cover image Red Country

Red Country

Joe Abercrombie. Orbit, $25.99 (640p) ISBN 978-0-316-18721-3

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. Agent: Susan Howe, Orion. (Nov.)