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Red Country (First Law World #3)

4.26 of 5 stars 4.26  ·  rating details  ·  15,020 ratings  ·  1,040 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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Coby You can read and enjoy this book as a completely stand alone work... but... if you've read "The First Law Trilogy" you'll love it even more. I was…moreYou can read and enjoy this book as a completely stand alone work... but... if you've read "The First Law Trilogy" you'll love it even more. I was thrilled to get to read some more about an old favorite, "Lamb" and an old acquaintance of his. Or read this book first and go back and read TFL series... that'd work too.

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Community Reviews

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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
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
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
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.

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
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.
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
Jul 19, 2013 Eric rated it 3 of 5 stars
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

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)
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
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
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
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
Mogsy (MMOGC)
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
Myke Cole
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
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
Paul Nelson
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
Craig Slater
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
P.W. James
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
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
James 'Eagle'
Red Country was a very enjoyable read. Abercrombie keeps our interest in the First Law world with his stunning characters, witty dialogue, and captivating writing style. I wouldn't say this was my favourite of his works, but that being said 'Best Served Cold' and 'The Heroes' are difficult books to better and this novel was still a blast from beginning to end.

Red Country follows the life and times of Shy South and her reserved 'shy' step-father Lamb and how their world is torn apart when Shy's
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
I make no attempt at an unbiased review here, because I've been a big fan of Joe Abercrombie since finishing The First Law trilogy and none of his subsequent offerings have disappointed me.

As a person who has dabbled, if never seriously or successfully, in writing fiction from time to time in life, I am envious of Abercrombie's ability in the course of his last three books to shift from genre to genre, maintaining his unique voice while putting distinct trappings into his story and world. Best S
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
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. And I rate this book as how much fun I received by reading this book.

This is the first book of First Law that I gave 4 star (other books I gave 5 star). But it is not a complete loss, this book is still fun. I just don't perceive this book not as gripping as previous ones. Especially the middle part, a bit plain compared to other First Law Novels
Maggie K
Usually when I finish an Abercrombie book, I am all geared up for the next one already. I just dont have have that feeling this time. And yes, I know there isn't a next one (yet anyway) but I am still not very concerned about when it comes out.

A couple of my favorite characters are back, but their endings are just bittersweet. Maybe that's my true issue. You always want favorite characters to go out in some kind of blaze of glory, not get knife arguing about gold while wearing rags, or to just w
Joe Abercrombie es actualmente el mejor escritor de fantasía, con permiso del bueno de George R.R. Martin. Sus libros destilan todo aquello que uno quiere encontrar en una novela: una buena historia, personajes carismáticos, realismo en las escenas de acción, unos diálogos chispeantes y, sobre todo, imaginación. Pero Abercrombie es además un gran escritor y hace un uso de la ironía, el sarcasmo y la metáfora como he visto pocos en este y otros géneros. Sin exagerar, en cada página se puede encon ...more
I'm not a fan of Westerns, but I'm not a fan of War stories either and yet Abercrombie always had managed to win me over. Not entirely so this time. A friend of mine (Iziur on Goodreads) complained that contemporary literature at times feels wasteful, in the sense that ideas are not allowed to breathe and there are many missed opportunities within books. I think this criticism applies to “Red Country”, as sadly I was left with the impression that the author bit off more than he could chew within ...more
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  • Sharps
  • The King's Blood (The Dagger and the Coin, #2)
  • Swords & Dark Magic: The New Sword and Sorcery
  • Forge of Darkness (The Kharkanas Trilogy #1)
  • The Cold Commands (A Land Fit for Heroes, #2)
  • The Crimson Campaign (The Powder Mage, #2)
  • The White Luck Warrior (Aspect-Emperor, #2)
  • Kings of Morning (The Macht, #3)
  • Heroes Die (The Acts of Caine, #1)
  • Blood and Bone (Malazan Empire #5)
  • The Red Knight (The Traitor Son Cycle, #1)
  • Emperor of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #3)
  • Low Town (Low Town, #1)
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 Trilogy ...more
More about Joe Abercrombie...

Other Books in the Series

First Law World (4 books)
  • Best Served Cold
  • The Heroes
  • The Great Leveller
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 The Heroes

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“Strange, how the best moments of our lives we scarcely notice except in looking back.” 47 likes
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