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Red Country (First Law World #6)

4.26  ·  Rating Details ·  21,106 Ratings  ·  1,311 Reviews
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
ebook, 469 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Orbit (first published October 18th 2012)
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Anirudh Well.. even though this is a stand alone book, there is not much point in reading this first. The whole thrill of the book is about knowing who lamb…moreWell.. even though this is a stand alone book, there is not much point in reading this first. The whole thrill of the book is about knowing who lamb really is. If you don't know who he is, what he is and what he has done in his life, many references which make this book a great read make no sense. (less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 14, 2012 seak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-review, 2012
Westerns. You couldn't pay me enough money to read one...

...and yet mix it with fantasy and I couldn't be more enthralled. Take King's The Dark Tower series and recently this one, Red Country, and obviously I'm a fan of westerns.

I even try to deny it with my movie choices, but again, some of my all-time favorites are westerns (Tombstone and 310 to Yuma). Why is that? Why do I think I hate them and secretly love them? I even lived in Wyoming for a time. I'm seriously asking this! I must be crazy
Robin Hobb
Feb 24, 2015 Robin Hobb rated it it was amazing
A somewhat Westernized setting for this fantasy set in Abercrombie's world. Very enjoyable to catch up with some character friends as well. And of whom or what they did, I shall say nothing! Read for yourself.

One of the many things that Joe Abercrombie excels at is the character cameo. A turn of the page and the reader enters the point of view of what might seem a minor character. But in a space of the few paragraphs, the character takes on dimension, flesh, ambitions, a past, and a life. One ca
Dan Schwent
Apr 10, 2013 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2013
When Shy South and her cowardly stepfather Lamb return home to find their farmhand dead and Shy's two siblings missing, they venture into the Far Country to find them. They join a fellowship and head to the mining town of Crease. During their travels, Shy is forced to confront her own checkered past and finds that her stepfather has a past of his own...

On the heels of finishing A Dance with Dragons, my jones for dark fantasy with morally ambiguous characters was not sated so I turned to Red Coun
Dec 30, 2014 Evgeny rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Shy South a former highway robber with a golden heart gave up on her violent ways and took up farming. When she came back from a marketplace one of the days, she found her hired hand is killed and her young brother and sister is kidnapped. She went off hoping to catch the raiders, accompanied by her timid stepfather. The joined a band of mostly old geezers called Fellowship and the geezers did what geezers are best at: they babbled. Oops, I accidentally gave away around 75% of the book. Sorry.

Dec 27, 2012 Felicia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I love me some Abercrombie, his style is so snarky and detailed and dirty. I love how with a few sentences he can fill out a minor character so well that you actually feel sorry when they're killed in passing.

This is NOT really a fantasy book though guys, it's 100% Western. If you've read his other books you'll recognize several characters, but you don't REALLY need to read the others to get into this. If you don't like Westerns move along doggy, but this is worth reading for sure.
Jul 01, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loaned, blog
This is my first foray into the world of Joe Abercrombie and for those of you who are about to make the mistake of starting with Red Country like I did, my advice would be to go back and start with the First Law books. Red Country is marketed as a standalone novel and one can certainly enjoy it without having read Abercrombie’s other work, but the reason I’m giving it only 4 stars is because I always felt like I was missing out on something--that there was critical, need-to-know information from ...more
David Sven
Ok, I’m going to get this out of the way right at the beginning. YES!!! The Bloody Nine is Back! Nuf said. But you have to realistic about these things so for the sake of those who have no clue who The Bloody Nine is, I’ll continue.

As many a reviewer has pointed out before, including Abercrombie himself, this is a fantasy version of a Western. Red Country returns us to the First Law Universe – or at least to the Far Wild West of it and treats us to a smorgasbord of Western genre tropes and clich
Mar 30, 2016 Phrynne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was good. In fact it was very,very good. I loved Abercrombie's The First Law Trilogy so much and it was a delight to see the return of a few of his strongest characters from those books. Plus there were a few new characters who managed to steal the show. Joe Abercrombie is without doubt a very talented author. His characters are always so flawed and yet still so appealing, his stories are full of grossness and violence yet are still so very readable and his handling of the English lang ...more
Jul 19, 2013 Eric rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who thinks 'gritty fantasy western' sounds like a good mash-up
How could I not read the return of Logen "The Bloody Nine" Ninefingers, my favorite character from The First Law trilogy?

I wrote that last April when details from Red Country first started appearing on the Internet, and then it was released in the States last November, so why I am just getting around to writing this review now, eight months later? Because I had a tough time getting into this book, and an even tougher time finishing it, for a few reasons:

- The book kept alternating between the ch
"Severed heads,’ Cosca was explaining, ‘never go out of fashion. Used sparingly and with artistic sensibility, they can make a point a great deal more eloquently than those
still attached. Make a note of that. Why aren’t you writing?"

