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MisterOJ

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

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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.

It's insane how these things fluctuate from country to country, publisher to publisher, seller to seller.

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Yeah I paid 5 quid for the hardback.

I'll definitely wait until closer to the release for the next book. Amazon has a price promise but not between kindle and physical. For £5 I'd much rather have the physical copy. Not that I was ripped off as I still got it for cheap

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I've had a copy of Half the World since Worldcon, hoping to get to it soon.



I find the title intriguing, as it reminds me of this song. Which was also the theme tune to this sitcom about a foul-mouthed lazy arsehole who likes getting drunk and berating others. Who (given an axe and a drinking horn) would be a classic Abercrombie character, so it all works out.


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Well, HaK was pretty excellent. A little more rapidly paced than I'd like, but a lot of fun nonetheless. A good read for a lazy day, I think.



e: didn't catch on to

Uthil's reveal, but I did also whip through the book like crazy. Everything else was predictable, but fun nonetheless.


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http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com/ProductDetailPage.aspx?group=related&sku=0804178429

Half the World is set in the same world as Half a King—but follows an extraordinary new protagonist who will have special appeal not only to Joe’s longtime fans but female readers and YA fans. She is Thorn—a fifteen-year-old girl in training for the king’s army. But even as she’s learning the ways of war, she’s also growing up…and falling in love for the first time. Endearing and unforgettable, Thorn and her story make Half the World the best installment yet in this extremely accessible series.

FEMALE PROTAGONIST AND WIDE APPEAL: The Shattered Sea Series will appeal to Joe’s longtime fans…but with its deeply lovable protagonist and emotional warmth will also appeal to a broader audience, from female fantasy fans to teen readers.

ENTRY POINT: New readers can easily jump into the series at this point without having read Half A King and not feel lost.

First blurb for Half a War:

Yarvi is the unlikely heir to the throne—a clever, thoughtful boy with a crippled hand who feels out of place in a violent, Viking-like society. Thorn is a young girl, determined to follow in the footsteps of her dead father and become a famous warrior, whatever it takes. Now Yarvi has avenged the murder of his father, and sets out on an epic journey with Thorn that will embroil his kingdom in all-out war.

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I know what they mean, but I wish their wording didn't seem to imply that Joe's fans are all adult men. "Holds appeal for longtime fans, women, and teens!"

I didn't even notice that when reading it the first time, but you're right. The usual thoughtlessly worded bullshit...

On the other hand, I did once describe The First Law series to my husband as "man fantasy" to try to convince him to read it.

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http://edelweiss.abovethetreeline.com/ProductDetailPage.aspx?group=related&sku=0804178429

First blurb for Half a War:

Yarvi is the unlikely heir to the throne—a clever, thoughtful boy with a crippled hand who feels out of place in a violent, Viking-like society. Thorn is a young girl, determined to follow in the footsteps of her dead father and become a famous warrior, whatever it takes. Now Yarvi has avenged the murder of his father, and sets out on an epic journey with Thorn that will embroil his kingdom in all-out war.

Sounds like they are trying a bit too hard with the "girls will like it too"! Not sure when it became the case that girls only like YA when it has a female protagonist and vice versa. Harry Potter seemed to do fine.

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Sounds like they are trying a bit too hard with the "girls will like it too"! Not sure when it became the case that girls only like YA when it has a female protagonist and vice versa. Harry Potter seemed to do fine.

'Cause of Hermione :P

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I finished the book yesterday. I thought it was good, one thing I do like about Young Adult Epic Fantasy novels is that they tend to be faster-paced than the typical Epic Fantasy and although I do like the extra detail and depth that the longer books can allow it is refreshing to sometimes read something that isn't 600+ pages long. I liked the characterisation although I wouldn't say any of them were as memorable as the best characters from the First Law trilogy.



I did miss spotting the Nothing=Uthil reveal in advance. I'd forgotten that there was any ambiguity in Uthil's fate (I'm guessing there probably had been some earlier mention about his barrow being empty?) so wasn't looking for candidates to be the long-lost King. I think I might have liked the twist more if I had seen it coming in advance since it did seem a bit abrupt and I'd probably have preferred to see a bit more of Uthil post-reveal (although I guess there's more opportunity for that in the sequel).



Half the World is set in the same world as Half a King—but follows an extraordinary new protagonist who will have special appeal not only to Joe’s longtime fans but female readers and YA fans. She is Thorn—a fifteen-year-old girl in training for the king’s army. But even as she’s learning the ways of war, she’s also growing up…and falling in love for the first time. Endearing and unforgettable, Thorn and her story make Half the World the best installment yet in this extremely accessible series.


I think in the early training ground scenes Yarvi does mention seeing a girl among the trainee warriors, I'm guessing this might be Thorn?


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Halfway through Half the World and it's even better than the first one. Moving Yarvi to a supporting role and bringing in two different, new POVs is a move that works really well.


