Part IV

February 2nd, 2012

And you thought all I’d been doing was playing Skyrim and D&D with a selection of the world’s most bodacious fantasy authors, didn’t ya?  Admit it!  False!  For I can now reveal that I have finished a first draft of Part IV of my latest, which puts me about 80% of the way through.  Much work still to do when the first draft’s finished, mind you.  Publication is looking like late autumn in the UK, possibly a little later in the US.  Still no cast iron dates for ya, I’m afraid, but very much this year, anyway, so far as can be predicted in this unpredictable business of ours.  Soon as I’ve got a firm date it’ll be yours.  In the meantime, the sketchiest of synopses to whet your ravenous appetites:

“Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell, her brother and sister stolen, and knows she’ll have to go back to bad old ways if she’s ever to see them again.  She sets off in pursuit with only her cowardly old step-father Lamb for company.  But it turns out he’s hiding a bloody past of his own.  None bloodier.  Their journey will take them across the lawless plains, to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feuds, duels, and massacres, high into unmapped mountains to a reckoning with ancient enemies, and force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, a man no one should ever have to trust…”

And no, I’m not telling you anything else, no matter how much you plead in the comments.  You can give it a go, though, just in case I change my mind…

Posted in news, progress by Joe Abercrombie on February 2nd, 2012.

186 comments so far

  • A-drain says:

    Dude. I’m so excited for you’re next book.

    The synopses sparked a question. The difference between writing a female lead voice and a male lead voice? Do you ever think about it consciously? Do you find it harder to write a female who is strong and brutal (possibly more man like in her desires and ect.) or do you find it harder to write a female who is more demure and seductive?

  • Melmoth says:

    Plead? We don’t plead.

    We hunger.

    Grrrraaa……urrrrrrrrr…. spoilersssssssss

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Ah, the fraught and controversial question of writing women. Probably there’s a post on this to be done. The short answer is, I try and write female characters that are as complex, challenging, appealing, horrible, amusing, disgusting, brave, cowardly, fascinating and otherwise human as the male ones. The long answer is a lot more complicated, I think.

  • “Shy South” is a spectacular name. What was the inspiration?

  • Jimmy says:

    At least give us the country/countries this is set in! Pleeeease! The names has a northern taste to them.

  • Jonathan says:

    So excited. Not just for the book, but ther eturn of Nicomo Cosca. I love the way characters move on and then off of the stage in your books, and I can’t wait to see how tese new characters fit into the larger world.

    My question is this: how has the introduction of cannons impacted combat? Will this be addressed? And why hasn’t HBO snatched up your current and future works? There are five seasons of material already!

  • neth says:

    @Jimmy, we already know it’s set in the Old Empire.

    @Joe – Excellent! I can’t wait to see more of Cosca.

  • Semantic Spider says:

    So, that Lamb chap would not happen to be a certain nine-fingered individual perchance?

  • “But it turns out he’s hiding a bloody past of his own. None bloodier.”

    Hmmm… is that a hint to the return of the Bloody Nine I wonder?

  • Miguel says:

    ‘None bloodier.’

    I hope this means what I think it means…

  • Sketch says:

    I reckon this particular kind of Gold Fever is actually some kind of viral hemorrhagic disease. Just like Joe to trip up our expectations.

    No-one has a past bloodier than Lamb’s eh? And his name begins with an ‘L’ and everything… But I think you also said at some point that none of the main characters in (A) Red Country would be spectacular fighters. I’ll bet you were lying!

    And I guess Cosca’s glorious reclamation of Visserine didn’t turn out too great in the end?

  • Todd says:

    Cosca? My day has been MADE.

  • Him says:

    also Uber happy coscas making another appearance and also noted the words ‘none bloodier’ but i wouldnt put it past Joe to choose words deliberately, just to goad us, knowing people would seize upon them like starving children.

    unless… he knew that we knew that he knew and so knew to put those words. i wont rise to the bait, i wont! 🙁

  • Dan says:

    Logen turned old and cowardly? No way. Can’t be him…

  • skunkthecat says:

    The only reasonable response to this is SQEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

  • Storm in the High Places says:

    Joe you just turned my horrible day around. Keep it up your almost there. And that means its almost in my hands Bahahahahahahahahaha I can’t wait.

  • Mark C says:

    Ooooh, you tease! Is it Logen dressed as Lamb? Is it??

    Waiting till autumn with breath suitably baited…

  • Jon says:

    Cosca is back? YES! please tell me we get to see Friendly as well, rereading BSC right now, still laughing from “APOLOGIZE TO MY FUCKING DICE”, pure genius. Loved the connection between Cosca and him.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Grumpy B,
    Ah, the fraught and controversial question of names. Probably there’s a post on this to be done. In this case, Shy is not particularly shy, and I’ve always had good luck with points of the compass. As with many of these things, sometimes they just … sound right.

    A wild and lawless disputed frontier region north of the Old Empire and west of the Union, into which trappers and prospectors are starting to flow. A little bit like the early American west, which, I believe, was in fact inspired by my fiction.

  • Matt says:

    Hmm, Logan would be about the right age to be a step dad. 🙂

    hey, Joe, I know you aren’t answering questions, but can you tell us how far after The Heroes this is set? Pleeeeaaase??? So far I think the Heroes was 9 years after TFL, with BSC in between.

  • Dav says:

    Awesome. Can’t wait, though I’d be disappointed if JA went too far with the ‘Old American West’ idea, but then again, he has a pretty good habit of punting the common cliches.