Joe A. at his best so far in Red Country which i have been greatly enjoying; while grim on occasion the book is really darkly funny and better than the limited Heroes in so many ways; still only about 100 pages in but tonight should read more and hopefully finish it
Jul 04, 2014 Conor rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, abercrombie

Shy South, a tough frontierswoman is returning from a trip to get supplies with her stepfather Lamb, a battered old Northman whose size and strength bely his gentleness. Their friendly banter is interrupted by the discovery that their home has been burned, a friend murdered and Shy's young brother and sister kidnapped. Amidst this horror 'Lamb' is strangely calm. Looking down at his scarred, battered hands, hands with only 9 fingers, he reflects that sometimes 'you have to be realistic'...

Mike (the Paladin)
Apr 12, 2015 Mike (the Paladin) rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Well crap. This book should have been an easy 4 and probably a 5. I was REALLY looking forward to this one. I saw the video ad on line thought it sounded great. The plot while obviously not completely original hasn't "really" been done before.. I mean it's a western set in a fantasy world...I mean an overt western. It's got a great lead in, a great set up some great characters and some exceptional scenes, dialogue and story telling.

So, why only 3 stars?

Oh good grief this thing is slow. I mean al
This is the murkiest Abercrombie yet.
"How are you going to write this up?" Temple was asking.
Sworbreck frowned down at his notebook, pencil hovering, then carefully closed it. "I may gloss over this episode"
Sufeen snorted. "I hope you brought a great deal of gloss"
Let me tell you, Abercrombie did not bring a lot of gloss to this book. If you're looking to escape in a magical happy-endings-type of fantasy world, move on, this book is not for you. But if you can handle a gritty, dark writing s
Sep 15, 2016 Jokoloyo rated it really liked it
I like western stories, and I like all 5 previous novels of First Law universe series. So it is naturally I read this book for the sake of having fun.

This is the first book of First Law that I gave 4 star (other books I gave 5 star). I like First Law books mainly because the protagonists in First Law are stereotypes that usually taking antagonist role in fiction stories (e.g.: Calden is a coward prince in The Heroes), but then the author can make them into sympathetic characters. In Red Country
Jul 15, 2015 Steve rated it really liked it
A wagon-train into the great western frontier, Joe Abercrombie-style!

The reviews about this book are wildly varied; readers seemed to either love it or hate it. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in. Would it be as bad as Best Served Cold? Would it be on par with the original First Law trilogy?

Here’s what Abercrombie does with his characters and settings: he takes the familiar and turns it on its head, ripping an ear off in the process. In the original trilogy, he skewered traditional fantasy. H
I absolutely loved this book! A fun engaging story with a big dose of dark and gritty, fantastic complex characters that you can't help but love or love to hate, twists and turns and never a dull moment, and all of it pulled together by some truly excellent writing.

I was a bit nervous about reading this one with our book club as some people commented that those who haven't read The First Law trilogy didn't seem to enjoy it as much as those who had based on reviews. I've only read the first book
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Dec 20, 2012 Mogsy (MMOGC) rated it it was amazing
Brilliant. To me this is probably the best book Joe Abercrombie's written so far, and I'm talking like I love it even more than the First Law trilogy, which is saying a lot. Until this book came along, I didn't think anything else he wrote would come close; after all, I thought Best Served Cold and The Heroes were meh and even more meh, respectively.

But Red Country simply just blew me away. Okay, so maybe it's because I have a thing for westerns. Though granted this isn't your traditional kind o
Red country has been labeled as Abercrombie’s take on the western. This partially true, as Abercrombie has managed to squeeze as much of the tropes and furniture of said genre into this book. Showdowns in bars, scouts, wagon trains, native attacks, cattle stampedes, frontier towns, a stagecoach chase, ravaged homesteads, kidnappings, last stands, and others are all gloriously skewered and given homage. There are references to many of the classics, The Unforgiven, Outlaw Josey Wales, Treasure of ...more
Myke Cole
Jan 21, 2013 Myke Cole rated it it was amazing
Joe Abercrombie has gotten steadily better with each book, and RED COUNTRY is no exception. Abercrombie's ability to create flawed characters that aren't so dark as to be reprehensible is practically singular. They are just broken down enough to resonate, and just heroic enough to inspire. What many call a "dark" tone is actually a realistic one, the prose of a man who has a deep empathy for people living in the real world, and the compromises we all have to make to get by.

A fantastic book by o
I enjoyed this book, but it is easily my least favorite Abercrombie book to date. It was nice to revisit with a certain character from previous books, but I felt that the author projected it WAY too much so it wasn't much of a surprise. Meh.
Duffy Pratt
Jul 25, 2015 Duffy Pratt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, western
Caul Shivers, Nicola Cosca, Friendly, The Bloody Nine! What more could one want? (Well, Bayaz and Glotka would be nice. But, instead, we get a largely uncredited cameo of Carlot dan Elder, and that's also pretty good.)

