Joe Abercrombie’s newest novel, Red Country did not disappoint. I love how he just dives into the story and then allows you to get to know the characters later. Also, I enjoy that he references the other books, but does not explain it to you, allowing the reader the chance to figure it out.
The book is set in a new land, something like America’s old west/frontier period. The group had to travel west across some plains and face off against some dangerous indigenous people. It was definitely a nice addition to the First Law universe.
The plot is your standard rescue operation, which Abercrombie twists around with his typical dark humor. Every character has something interesting about them or at the least, something more than what appears at first. Anyways, it is time for a casting call of the characters (and yes, I will use these as a way to recap the book)
The main character of the book. She sets out to rescue her brother and sister after they are kidnapped. She has a bit of shady past, she ran off when she was young and became a bank robber and bandit. She killed some people and had a bounty on her head. She feels bad because they hanged a girl who looked nothing like her and claimed it was her.
She is pretty tough and a great negotiator. She has some skills with a knife and is not afraid to get her hands dirty and do some hard work. I believe she has a slight gap in her teeth and some of the people say she is not ugly.
Elisabeth Moss, who plays Peggy Olson on Mad Men, would be perfect. As Peggy, she tends to be a bit snarky and has that attitude that she is a real badass. It would be cool to see her playing an actual badass, and then she will see what a real stone cold killer is like.
Shy’s stepfather, a big Northman, who is meek and cowardly. As soon as he is introduced, I knew he was. When he fights Glama Golden and Golden recognizes him, I thought for sure that he was going to say his real name. It worked so much better when no one ever says it.
We see Lamb’s fighting skill gradually show itself, first he kills a few guys, then he starts going on rampages, killing some Ghosts, and then cutting off their leader’s head during a peace talk. When the group makes it to the Dragon People, his pure berserker rage shows itself and he almost kills Shy and her sister.
Originally, I thought that Ray Stevenson should play Logen Ninefingers, and I still stick by that decision. It is pretty clear that Abercrombie has styled this older Logen after Clint Eastwood (he acknowledges him at the beginning). I feel like Stevenson could still pull off Lamb, he looks gentle enough at times and can definitely pull off the scary Bloody-Nine stuff.
The lawyer originally in service to the Company of the Gracious Hand and Nicomo Cosca. He eventually becomes disgusted with the way unnecessary killing and runs away from the Company, eventually running into Caul Shivers. After an attack from some Ghosts, he falls into a river and is washed away, where he is saved by Shy.
At first, he is indebted to Shy, who paid for his way into the Fellowship. She works him pretty hard and when they finally arrive at Crease, they learn that he has a real talent: carpentry. He earns enough money to pay back Shy and eventually they sleep together. Unfortunately, afterwards when some bad man comes for Shy, Temple dives out a window. Eventually he sort of redeems himself and ends up moving to Squaredeal with Shy and opening a shop.
I think that Tobey Maguire could pull this one off. He could pull off the self deprecation and the jokes under his breath. I also see him being believable as a coward, but also someone with a bit of a conscious.
The famous Far Country scout, rumored to have once killed a giant red bear with just his hands. He is the guide for the Fellowship. Unfortunately, he has a bit of a shady side to him. He is working with the Ghosts, they scare the Fellowships and then he brokers a deal between them, getting a cut from the Ghosts. Yeah, a real standup guy. Unfortunately, for him, this all ends when Lamb decides to cut off Sangeed’s head.
Need an older guy for this one, someone who looks like he has been though a bit of shit during his day. Someone who may have once had a good heart and actually thought about more than making a little money. How about Tommy Lee Jones? He does the comedic thing well and can also be a bit of a badass.
One of the scary rebels that Inquisitor Lorsen is using the Company to root out. Abercrombie makes us believe that he is the leader of the rebel forces (someone named Conthus). He is a skilled fighter and becomes friends with Lamb. Men who do not say much, but can hold their own in a fight.
I think Sean Penn would be perfect for the role. He would do the whole steely eyed stare so well. I also remember him in Mystic River and he was great as a man with a bit of a past.
Now that we have Savian established, who would play his niece?
She is a bit of a tough chick like Shy, probably a little older. I think they note a few times how she has blue eyes. When Savian goes with Lamb and Shy, she stays behind and later she resurfaces with some rebels and we learn that she is actually Conthus, the dreaded rebel leader. I have a feeling that Corlin will pop back up at some point. These rebels will make some trouble at some point, especially with all of their new found money.
I think Joanna Garcia would be perfect for the role. Actually, I am just including her because Lindsey has forced me to watch Reba a bunch lately. Sue me, I am not all that smart sometimes. And yes, I realize she does not have blue eyes, but I am sure contacts can be used.
A young man that Shy and Lamb run into at the beginning of the voyage. His family was killed when the bandits attacked and took his brother. He carries a bow and when they join up with the Fellowship, Lamb tells everyone that he is the best shot with a bow.
I think that Skandar Keynes would do well in the role. Mainly because I thought he was great in the Narnia movies and I want to see him in more stuff. Yep, these are my reasons.
That does it for my casting call. I realize there are a few more minor characters and they can be discussed in the comments. I really hope the next book features Lamb and Caul Shivers teaming up after the end of this one (since Lamb leaves after Caul comes and decides against settling the score). That would be a book full of death and carnage.
Also, I left out any characters that I already made a casting decision from an earlier book. Check those out if you want.