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on 25 August 2017
Abercrombie delivers as always, a western fantasy, or perhaps a fantasy western, with everything but six shooters
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on 29 June 2017
Very nice book.
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on 2 July 2017
Joe Abercrombie is just about the best writer of gritty 'heroic' fantasy around today. A worthy successor to David Gemmell.
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I think that the series of books that Joe Abercrombie has written are some of the finest fantasy books ever. The first law trilogy is first rate followed up by The Heros and Best Served Cold. This follows in the footsteps with the usual aplomb. As ever we have a few characters introduced in the first trilogy returning, in this case everyones favourite mercenary captain, Nicomo Cosca among others. The book follows a small band as they travel across frontier terrain in search of children kidnapped from thier village and sold to a religious cult. Along the way we run into dare I say the usual motley of characters from Joe, all believable and all showing a more realistic or darker side of human nature. In parts the plot feels like a western with a caravan of settlers heading for a new start, or running away from the past and if you add in the quest for missing children it begins to sound like 'The Searchers' where in reality the feel is less John Ford and more Deadwood. I digress and won't thrown in any spoilers here but another 'old' character reappears and before very long has reverted to type.

This is a great fantasy book, I hope there are many more form this author. If you are looking for some very well crafted fantsy that is a bit different, maybe a bit grubby and certasinly violent with a writing style that very much appeals to me as a long time fan of David Gemmell you have to read Joe Abercrombie, no more comments you just have to allright.
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on 13 July 2016
The story follows a few different characters, a few familiar from previous books although painted differently.

Cosca was shown as a cynical but amusing buffoon in previous books while in this one he appears as a brutal narcissist with no redeeming features.

Shy is likeable and entertaining as is Temple and their interactions make a good core for the rest of the book.

Most of the book moves slowly with a few instances of violence sometimes expected and other times sudden.

There is an element of sadness in the book with the passing of primitive ways and the simple ageing of characters shown.

The ending raises the action quotient and has several battles between individuals and groups that are all well written showing a combination of luck and skill.

A good read with some nice depth to it.
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on 18 January 2013
After starting with "The Heroes" I was slowly lulled into the genre and absolutely adored the characters, to see the story's link with each other so seamlessly. I'd also like to mention that my most shocking and enjoyable moment when I realised who Lamb really was relatively early.
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on 27 December 2014
Joe Abercrombie is in my top 5 of authors. He is brilliant, he has delivered time after time. All his books have a very dark humour and genuine laugh out loud moments. I never give story details, but a certain favourite character from previous books makes a welcome return.
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on 3 February 2013
Firstly, when I discovered Joe Abercrombie's first books, I thought wow...the first law trilogy is truly sensational, with amazing and an believable array of flawed heroes, and generally great characters then the one off's that followed were also very good....now "Red Country"....I have just finished it and am at a bit of a loss what to say...It was a good enough read with the usual vengeance, great trek, rescue themes but with dialogue reminicent of High noon, John Wayne, and the cowboy dialogue cliche, which I really didn't take to.I was conjuring up visions of Walter Breenan, James Stewart and others, which was not what I wanted to do. It reminded me in some ways of Gemmell's deviation to the western theme with his Jon Shannow books, which I did like. I and many other have mentioned in other reviews of the promise and similarity to the late great David Gemmell that Joe Abercrombie shows, but I just wonder why he went down "that thar road, pilgrim"..It was welcome to have his first books main character back, but I couldn't help thinking it could have been done in a better less genre crossing way. I, like many I am sure believe JA is at the forefront of current Heroic fantasy,and I hope that we may see a return to the way things were...there are enough questions left unanswered from the earlier books that could have be explained,but alas probably now won't be ie Glotka [surely one of the best fantasy character to appear in print for many a year...and my personal favorite],alas though we seem to have moved on beyond that point now ...unless JA does a Feist and starts bringing spin off tales of long dead characters...which to be fair even the mighty Mr Gemmell did with Druss, but there was the character worthy of more heroic tales. If my review reads somewhat disjointed and lost, I can partially attribute that to how my head feels having just completed this book. If I were to describe this book as disappointing, it would be on the basis of whats what was expected, by me anyway. I still firmly believe JA has a lot to offer with his fast paced action, good gritty storylines, great characters, although the main ones will have been killed of by the chronological jumps the books have made. I would suggest that if a first time JA reader read this they would probably not be rushing to read his first law books would be a great shame. Sorry Joe, it was readable but I didn't enjoy it particularly, I was just needing that piece of the jigsaw... Would I read Red Country again?....never!...would I recommend to a friend?...NO!....will I buy JA's next book?...Absolutely, on the day it is published! Despite this hiccup there are few out there to touch him!
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on 8 January 2013
I'm a big Abercrombie fan, but Red Country was really disappointing, not up to the standard of previous novels. This attempt to recreate themes from several classic Westerns in the setting of the Union's Western frontier should have been left in the ideas notebook. Overly long, meandering and most of all dull and unrewarding with a particularly boring plot. Not sure if the editing wasn't up to scratch or if the author was just having trouble with the project. Hope the next one is better!
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on 8 October 2015
I have now read all of the books written by this author. The quality of the writing improves with every book. Thoroughly enjoyed the First Law series and these subsequent novels. The Shattered Sea trilogy is the authors best series to date and I cannot wait until he releases new material.
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