    Good to see another female protagonist.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    I don’t have all my timeline crap in front of me right now, but about six years after the Heroes, fifteen after The First Law.

  • Matt says:

    Cool. How is this book shaping up to compare with your others lengthwise?

  • Madman42 says:

    Joe, I’ve been a great admirer of your work since the beginning and I read your blog (dare I say religiously?) In hopes of catching a glimpse of future releases. Suffice it to say, today is one of those days I’ve been waiting for. Question: What is your process in creating a new and individual personality for your books? With so many brilliant characters in your stories, do you ever have trouble keeping them all sorted?

  • Susanne says:

    Yayyy, Cosca! Day=MADE. Is it too much to hope for a Shenkt encore? Is it? Is it? It probably is. But is it?

  • Thile says:

    Fuck yes! Can’t wait.

  • Dan says:

    This makes me sad in a way…so many years of Logens adventures we are missing. At least we got a lot of Shivers and a little bit of Dogman (my three favorites) along the way. Joe I hope some day you go back and fill in the gaps with a book or short story about some of these great characters we all love. And yes Joe, I did think all you were doing these days was playing video games”).

  • Ryan says:

    “My name is Nicomo Cosca, famed solider of fortune, and I am here for dinner.”

    *Squeals in glee*

  • Elfy says:

    This gives me something to look forward to in Spring. I’m in Australia and your Autumn is when we in the antipodes have Spring.

  • Nial says:

    Jonathon, I completely agree, I like the idea of someone like HBO, making The First Law into a Game of Thrones style, series or films.
    I love the websites/blogs that are already trying to come up with the cast.

    some interesting choices already:
    and loads of others out there.
    What are your thoughts Joe?

  • TK Slinger says:

    Cosca, the Bloody Nine, some mysterious chick with a penchant for violence and a hard-on for revenge on a quest to find her lost syblings. To use typical hoodie vernacular, ‘Safe blood!’
    I wanted to know, if its some time after Heroes, is there going to be use of modernised ranged weaponry, you know muskety, ye olde’ flintlock rifle-esque things? Or things to that effect? Or are we with the standard, bows, blades and bloody carnage?
    Anyway, I know you’re an increasingly busy man (Skyrim and D&D being such time consuming yet worthy pursuits, not to mention finishing your next tome) but if you find a moment from the demand on your time, let me know about the guns. And a bit beside the point and also rhetoric, but how fucking sick was Skyrim right!

  • Tenesmus says:

    Will this be published before A Memory of Light? I hope so. Nice to know I’ll have at least two awesome books to read later this year. Nice to see Logen back,too, but this time I feel he really will die…

  • Fantasist says:

    Add one more to your growing crowds of screaming fans.

    I had a question reading one of your comments: I thought the Old Empire and the Union were separate continents..with water between them?
    6th book set in the Circle of the World and I think a map will be useful now. Right?

  • […] of a blurb, really, but it’s all that’s come out thus far and comes straight from the man himself: “Shy South comes home to her farm to find a blackened shell, her brother and sister stolen, and […]

  • Pallav says:


    That magnificent bastard!


  • SHEA says:

    None Bloodier! Speechless!

  • AntMac says:

    Mate. I am with child for this new book.

    I just want to note, Logan and The Bloody Nine are entirely different men. I want my mate Logan back, and I want him free of his life long enemy.I was so very sad when my mate Logan got killed by his horrible companion The Bloody Nine.

  • AntMac says:

    Oh, and, please Sir, make it Long, and Hard. And give us some of your dirty words too, they squeal about it, but we know they secretly love it!.


  • James says:

    Cosca and Logan Ninefingers?

    There is literally no downside to this!

    Except that I’m not reading it right now….

  • Iangr says:

    At first I was meh,we’ve heard it all before!

    But then I read a very familiar name at the end of the synopsis….and I swear my heart stopped beating for a second!

    Nicomo-fukin-show-up-at-your-doors-for-dinner Cosca!

    Shut up and take my money!

  • Murray says:

    Well it does sound like the return of the “Man with no name” – sorry that should read “The man with 3 names”

    I’ve got all 9 of my fingers crossed that it is Logen.

    Oh and an Autumn release would be excellent. I was expecting this in 2013

  • Gordon says:

    A fantasy western with Nicomo Cosca in it. I honestly can’t think of a book i’d want to read more.

    Joe – I’m currently reading Blood Meridian and I remember it was on your pile of inspirational western material. Would you be able to confirm that your book will not be trying quite so hard to make me cry tears of blood over the depressing awfulness of everything? It would be great if your book got reviews saying “a bit like Blood Meridian, but with jokes!”

  • Ed Knight says:

    If it is Logen though, it’s going to be very difficult to hide that fact, being that he is short one finger and this is the sort of thing that might come up from time to time in descriptions or other people’s conversations with him. e.g. “You are missing a finger. Why?” Unless the intention is that we know from the start of course. Sensing a red herring here, we can but hope!

  • Roger says:

    So, Cosca is in the West. I assume that we can conclude from that that he is not Duke of Visserine, the title that was promised to him by Monza. I’d say this strongly hints that the poor Duchess has been overthrown…

  • JimC says:

    I just came.

  • Gary says:

    Sounds awesome Joe. You are such a tease..

    That has made me very happy indeed. Oh yes, bring it on, fuck yeah!

  • dan halen says:

    any one else picture the actor Vincent Cassel as Cosca? ‘im here for dinner…’ classic line. nice work Joe….

  • Andrew says:

    Using my extensive education in mathematics, I have come to the conclusion that there are a total of 5 parts in this novel. Aren’t I brilliant?

