pleasantly surprised to stumble upon it by chance. As others have noted, Steven Pacey is a remarkable narrator and would make a mediocre story sound superb. So much the better when the story is a decent one.
There are many parallels in Red Country to the colonization of the Americas, which adds an interesting tone to the story and at least for me, makes it easier to picture the world around the main characters. Storytelling is quite good, albeit the pacing is a little slow, events less grandiose and I would have, personally, enjoyed seeing more tie-ins into the previous books. I'm now more hopeful about hearing more about the fates of many of the old characters, though. There is a long time span between The last argument of kings and Red country along with plenty of characters and events to expand upon, so maybe we shall see another book detailing that time period more closely from the perspective of characters we haven't heard of for a long time.
Only gave the story four stars, because it doesn't quite stand up to the first law trilogy. You just have to be realistic about these things. ;)
It's a great story to own and to listen to. It's brilliant to be able to take the characters on a run with me, making the audible version really convenient.
The development of Shy as a character is great. Lamb's slow entry and relatively low profile is brilliant, especially if you are a fan of his other books and are familiar with who he is...
The ending of the book is wonderful and a significant ray of hope for humanity. I won't spoil it for new readers - something to look forward to...
For every action there is an equal and violent reaction...
It's a great conclusion to Joe Abercrombies books available on Audible. I'm really sad to leave is world and can hardly wait for his next installment of action, adventure and Northmen...
The characters are so well done by S.Pacey it's like there are different readers for every character
When you realise who Lamb really is.
He gets the voices, timing and drama perfect. Each character sounds like a different reader
The pit fight between Lamb and Glamour Golden
Read ALL of the series. This is an amazing 6th book in an absolutely amazingly well done series.
The depth of the characters, the continuation of stories and events from previous books so effortlessly combined with a new story of exploration.
A real tempo and sense of atmosphere
A number from unexpected deaths to reunions and the obvious yet beautiful reveal.
Joe continues to set a new level for fantasy writing, not needing the crutches of over-powered characters to create a vivid world that you want to return too.
Abercrombie seems to have run out of ideas after a terrific start with the First Law trilogy. Now we just get a series of relatively straight forward stories that seem to go nowhere and give us no new insight into the greater picture of the land, it's people and politics.
Abercrombie needs to return to the style of the First Law: expansive, in depth, political, twists and turns and some real good surprises, not to mention a little magic and the sting in the tail ending.
This book like the Heroes and Cold Blood seem to be a platform for venting his liking of uninhibited violence, mutilation and general antithesis of mainstream fantasy. It would be more palatable if put in a greater context which is seriously lacking here.
This is probably the last book I'll listen to from this author even though Pacey really makes it shine as he did for the rest. If the next book is a mostly a cut and paste of the others with a change of characters and slightly modified plot line, then I'm afraid Joe has lost a listener.
Bloody nine fingers
the last fight
the last one
allmost, but it is a bit long
It compliments the last trilogy, and i love joe abercrombies writing:-)
Joe Ambercrombie is widely regarded to be among the founding fathers of dark or gritty fantasy, and his latest installment "Red Country" is among the best of his work.
Steven Pacey's performance and portrayal of the characters fits amazingly, portraying the key traits of the characters just perfectly.
Red Country is a good listen, it will make you cringe and it may make you feel sick to your stomach, a tribute to both Abercrombie's skill at description and Pacey's reading.
I fully reccomend this audiobook, but be prepared for bloody and gory descriptions and characters so vile that you can scarcely believe it.
furthermore, it would not be required to be familiar with Abercrombie's former works, but the book would hold much more depth if you are familiar with the characters and events that took place in his former novels.
"Gritty, Graphic and Darkly Funny"
Red Country was one of my most eagerly awaited books for a while and it does not dissapoint. Set some time after The Heroes it is a brilliant mix of old and new characters venturing into a new land of opportunity. However, remembering what great pleasure Mr Abercrombie takes in giving his characters a rough time you can take it as red (sorry!) that things do not run smoothly. The plot is gripping and the beautifully described environment will have you wiping dust out of your eyes.
As ever Steven Paceys narration is glorious, bringing already solid characters to life.
The only thing I would say is if you are new to Joe Abercrombies work I would advise you go back to the beginning and start with the First Law Trilogy - you will be glad you did!!
"Old friends and enemies"
I am a huge fan of Joe Abercrombie. Critics will tend to ignore him because he works within the fantasy genre but there is real genius here. The depth, breadth and sophistication of his characters are startling.
Red Country is perhaps Abercrombie's weakest work but still manages to be one of the best books I've ever read. He is that good.
Steven Pacey's narration, once again, takes the excellent source material to a higher level. He is the best narrator around. Each of the characters is distinctive; the pace is perfect and the timing superb. This is not a reading, more a one man radio play.
That the Abercrombie - Pacey combination haven't won an audiobook award is a total traversty.