The world is still very much Abercrombie's own, a fantasy land invested with magic that rarely makes an appearance. And the book works really well on a standalone basis. I haven't read many Westerns (basically Elmore Leonard's early work and some McMurtry), but I have seen a ton of
Jan 30, 2016 José rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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3.75 stars: Red Country is the third and final "standalone" novel by Joe Abercrombie, before his second First Law trilogy which he's already working on. Each of these First Law world books "can" be read without reading the trilogy, but you will miss a lot of references and background for some characters (plus, the First Law trilogy is a Dark Fantasy masterpiece, just READ IT). So, my advice is that you should follow the publication order.

Executive Summary: Not as good as The Heroes, but still quite enjoyable.

Audio book: So in the US Steven Pacey reads the original First Law trilogy, but not the first two stand alone novels. Since I read the trilogy, this is the first time I've had him as a narrator.

Now I wish I had listened to the trilogy. Mr. Pacey is excellent. I wish he was the narrator for The Heroes as well. I will definitely be on the look out for other books he narrates in the future.

Full Review
So this book is almost i
Paul Nelson
Oct 27, 2012 Paul Nelson rated it it was amazing
With Red Country, Joe Abercrombie continues in the style that has made him one of my favorite authors. The things that set this books above others are the grim settings, the violent tone and the dark, dry humour. There's a distinct lack of mage's, young protégé's developing into hero's and knights in shining armour, there's also very little that you would describe as classic fantasy or any other form of fantasy and for that I applaud.
There's a welcome return to many characters from previous boo
Mike (the Paladin)
Well crap. This book should have been an easy 4 and probably a 5. I was REALLY looking forward to this one. I saw the video ad on line thought it sounded great. The plot while obviously not completely original hasn't "really" been done before.. I mean it's a western set in a fantasy world...I mean an overt western. It's got a great lead in, a great set up some great characters (view spoiler)and some exceptional ...more
Craig Slater
Oct 26, 2012 Craig Slater rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The third stand-alone and sixth book in Joe’s world.

Fans of Joe (I think we know each-other well enough now for me to take the liberty of a first name only) will love both the new and familiar characters in this book and the progression of the world as it changes and evolves.

Newcomers could start here or indeed with any of the stand alone novels (Best Served Cold and The Heroes) but to get the full benefit and enjoyment of this particular book, I’d certainly recommend buying and reading them a
Oct 27, 2012 Mark rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joe’s latest novel is being widely touted as his take on the Western genre: a Fantasy version of True Grit, if you like. It is certainly well-anticipated. He’s clearly on a roll here, and, with six books in six years, each book has gained more readers and greater notice as it is published.

Like The Heroes and Best Served Cold, this is a stand-alone, although there are characters here that readers of previous novels such as The First Law Trilogy, will recognise. Whereas before we have had fighting
T. Stranger
Oct 11, 2012 T. Stranger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Disclaimer: I recently won a competition where Gollancz sent me out an advanced reading copy of "Red Country". I was one of five people who received a copy. Needless to say, I was overcome with joy when it arrived on my doorstep.

Over the next few days, I undertook an extensive reading program, which included me sitting on a bean-bag eating chocolate, straining my eyes in the darkness (because I read in the dark, what of it?). In a nutshell, "Red Country" is good. In fact, it's brilliant. I am
Oct 23, 2012 Mihir rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Milo (Bane of Kings)
I think Joe Abercrombie might be one of my Top 5 favourite authors, along with George RR Martin, Iain M. Banks,Brandon Sanderson and JRR Tolkien. This was awesome,probably either my first or second favourite read of 2012. Utterly unputdownable.

“An epic, awesome standalone fantasy novel that I really enjoyed. One of gritty fantasy’s best Authors, Abercrombie is right up there with George RR Martin.” ~The Founding Fields

Red Country was the first book that I brought on my Kindle Fire that I got f
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Joe Abercrombie was educated at Lancaster Royal Grammar School and Manchester University, where he studied psychology. He moved into television production before taking up a career as a freelance film editor. During a break between jobs he began writing The Blade Itself in 2002, completing it in 2004. It was published by Gollancz in 2006 and was followed by two other books in The First Law ...more
More about Joe Abercrombie...

Other Books in the Series

First Law World (7 books)
  • The Blade Itself (The First Law, #1)
  • Before They Are Hanged (The First Law, #2)
  • Last Argument of Kings (The First Law, #3)
  • Best Served Cold (First Law World, #4)
  • The Heroes (First Law World, #5)
  • Sharp Ends (First Law World, #7)

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