  • Danny C says:

    “A drink, a drink, a drink!”

    YEEAAAHHH!!!! I cannot wait!

  • J Bird says:

    I will kick man, woman and child out of my way when this book is released.

    For the moment though, I shall continue to froth at the maw like a rabid badger untill I can smell the pages of this book!

  • Eli(Cara) says:

    Dang, I wish I could fast forward time!

  • jacktop says:

    Well then – a drink, a drink, a drink.

    So that’s three, just to be on the safe side

  • Phil Norris says:

    Cosca!!! That is all 🙂

  • […] Here is a link to Joe’s site – […]

  • Chris says:

    Honestly I’m somewhat disappointed. On one hand. HOLY CRAP IT LOOKS LIKE BLOODNINE IS BACK. My favorite fantasy character of all time. On the other hand.
    1) If he is back, it’s sort of a spoiler to be told that this random person is Logen right now!
    2) If he ISN’T back…well that’s just downright intentionally cruel.

    It’s the “None Bloodier” comment. Makes my heart hurt Joe. Are you bringing him back? Why are you telling us now? If you aren’t, why do you hate us? Why are you torturing me?

  • Jon says:

    Agree, it’s the “none bloodier” comment that makes my gut ache. Why would he add it if Lamb is not Logen, the bloodiest man ever. If it isn’t him now it’s pure evil on Joe’s part! Talking of Joe, is Cosca on of your favourite characters to write, since this will be his fourth appearence out of six books? not many “second-tier” secondary characters from the first trilogy can match that!

  • Thaddeus says:

    Good news, plus I didn’t know the location was nearish the Old Empire (my favourite location in the First Law Trilogy).

    On publication: d’you know if the hardback and paperback will be released at the same time, or will it be hardback first then some time before the paperback?

  • Marielle says:

    None bloodier? Excuseme while I unleash vastamounts offangirlsqueeee onto teh interwebz. Holymackerel I hope it’s the bloody nine!

  • Nick Sharps says:

    Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. Oh man. You’re killing me. This sounds so epic.

  • Jacob says:


    I’m just curious, what novels did you read (I know you posted a picture of several works relating to Westerns a while back..) to absorb “the language” of a western? The synopsis above gives off this Cormac McCarthy, Louis L’Amour feeling. Sounds like it’ll go along well with the bloody, decadent world you’ve already crafted.



  • Sal Go says:

    COSTCA LIVES! BLOODY NINE TOO?!? Yessssssssssss. I can’t wait to find out more about Shy South. Your female characters are so badass.


  • Gary says:

    Hi Joe,

    I’m not asking you to give too much away, but has Lamb got nine fingers? 😉

  • Jim says:

    True Grit + Cosca + Bloody Nine?

    This is going to be the awesomes.

  • So stoked for another awesome Abercrombie heroine headliner. Been in withdrawl since Best Served Cold.

  • Count Spatula says:

    Sounds splendid, Joe. “None bloodier” – if that’s not Logen, you’re going to have some answering to do, hehe.

    But Cosca’s back! My favourite character returns! I do hope this means Friendly is with him too – that would be more than I could wish for.

    Keep up the good work, Joe!

  • guy says:

    A bloody past with a name like Lamb, sounds like a nine-fingered wolf in sheep’s clothing to me…

    Even if it isn’t Logen, which I hope it is, I’m just excited to hear about a possible 2012 release date.

  • Reg says:

    Cannot wait!! Say this about Joe, say that he knows how to keep his audience waiting with “bloody” anticipation.

  • YetiStomper says:

    Will you at least confirm that Lamb has at least 8 fingers.

    [Side Note: How awesome would it be if Joe confirmed that he did not have 9 fingers because Logen had lost one more somewhere along the way and was know the Semi-Retired 8.

  • Storm in the High Places says:

    Lamb might just be a badass himself and everyone needs to stop jumping to conclusions. I hope that its Logen but if its not I’m happy with the part the played. Joe your a god.

  • Fred The Dragonslayer says:

    Yeah, Lamb might be a “badass himself” but “none bloodier”? I’m going ahead and getting my hopes up.

  • mummifiedstalin says:

    I just want to know more about Cosca’s rash.

  • Adam says:

    Cosca!!! My favorite man no one should ever trust.

  • Levi says:

    Thank you for the synopsis! I can’t wait to read this — I will preorder it as soon as a listing shows up, and take the day off from work.

    “None bloodier”, indeed. 😉

  • Him says:

    Well said storm!

  • Mani says:

    “You’ll never have anything! You’ll never be anything! You’ll never make anything but corpses!”

    Sure hope it’s him. <3

  • Coyle says:

    Cosca is in it. That’s all I need. If Cosca and Friendly get to go on some adventures, I’m thrilled

  • Fatikis says:

    Step-father Lamb is Logan.
    First to call it.

  • Super Hans says:

    My heart skipped a beat then when I read “None bloodier”! Plus with Cosca partaking, what could be better? More than happy to er proof read your drafts hehe 🙂 Joe, I just love your books!

  • Dav says:

    Could be Shivers!

  • Yulwei says:

    Only question I have is where is it set and is Shy South more relatable than Monza

    Ancient enemies seems suggestive of Khalul or Bayaz sticking their noses in at some point. Hopefully more Khalul than Bayaz as I’ve got a decent handle on Bayaz bt a rather poor grasp on the 2nd of the Magi

  • Blackthorne says:

    I bloody hope it’s Logen. I effing miss him so much!!