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New blurb for Half the World:

New York Times bestselling author Joe Abercrombie’s thrilling new series continues in the follow-up to Half a King, which George R. R. Martin hailed as “a fast-paced tale of betrayal and revenge that grabbed me from page 1 and refused to let go.”

Sometimes a girl is touched by Mother War.

Thorn is such a girl. Desperate to avenge her dead father, she lives to fight. But she has been named a murderer by the very man who trained her to kill.

Sometimes a woman becomes a warrior.

She finds herself caught up in the schemes of Father Yarvi, Gettland’s deeply cunning minister. Crossing half the world to find allies against the ruthless High King, she learns harsh lessons of blood and deceit.

Sometimes a warrior becomes a weapon.

Beside her on the journey is Brand, a young warrior who hates to kill, a failure in his eyes and hers, but with one chance at redemption.

And weapons are made for one purpose.

Will Thorn forever be a tool in the hands of the powerful, or can she carve her own path?

http://www.randomhouse.com/book/236097/half-the-world-by-joe-abercrombie/9780804178426

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Book 2: Half the World

The High King of the Shattered Sea is displeased with the new King of Gettland and his defiance. Forces religious and military gather to bring Gettland to heel, but the king's advisor is crafty and cunning beyond his years. Yarvi brings together a new fellowship to travel halfway across the known world to the First of All Cities and there make an audacious play for an alliance. Unfortunately, his crew consists of cutthroats, ex-criminals, disgraced boy warriors and violent murderers.

Half the World is the middle volume of The Shattered Sea and picks up several years after the end of Half a King. This novel features a structural shift from the previous one, with the narrative now divided between two new characters - Brand and Thorn - and Yarvi relegated to more of a supporting/mentor role. It's a nice structural twist that means that Yarvi's storyline continues from his previous book, but is now presented more in flashes and glimpses from the other characters. If you haven't read Half a King, you won't notice too much of this but those who have will find themselves able to follow Yarvi's story as it develops mostly off-stage.

Thorn is where much of the book's marketing has been directed and it's easy to see why. Less of a tomboy and more of a walking ball of anger, Thorn could be the milder, younger sister of Ferro (from The First Law Trilogy). Her character arc is - at least somewhat - traditional but she remains a vibrant and well-written protagonist. Brand, the young warrior disgraced for being too nice and who has to make good, is a much more standard character but Abercrombie gives him enough flair and memorable moments (including an eye-watering moment where he has to stop a ship being ported from rolling over).

There's some splendid action and some intriguing politicking, but it's the frigid atmosphere (turning more clement as our characters journey south and off the edge of the map) and the relentless pace that make this novel so successful, and more enjoyable than its forebear. Abercrombie is still working with a shorter word count than normal here and it helps maintain focus and drive. This is a 400-page novel where the pages fly by. Abercrombie is also upping his game with his prose, with some darkly delicious dialogue and more poetical moments peppering his more traditional style of black humour. Even the worldbuilding is taken up a notch, with the idea that the Shattered Sea might be a far future, post-apocalyptic part of our world developed further.

Half the World (****½) is a resounding success and an improvement on Half a King on almost every front. It will be released on 12 February 2015 in the UK and five days later in the USA. Highly recommended.

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The first threee chapters are available at Abercrombie's site.



Very interesting introduction to Thorn and Brand. The pace is perhaps even faster than in the first book, with litle timefor meanderings or introductions. One can already note some of the things Wert mentioned in his review: seeing Yervi from an outside perspective works very well, Thorn reminds a lot of Ferro (but seems more interesting),...


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Even the worldbuilding is taken up a notch, with the idea that the Shattered Sea might be a far future, post-apocalyptic part of our world developed further.

I'm totally blanking on any references to this from the first book. Can anybody share what the (possible) hints were in Half a King?

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I'm totally blanking on any references to this from the first book. Can anybody share what the (possible) hints were in Half a King?

Me too. I read Half a King quite recently, and if there were any such references, they went right over my head.

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I'm totally blanking on any references to this from the first book. Can anybody share what the (possible) hints were in Half a King?

There are various references to ancient items which are described as being made of unknown metals using advanced craftsmanship, such as the Black Chair they use as a throne which is described as being made from flawless metal by elves before the 'breaking of the world'. I think there's also a scene where someone wears ancient jewellery described as looking very like a circuit board and the haunted elf towers sound like skyscrapers. I think there's a clear implication that these things all survive from a civilisation wiped out in an apocalyptic event.

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There are various references to ancient items which are described as being made of unknown metals using advanced craftsmanship, such as the Black Chair they use as a throne which is described as being made from flawless metal by elves before the 'breaking of the world'. I think there's also a scene where someone wears ancient jewellery described as looking very like a circuit board and the haunted elf towers sound like skyscrapers. I think there's a clear implication that these things all survive from a civilisation wiped out in an apocalyptic event.

*Spockydog slaps himself on the forehead*

Of course.

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