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Red Country

Red Country, Joe Abercrombie.

His latest, and I think best book, Red Country is basically Unforgiven in a fantasy setting. With a sprinkling of Western tropes here and there. If you haven't seen Unforgiven then you will be completely lost. I decided to shake up my usual everybody-stand-in-a-line thing and had 'em all kinda...stand around at various perspectives like an album cover. Verdict still isn't in here.

So in the back we've got dragon people guy. I don't actually remember his name. I'm not sure he has one...did the dragon people not have names? Anyway he steals children. I just realized this drawing is very pair-y only white robe dragon guy is sorta left out. He doesn't really have a counterpart. Grega Cantliss? Not gonna draw him.

Also in the back, and in the black we got Inquisitor Lorsen and Superior Pike of his majesty's Inquisition. Inquisitor Lorsen you might remember as the tired and self-righteous warden of the penal colony in Angland. Pike you might remember from him being a serious WHooooooooooAAAAAAAhhhhaaaattttt???!?!!!!moment in The Last Argument of Kings. Also he's burned and looks like Pizza-the-Hut.

Lower down the maimed ladder is of course, Caul Shivers. I decided that post-ball Shivers is going to be blonde. No piece of Abercrombie fan-art is complete without some level of Shivers in it.

Now the main event. Shy South, and Temple. Ah desert romance. I'm going to be frank here. I have kind of a crush on Temple. Rarely do I find a male character genuinely appealing. If I were a lady, I'd be super into him is alls I'm sayings. Shy is good too. She's that spunky, shrewy, bossy vulnerable girl all us guys like.

Bottom left, our old friend Cosca. Older now. More syphilis. Less hair. More autobiographer. Oh yeah the autobiographer. Ehhh he is basically the same guy from Unforgiven.

Lamb. Of. Not-God(definitely).

And then two of my favorites from this book, old Dab Sweet and his maybe-wife Crying Rock. They are adorable. Dab Sweet is sort of a legendary scout in this part of the Crombieverse, and Crying Rock ain't no slouch neither. Oh man I just remembered she smokes a pipe ugh. I won't go back to it.

You know, if there are any Red Country fans out there you can help me out. I know there are a BUNCH of characters in here who change their names...who did they used to be? I keep wondering if maybe someone is supposed to be somebody but I don't have the smarts to figure it out.
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StillVisage's avatar
Oh and I really hope he returns to this series. I need moooooooooore. So many unresolved conflicts in this universe.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Like just how much more crazy did Bremar dan Gorst get!? Are Glokta and his wife happy?!
StillVisage's avatar
Was Aliz dan Brint able to bear civilized children for Stranger-Come-Knocking? lol
Bremar became a hero and I loved that. Glotka is hands down my favorite character of the whole
series. I would argue he has the most depth and fleshed out arch. So yes, please give me more Glotka!

I'm really dying to read more about the conflict between Bayaz and Monza Murcatto's powerful adviser (his name escapes
me at the moment). The empire to the south also seems to be very powerful despite losing at the end of the trilogy.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Oh damn. Yeah. Fucker-Come-Knocking I forgot about him. I want to know what happened there haha.

Glokta is fantastic, if I'm nitpicking though it always bothered me that Frost and Severard both betrayed him basically. As it was happening I was like...have you not seen him win after win after win and punish his enemies? Where is the retained memory here? The final part between Glokta and Bayaz is truly one of my most favorite moments in all of fantasy though. What a climax, damn.

Oh, Monza's adviser. Was that uhhh Shankt or whatever? The Bone Collector who boned her back to life? Or was it somebody else?

Abercrombie wrote a few short stories set in the world, you should check them out. Did you read the one that featured uhhh Craw and Wonderful and Whirrun before the events of The Heroes? There was also one about Shy South before Red Country and then a really strange one that was about like some guys who work for Bayaz hunting down an object of some kind.
StillVisage's avatar
Huh, I heard nothing about those short stories. I'll def check em out!

On Glotka getting betrayed, Serverard was just some weak kid in a mask and I can see him being
stupid enough to doubt Glotka (which is disappointing cuz he looks like the Winter Soldier).
I'm assuming Frost just thought he could end him quickly (before Glotka could find out) with his immense
strength. It was an odd twist but it only reinforced the theme of betrayal throughout the series. Try to
aid a wounded friend only to have the bloody nine stab you as a thank you.

But yeah that's the guy, Shenkt. Dude doesn't bow anymore and I'd like to see if he was for real :P
He seemed very powerful, probably Bayaz's student or something. I just want Bayaz to get whats coming
to him, even if it means eaters invading the union. Speaking of eaters, I thought they were really cool
and would like to see more of their higher ranks. It's like ASoIaF's counterpart to Whitewalkers.

Man look at me rambling, I just love this series and no one I know has heard of it as much as I recommend it.
It is nice to see people's interpretations of the characters on this site.

Will def draw a few myself some time :B
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
I mean, yeah but only kind of! Like, Glokta isn't betrayed by West, or Ardee. Bah. I'm so sour on it haha. I liked the team of Glokta, Frost, and Severard. It was just too painful at the end like that. But then again since Glokta was ascending quickly, he needed to cast off old things.

Haha Bayaz is the hero! The thing I've always dwelled on in First Law is like, how come nobody else does magic? Like the Eaters can kinda do stuff since they've been around a long time and they gain powers from Eatin'. But why has Bayaz magic seemed to disappear except for him? Does nobody know but him and his followers? Hm.