  • James says:

    Aye, funny one with Monza. You could understand where she was coming from right enough, you just didn’t necessarily warm to her. Treating Shivers like dirt didn’t help much.

    Cosca, on the other hand, was a faithless, treacherous swine and yet, seriously likeable.

  • David says:

    How did I get this far into the week and miss this?

    It’s great to have something to look forward to at the end of the year.

  • Random says:

    Cosca=Epic win.
    But besides him i hope to se more of Ishri and Sulfur, Sulfur is the only character who has made an “active appearance” (other than just being mentioned) in every book so far and his motives are not selfless, since he can read minds he must have known what Morweer was planning in the banking house, what Cosca was thinking at cardotti’s and what shivers was after in the thousand swords camp.
    Yet he did not act, i feel there is more to Yoru Sulfur other than just being Bayaz faithful servant.

  • DH says:

    Nice, is all I have to say, nice…

  • JenMo says:

    You teasing bastard Abercrombie.

  • […] næste fantasy bog Fantasybøger, Nyheder Add commentsFeb 052012Joe Abercrombie har netop postet et indlæg på sin hjemmeside, hvor han løfter sløret en smule for sin næste bog. Det lyder lidt som om, […]

  • rosstafarian says:

    god i hope that bloody comment isnt some kind of cruel joke. The only character that i want to know about almost as much as Logen is Faro and it doesnt seem she’ll have a roll in this one 🙁

  • Er, I would love to see the return of Logen (or Faro!) as much as the next man, but seriously people, “cowardly old step-father Lamb”?

    In what world could even a reformed Ninefingers be considered cowardly, or old for that matter? The biggest, most scarred Northman Luthar had ever seen?

    I don’t buy it.

    Having Cosca back is enough for me. Anyway, let’s face it, every new book brings new favourite characters, that’s what Joe does best, so I am sure this will be no exception.

  • Kreso Dokaza says:

    “None bloodier.”

    Oh. Yes.

    “None bloodier”.


    Cannot. Wait. For. This. Book.

  • Ryan says:

    None bloodier? F**k me, has to be the bloody nine. As for the cowardly thing?, if it’s Logen and he’s all of a sudden turned into a shrewd; will break my heart. Hail hail to Cosco making an appearance though, hoping we’ll see wee friendly as well!

  • Ed Knight says:

    Well it would make sense for Logen to be acting ‘cowardly’ if he is avoiding fighting to stop the ‘Bloody Nine’ side of his personality taking over.

  • James says:

    The story is set a long time after the First Law, thus making Logan at least mid-forties, maybe fifty. Hence the ‘old’.

    As for the cowardly – it makes sense that a man trying to avoid his bloody past would pretend to be a coward to avoid fighting.

  • Dan says:

    Or maybe it’s Friendly? He’s got a fairly ridiculously bloody past, and he could probably pull off this season’s ‘coward look’ a lot more easily. Remember, Logen looks more like an ogre than a man to most southerners. Cowards generally don’t collect quite so much scar tissue.
    “None bloodier” might be as far as any of the characters in this particular book know. This synopsis is not guaranteed to be in omniscient narrator mode.
    I now think it’s Friendly and I sort of hope it is too. He was my favourite character in BSC and a little underused.
    I sincerely hope the next time we see Logen/The Bloody Nine, he will be killing Bayaz’s face off with knives.

  • Jacob says:

    Fan speculation. Sigh…

  • JDA says:

    Please have someone punch bayaz in the face. Even if the poor soul is destroyed by fire afterward. Bayaz needs a good smack.

  • Thaddeus says:

    At the risk of being beaten to death for a shocking lapse of knowledge, who is Friendly? [Obviously keep it as spoiler-free as possible for those yet to enjoy all of Mr. Abercrombie’s books].

    The name rings a bell, but I’m atrocious at remembering them. I’ve read the First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold and The Heroes, but can’t place it.

    Oh, and while I’m confessing to ignorance, roughly what role did Shenkt [I think it was, the super-tough being in Best Served Cold] play in the First Law Trilogy?

  • ryan says:

    @thaddeus – friendly went on the journey with Monza, shivers and those creepy alchemists. He was the guy who was obsessed with numbers and was struggling to adjust after his few years in prison. If none of that rings a bell he ended up staying with cosca come the end of BBC:) ps he also fought shivers but was saved by shenkt:)

  • ryan says:

    BSC, damn predictive text.

  • James says:

    Friendly was the ex-convict with a wonderful skill for numbers who got on excellently with Cosca.

    Shenkt didn’t appear in the First Law trilogy to the best of my recollection. Like to see him again though, someone Sulfur is cautious around is someone to be reckoned with.

  • Graham says:

    A forecast of Cosca with a chance of Ninefingers? I heartily approve this project and all who sail on her.

  • Thaddeus says:

    Ah, yes, thanks, Ryan.

    James, that would explain why I didn’t remember him. I got the impression from Best Served Cold that he was a long term player, so I must’ve put 2 and 2 together and got 5.

    Cheers for helping out a forgetful fellow. You wouldn’t believe the numerous and occasionally hilarious continuity errors I make with first drafts :p

  • Chris says:

    @dan and anyone else who thinks this could be anyone but Logen.


    There is nobody with a bloodier past than Logen. None. So that statement guarantees it is Logen…or Joe is pretty shitty with his word play.

  • Devonswars says:

    Ok ok, I’ll volunteer to be a reader for you, I loath to do it, but one must do what one must for the greater good…have to try….

