Disclaimer: I?m only halfway through. But I am bored by this book.
What do you call a fantasy novel with no fantasy?
Deathly dull, that?s what.
I am a Joe Abercrombie fan ? I think I introduced this board to him ? but I am not enjoying Red Country. Where are the fantasy elements that were so deftly handled in Abercrombie?s masterful First Law trilogy?
No Eaters. No Shanka. No Tolomei. No communing with spirits. No Ferro Maljinn, and whatever she?s become. No Bayaz. No Magi. No Seed. No Divider. In fact, no magic of any kind. No Arch Lector Glokta.
F?rinstance, a scene I really enjoyed in The First Law was when the Union retook a captured castle ? and found something obscene within. The besieged Northmen had cut a summoning circle into the stone of the castle, in an attempt to raise ? something. What they hoped would aid them was never really explained, but that is the kind of ?we?re not in Kansas any more? weirdness that I look for in fantasy; in vain here.
I think the Western motif could have succeeded, if it hadn?t pushed out fantasy completely. As it is, I feel like I?m reading an out-and-out Western novel with a very, very thin veneer of fantasy overlaid. Not what I signed up for.
As I say, I haven?t finished yet, so I?ll push on and hope things improve, and that some of his originality and freshness make an appearance. But so far? Red Country has been a big disappointment.
I froth and I vote.