Yeah First Law is great. I know a lot of people who read fantasy but they resist the Abercrombs for some reason. I think it's the covers. But man you can't keep that guy down he writes a new book literally every year. While you're waiting on Martin, Lynch, Weeks, Sanderson, and if you still kvare, Rothfuss, then Abercrombie is where you go to actually READ something. And he's consistently good and develops great characters every time.
StillVisage's avatar
I agree, I liked their team and was shocked when it turned out the way it did. Their loyalty was really sweet while it lasted.

I would definitely argue that he is not the hero (unless that was sarcasm :P).
It is implied that he has many skeletons in his closet. The fact that Logen didn't want to be involved with him further at
the end of the trilogy was a sure sign that Bayaz was nothing but trouble. Unless you mean Bayaz is the hero because of
the greater good. To me though, he just seems like a megalomaniac.

OMG yeah those guys are taking forever with their respective series. Not to knock those guys, great writers but, it is commendable that
Abercrombie is as active as he is. I agree I think some of the covers look way too generic (that actually kind of kept me off for a bit)
like Best Served Cold's lame cover. Would love if they chose to do covers closer to this:…
At the very least make minimalist and elegant covers.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Oh man Bayaz is TOTALLY the hero! Logen and Glokta are both bad dudes who just come out on top by screwing over the worse dudes and/or just getting away alive after doing something horrible. The whole series is all about how, yeah, Bethod is bad but Logen was JUST as bad and they used to be pals, but screw Bethod yeah! Logen now!

Bayaz is bad but is he really worse than Kalul? I mean he's clearly the smartest of the followers of Juvens or whatever. He set up the best society and his ego is kind of manageable to me at least. Like he doesn't need people constantly worshipping him, just obeying.

I mean it's definitely dubious as to what's heroic in these books haha. They're the most morally ambigious thing I've ever read.
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StillVisage's avatar
I really like how you portrayed Caul Shivers in this.


My only gripe with this book is that he didn't show up much :/
But when he it was good. He's one of those characters
we just don't know what is going on in his mind after what happened
in Best Served Cold which is quite intriguing.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Caul Shivers is great, I do feel like he showed up just the right amount though. Honestly it barely made sense for him to go after so-and-so again after so many years. I mean, he didn't even like his father and brother!

Have you read his latest series? If not I would highly recommend it.
StillVisage's avatar
kk will give it try!
StillVisage's avatar
Oh is his latest series really worth reading? I believe it is called half a king. I heard some people liked it and some didn't so I haven't given it a fair chance.
I may have to check it out.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
It's great. It's lower in scope than First Law but it's completely WORTH reading absolutely. Full throated endorsement.
StillVisage's avatar
hahaha as I was typing my original post I thought about what you pointed out. Caul Shivers really did show up just the right amount. Made his appearances
memorable for the book. And yeah I also thought to myself, wait a sec... he hated his family lol. I just chalked it up to him being very conflicted and pissed about
everything since getting his eye burned out.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Yeah I mean, that's how it's played when he shows up. He's kind of "Well I thought I just should come kill you cuz you suck but, I dunno anymore. I suck too and you're old."
TroutMaskBen's avatar
I'm at this one right now. Keeping this pic next to me at all times when i'm home
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Lemme know when you finish. This one is a wild one.
TroutMaskBen's avatar
It's been a while, but yeah, I just finished it.
Close first with BSC, but jeez man, what an ending. It got pretty slow for me until Cantliss appeared, then it became one of the best stories I've ever read. Such a sour and bleak ending man, Temple stealing the money, the kids with stockholm syndrome, then Shy and Lamb just abandoning them, and just that whole representation of Cosca and the company, it just blew me away. Best Served Cold didn't do it like this (although I do think it's still my favourite Abercrombie yet). But shit, what a cool book. I'm gonna sound like a stickler and say I wish you could draw more characters from that book, but hey your call lol ;).
I also read Half a King and, i dunno tbh. Really not interested in the characters at all, it felt real vanilla. Personally can't wait for the next project set in the First Law world.
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
oh I'm sorry to hear that, I thought Half a King was really good. Did you read the next one? I think it's even better, but haha I won't pressure you to read it.

I agree I think Red Country is probably his best book. I'd love to draw more but, I'm extremely busy as of late.
TroutMaskBen's avatar
I understand, sir. 
I'll give it a gander. Gonna download the audiobook, heard a lot of good things about it.
NavyNate's avatar
I love this.  But since you asked for help...

Carlot dan Eider is the Mayor.  I think she and Pappa Ring belong most definitely.   I agree with piotes, Lamb has gone gray by this point.  Also, I'd like to see the Odd Magi with the birds... Zacharias maby? (not looking it up)  You can also put in Shy's little sister and brother with the Dragon Guy if you think that he is lonely.  Sgt. Friendly is with Cosca although he really doesn't do much. Likewise Glamda Golden from The Heroes.  But he doesn't do all that much either except probably #2 himself when he pieces together who Lamb used to be.

I adore your Crying Rock.  I too imagined Ghosts as Ginger Asians. 
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Carlot dan Eider. That traitor! I knew she was the Mayor. Did anyone think that Grega Cantliss was someone though? Doesn't he say his name wasn't always Grega Cantliss?

Zacharias, right. If I ever did him I would do him with Bayaz and Yulwei.
I love all your drawings, but I didnt like this one that much, Temple, Shy, Lorsen, Cosca and the biographer are great but the others...
I imagined Lamb bigger, with a grey-white hair and beard, but this Lamb looks too young.
Dab and CR are way too old and the dragon people guy looks too Gandhi'ish.
Anyway, its still a great drawing and Id love to see you drawing more characters from the books
Sir-Heartsalot's avatar
Great well thanks for the input.
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