Red Country - Joe Abercrombie I don't often give books a five star rating, but I really did enjoy every aspect of this book. Right from the start I found Shy interesting and easy to read about. I know many people were surprised and put off by the Western feel of this particular book. Given the popularity of Firefly (a western space opera), I'm a little surprised by that reaction.

He does an excellent job giving the entire story a very western feel. It is a standalone like all the other books aside from his trilogy, but I really do strongly recommend reading everything in order. There are returning characters from previous books, and I just have a feeling the enjoyment would be lessened a great deal if one isn't familiar with them.

I had been exciting to read another book that promised to feature Cosca prominently, because I really enjoyed him in Best Served Cold. Cosca is not as prominent in this particular book, and he's decidedly less likable. If you don't want to be spoiled, I would actually stop reading my review right about here. Okay. Have you stopped? Seriously. Stop now. I'm going to talk more about Cosca. So, it turns out he's basically the villain in this book. One of them. I suppose there are a few, but I'd consider him the main antagonist, despite Shy's mission to find her missing brother and sister.

Out of all of Abercrombie's books, this one had the least dark ending. It's very mixed, like his previous books, but there's more hope in this one than in most of the others. This is the only one of his books that had a romantic relationship in it that wasn't incredibly unhealthy. It was kind of refreshing. As much as I appreciate authors that do present BAD relationships, which are underrepresented in fantasy despite being really common in real life, it was nice seeing the opposite for a change. And an author praised for his realism must realize that in real life, sometimes people DO stay together, of course.

I appreciated seeing the loose ends tied up at the end. I was waiting for Shivers to reappear, as he was an obvious gun on the wall, and I honestly was not expecting the outcome that occurred there.

The one thing I didn't figure out, and maybe I wasn't meant to and it's intended to be revealed in a later book, was the identity of the Mayor of Crease. I know she had a history with Cosca, and did not use her name. I couldn't place her with any of the female characters from the previous books, and it was driving me crazy.

The very end was pretty much the perfect, classic ending for a western. I was thoroughly satisfied by this book, and cannot think of a single complaint.