"The country will run red"
Fans of Abercrombie's previous works will feel right at home with Red Country. This is the last of the stand alone books before another trilogy and is a good read. It's full of the violence, tension and dark humour you would expect from the author of The Heroes and Best Served Cold.
However to be honest, it's probably the weakest of the books. For me, the story line didn't flow as well as it could have and the pacing was a little off in place. It seemed that this book was setting up events that will happen further down the line. More of a prelude to the next trilogy rather than a story in its own right.
There also seemed to be an over use of previous characters from the other books and while it is a nice nod to fans of the series; it did seem forced.That said, there are some excellent new characters introduced (Temple being one of the best character I've seen in a long while). The new setting of the near and far country was also a joy to discover.
The Narration: Steven Pacey delivers another fantastic performance, he matches the tone of the book perfectly. I can't fault it at all.
I am in awe of Joe Abercrombie, he writes stories that are visceral, filthy, grim, philosophical and funny, balancing high and low fantasy (mostly low in this case) on the fulcrum of a gripping narrative. And the bodycount is astounding.
You might be better off starting with the First Law Trilogy (as the resonances here will make you smile) but Red Country is a fine stand alone tale. It channels the spirit of the Wild West, but never feels like a clash of genre's, more as if you have wandered off the edge of the map of his previous fantasy world and are blundering around in the Far Country. For that skilful mix alone this is worth a read, I've never seen anyone do it better.
Narration by Steven Pacey is excellent again, capturing just the right levels of weight and levity.
The new characters are interesting, well-rounded and sometimes even survive. Abercrombie is building up quite the cast list. But the old characters are always welcome, and two in particular will have you laughing and grimacing in turn.
So a welcome addition to the canon and well worth a five-star rating. Recommended!
"Brilliant novel brought to life by great narration"
Joe Abercrombie creates another fantastic set of engaging characters that are taken to the limit physically and (more interestingly) morally. Abercrombie's characters have never been black and white but in this novel the line is blurrier than ever.
The narration by Pacey gives further life to the already colourful characters (a new contender for all time favourite fictional character is a certain mercenary captain who makes an excellent re-appearance in this book).
I finished this absurdly quickly in a couple of staggeringly unproductive days.
"The Genius of Abercrombie continues"
Once again Joe Abercrombie entertains with a cavalcade of brilliant characters. While these stories are categorised as Fantasy, they could sit within the realms of any great fiction genre.
Some great old characters and some enticing new ones invite you to follow them on a journey so exciting that it makes the reader hope it wont end. If you liked his previous books you will love this one. The best read of the year, bewitched from start to finish. The only downside is that I have to wait for the publication of his next one.
"Another Abercrombie Masterpiece"
Okay... there is a lot of violence. But there's also a lot of story, humour, great characters and a fantastic world. This book is part of the same universe made up of the First Law trilogy, Best Served Cold and The Heroes (with many of the same characters). I confess I've avoided The Heroes as the write ups all seem to focus on endless battle. I should probably read it however - as all of the others are absolutely fantastic. If you want to spend some time in a convincing and fantastical other world - these are the stories for you.
Amplifying their effect is Steven Pacey. The best performer for these books (and available across all of them) - he reads effortlessly and (to my mind) perfectly. Accents, timing, consistency - all done brilliantly.
If you've not listened to the First Law Trilogy - I strongly recommend you do - and first. You will not regret it (and I am extremely jealous if you've not listened to them...)
After not liking "The Heroes" I am very glad to be to loving this book :) Lots of new characters and the odd one or two we may have met before. If you have not listened to the the first law trilogy, this book is very good and stands fine alone without knowing the past history, it would even be a good starting point and treating the trilogy as a prequel would be very entertaining. If you have listened to the others you will be very happy with this book and I recommend you download it.
"By the Dead! What a Performance!"
This must be one of the best audio productions I have ever listened to, a fantastic performance by the narrator Steven Pacey who's superb narration was just mind-blowing! He really out-did himself here. Once finished I actually felt like clapping! As far as the story is concerned, at first I wasn't too sure about this. A western? Really ? However, this is Joe Abercrombie, and Logen Ninefingers makes a comeback! Reasons enough to get thisone!. And I am so glad I did. Essentially Red Country is a snapshot of another episode in the life of a much older Logen and turned out to be, in true Abercrombie fashion, another very gritty story but also a very engaging and very witty one. The black humour and quotable lines, especially by loveable mercenary-villain, Nicomo Cosca, are just superb. And although a stand-alone novel, ideally this should be listened to/read after the First Law trilogy, it will make the enjoyment of Red Country and the comeback of Logen aka "The Bloody Nine" so much more satisfying. An excellent novel and wonderful performance, do yourself a favour and listen to it!
"A welcome return"
A whole new cast of characters and a welcome return of a few old ones... The narration and characterisation is as ever superb and draws you into this new world making you care what happens to the various factions in the story as the strands become knotted together towards a conclusion which left me sitting in the car in the dark not wanting to stop listening until I knew who was left standing at the end. Pure brilliance.
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