BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Shy South’s home has been burned to the ground, her brother and sister stolen. To get them back Shy will have to brave the lawless frontier and all the savages that inhabit it.
PROS: Great prose, Western themes mesh perfectly, return of beloved characters.
CONS: Slightly drawn out, less interesting protagonists.
BOTTOM LINE: There are few things I look forward to more than the release of a new Abercrombie novel and Red Country does not disappoint.
“The losers are always the villains, Sworbreck. Only winners can be heroes.”
The First Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie is the very reason I got back into the fantasy genre after a five year hiatus of sticking strictly to science fiction. The First Law taught me that fantasy can be gritty and bloody and none too happily-ever-after. As a result I’ve spent the past several years sinking my teeth into any and all titles of the Sword & Sorcery sub-genre, and I still have not found an author quite so engaging as Abercrombie. Red Country is a minor departure from the series; it still occupies the same overall setting but is layered with Western themes. I’ve never been huge into Westerns but I was eager to see how this would translate.