12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Abercrombie has done it again!,
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This review is from: Red Country (First Law World 3) (Hardcover)With George R.R Martin producing what at best can be described as subpar work every half decade or so, fans of gritty fantasy such as myself, must look elsewhere for our fix. Thankfully there are plenty of pretenders to the throne, and Abercrombie is not only the best of the bunch, he also manages to put out a new novel roughly once a year.
Red Country is his latest work and the quality is as high as we have grown accustomed to from him. All of his stand alone novels set in the same universe as The First Law trilogy, has had some kind of theme. Best Served Cold was a revenge story, The Heroes was a war story, and Red Country is a good old fashioned western! Long term Abercrombie fans will immediately notice that this time, the theme has a much stronger influence on the material. In fact, I was some times in doubt as to whether or not I was actually reading a fantasy novel, and only the lack of guns, and the inclusion of characters from previous Joe Abercrombie novels, convinced me I was indeed in a fantasy universe I know and love. This probably won't sit right with everyone, and I can see why. It really is a big stylistic departure and not all fantasy fans are necessarily western fans.
I however grew up on a steady diet of westerns and consumed everything from Sergio Leone to Terrance Hill and Bud Spencer, and anything in between. I also happen to be a huge Robert E. Howard fan, and my favourite short story of his is (you probably already guessed this, if you can see where I am going with this): Beyond the Black River. So I immediately felt right at home with Red Country and as good as The Heroes was, there is no doubt in my mind that Abercrombie continues to improve upon the perfect and this is his best novel so far.
A must read and definitely my favourite novel of the year.