  • LogansTenthFinger says:

    “There are few men with more blood on their hands than me. None, that I know of. The Bloody-Nine they call me, my enemies, and there’s a lot of ’em. Always more enemies, and fewer friends. Blood gets you nothing but more blood. It follows me now, always, like my shadow, and like my shadow I can never be free of it. I should never be free of it. I’ve earned it. I’ve deserved it. I’ve sought it out. Such is my punishment.”
    -Logan “Lamb” Ninefingers

  • Muzza says:

    I wanted to comment earlier but read “non bloodier” and have been in squealing while doing a handstand for the past 5 days….the shoulders are fully pumped.

    OMFG!!! The big fella is back baby!!! Yeahhhh!!!!! Uh oh, I appear to be hand standing again.

  • AntMac says:

    ( Simply ignoring that last sentence, ’cause it was obviously just you having a laugh )

    Just imagine some Northerner saying “None bloodier” about someone other than Logan.

    *Other Northerners he is talking to*

    “. . . That’s just RUBBISH, the Bloody Nine could spot him a barrel of blood, and still drown the barstard in his historical blood tsunami”.

    However, Western Imperials might not even have heard of Logan.

  • Sedulo says:

    Very exciting news! Thanks for the sneak peek.

  • James says:

    Most welcome Thaddeus sir.

    I think Shenkt is indeed a long-term player, but we’ve only caught a glimpse of his role to date.

    Speaking of those we’ve only had a glimpse of, I reckon a closer look at the Great Prophet wouldn’t go amiss some time soon. Our viewpoint has been very Bayaz-centric so far.

    Any chance Joe?

  • Karl Ruben says:

    Not that I’m not excited about the next book, but I’m wondering when we’ll get to see the inevitable gloating post about Mr. Abercrombie laying waste to the competition at the SFX Weekender 3 Just A Minute, with the appropriate youtube links (ahem).

  • Gary says:

    Joe, after the tidal wave of comments since you posted that small teaser are you now thinking, ‘Jeez what have I started?!’ or are you pretty chuffed with the amount of response?

    The sheer number of comments and interest is testiment to how good you are and I for one am looking forward to your new book. I’m not fussed what recurring characters are in it or not because I’m sure it will be a cracking read regardless.

  • Dan says:

    Logenstenth, great quote. Pretty much nails it that it has to be Logen!

  • The Dude says:

    Just got my subpress edition of Last Argument of Kings. Thus the triologi is complete, and all I can say is that it looks great!

  • Ryan says:

    @Logenstenth, fantastic quote, my fav moment of the first law trilogy. I agree with Dan, has to be ninefingers!

  • Dan says:

    Yea and the whole coward thing makes sense. It’s like Bruce banner avoiding confrontations. I can see Logen being overly cowardly to be sure that tbn never comes out. And that’s most likely all Shy South has ever seen of “lamb,” which is no doubt a nickname given to a cowardly fellow. But it sounds like 15 years of pent up rage is about to be unleashed on the west!!!

  • Seruko says:

    “None Bloodier.” Swoon.
    Oh unforgiven, oh sweet, sweet, sweet.

  • Graham says:

    Well Amazon seems to be be in the know!!

    “With this, his next novel, Joe Abercrombie is once again venturing in a new direction, and on a new adventure, with one of the most enduring, powerful and popular characters of the First Law trilogy. It’s going to be their biggest challenge yet .”

    25% off too! (price that is, still just 10% off fingers)

  • Dan says:

    What are the chances it’s actually Crummock-I-phail?! Lol.

  • Peter S says:

    Never mind Logen — where’s the love for COSCA?!

  • SwindonNick says:

    Enough info to get me ever so slightly moist…..

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    I don’t know whether to be slightly worried about the number of people who appear to have exuded some kind of bodily fluid in response to this post…

  • Gary says:

    “I don’t know whether to be slightly worried about the number of people who appear to have exuded some kind of bodily fluid in response to this post…”

    It’s like your short synopsis is the fantasy book equivalent of the 5 minute previews on the adult tv channels.

  • Jarle says:

    Ah, I love that we will be seeing the bloody-nine again 🙂 And it fits well with him being a coward … he always tried to avoid confrontations in the original trilogy too, it was just … when he couldn’t … that things got bloody.

    “none bloodier” … yay.

    I wonder, is this in any way inspired by Gemmell’s Jon Shannow?

  • James says:

    Logan Ninefingers on the adult channels?

    That’s a scary thought.

  • Gary says:

    Some people only need 5 mins of Logen…

  • dogged says:

    It may just be because I was born into it, but I always read the Northmen as having quite strong North Wiltshire accents. It’s more of a sullen growl than the softer Somerset/Gloucestershire/South West thing, used by farmers and (given Salisbury Plain etc) soldiers who don’t really have all that much to laugh about.

    My father had it, when he bothered to speak at all (which was rare). An entire country full of dour six-footers with no romantic streak at all could be heaven or hell but either way, the North feels like home.

  • mike says:

    If logen’s ancient, how old is Nicomo Cosca going to be?

  • Roger says:


    Nicomo is 7/8 years older than Logen. At the time of A Red Country Nicomo Cosca will be 59 years old (he was 48 at BSC), and Logen will be about 51 (he said he was “past thirty at TBI).

  • styria says:

    …”the lawless plains”..through feuds, duels, and massacres” and the bloody nine will be there to teach some lessons…wanted or not

    expecting to see/hear of Glotka as well…yes, yes o’yay

  • Accepting the old part, I still don’t buy it.

    Ninefingers is huge. He is massively and obviously battle scarred. So even if he is now early fifties, has he shrunk? Oil of Olay taken care of the scars?

