Or why you should read Red Country by Joe Abercrombie
Red country is an Epic Fantasy novel that is also a Western. Actually that summation doesn't really give the novel credit: while it is built around this concept, Red Country manages to fuse its constitutive genres into a complete thing that is all its own. Like literary Thai food. But with black comedy and brutal murders.
Red country is the sixth novel set in Joe Abercrombie's First Law universe and follows Shy South, a hard nosed settler with a bloody past, and her stepfather Lamb, an old, cowardly, nine-fingered Northman as they hunt for their kidnapped family members. To find these stolen children the pair must brave the lawless frontier filled with savage Ghosts, bandits, desperate prospectors, mercenaries, and their own bloody pasts. It's a riveting tale of the wilderness, men's courage and greed, family, and sharpened blades.
It's also, like all of Abercrombie's books, exceptionally well written. The prose is rich with ridiculously vivid characters that climb, hacking and bleeding, off the page. The story is morally complex, makes brilliant use of recurring characters and further builds upon the world Abercrombie is creating. Abercrombie's humor is as dark and funny as ever. While Red Country is clearly a little different from previous Abercrombie books and a stand alone effort, fans of his work will vastly enjoy this book.
I'd also like to point out jut how great a combination Western and Epic Fantasy literature make. It's hard to discuss it overmuch without spoiling the book: but seriously guys, Thai food.
Red country is a novel I can recommend to anyone. Seriously, go read it. Now.