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MisterOJ

Shattered Sea Trilogy (aka 'So much for Abercrombie's sabbatical')

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Read it recently. I was sort of disappointed because I'd imagined it would be about Yarvi struggling to be king, rather than Adventures with Slavers. Still a good dose of Abercrombie fun though.

I also guessed all the twists but it didn't really diminish the enjoyment.

I dunno how clever Joe thinks it is but it is quite clever anyway. I can't think of anybody who does it better in the fantasy genre. I just read his short story in Rogues the other day and the whole thing is just full of that stuff.

You're right about that short story in Rogues, it's vintage Abercrombie. Just about every paragraph is cleverly funny. I thought Half a King was pretty good but it doesn't show what Abercrombie is capable of like this short story does.

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I read this last month and really enjoyed it. Not quite as satisfying as TFL or the standalones, but quality summer reading nonetheless.

A sea is a continuous body of salt water and a shattered sea is presumably something that was formerly a continuous body of salt water that has now been broken up, either by land (understood literally) or by travel (understood metaphorically).

It's a homage to Tolkien, I assume - he had "the Sundering Sea" in the Silmarillion.

May be my simple mind at work but I assumed "Shattered Sea" was in some way a reference to the splintering of God, i.e. the Elvish apocalypse that among other things laid waste to that ruined city Yarvi & co. passed by (I forget the name).

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May be my simple mind at work but I assumed "Shattered Sea" was in some way a reference to the splintering of God, i.e. the Elvish apocalypse that among other things laid waste to that ruined city Yarvi & co. passed by (I forget the name).

"Elves" in this case being

Us, right? Modern society. Because all these ruins are made of steel and concrete and the Shend woman was wearing piece of a motherboard as her jewelry. Also, some of the ruins are clearly radioactive.

On the whole I have enjoyed the book, but it wasn't up to Abercrombie's usual standards. And not because it is YA and doesn't have cursing and sex. It clearly follows the same scheme as The First Law, i.e. what at first looks like a stereotypical high fantasy, but with twists that make it much more than that and quite different in the end.

But unlike TFL, the "by the numbers" part didn't include great characters or great intrigue. Yarvi himself was OK, but everybody else just never rose over their stereotypes enough to make them interesting/alive. And the adventure part was very predictable.

The ending was good, though. I didn't

see the betrayal of Mother Grunding coming, I have to confess. I thought that Isriun managed to use her training as a minister's apprentice to trick her. From what we have heard about the High King, supporting his plots was hardly "for the greater good" either.

Also, shouldn't Grandmother Wexen have killed Yarvi or otherwise prevented him from returning to Gettland? He had all the pieces, after all, and has clearly proven himself vengeful.

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"Elves" in this case being

Us, right? Modern society. Because all these ruins are made of steel and beton and the Shend woman was wearing piece of a motherboard as her jewelry. Also, some of the ruins are clearly radioactive.

Maybe? I didn't view it that way the first read through but I can see where you'd come to that conclusion.

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Maybe? I didn't view it that way the first read through but I can see where you'd come to that conclusion.

That's pretty much how I interpreted it, too.

Ruined buildings made of steel and reinforced concrete. Circuit boards.

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That's pretty much how I interpreted it, too.

Ruined buildings made of steel and reinforced concrete. Circuit boards.

I did find the rebar-in-concrete to be oddly evocative of modern construction. Totally whiffed on the circuit board reference; I need to go back and take a look.

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Just finished it and I really liked it. I definitely noticed the difference since it was for the younger ones but I'm wondering how teens respond to it. I saw some of the predictions

but I completely missed the mother board necklace. I did begin to suspect Nothing when he screamed the price Yarvi was willing to pay was too high but it wasn't until he was shaving and about to enter that I was sure. I think that foreshadowing and reveal was really well done for a YA book.



Can't wait for book 2 and 3.

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It's unfortunate that Abercrombie and Lawrence have both released books heavily featuring Vikings. It doesn't really help with the constant comparisons but does suggest "the vikings" tv show is striking a chord with fantasy authors.


That said the books are very different besides the vikings influence. The likliehood of who the elves are would be another case of the authors doing similar things too (although it's not a unique trope as Richard Morgan is also playing with it and I'm sure many others have too). The southwest of England must make people think this way.