    Even if he was trying to avoid conflict, I just don’t see how he could be perceived as cowardly. His appearance alone indicates some kind of grim-faced purger.

    Could be wrong, mind. Be more than happy to be proved so. But I still don’t see it.

  • Chevi77 says:

    What I really like is the timing. Because I have to finish The Heroes, Dance with Dragons and Wise Man’s Fear before it is published. I foresee great reads this 2012!!! Thanks Joe!!

  • Mohammed says:

    I love your books Joe:)

  • Gonin says:

    I know what I’ll be doing the next nine to ten months… just needed another reason to to start all over again! 😉

  • Gordon Smith says:

    Is there any possibility Lamb could be our old friend Glokta? He’s old (probably mid-fifties at this point), we don’t know anything about his recent doings, his physical disabilities force upon him a disposition in which discretion necessarily being the better part of valor could easily be seen as cowardice by rough-hewn frontier types, and his past is pretty damned bloody (member of Inquistion, authorized deliberate starving of Gurkish prisoners just to name a couple things). Does this sound plausible to anyone else?

  • Hawkeye says:

    Gordon, I don’t think Glokta would be able to travel anywhere, let alone on a quest to recover kidnapped folks. I also don’t see a scenario where he is living on the frontier under the name of “Lamb.”

    James. I don’t see Logen as “huge.” He is fairly tall but he has a lean kind of muscle, he is no Arnold on roids. Joe’s world is more natural I’d say. These warriors are fit from swinging blades but not from doing squat’s and bench if you know what I mean. Did you see the picture of Logen on the special edition cover of TBI? That’s just about exactly how I picture him. Yes he is scarred but I’m sure Joe has that covered.

  • Hawkeye says:

    James, if you want to see the cover and picture of Logen I am referring too, go to the “artwork” section of this website and scroll down…

  • Momchil says:

    I was playing Skyrim also, and name my nord Black Daw he he. Since i have read your trilogy for a month without interrupting even for eating i am wandering if i ever meet Logan again and what did happened to him after jumping through the window?

  • Andrew Gray says:

    Is it too early to pre-order this? I really can’t wait.

  • Andrew says:

    I have this to say. In order to get by while waiting for your new book I have started reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I’m through the first two books. I hope that by the time I finish with those your new book will be out, because while I’ve enjoyed Game of Thrones, reading those books is like methadone for a heroine addict. I NEED THE GOOD STUFF! I need that pure First Law World stuff. Sooner rather than later.

  • Matt A says:

    Hey Joe,

    you’re one of my favorites now along with Robin Hobb, Margaret Atwood, Bob Salvatore and Patrick Tilley. Please…unlike Tilley, keep the good times a’ rollin’.

    I love every page of your books and if I could write with a fraction of your intellect I’d be grateful.

    That synopsis is a huge tease but at least now I have an awesome read to look forward to in latter 2012. I’ll add it to my collection of Abercrombie hard covers.

  • Madman42 says:

    I agree with hawkeye on Logan’s size. He was built, for sure, but not altogether huge. The word huge was always used for Tul Duru, Crummock i Phial, Fenris the Feared and Stranger-come-knocking. Heck, I seem to recall Dogman describing Threetrees as slightly bigger than Logan too. Its true that any northman would be considered huge to a midderlander like Jezal, but Ninefingers is definately not as big as you seem to think he is James.

  • Talkingcat says:

    I agree with the poster above… where’s the love for Nicomo Cosca? A good character in the First Law trilogy, he emerged as a truly great one in BSC. Can’t wait for him to be back.

    Also curious to know where this is going to be set- is “the lawless plains” a reference to the Old Empire? In my spare time, I imagine a one-off where Logen turns up alive and is going off to the land of the Gurkhish to find Ferro, and then a trilogy set in the Old Empire, then a few more one offs, then a trilogy to bring everything together in a suitably spectacular way.

    Then another couple of decades of Joe’s books.

  • […] post: Part IV | Joe Abercrombie Be Sociable, […]

  • rosstafarian says:

    i just remembered about a post Joe made a little while back
    Tough question. I’d call that a close match.

    None of the POVs in Red Country are particularly spectacular fighters.”

    does this mean no Logen? or maybe that he’s simply not a POV?

    or maybe Joe is just f’ing with all our heads =/

  • Sure I wasnt thinking huge in terms of gym pumped muscles, just huge in terms of physically big.

    When I first read Jezal’s reaction to seeing Logen the first time, it threw me, because up until that point I didn’t see him as particularly big in my minds eye, he was just another Northman. He description made it clear how he would look to a “normal” person.

    “A great brute of a man”
    “Half a head taller”
    “His face was like a whipped back, criss crossed with ragged scars”
    “As though any further evidence of a life of violence and savagery was necessary”

    This is of course filtered through the point of view of Jezal, and we have to take into account the point of view of Shy herself, who from the brief description appears to be no shrinking violet. Are the lawless plains full of such characters?

    Jezal sees his appearance and sees evidence of violence and savagery. Does Shy ignore the physical traits and the obvious implications of such? Or is she is a Faro type character, used to great scarred brutes, and bases her assessment on his recent behaviour, assuming he has changed and wants to appear cowardly in order to hide his bloody past and refrain from violence?

    Its the scars that are the problem for me. But nobody will be happier if it does turn out to be him.

    But again, it could be a new character, who will turn out to be a new favourite!

  • Alric says:

    We want mooooooore infos!!! Pleaaaase!

