Publishers Weekly on Red Country

September 3rd, 2012

A second review for Red Country, this time a starred one from that esteemed organ of the US Book Trade, Publishers Weekly:

Abercrombie continues expanding the world of his First Law trilogy with this gripping and violent stand-alone military fantasy, which loosely follows The Heroes. Shy South returns home from a trip to town to find her younger brother and sister have been kidnapped and her farm razed. Shy and her stepfather, Lamb, who both have some shady spots in their past, begin to track a cold-blooded killer who’s rounding up children and herding them to the far north. Along the way, they encounter numerous impediments, including trophy-taking natives, raging rivers, and run-ins with both Union soldiers and Northmen. Meanwhile, Gen. Cosca of the Company of the Gracious Hand illegally marches his mercenaries over the northern border in search of rebels, real or imagined, stirring up mayhem and ill will as he goes. Terrific fight scenes, compelling characters (some familiar, some new), and sardonic, vivid prose show Abercrombie at the top of his game.

Some of the technical details a tad wayward, but otherwise – Zing.

Posted in reviews by Joe Abercrombie on September 3rd, 2012.

5 comments so far

  • I’d buy it anyway, but nice to see that it’s being well received already!

    Is there any literary critic you feel a particular desire to impress, Joe? Someone who’s opinion you hold in such high regard that you’d be gutted if they gave you a bad write-up? Not that I’ve ever actually seen a bad review of any of your books.

  • Joe Abercrombie says:

    I’m a lot less prickly than I used to be about reviews. No one likes reading a shitty one, of course, but sometimes you get more out of those than the blandly positive. Nice to get good reviews from newspapers or magazines – they don’t say much but, rightly or wrongly, they still hold a cachet you don’t get elsewhere. Opinions of other authors are always interesting. And I do like reading more in-depth critical analysis of the type you get from folks like Nic Clarke, Niall Harrison, Kyra Smith, Martin Lewis, to pluck some names from the ether whose commentary on my stuff I’ve found insightful, informative, illuminating at one time or another. I think Adam Roberts is about the best critic in SF&F, for my money – sharp, funny, fearless, fearsomely erudite.

  • Richard says:

    Hey Joe,

    Kudos on the good reviews.

    I was just wondering, as a writer do you feel that its normal to detest a piece of work you’ve just written. I’ve finished a few short stories but when I re-read them it just feels cringey.

    Does this ever happened to you?

  • Sarah T says:

    Really hoping your publisher gets the requested galley to me and the other fantasy bookseller at work. We’re hoping to choose Red Country as our staff pick for the big Xmas/holiday newsletter the bookstore puts out. Crossing fingers and toes!

  • Dr.Gonzo says:

    Sounds nice.

    And thanks for the list of western inspirations you posted Joe. Finished the McCarthy (nice but I still got my problems with his style) and started “Journal of the gun years” (so far really well written, I like the spelling and blank lines whenever the text goes into swearing).

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