I think I enjoyed HAK more than Red country. Mainly because I really enjoyed the fast pacing. I think there were a couple of characters who felt a little too similar to his TFL characters. The pirate woman and Cosca being the prime example but there were other sublte ones too. I guess TFL characters were always lopsided views at standard fantasy tropes though.


A minor issue was that some of the twists were easy to spot for regular Abercrombie fans. As it's a YA book i suspect that won't be an issue for the target audience though. I was still taken aback by the ultimate end though

I knew who "nobody" was but thought Yarvi would still succeed in becoming king. Top marks for going the other way with it.


I enjoyed it and it's been a long time since I read a book within 24 hrs - although being trapped on a plane for 12 hours helps with that.


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Oh, I think it's fucking genius. That goes without saying.

Bloody Hell Joe! (That is a term of exacerbation for you jolly ol' English types right? I'm a Texans and trying to learn how to talk to the natives).

I am about half way through this one right now, and so far, it is every bit as good as anything Mr. Abercrombie has written. All of the characters seem very developed for the amount of time that we spend with them, and the story line is intricate enough to keep things moving at a entertaining pace. I don't understand what qualifies this as a YA book though. It seems the only thing not in this that is in some of his other work is the word fuck. I really enjoy this authors writing, and I can't wait to finish this book, and the rest in this series. I have yet to be anything less than thrilled to read anything that he has written.

Now, back to Joe... Don't get a swelled head Mr. Bigshot... You can be a great and wonderful author everywhere else in the world, but we're on to you. Around these parts you're just a normal geek like the rest of us... :)

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Bloody Hell Joe! (That is a term of exacerbation for you jolly ol' English types right? I'm a Texans and trying to learn how to talk to the natives).

I believe the phrase you're looking for is "By the golden boots of David Beckham!".

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I did finish today and found this book to be memorable and enjoyable. It stands next to anything else that The author has done. I still don't understand what makes a YA book though...


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I did finish today and found this book to be memorable and enjoyable. It stands next to anything else that The author has done. I still don't understand what makes a YA book though...

Yeah, it stood pretty well as an adult read too. When I read that it was young adult, I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, but honestly I barely even noticed that it was more tailored for a younger reader than myself. You can see it in the toned down violence, the general lack of sex, and the cleaner language, but the story and characters were fun and interesting and the book moved at a fast pace. I finished it in a couple of days, which is really fast for me given my work and social schedules that leave me limited time each day to read. Basically, I kind of gauge how good a book is by how quickly I burn through it, or rather by whether I spend every extra second trying to read a bit more or read it more casually when time presents itself. This was more the former than the latter.

The two big twists in the novel were totally predictable, but I really didn't mind that much. It was still a fun read. I wouldn't rank it quite as high as Abercrombie's best work (Best Served Cold remains one of my overall favorite fantasy novels), but I enjoyed it more than Red Country, which I liked.

Looking forward to the sequel.

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A minor issue was that some of the twists were easy to spot for regular Abercrombie fans. As it's a YA book i suspect that won't be an issue for the target audience though. I was still taken aback by the ultimate end though

I knew who "nobody" was but thought Yarvi would still succeed in becoming king. Top marks for going the other way with it.

Yeah, I was in the same boat.

I thought Yarvi would somehow become king, likely because Nothing grew overconfident and was killed/mortally wounded. I don't know that this not happening could be called a "twist", but it was a surprise to me.

I agree with those who felt that Nothing's oath was a little clumsy in execution. It seemed very out of left field that Nothing would particularly care about Yarvi being on throne, and I immediately suspected that he wanted to put actually crown someone else. I think it might have been better if Yarvi had more obviously ingratiated himself to Nothing, because thus far in the story Nothing saved Yarvi's life a couple times, and Yarvi only gave him a little bread. Nothing didn't owe Yarvi anything and it seemed really abrupt to make such an oath. Too obvious for me.

Overall, a fun Abercrombie read, although I thought it lacked some of the depth of most of his other work.

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Yeah, I was in the same boat.

I thought Yarvi would somehow become king, likely because Nothing grew overconfident and was killed/mortally wounded. I don't know that this not happening could be called a "twist", but it was a surprise to me.

