Red Country

“Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else: Red Country is a
marvellous follow-up to his highly praised The Heroes.”
Eric Brown, for The Guardian

A Stand-Alone Novel Set in the World of The First Law

“Each land in the world produces its own men individually bad – and, in time, other bad men who kill them for the general good.” – Emerson Hough

Red Country, UK PaperbackThey burned her home.

They stole her brother and sister.

But vengeance is following.

Shy South hoped to bury her bloody past and ride away smiling, but she’ll have to sharpen up some bad old ways to get her family back, and she’s not a woman to flinch from what needs doing. She sets off in pursuit with only a pair of oxen and her cowardly old step father Lamb for company. But it turns out Lamb’s buried a bloody past of his own. And out in the lawless Far Country, the past never stays buried.

Their journey will take them across the barren plains to a frontier town gripped by gold fever, through feud, duel and massacre, high into the unmapped mountains to a reckoning with the Ghosts.  Even worse it will force them into alliance with Nicomo Cosca, infamous soldier of fortune, and his feckless lawyer, Temple, two men no one should ever have to trust…

Book Details

UK / ANZ Print
Publisher: Gollancz
Date: (First Published in Hardcover, October 2012)
ISBN: 9781409130772
Format: Medium (B-format) Paperback
R.R.P.: £8.99 / $AUS19.99

North American Print, Ebook & Audio
Publisher: Orbit
ISBN: 9780316187206
Format: Large (Trade) Paperback
R.R.P.: US$7.99 / CAN$9.99

North American Limited Edition
Publisher: Subterranean Press
Format: 500 Signed Hardcover / 26 Leatherbound Traycase
R.R.P.: $80.00 / $275.00

Publisher: Gollancz (UK) / Orbit (US)
ISBN: 9780575095854 / 9780316214445

Publisher: Orion Audio (UK) / Hachette Audio (US)
ISBN: 9781409141532 / 9781619692336

German Edition
Publisher: Heyne (

Spanish Edition
Publisher: Alianza Editorial (

French Edition
Publisher: Bragelonne (

Cover Gallery

US PaperbackUS Limited Edition HardcoverAudio EditionGerman EditionSpanish EditionFrench Edition

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Buying Info

UK Print & Ebook | Book Depository | Hive | Waterstones | WHSmith

North American Print & Ebook | | |

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Red Country

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Reviews and Plaudits

  • A Sunday Times Hardcover Bestseller
  • A New York Times Hardcover Bestseller

“Abercrombie rings the changes with his sixth novel, tipping his hat to the Western genre but continuing his mission to drag fantasy, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century with his characteristic mix of gritty realism, complex characterisation, set-piece scenes of stomach-churning violence and villains who are as fully rounded as his flawed heroes … Abercrombie writes fantasy like no one else: Red Country is a marvellous follow-up to his highly praised The Heroes.”
Eric Brown, for The Guardian

“This is not the epic fantasy of your fathers. Abercrombie has attempted something quite audacious – he’s essentially written a Western in the style of one from Clint Eastwood’s classic period, but set it in an epic fantasy world. And, darn, if he doesn’t pull it off … Red Country reads like neither a Western nor a fantasy novel, but something new, fresh and exciting.”
David BarnettThe Independent

“The star rating says all you need to know about Joe Abercrombie’s exhilarating sixth novel … [His] knack for wit and grit holds your attention throughout, and his eye for character means there’s heart as well as muscle.”
– Dave Bradley, SFX Magazine (5 star review)

Red Country is Abercrombie’s love letter to the Western, and unlike many that make a complete hash of the spit and sawdust stereotypes that make up the genre, he gets it magnificently … As you’d expect from Abercrombie this is chockfull of grim humour, action and violence, and very much aimed at the cynical, gritty end of the fantasy spectrum.
– Daniel Cairns, Sci-Fi Now

“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 … Terrific fight scenes, compelling characters (some familiar, some new), and sardonic, vivid prose show Abercrombie at the top of his game.”
Publishers Weekly

“There’s jaw-dropping violence, twists, turns and character arcs that prompt the occasional muted cheer. Abercrombie is fast supplanting George R.R. Martin as the standard by which all contemporary epic fantasy should be measured. Read it.”
– Jared Shurin, Pornokitsch

Red Country is as dark, as cynical, as violent and as grimly-humorous as we have come to expect. The characters are as un-stereotypical as ever. The ‘heroes’ are not your clean-cut type, your ‘villains’ are at times worthy of your sympathy … It shows all of Joe’s strengths and is easily on par with previous books, which is all the recommendation some will need.”
– Mark Yon, SFFWorld

“This is Abercrombie’s best book to date. His writing is sharper than the swords his characters wield and the new setting allows Gritty Fantasy’s father to ramp up the pace!”
– Marc Aplin, Fantasy Faction

“The exploration of themes is Red Country‘s highest accomplishment. The characters are believable in their cowardice and their courage, and those recurring characters are bound to incite no small amount of excitement. The action is intense and grisly. The writing is finely constructed.”
– Nick Sharps, SF Signal

“Bloody, unheroic, compelling – Red Country is all of these things, a real page-turning fantasy. Abercrombie co-opts the best elements of the Western without pastiche or mockery, and delivers a massively enjoyable read, combining action and genuine emotion to great effect.”
– Simon Appleby, BookGeeks

“A story of violence, mayhem and vengeance and the effect it has on all-too-human characters … a strong effort from one of the better writers in the genre.”
– Adam Whitehead, The Wertzone

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