They burned her home. They stole her brother and sister. But vengeance is following.
Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she'll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she's not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb's buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country the past never stays buried.
Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts. Even worse, it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust....
©2012 Joe Abercrombie (P)2012 Hachette Audio
Two great passions - dogs and books! Sci-fi/fantasy novels are my go-to favorites, but I love good writing across all genres.
I listened to Red Country a couple of times before I was able to comment because this book blew my socks off! Although Abercrombie has used the quasi-Renaissance fantasy world and some of the characters of his previous books, this story reads very much like a western in the style of Unforgiven with a dash of True Grit and Shane thrown in and includes no magic and little of the fantastical at all. But what is really mind boggling is that with all the standard Abercrombie dark wit, violence, and black-hearted characters this is at the crux a story about human beings burdened with guilt and/or shame and a desire for revenge coming to terms with forgiving others and themselves. Forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation, justification haven't been reviewed in such an action-packed and accessible format since The Count of Monte Cristo. There is no sugar-coating or exactly happy ending with Abercrombie, but Red Country does have a more satisfying conclusion than many of the author's previous books (and wraps up some loose ends from First Law series). When you add the amazing narration of Steven Pacey to this multi-layered tale, you have one terrific audiobook. You don't have to have read the First Law series to appreciate Red Country, but there will be even more nuance to the character development if you have. You could just read this as a good action-oriented western, but you can hardly miss and will probably enjoy the great writing and truly interesting personal evolution of the characters as well.
Red Country has more of a Wild West feel than Abercrombie’s prior works but he pulls it off nicely. The Far Country is a rough and mostly unsettled land where people looking for a second chance at life take their dreams to die. The main story follows Shy South who seeks to find her brother and sister after they are abducted from her family farm and she will stop at nothing to recover them. She follows their trail deep into the Far Country and along the way encounters a number of familiar faces from past books. Things go from bad to worse and after a while it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad. Revenge motivates many of the characters and that never works out well for anyone when Joe Abercrombie is wielding the pen.
If you have not read the First Law trilogy then I suggest you do so prior to picking up Red Country. Unlike Abercrombie’s other standalone books, there is just too much here that you will miss out on if you don’t know the background of some of the returning characters. However, if you enjoyed the trilogy then you should gladly spend your credit on Red Country. You will once again find yourself rooting in vain for your favorite characters to receive a happy ending that you know is never going to happen.
Steven Pacey, narrator of the First Law trilogy, returns to replace Michael Page who narrated Abercrombie’s last 2 books. Pacey does his usual excellent job, but it does take some time to get used to new voices for Shivers and Nicomo Cosca.
Red Country is fantastic! Joe Abercrombie is easily the best author in his genre. LOVED to have old characters back and how he deftly crafts new ones! Steven Pacey is the perfect narrator again! I really enjoyed how he consistently voices each character, even those from the beginning of the First Law series. I loved this book so much, I finished it and immediately hit "play" again to start all over.
Lamb - oh I think you know...
the morning after the "love scene." hilarious
Loved this book as much as the rest of the First Law. Hope it never ends!
People who have given low stars due to downloading problems are unfairly punishing the author and narrator. Many people base their purchases on user reviews and when seeing such low ratings may not purchase the book. Do not punish the author and narrator for Audible's technical issues, which they fixed in the promised two day time frame. Please take what you've just read into consideration before you write your next review.
First let me start by saying, if you have not read all the previous Joe Abercrombie books this is not the book for you. If you have please skip this paragraph. All of Abercrombie's books are chronological. Without knowing the previous 5 books, you will miss a lot of the character motivations, because they are influenced by events in previous books. And in general I think the book will not feel "complete". While this book and his previous 2 are called "stand alone" it just means the book has a end in itself instead of waiting for another book for the ending to the story. Before listening to this, it is important to listen or read in order The First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold, and The Heroes. I think doing so is important to enjoying Red Country
Red Country sets a new standard for Abercrombie. His writing continues to grow with every book. I laughed out loud, and cheered out loud. This book brings out the full range of emotions, I think more so then his previous works. He did a fantastic job of capturing the "feel" of the wild west, while still staying within his world. I cannot imagine a Abercrombie fan not loving Red Country. Pacey is as usual perfect for narrating this book.
A note on the pre-order download issue. When I had problems, I called customer service. I did not have to wait on hold more then 10 seconds. I got a CS rep that told me in straight talk (paraphrase) "We know about the problem, the files on the server are corrupt. I sent your email to the IT department and they will send you a message when the files are replaced and you can download the book". I could not ask for better support. We all have gotten the CS runaround with phone trees and tiered support. Having the first person I talked to give me a real answer and be proactive about a solution was awesome. I just wish people would not rate the book down because they could not get it immediately.
I drive a lot for work,and when I drive I listen to audible. Life is good. In my mid-30's now, and I mainly listen to Fantasy books.
Yes, it was annoying that Audible messed up the release. But, I think people should rate this book according to its merits, and not a technical glitch that had nothing to do with the book.
That said, I love this book. I've enjoyed all Joe Abercrombie's books, but the first three were my favorites. The next two changed narrators and the feel of the books weren't the same either. I like Michael Page, but Steven Pacey is so much better in these books. Listening to 'Red Country' read by Steven Pacey is like running into an old friend and catching up with what's changed in their life since the last time you saw each other. It has really been a great couple days with this book to guide me on my daily drive.
The best thing about this book is that it treads closer to first law series, and it almost seems that Joe is setting up next trilogy of first law. I could go into details, but that would give things away : )
Like most of his semi 'stand alone' books outside of first law, the premise of this book is simple one as well. Though it may look like it is a revenge story, but it is story about rescue more than anything. If there is blood on the way, so be it.
The setting of the book is of a western but writing remains sharp and edgy. Couple of gripes : ) One, Inquisition is not as top of their game as they have been in past. Also, book has a theme of 'old' where everyone seems to be on the wrong side of age and seem to be reflecting a lot about their younger days.
One the positive side however, when come down to action, most of these characters are top of their game and execute expertly. It makes me think, where does Joe gets these life lessons for his characters? Because some of them are very funny and insightful.
There is violence as one can expect, but in this setting, it comes natural. Writing is witty as well, and I laughed outright on several occasions. A lot of it has to do with Steven Pacey's delivery, and it is match made in audio book heaven. I wish Steven narrate all Joe's book. He does an excellent job once again.
My 5 star rating criteria is that book would made me want to take the long route or even wish to get stuck in traffic. People can compare Joe's previous work with this book all they want, this book is 5 star book.
Tough men, tough women, blood, gore, romance and terrific characters new and old.... yes Joe Abercrombie is back !!! If you haven't read any of his books read The First Law trilogy prior to this book you won't be sorry. So we couldn't download it right away, so what. Awesome book again! Already looking forward to the next.
If they love the First Law Series, then this is a no brainer.
One of my favorite characters in action and Steven Pacey is back!
Get it, enjoy it. Wonderful book.
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!
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