The Well Read Viking

The Well Read Viking

Monday, March 17, 2014

Red Country by Joe Abercrombie

In Joe Abercrombie's most recent work I found myself seeing this world from an entirely different view. While this book still maintains the grittiness that is prevalent in the rest of the series it adds a new element. This book becomes a western. Now bear with me, it isn't like he takes away what makes it a fantasy and plops the characters in an area that feels completely out of place. He keeps what has made the series great and given it a new edge and I loved it for that. It didn't hurt that it brought back my favorite character from the First Law trilogy, Logen Ninefingers who is also known as the Bloody Nine. That is right, the Bloody Nine is back!

This book follows a familiar western plot in that someone comes home and finds that a person they love has been kidnapped. Those who have just found their loss drop everything on go on the chase to hunt down the people who have wronged them and to rescue their loved ones. In the course of their quest they end up joining a caravan of people who are heading out into the wilderness seeking their fortune in the mountains where gold has been sighted. This book has everything you want in a western: bar fights, prospecting, caravan raids, "Indian" attacks, wagon trains, last stands, and even a stagecoach chase.

I agree that this sounds like a very westerny plot and it is, but Joe manages to maintain his unique voice and keep you engaged in the story. I would recommend that if you want to read this book that you read the first trilogy. It isn't needed to understand the plot, but it will give you a bit more insight on the characters. In his three standalone books in this series he takes a different genre and makes it his own. He has been successful in his attempts at a revenge thriller and also war fiction, but I would have to say that this is my favorite of the three. Once again the good news is that the entire series is out so you can start it and not worry about having to wait for the next one to come out.

If you don't mind reading about the darker side of humanity and are looking for a fantasy series I would tell you to go out and seek out this author at once.

Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

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