  • Jan says:

    Not sure if youre still following this one, Joe, but may I most humbly ask Your Grace if this piece of synopsis relates to Part I or IV or any in between? Or was it just a prologue of sorts?

    Trying to figure out how many so called “main” characters are going to be in this one.

    Anyway, if by any chance you find yourself reading these lines, well, good luck to you! Cant wait for the Red Country. Honest, fingers crossed.

  • Smitty says:

    Am I the only one who is excited out of their minds to see a return of Cosca? I have an image of Star Wars era Billy D. Williams in my head whenever I read a scene with him involved.

    Can’t wait!

  • Chris says:

    rosstafarian, you just made me very sad. As now I’m starting to doubt that Lamb is Logen. And if he is not, I am going to be severely disappointed. And probably hate Joe Abercrombie for life. LIFE!

    Seriously Joe. You can’t say NONE BLOODIER…and not have it be THE BLOODY NINE!

  • Bow says:

    Did I miss something? Why is Logen in his fifties now? Thanks.

  • I’m thinking there will be no Bloody-Nine in A Red Country, here’s my theory.
    “None bloodier”, sorry I don’t think that’s Logen. He wasn’t the bloodiest in the series of five books. It’s the killing machine, Shenkt from BSC. He is way older the Logen, so more blood on his hands. Also, think about this. Vitari and Shenkt had three kids, two girls and a boy. Shenkt kids only maybe see him every few years, so kind of like a Stepfather. Shy is short for Shylo, Vitari’s first name. Lets not forget about Shenkt big revenge against his old master, Bayaz or Khalul? As for who would steal Vitari’s kids, I line starts to the left. Just saying.

    Joe, love the Books and there world, keep them coming.

  • On, and Shenkt felt like a “Coward” around his Kid’s.

  • Bow, the assumption of many is that Lamb is Logen, and from other teaser information we have had is that Red Country is set 15 years on from Last Argument of Kings. Further assuming that Logen was in his 30s in the First Law, hence if Lamb was Logen, he would be around 50s.

    I still don’t think Lamb is Logen. If the Bloody Nine really was coming back, I would imagine he would have a book all to himself and it would be proclaimed from the rooftops. He is simply that popular a character.

  • Hawkeye says:

    James; yea but to me it’s now or never. The way Joe spreads these books out, year wise, Logen is now in his 50’s. If he waits another book or two he would be 60+. Like I said, now or never. This story sets up nicely for a return of Logen and it explains where he’s been all these years. In self exile basically trying to keep the Nine under control. All his step daughter has ever seen is the coward “Lamb.” She’s about to be surprised. I hope.

    Your right that Logen is that popular of a character, that we all believe he should have gotten another trilogy all to himself (at the very least). I personally believe Joe could have made a living out the character alone and done what many authors would have done and milked it. But Joe is not that kind of dude.

  • Maria says:

    So, I guess mostly guys read these books then. And me. <3 Ninefingers.

  • Lazlo Woodbine says:

    It’s easy to overthink these things. Despite the arguments against, I’m still completely convinced that Lamb is Logen. There’s no way way Joe used a statement like ‘none bloodier’ by accident. Besides, it just feels right.

  • Casper says:


    The synopses says that the brother and sister are kidnapped, not the children 😉

  • Nion says:

    I’m so looking forward to the German translation! Well, maybe I’ll brush up my English a little and buy my book in Autumn already. xD

    As for Lamb and Cosca, I hope that we’ll get their points of view. I’ve recognized that it is great to get the inside-view of a character who has been a minor before. But the other way round – to loose someones perspective – is quite rough. When a prior major turns into a minor character, it feels like loosing one of your best friends. Heavier. Like loosing a part of yourself. The person is still there, you see him breathing an acting. But you used to hear his thoughts. You used to know him better than yourself (cause that is why we read books at all, isn’t it?). And suddenly he’s just someone we used to know.

    @Joe: It must be even worse for the author. How do you deal with this?

    P.S.: I have to confess. I assumed you’d do nothing but gaming these days and I bawled at my boyfried how it comes that one who did everything I dream of (getting the damn book out into the world) spends all of his time as I’d long to do. (I’ve stopped gaming some years ago to concentrate on the other issue. ;))

    Best regards, Nion

  • Marion says:

    Joe, if after reading your synopsis waiting more than half a year and finally buying your brilliant new book, only to find that Logen isnt back, I’d feel like asking for a refund.. itd only be fair after the teaser youve given your fans! … but I’d probably still read it first 🙂

    Brilliant books btw!! im rereading the first law right now cos there is nothing that holds my interest like your characters

  • Patrick89 says:

    Hell yeah! This book is gonna be epic! Bring the bloody nine back joe! Cant wait to read it! You ve done a great job with The Heroes again, by the way. Stay tuned Joe and thanks for awesome fantasy!!!

  • Random says:

    Oh, i really think you are into something here Beloved Of The Moon, it is mentioned that Shenkt and Vitaris children are named “Cas”, “Kandle” and “Tee” but Tee sais herself that noone calls her Tee anymore, she is also the oldest one. and even then red country takes place about 10-11 years after BSC, it would also make sense for her to call Shenkt/Lamd a coward, since he scene where he meets the children is the only scene where he isn’t the badass eater.

  • Random says:

    And of course Shenkt got waaaaaaaaaay more blood on his hands than logen. Thinking also of Shenkts fighting methods, we could take “blood on the hands” quite literally, None bloodier…

  • Jacob says:

    Sounds awesome!!! Can’t wait!