I agree with those who felt that Nothing's oath was a little clumsy in execution. It seemed very out of left field that Nothing would particularly care about Yarvi being on throne, and I immediately suspected that he wanted to put actually crown someone else. I think it might have been better if Yarvi had more obviously ingratiated himself to Nothing, because thus far in the story Nothing saved Yarvi's life a couple times, and Yarvi only gave him a little bread. Nothing didn't owe Yarvi anything and it seemed really abrupt to make such an oath. Too obvious for me.

Overall, a fun Abercrombie read, although I thought it lacked some of the depth of most of his other work.

I noticed how in his oath, Nothing said he will put the rightfull king on the throne. Not Yarvi, but the rightful king. That's when I realized who he was

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First blurb for Half the World:



Brand was raised on the rat-infested streets of the poor quarter. Powerfully strong and trained in combat, fighting is his best skill. Trouble is, he doesn’t like killing people…



Born to a wealthy house, Thorn Bathu has defied the odds and chosen to train as a warrior. The obstacles she has encountered have made her tough and defensive – suspicious of everyone she meets.



Thrown together for Father Yarvi’s mission to gain allies in the coming war, Brand and Thorn will travel across the known world into the teeth of terrible danger. They will be forced to use everything they have learned in the training ground, but will that be enough to stay alive?



http://www.amazon.co.uk/Half-World-Shattered-Book-King/dp/0007550235/


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regarding the blurb

that seems like quite a big difference. I wonder if Yarvi is the adult now and the other two are the POV protagonists? Joe mentioned on his blog that book 2 has two POVs and 3 has 3 or 4. I seriously thought the series was going to be about Yarvi but the blurb has me reconsidering.



I'm intrigued so good blurb.


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So I finished Half a King last night. It was short and quick and enjoyable enough. I can understand why it is marketed as a young adult novel. I didn't feel like there was a ton of substance to it. But it was a nice little tale, nonetheless.



I guess that's somewhat critical. It's weird saying that here, because I am such a big fan of Joe's work and I know he reads and posts here. I'm sure I'll buy and read the other two books too; because even though I was somewhat disappointed with Half a King, it was still better than most stuff out there in the genre.



And part of what sorta bugs me is the price point. I know this is "just how it's done" in the publishing world, but I feel like I got about half of a Joe Abercrombie book, but at full price. I think I paid the same thing for this as I did for Best Served Cold or Red Country (or maybe even a bit more) but what I got was considerably less. I am happy to support authors I like, I just wish publishers would have a bit more flexibility in pricing with regard to getting what you pay for.


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So I finished Half a King last night. It was short and quick and enjoyable enough. I can understand why it is marketed as a young adult novel. I didn't feel like there was a ton of substance to it. But it was a nice little tale, nonetheless.

I guess that's somewhat critical. It's weird saying that here, because I am such a big fan of Joe's work and I know he reads and posts here. I'm sure I'll buy and read the other two books too; because even though I was somewhat disappointed with Half a King, it was still better than most stuff out there in the genre.

And part of what sorta bugs me is the price point. I know this is "just how it's done" in the publishing world, but I feel like I got about half of a Joe Abercrombie book, but at full price. I think I paid the same thing for this as I did for Best Served Cold or Red Country (or maybe even a bit more) but what I got was considerably less. I am happy to support authors I like, I just wish publishers would have a bit more flexibility in pricing with regard to getting what you pay for.

You clearly didn't get it when there were excellent pre-order incentives (or not from the UK). I got the ebook for £3.50 and closer to the publication date could have got the hardback for a mere £5. That said, his last book was still £4 more but it's true that it took me a month to get through red country and a day to get through this one. I wasn't on a long haul flight with no TV when I was reading red country though.

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You clearly didn't get it when there were excellent pre-order incentives (or not from the UK). I got the ebook for £3.50 and closer to the publication date could have got the hardback for a mere £5. That said, his last book was still £4 more but it's true that it took me a month to get through red country and a day to get through this one. I wasn't on a long haul flight with no TV when I was reading red country though.

Not from the UK, no. I paid around $12 for Half a King in ebook form. I am pretty sure I paid the same price (or maybe even a dollar or two less) for Red Country.

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