    BTW, I bought a Polish translation of Best Served Cold yesterday, even though I’ve read the English original more than once 😉 It was published just a few weeks ago and when I saw it I knew I had to grab it as fast as I could 😉

    Thank you for your books 🙂

    That was me, one of your most devoted fans in Poland ^^

  • Curtis says:

    Joe, Your skill as an author is only exceeded by your evil joy in taunting us with such a meager snippet of your work in progress. Of course that’s why I love your work you vindictive evil man. Cheers.

  • Pieta says:

    Bring back the bloody nine for gods sake – I had a heart attack recently and fear I wont read of him again

  • Gregory says:

    You’ve got to be realistic. Lamb.

  • Dave says:

    Joe: You had me at Cosca!

  • Andy says:

    Folks I think we need to take a chill pill here and trust Joe. It might be Logan, it might not, but the important stuff is that we’ve got a new book (trilogy?) to look forward to. That’s my new tattoo “in joe we trust”

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    Andy’s right y’all. Obviously it will be a magnificent entertainment whoever’s in it. Honest. You can trust me. I’m an author. I make shit up for a living.

  • James says:

    But might that not mean you’re making up that we can trust you?

  • […] Other than our Podcast, the only details on (A) Red Country can be found here. […]

  • Patrick 91 says:

    Nicomo Cosca returns hurra! can’t wait!

  • Scott says:

    Sadly, I can’t see this being Logen. Despite the fact he is my favorite character ever (I know I’m not alone with that) it doesn’t really add up. To me, it seems like Shenkt. Joe please, please give us more of the Bloodynine!

  • Silvio says:

    I want some Glokta action! No, seriously, my favourite fantasy character since Tyrion Lannister. Only more cynical and cunning.

  • Axel says:

    I’m currently watching Deadwood season 1, and can’t help but think back to one of your Blog posts about your inspirations for “A Red Country”, where you posted a picture of your vast collection of material. If indeed Deadwood has inspired you in any way, i can hardly wait for this book to be available for my reading. (Isn’t Al Swearingen just the most awesome character?) Not that Deadwood inspiration in itself would make your works any more desirable. I would probably be just as excited about a new book from you, no matter your choise of inspiration.
    Also, whoever Shy or Lamb ends up being, your skill at making and developing new characters the readers both love and hate, makes me confident in believeing they will end up as new Abercrobie classics either way.
    And another book featuring that good old shifty Nicomo Cosca sure has has me excited.

    I’m really looking forward to more (if any?) teasers, progress, info, from your latest work in progress and pray the day of the finished products arrival in my eager, page turning, hands will arrive swiftly.

    Untill then, i have to be content with reading some Scott Lynch and GRR Martin… Also great authors if i may add.

    -A fan from the Cold North.

  • Kovu says:

    @James Webster

    Why would Logan get his own book and it be clearly announced from the rooftops when Joe’s gone through all this to be elusive on whether he’s actually dead, this is exactly how I’d expect Logan to come back, but it’s also leaving Joe a chance to ruin our year, yes Joe, you will ruin my year if it’s not Logan 😛 Could be the last year too, never know, bout time a Armageddon prediction was right.

  • David says:

    So I don’t want to be a burden on this thread but I don’t know where else to post it. I speak to your new books coming out this winter in my most anticipated books of 2012 here:

    I also used your synopsis from this thread. Hope that’s okay.

  • […] we have this early synopsis from Abercrombie’s blog, from February 2012: Shy South comes home to her farm to find a […]

  • Mallmann says:

    Hey guys, I really think it´s Logen! I quote: With this, his next novel, Joe Abercrombie is once again venturing in a new direction, and on a new adventure, with one of the most enduring, powerful and popular characters of the First Law Trilogy.
    So it can´t be Shenkt.

  • Sebastian says:

    Just finished The Heroes and I am looking forward for your next book. And I hope to god that Logen is in it, if he is not I’ll cry my eyes out. But I can live with it being Shenkt as well.
    Joe Abercrombie and Patrick Rothfuss is my favourite authors atm.
    Keep up the good work Joe and thanks for your entertaining books!

  • Rob Elgie says:

    Did anybody else think joe was referring to ferro in BSC when ishri said her brother had been killed by a women seeking vengeance? God I’d love to know wot happened to logen! He’s such a big character it feels like a loose end flapping away in the wind!!! And then there is this shenkt fellow, I wonder if he was a pervious apprentice to Bayaz before sulfur perhaps? And somewhere down the line they fell out big style. Joe keep doing wot uve been doing its all awesome and I Neva know wots coming next! Sad as always when I finish a good book, for people with a black hole in their life I recommend robin hobb, her books rock.

  • Friendly says:

    Five and four. Nine fingers.

  • […]  Other than our Podcast, the only details on (A) Red Country can be found here. […]

  • ynnarin says:

    i bought all the books after the series and nothing came close to Logan Nine Fingers. This berserker is imho the finest character in this universe… where is he Joe ??

  • Michael says:

    Well i finally got round to reading red country , good book . A little more writing through our heroes eyes would have been better. No point having an A-Lister and never shooting a close up. Another good edition to the first law world though , so thanks Mr Abercrombie .

  • Sam says:

    Loving “A Little Hatred”…Looking forward to meeting Bayaz and Glokta again. You really have created among the best of the genre’s villains/pragmatists. Dear Mr Lord Grimdark…Shy South and her siblings are Vitari and Shenkt’s kids? Shenkt is King Casimir? Please can we learn what has happened to Ferro. She seems to have been busy. Thanks.
    a fan.

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